• arrhythmia;
  • canine


Objective: To report a case of spontaneous resolution of atrial fibrillation secondary to hypothermia in a dog without detectable heart disease.

Case summary: An 8-year-old female spayed mixed breed dog presented with a history of prolonged exposure to below freezing environmental temperatures. The dog presented hypothermic (<32°C or <90°F) and minimally responsive to stimuli. The heart rate was 80 beats per minute (bpm) and irregular. Atrial fibrillation was diagnosed. The dog had pale mucous membranes, absent femoral pulses, and no obtainable blood pressure via indirect Doppler technique. Resuscitation fluids were administered and active external warming was instituted. Peripheral edema was observed during the rewarming phase and the irregular heart rate was noted to increase. The atrial fibrillation spontaneously resolved with no specific anti-arrhythmic therapy. No underlying myocardial disease was found. The recovery of this dog was complete with a subsequent repeat of the echocardiogram and electrocardiogram (ECG) 8-months later found to be within normal limits.