Reasons to Holter Monitor
An arrythmia is suspected on Veterinary examination
When intermittent arrhythmia needs to be excluded in cases of a pet having unexplained weakness, dizziness, lethargy, excess panting and aggitation or even collapse and fainting.
Simply being a Doberman
Dobermans have a breed wide problem of developing Dilated Cardiomyopathy with upto 50% being affected over their lifetime. This is a degenerative disease of heart muscle that results in a thin walled weak flabby heart. When symptoms appear response to treatment is often brief with sadly sudden death often occuring.
The most effective option to help is to diagnose this disease early before the dog has clinical symptoms. This can be achieved by looking for abnormal heart beats called ventricular premature contractions (VPC). If medication is started early many studies show that a normal life without signs can be extended by two years or more.
Recommendation is a baseline holter ECG at two years of age then annually to five years, then every second year.
Simply being a Boxer
Boxers are also very prone to a disease of the muscle of the heart. In Boxers this is more likely to be associated only with arrythmias unlike the heart failure of Dobermans. There condition is a bit of a mouthful but is called Arrythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC).
Symptoms can include weakness and lethargy but can progress to collapse and sudden death.
Again ventricular premature contractions (VPCs) in the ECG can be counted over 24 hours. Greater than 300 confirms disease and greater than 1000 may indicate a reason to consider treatment.
Baseline Holter monitor at three years of age then every second year