The main objective of this book is to give both clinical and theoretical information to interpret simple and complex electrocardiograms in dogs and cats. Detailed description of normal rhythm variations and arrhythmias is provided to meet the readers’ needs whether they are just beginners or experts. Consequently, veterinary students and busy general practitioners will find the information sought to categorize electrocardiograms, while cardiology residents and specialists will discover additional depths for understanding the complexities of the electrophysiology behind the electrocardiogram.
For all, the goal of this book is to increase knowledge to meet the challenge of electrocardiographic interpretation. We have made the deliberate choice to use the same terminology and electrocardiographic planes used for the analysis of the human electrocardiogram. We have done so because the main source of information concerning the clinically applicable electrophysiologic studies of arrhythmias is from those performed in people.
The first three chapters of this book include a detailed description of the anatomy and electrophysiology of the conduction system, the theory behind the formation of the electrocardiographic waveforms, and the recording techniques available to the clinician. The following chapters first focus on the characteristics of normal rhythm in dogs and cats, the impact of cardiac chamber enlargement on electrocardiogram, and then detail the portfolio of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias described in veterinary medicine.
Specifically, chapters 7 to 10 are dedicated to ectopies and tachyarrhythmias. Chapters 11 and 12 describe bradyarrhythmias and conduction abnormalities. Chapter 13 is an overview of the effects of systemic diseases and drugs on the electrocardiogram. Finally, chapter 14 describes the electrocardiogram in the presence of an artificial pacemaker, and the signs of device malfunction. We have included at the end this book a series of electrocardiograms that readers can use to test their knowledge.