Objective Describe the presence of arrhythmias in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) and the potential association with class of heart failure and left atrial enlargement. Compare the standard electrocardiogram (ECG) with Holter monitoring for assessing heart rate (HR).
Experimental procedure The study group of 36 dogs weighing less than 20 kg was divided into MMVD and no clinical signs (preclinical) or MMVD and clinical signs (clinical). A standard echocardiogram, ECG and 24-h Holter recording were obtained in all dogs.
Results Minimum and mean Holter HRs were higher in the clinical group than in the preclinical group. Clinical dogs had more ventricular arrhythmias than preclinical dogs. An enlarged left atrium was associated with the presence of more supraventricular arrhythmias.
Conclusions Arrhythmias are a common finding in dogs with MMVD and Holter monitoring is a reliable tool for both HR monitoring and diagnosis.