• Conscious;
  • Echocardiography;
  • Electrocardiography;
  • Noninvasive;
  • Sphygmomanometer;
  • Treadmill

Amiodarone, a class III antiarrhythmic with beta-adrenergic blocking and antimuscarinic properties, has a wide spectrum of clinical use in humans. This study was conducted to establish the effects of a 25 mg/kg ql2h loading dose and a 30 mg/kg q24h maintenance dose of amiodarone, each given PO for 3.5 weeks, on systemic arterial pressure, echocardiographic (ECHO) indices of left ventricular function, ECGs, exercise tolerance, and serum biochemistries in adult, clinically normal dogs. Means were calculated and were compared by analysis of variance with repeated measures. When a significant F statistic was identified, specific means were compared by Bonferroni's post hoc test. Body weight and heart rate (HR) decreased, and PQ, QT, and corrected QT (QTc) increased significantly (P < .05) for the weeks that the dogs received the loading dose, but all parameters returned to values the same as those in the pretest for the weeks when dogs received the maintenance dose. Serum activity of hepatic enzyme activities and cholesterol concentrations increased, and serum concentrations of thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine [T3] and thyroxine [T4]), phosphorous, and total carbon dioxide decreased. The changes in PQ, QT, and QTc are similar to those obtained previously, but the detailed ECG and ECHO observations have not been reported. A dose of 25 mg/kg ql2h, but not 30 mg/kg q24h, is an appetite suppressant, and the lower dose produces neither ECG nor ECHO changes of clinical or toxicological significance in normal dogs.