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.

 

Treatment

 

If your dog is suffering from ventricular pre-excitation but does not have tachycardia, no treatment is needed. However, those with WPW syndrome will require conversion by dirrect shock (the most effective treatment) or by ocular or carotid sinus pressure, or drugs.

 

Catheter ablation with radiofrequency current is a relatively recent technique that allows accessory pathways to be destroyed or ablated by a transvenous catheter positioned at the site of the pathway in the heart. It may be recommended due to the alternative: a lifelong therapy of drugs.

 

Living and Management

 

The prognosis depends on the severity of the underlying cause. Most pets with WPW syndrome, however, respond well to therapy for supraventricular tachycardia.

 

Related Articles

Blood Transfusion Reactions in Dogs
There are a variety of reactions that can occur with the transfusion of any blood...
READ MORE
Heart Block (Complete) in Dogs
The heart's sinoartial node (SA) is very much like a control center, responsible...
READ MORE
Cardiomyopathy in Boxer Dogs
Cardiomyopathy is most commonly characterized by an irregular heartbeat. Fainting...
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»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

How Your Overweight Pet Could Benefit from ...
Pet obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Fortunately, there are some things...
READ MORE
How Antioxidants Improve Our Pet's Health, ...
The science behind pet nutrition continues to make major advances. One such example...
READ MORE
5 Reasons Life Stage Diets Help Improve Pet ...
Balanced and complete nutrition is important for any animal. However, the nutritional...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM