News You Can Use – Atrial Fibrillation aka Tennis Shoes in the Dryer
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is a common arrhythmia that can present challenges in diagnosis and management. It is more common the larger the dog and is rare in cats. AFib is usually secondary to serious heart disease with severe atrial enlargement. If there is a chaotic rhythm (sounds like “tennis shoes in a dryer”) and pulse deficits, then AFib is likely, but an ECG is needed to confirm the diagnosis. An ECG will show irregularly irregular RR intervals with inconsistent (absent) P waves, possibly with some baseline undulations (F waves). After diagnosing and stabilizing any underlying heart condition, treat the AFib with both digoxin and diltiazem. Concentrate on getting the heart rate below 160 BPM by titrating the diltiazem. Use low doses of digoxin to avoid toxicity. With a fine-tuned medication regimen and careful management, Atrial Fibrillation can be well controlled.
Did You Know?
… Dr. Wood provides consultations on diagnostics performed at your practice? Telemedicine is the perfect solution for cases that are unstable for travel, clients who cannot afford a complete workup, or a borderline case that may or may not warrant a referral. If the client follows up with a cardiac workup in our office within 2 months, we’ll even comp them the original consultation cost!