Introduction: The prevalence of arrhythmias in dogs and the influence of sex, breed, age, and body weight were analysed over a seven-year span.
Material and Methods: In total, 1189 referrals for cardiological examination by electrocardiography were received at one academic centre in Poland between 2008 and 2014. The largest proportion of the examined dogs were cross-breeds with body weight below 25 kg (n = 153, 12.87%), followed by German Shepherds (n = 122, 10.26%), Labrador Retrievers (n = 68, 5.72%), Yorkshire Terriers (n = 63, 5.3%), and Boxers (n = 60, 5.05%). Retrospective analysis was made of 1201 standing or right recumbent electrocardiograms without pharmacological sedation. The prevalence of arrhythmias was examined in terms of sex, age, body weight, and breed of the dogs.
Results: A total of 630 (52.46%) electrocardiograms showed no signs of arrhythmia, but 96 (7.99%) and 475 (39.55%) pointed to physiological and pathological arrhythmias respectively. The most commonly diagnosed type was atrial fibrillation with 33.68% incidence, followed by ventricular arrhythmias (28%), sinus pauses (27.58%), supraventricular arrhythmias (24%), and atrioventricular blocks (22.95%). Pathological arrhythmias were most commonly found in male dogs and in German Shepherds.
Conclusions: Atrial fibrillation predominated, followed by premature ventricular complexes. Male dogs were generally more prone to heart rhythm disturbances.