Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Heart Beat Problems (Standstill) in Cats

ADVERTISEMENT

Atrial Standstill in Cats

 

If ECG (electrocardiogram) findings identify missing P-waves in the cat's atria, it is probably suffering from a rare heart rhythm disturbance called atrial standstill. A measure of the electrical activity of the atria (the top two chambers in the cat's heart), P-waves that are absent may be an indicator of a more serious underlying disease.

 

Atrial standstill can be temporary, persistent, or terminal due to complications such as heart failure. Along with absent P-waves, the ECG of the cat may demonstrate a slow heart rate with regular or irregular rhythm.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Lethargy
  • Muscle wasting
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • A spontaneous loss of consciousness (syncope)

 

Causes

 

  • Abnormally high concentrations of potassium in the bloodstream (hyperkalemia)
  • Heart disease, especially those associated with the atria (e.g., atrial myopathy, cardiomyopathy)

 

Diagnosis

 

Although routine laboratory tests, including complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis, are conducted on the animal, often atrial standstill is confirmed through ECG (electrocardiogram) findings. Other common findings include abnormally high levels of potassium and sodium in the blood -- both of which are only found with a biochemistry profile. These results may also indicate abnormalities related to other concurrent diseases. Echocardiography, meanwhile, will help your veterinarian diagnose the type of heart disease and the severity of the issue.

 

 

 

 

Related Articles

Heart Disease (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) in Cats

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heart disease that affects the left ventricle, and its functional ability to pump blood into the aorta, in cats....

READ MORE
Congenital Heart Defect (Ebstein’s Anomaly) in Cats

Ebstein's anomaly is a rare congenital malformation of the heart in which the opening of the tricuspid valve (on the right side of the heart,...

READ MORE
Heart Disease of the Sinus Node in Cats

The sinoatrial node (SA Node, or SAN), also called the sinus node, is the initiator of electrical impulses within the heart, triggering the heart's...

READ MORE
Heart Beat Problems (Fibrillation and Flutter) in Cats

In both atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter this rhythm is disturbed and synchronization is lost between the atria and ventricles.

READ MORE
MORE FROM PETMD.COM