VPC Arrhythmias in Irish Wolfhounds

Ventricular premature contractions (VPCs) are heart rhythm disturbances that interrupt the normal heart rhythm.

In Boxers and Dobermans, VPCs can signal a condition that frequently leads to sudden death. In wolfhounds, VPCs appeared to be more benign. However, in preliminary data, serious VPCs that could lead to sudden death have been found in some wolfhounds.

The holter monitor records the heart’s activity for a period of 24 hours. It is an excellent tool for evaluating VPCs. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the incidence of dangerous arrhythmia in Irish Wolfhounds found to have VPCs in screening EKGs that are otherwise normal.

You will be reimbursed for the following tests required for the study:

  1. Yearly echocardiogram performed by a board certified cardiologist. (An echo obtained at one of the IWF Echo Clinics is fine.)
  2. The IWF can provide a holter monitor semi-annually. If for some reason you are unable to take advantage of this, we will reimburse you for holter monitor testing twice a year, plus one extra holter if medication is prescribed. 
  3. Blood tests at the time of entry into the study: CBC, Chemistry panel, Thyroid (T4) and Tick Panel. 

The digital holter monitor can be arranged through the IWF (preferably) or a board-certified cardiologist of your choice. During the 24 hour period you will be asked to keep a diary of your dog’s activities.

The Irish Wolfhound Foundation will contact your veterinarian and/or cardiologist to arrange for submission of results if we do not provide the holter monitor. For IWF-provided holter monitoring, we will copy the results to your cardiologist. 

Participation Requirements

Any hound in normal sinus rhythm with VPCs found on a screening EKG is eligible for this study.

If the hound does not enter from an IWF clinic a copy of the EKG strip will need review before entry is accepted.

Reimbursement Requests

Send receipts for expenses to:

The Irish Wolfhound Foundation
146 Victoria Rd
Millersville, PA 17551-1312

Study Forms

Study Entry Form

Additional Study Details

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

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