VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital offers Electrocardiograms as part of our Cardiology Services. An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a tracing of the electrical activity of the heart.
If your veterinarian hears a heart rhythm abnormality (called an arrhythmia) in your pet's heart beat, they will recommend an ECG. An ECG may also be recommended if a heart murmur is detected, if there are fainting episodes or exercise intolerance, and as a pre-anesthetic screening in certain situations. An ECG, combined with other tests such as a chest x-ray, allows us to investigate the cause, recommend further testing if needed, and prescribe appropriate treatment for the arrhythmia. Although the ECG procedure requires that your pet hold very still for a few minutes to obtain the electrical data, it generally does not require sedation. Several clips (called leads) are placed onto your pet's skin at various body points in order to accurately record the information your veterinarian requires. The ECG may be sent to a board-certified cardiologist for interpretation and advice regarding causes and treatment options for the arrhythmia.