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

Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome in Dogs

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Normally, the electrical impulse causing the heart to beat begins in the sinoatrial node -- the pacemaker of the heart located in the right atrium (one of the heart's top two chambers) -- is transmitted to the ventricles (the heart's bottom two chambers) and then passes through the atrioventricular (AV) node into the AV bundle. Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) is when ventricular pre-excitation occurs as impulses originating in the sinoatrial node or atrium activate a portion of the ventricles prematurely through an accessory pathway without going through the AV node, causing, among other things, an abnormally fast heart beat rhythm (supraventricular tachycardia). (The remainder of the ventricles is activated normally through the usual conduction system.) 

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Extremely rapid heart rate (greater 300 beats per minute)

 

Causes

 

WPW syndrome can be associated with congenital or acquired heart defects.

 

Congenital Heart Disease

  • Congenital defect limited to the heart beat’s conduction system
  • Hole in between the two atria (atrial septal defect)
  • An improperly developed valve separating the right atrial chamber from the left ventricular chamber (tricuspid valvular dysplasia in dogs)

 

Acquired Heart Disease

 

Diagnosis

 

You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health to your veterinarian, including the onset and nature of the symptoms. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination as well as a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and electrolyte panel -- the results of which are typically normal. Echocardiography, meanwhile, may show structural heart disease often associated WPW syndrome.

 

 

Related Articles

Low Blood Oxygen in Dogs
When the brain is deprived of oxygen, irreversible damage may be the result, even...
READ MORE
Cardiomyopathy in Boxer Dogs
Cardiomyopathy is most commonly characterized by an irregular heartbeat. Fainting...
READ MORE
Tear in the Heart in Dogs
A dog's heart is divided into four chambers. The two upper chambers are the atria...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»

Latest In Dog Nutrition

The Role of Exercise in Pet Weight Loss
Exercise is beneficial for our pets in many ways, including weight loss, and here's...
READ MORE
Five Life-Lengthening Health Tips for Your ...
Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat wishes just one thing — that he or she has a...
READ MORE
How Obesity May Shorten Your Pet's Lifespan
Obesity is a nationwide epidemic for our pets. Unfortunately, being obese can shorten...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM