Today, we are looking at Bradycardia in dogs and asking exactly what it is.
When a dog’s heart rate drops drastically below its normal rate, this is referred to as sinus bradycardia (also known as SB).
This condition can be an indication of a major health problem that requires medical assistance.
Table Of Contents
- Facts About
- The Causes Of Bradycardia In Dogs
- The Symptoms To Look For
- Treatment Of Bradycardia
- Living & Management Of The Condition
SB, or slow heartbeat, is the result of an abnormal heart rhythm. Depending on the cause, this condition may be asymptomatic or cause clinical signs. In either case, the dog’s heart rhythm is too slow, and it may not pump enough blood.
There are two types of bradycardia in dogs: vagally-mediated and non-respiratory sinus bradycardia.
Both types of bradycardia suggest an autonomic imbalance. The autonomic nervous system governs the body’s motor functions. It is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches.
In some cases, the dog will display only one of these conditions.
This condition may also result in other cardiac abnormalities such as seizures. When the heart is in this state, your dog’s breathing will be irregular.
The Causes Of Bradycardia In Dogs
The following considerations will be taken into account by your veterinarian when deciding whether or not your animal’s heart rate is abnormally sluggish. It is believed that increased vagal tone is the most common cause of sinus bradycardia.
In addition to head trauma, the vagus nerve can be stimulated by gastrointestinal, respiratory, neurologic, and ocular illnesses, among other things.
Bradycardia can be caused by a variety of factors, including heart tissue degeneration associated with aging.
Heart disease or a heart attack can cause damage to the heart’s tissues. A cardiac condition that is evident at birth (congenital heart defect)
The Symptoms To Look For
It is called sick sinus syndrome when the sinus node (the heart’s intrinsic pacemaker) ceases to function properly and does not reliably generate heartbeats.
Heart block is characterized by a total or partial stoppage of electrical impulses on their way to the ventricles, resulting in a sluggish, irregular heartbeat that is difficult to control.
A typical heartbeat in a dog varies depending on its size: In most cases, little dogs and puppies have heart rates ranging from 120 to 160 beats per minute. Dogs weighing more than 30 pounds have heart rates ranging from 60 to 120 beats per minute.
The normal heart rate of a large dog is slower than that of a small dog.
Despite the common causes, it’s important to find a diagnosis that’s accompanied by other clinical signs. In addition to symptoms, there are also various types of bradycardia in dogs. You can diagnose this condition by checking the pulse rate of the dog.
Other symptoms to look out for include:
Coughing is one of the most prevalent indicators of respiratory diseases.
Breathing becomes difficult.
After coughing, your dog may experience gagging.
Congestion of the nasal passages.
Resistance to physical exertion
Gums that are blue.
In absolutely any of the signs above it is absolutely imperative that you seek medical expertise from your veterinarian at once.
This is a serious condition that if left but it can lead to syncopal episodes and sudden cardiac death.
Want to know what a healthy canine heart sounds like? This is really useful to know.
Treatment Of Bradycardia
A diagnosis of SB requires a diagnostic test to pinpoint the underlying problem.
The treatment for canine sinus bradycardia is dependent on the underlying etiology.
If no cause can be identified and the dog is otherwise healthy, it is possible that no treatment will be required, and the dog will only need to be closely followed for any changes.
In any other case, a veterinarian will treat you as needed.
If a dog’s heart rate drops to dangerously low levels, he or she may require hospitalization and IV fluids. The dog’s activities will most likely need to be restricted in the event that the sinus bradycardia is an indication of a serious ailment, and a veterinarian would likely utilize medication or surgical therapies to address the problem.
Living & Management Of The Condition
With conditions like this, your vet will be able to advise you the very best course of action and this may well include regular medication and a change to your dog’s diet(if they are overweight) along with a differing exercise regime.
This may well include less strenuous exercise but again, all of the varying requests will be explained to you by your medical expert and this will ensure that your dog will be getting the best possible care and aftercare as a result.