Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Arrhythmia in Dogs: Symptoms & Treatment

Arrhythmia in dogs is not uncommon. Many dogs can live delighted, healthy lives but unfortunately, that is not always the case. An arrhythmia in your dog could be a sign of an underlying condition. Here, our vet specialists in Englewood provide you with information on arrhythmia in dogs, what to look out for, and what treatment can be done.

About Arrhythmia in Dogs

Arrhythmia in dogs is an abnormality in the heart's rhythm, which can include the speed, strength, or regularity of heartbeats. It generally is caused by unusual electrical activity in dogs’ heart muscles, which can come from congenital issues from birth or from something that has occurred in your dog's life.

Some breeds appear to be predisposed to sinus arrhythmia, most notably brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs, Lhasa apsos, Pekingese, pugs, shar peis, Shih Tzus, and boxers.

If your dog shows signs of having an unusual heartbeat, then you should contact your primary vet to schedule an examination. During this examination, they will diagnose any health conditions your dog might have and begin treatment right away to avoid long-lasting side effects. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for arrhythmia in dogs.

If needed, your primary vet will refer you and your dog to a veterinary cardiology team such as ours here at VRCC.

Causes of Arrhythmia in Dogs:

  • Birth
  • Age
  • Injuries
  • Infections
  • Stress
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Congenital heart abnormalities (present from birth)
  • Heart disease
  • Diseases that affect the vagus nerves
  • Cerebral disorders
  • Conditions that cause pressure within the skull

Symptoms of Arrhythmia in Dogs:

  • Weakness
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Long pauses between heartbeats

Types of Arrhythmia in Dogs:

Dogs of any breed or age can develop arrhythmias but some types are more common in specific breeds.

  • Ventricular Arrhythmias
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome (Sinus Node Disease)
  • Heart Block
  • Myocarditis

Treatment for Arrhythmia in Dogs

Treatment will differ depending on the type of arrhythmia and the breed of your dog. Some possible treatment options are:

Complete physical exam - Your vet will listen to your dog’s heart using a stethoscope.

Electrocardiogram. Sometimes, there is a need to record the electrocardiograms and monitor them for 24 hours. The 24-hour monitoring period is necessary to determine the frequency and severity of the rhythm disturbance.

The management of heart arrhythmia in dogs is very important for your dog's overall health and treatment should continue and include determining the correct dose of medications if needed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you are concerned about your dog having an arrhythmia please contact your Englewood vets right away for a consultation.

New Patients Welcome

VRCC Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Englewood is always accepting new patients! Our board-certified specialists and emergency veterinarians are passionate about restoring good health to Denver Metro area pets.

Contact Us

(303) 874-7387 Contact