This is an emergency that requires prompt and aggressive treatment. In fact, without treatment, most dogs die within a matter of minutes. Often, electrical cardioversion is used, wherein an electrical defibrillator is used to deliver small electrical shocks to return the heart to normal rhythm. Initially, low intensity shocks are given; if the heart does not respond, the emergency veterinarian may increase the voltage.
If there is no access to an electrical defribillator, he or she may administer a precordial thump, whereby a sharp blow is applied to the chest wall over the heart with an open fist. Although rarely successful, it may be the only alternative.
Once the dog's heart has returned to a normal rhythm, it will require hospitalization for a few days to fully recover. Regular follow-up exams with the veterinarian will also be required, so that he or she may evaluate the dog's progress (typically with the ECG and other diagnostic procedures).
a) A cavity in certain animals b) Term refers to a rear chamber in the heart or a cavity in the brain
The act of making an opening narrower.
A record of the activity of the myocardium
The name of the main artery that starts in the left ventricle of an animal's four chamber heart.
The inflammation of myocardium