taking a good ECG
HINTS ON TAKING A GOOD ECG
This information applies to any ecg
machine including the Cardiophone transmitter.
1. ANIMAL POSITION
a.The animal must be absolutely still,
not shivering or even moving its tail!
b.It should be in right lateral recumbancy.
c.If it cannot be held in lateral recumbancy
it should be standing or prone but NOT SITTING.
2. ELECTRICAL CONTACT
a. Part the hair over the elbows and knees,soak
the skin with alcohol and apply alligator clips.
b. Alternatively pierce the skin with 25
gauge hypodermic needles and apply the alligator clips to the point
of the needle.
If the animal cannot be controlled it may need sedation.
Do not use Ketamine, Domitor (medetomine) or Rompun (xylazine) without
using atropine to block the parasympathomimetic effects (bradycardia
& AV block).
b. Diazepam, Midazolam, Torbugesic and
combinations of these are safe and effective.
Tracings must be standardised to make them comparable and easy to read.
The standard settings are;
a. Use minimal filtration and increase filtration to obtain a smooth baseline.
50mm/sec speed.(25mm/sec can be used to record infrequent arrhythmias).
c. Amplitude,1Mv=1cm (decrease the amplitude
to fit the tracing on the paper. Increase the amplitude if necessary
with cats and low amplitude traces.
d. Lead I = left arm to right arm
Lead II = left leg to right arm
Lead III = left arm to left leg
a. Record all 6 leads if possible.
Record at least 30cms per lead. With digital systems record at least one page (A4 landscape) of leads I, II, III, and one page of the six leads.
c. Make sure the ecg is marked with the
paper speed and sensitivity used.