[COMPLETED] VPC Arrhythmias in Irish Wolfhounds

The Irish Wolfhound Foundation is funding a new research study by veterinary cardiologist Dr. William D. Tyrrell, Jr., and resident cardiologist Kacie E. Schmitt, DVM, as chief investigators.  The goal of their research is to characterize ventricular premature contractions (VPCs) in wolfhounds who have no underlying heart disease.

VPCs are heart rhythm disturbances that interrupt the normal heart rhythm and cause an irregular beat. While one or two isolated VPCs can be harmless, when they occur very often or repetitively, they can lead to a very serious condition called ventricular tachycardia.  For this reason, all dogs with VPCs should be closely monitored.

In Boxers and Dobermans, VPCs can signal a condition which frequently leads to sudden death. In wolfhounds, VPCs appear to be more benign. However, VPCs have been found in wolfhounds with impaired cardiac function as well as those with no heart disease.

Twenty wolfhounds will be evaluated. Drs. Tyrrell and Pasieka will collect data from echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, bloodwork, thyroid tests, and tick panels.  They will then have each dog wear a holter monitor to record a 24-hour continuous EKG.

This study will give us a much better idea of whether or not VPCs are truly benign in wolfhounds, or whether they can indicate more serious problems.

Additional Study Details

Study Date(s): 2007-01-01
Study Status: Completed
Enrollment Status: CLOSED to new enrollment
Lead Researcher(s): William Tyrrell, DVM

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