An Electrocardiogram (ECG, or EKG, using the German spelling) is a recording of the electrical impulses that are generated when the heart is beating. When any irregular heart rhythm is detected on clinical examination, an Electrocardiogram should be performed. The small electrical impulses normally generated by the heart are amplified 3,000 or more times and recorded by the EKG machine. An EKG can detect minor disturbances in the heartbeat or heart rhythm and allows for diagnosing many types of heart disease.
An EKG is a simple, non-invasive test to perform. Your pet is usually placed in a standing or lying position and electrodes are attached to the elbows and knees. A conducting gel or liquid is applied to improve electrical conduction between the dog's skin and the electrodes. The EKG machine merely records the electrical impulses from the dog. There are no unpleasant sensations nor is there any danger to the pet.
At Campbell Village Veterinary Clinic, we also regularly use our Electrocardiograph to monitor patients under anesthesia.