Pet Electrocardiography Services


What is an ECG/EKG Exam?

We provide electrocardiography services onsite here at Animal Emergency Center of Sandy Springs. A simple, noninvasive test, electrocardiograms (abbreviated as either ECG or EKG) are an excellent diagnostic tool to help us evaluate the cardiac health of your cat or dog.

During an electrocardiogram exam, we record impulses from your pet’s heartbeat to produce a report we can then review with you and/or your primary veterinarian.

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What Does an ECG/EKG Exam Show?

We typically use ECG/EKG exams to detect heart problems like arrhythmias, heart disease, abnormal versus normal heartbeats, but there are many reasons for a veterinarian to order an ECG/EKG exam for your pet.

Some of the common reasons to order an ECG/EKG exam for your pet are:

  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Confirmation of an earlier diagnosis
  • Your pet’s heartbeat was difficult to hear during the exam
  • Your pet is exhibiting respiratory symptoms
  • To determine if your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia
  • To monitor a drug with potential cardiac side effects
  • Breed screening (some cat and dog breeds are predisposed to heart disease)

An ECG/EKG exam is also beneficial during surgery and/or whenever your pet is under anesthesia, as it gives your veterinarian a real-time measure of your pet’s heartbeat. It also allows them to monitor the effects of any medications given, as well as the depth of the anesthesia.

The ECG doesn’t solve medical issues, per se, but it helps your veterinarian make a more accurate diagnosis to get your pet on a proper treatment plan.

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What Happens To My Pet During an ECG/EKG Exam?

We’ll get your pet comfortable on their side, then attach tiny sensors (electrodes) to their knees, elbows, and chest. The entire test takes only a few minutes and is completely painless for your pet. Even better, since we can perform ECG/EKG testing with our onsite machine, the results are fast so we can review them with you in real-time.

If there are any concerns, our team may refer you to a veterinary cardiologist to perform additional tests or treatments.

We take every precaution to ensure a safe procedure for your pet, but if you have additional questions about anesthesia side effects, we encourage you to talk to the veterinarian and/or anesthesiologist overseeing your pet’s procedure.