2. What abnormalities can be diagnosed by the ECG?
Based on the distribution of the Purkinje system throughout the heart, animals are divided into two classes:
A schematic diagram of the conduction system of the heart.
- Class I Animals; horses and cattle:
- extensive arborization of the Purkinje system within the ventricular wall from endocardium to epicardium
- Class II Animals; man, dog and cat:
- minimal branching of the Purkinje system within the ventricular wall with penetration of only the endocardium
- In all domestic animals the ECG is the diagnostic test of choice to detect and diagnose dysrhythmias (arrhythmias).
- In Class II animals - the ECG is also useful to provide clues to chamber enlargement.
- ECGs can also suggest:
- electrolyte imbalance
- myocardial ischemia/hypoxemia
- drug intoxication
- thoracic effusion
- pericardial effusion
Please refer to the Electrocardiography section for further information about electrocardiography.