An ECG records the electrical impulses associated with the heart beating.

What can we use ECGs for?

To diagnose and evaluate changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmias)

To look for anatomical changes in the heart, pericardial (around the heart) and pleural (around the lung) diseases.

To monitor therapy of certain heart conditions

To help towards a diagnosis in cases of weakness, tiredness, collapse or seizures

Evaluation of trauma or critical patients

Monitoring patients during anaesthesia or surgery

What happens when my pet has an ECG?

For diagnostic ECG, we do not ideally use sedation or general anaesthetic. The animal is laid on his/her right hand side, and a small metal clip is attached to the top of each leg. These clips are then connected via leads to the ECG machine. A small amount of surgical spirit is applied to improve the connection. The ECG machine then records the electrical pulses formed as the heart beats, and the difference between the signals produced in each leg. This information is then printed out so it can be evaluated by the vet.