If you did one test, which is the best - EKG or Holter? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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If you did one test, which is the best - EKG or Holter?

There will be heart clinic at our Spring Show Cluster coming up next month.
They are offering EKG, but no Holter. We called the Dr. who said he coull bring a Holter with him, but no one else had requested one. The combined cost for both would be $400. Is this about right? The EKG alone would be $195. I am getting differing opionions on which is best to get if you did choose just one at a time. Most say, EKG is best. It seems I read on this thread, somewhere, that Holter was be best if you went with one.
We plan on doing the other a little later on. Thanks.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 08:57 PM
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If you can find a way to make it happen, both.

The way it works at the CVM here the first consult is significantly more expensive ($600+) but follow up visits are much more reasonable. A follow up holter, echo, and consult is $300 something. If you're going to do it once it might make sense to go through your club but if you plan to keep doing this and can get the same kind of deal through your CVM it might make sense to go that route.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cressrb View Post
There will be heart clinic at our Spring Show Cluster coming up next month.
They are offering EKG, but no Holter. We called the Dr. who said he coull bring a Holter with him, but no one else had requested one. The combined cost for both would be $400. Is this about right? The EKG alone would be $195. I am getting differing opionions on which is best to get if you did choose just one at a time. Most say, EKG is best. It seems I read on this thread, somewhere, that Holter was be best if you went with one.
We plan on doing the other a little later on. Thanks.
I am going to do both on McCoy when he turns 2. Our boy, Butcher, (RIP) was diagnosed with DCM after a serious Ventricular Tachycardia episode. It took a 24 hr Holter to correctly assess his condition. He lived for several years, basically symptom free, given his meds and an altered regime. He did ultimately succumb to DCM sudden death, as was expected. Fortunately he passed quickly and easily. The Holter was paramount in his diagnosis and treatment and added longevity.

Just my experience....

John
Portland OR
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 09:49 PM
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I think if you can get both for $400, that's a steal. Last year I paid over twice that for both for Richter.

We literally just had an echo clinic today...echos were $250 which is a pretty good deal. I plan to borrow my breeder's holter monitor and do that myself soon. If you can't do both together I would do the echo at the clinic and rent a holter monitor to do the 24 hour holter soon after. You really need both to get a complete picture.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 10:40 PM
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I assume you mean echo vs holter? An EKG is a reading of the electrical activity of the heart which can show an abnormal heartbeat--you can do a 10 minute EKG, for example. A holter test is basically a 24 hour EKG (it can be even longer)--the dog wears a special jacket so the leads stay in place and the vet can see a tape of the electrical activity of the heart as the dog goes about his normal routine. An Echocardiogram is a sonogram which allows the doctor to actually visualize the heart beating.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks, Melbrod for that explanation...still learning.
A little more searching and questioning, I found the Doberman club rents a holter very reasonable and then we just pay for a reading.
So this makes sense to do both and we will.

"Lots of people talk to animals...Not very many listen, though...That's the problem. " ~ The Tao of Pooh
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 10:37 AM
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Both are important, but if I could only do one, I'd do a Echocardiogram. My Vet Cardiologist does a quick EKG strip with it.

Mary Jo Ansel
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 03:18 PM
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I got a holter and then at the appointment where the vet interprets the results, we had an ultrasound. The holter had great results, the US, not so much. The US showed contractility issues with the upper left ventricle - 24% - that's low even for a doberman which apparently has low contractility in the breed.

One thing to find out is if the number of times the heart tries to contract is way different than the actual pulse e.g. a relative of Lana's had a pulse of around 35-55 resting and a heart contraction signal(?) of 224 - meaning that the heart tried to contract but was unsuccessful most of the time. I am confused about how to express that best since I don't know the right terminology.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Wow, so much to understand.

"Lots of people talk to animals...Not very many listen, though...That's the problem. " ~ The Tao of Pooh
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 03:41 PM
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We didn’t get around to having a 24 hour holter on Kip before he was diagnosed with DCM. On a sonogram during a bloat episode, they could see that a part of the heart was not contracting properly and put him on meds. We caught it early enough he has had no overt symptoms and he is 10 now--so far, so good.
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Last edited by melbrod; 04-03-2016 at 03:49 PM.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cressrb View Post
There will be heart clinic at our Spring Show Cluster coming up next month.
They are offering EKG, but no Holter. We called the Dr. who said he coull bring a Holter with him, but no one else had requested one. The combined cost for both would be $400. Is this about right? The EKG alone would be $195. I am getting differing opionions on which is best to get if you did choose just one at a time. Most say, EKG is best. It seems I read on this thread, somewhere, that Holter was be best if you went with one.
We plan on doing the other a little later on. Thanks.
I haven't read the whole thread and will probably regret posting at this point BUT--and EKG and a Holter are the same thing--a Holter is a long period (usually 24 or 48 hours) EKG--electro cardiogram--measures electrical activity of the heart.

Are you sure they aren't offering an echo--which is an ultra sound of the heart activity. All of the newer ultrasound equipment also records electrical activity as well.

An echo--if I could only do one is what I'd choose to do, I guess, but the long term EKG (also sometimes known as an ECG (the difference is K=kardio--german and C=cardio--English) provides more information about what the heart is doing since many dogs who show things like ventricular tachycardia may have periodic bouts of it but it may not show up on a short term basis (like the 15-20 minutes you would see during an echo.)

$195 for an echo is within the reasonable range for clinic run by a club--$175 to $250 is the common range--done as a private patient of a board certified cardiologist it would run around $400 or more alone.

The local Dobe club here (Portland, OR) offers health clinics twice a year--summer and winter. Will rent a Holter set up to club member at a great price--but you can't just sign up for the echo without having a EKG/ECG within a couple of months before the echo. A friend of mine and I bought a refurbed digital Holter because between the two of us we had a bunch of aging dogs and she had two in close succession who had full blown DCM one with CHF and the other with arrhythmias so even at the club rate it paid for itself quickly.

Last edited by dobebug; 04-03-2016 at 04:18 PM.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 04:17 PM
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Bug...

I always look forward to your input. I guess It makes sense. Dobe's since 1959. A great relationship with one of the best breeders in the country. And a working, practical knowledge of veterinary medicine. What could be better? BTW, my son's dog whom I mentioned on a different thread: "Stigmatized for Ear Cropping"....You taught him contemporary ear posting. His LONG ears were gorgeous. It was a while ago. Over a decade.

You are the man! (Uh... so to speak. LOL)

Best to McCoy's Grand Dad

John
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