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Electrocardiogram (ECG)

What is an ECG?

What is an ECG?

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a method of assessing the rhythm, size and electrical activity of the heart. It consists of a series of sensors attached to leads stuck onto the skin of the legs and chest that measure the electrical signals produced by the heart as it beats. This is converted into a printed reading by an ECG machine that can be analysed by a vet.

When might the vet recommend an ECG?

An ECG is useful when investigating causes of shortness of breath or collapsing episodes, if an abnormal heart rhythm has been discovered during a health check and to assess the rhythm of the heart after an abnormal size or shape of the heart has been discovered, such as with an xray or ultrasound. Often an ECG is performed on a patient at rest, sometimes a mobile ECG device can be attached to an animal via a harness to monitor heart function over a longer period of time. This is especially useful if symptoms are intermittent or irregular.