Ambulatory ECG (Holter monitoring)

Holter monitoring has become the standard approach for monitoring heart rate and rhythm in the field of human cardiology. The advent of small, lightweight yet robust digital recorders now enables us to offer this to dogs and even cats too.

One of the main indications for Holter monitoring is investigation of collapse. This may be the first sign of a serious underlying cardiac disease such as cardiomyopathy, where Holter monitoring can help to identify dangerous occult arrhythmias. Diagnosis is important in such cases, since recent evidence has shown that treatment of occult dilated cardiomyopathy can significantly improve longevity in Dobermans.

Holter monitoring is also invaluable in assessing true heart rate in cases of congestive heart failure or atrial fibrillation, without the “white coat effect” of the clinic environment.

Other indications:

  • Identifying frequency and severity of arrhythmia detected in the clinic by auscultation or standard ECG.
  • Assessing response to anti-arrhythmic or heart rate control medication.
  • Screening for evidence of arrhythmia as part of pre-clinical (occult) disease in breeds pre-disposed to cardiomyopathy (e.g. Dobermans and Boxers).
  • Differentiating cardiogenic syncope from neurally mediated syncope or atypical seizures.

How much does it cost:

  • 24 hour Holter monitor rental and analysis £360.00 + VAT
  • 48 hour Holter monitor rental and analysis £380.00 + VAT
  • 7 day Holter monitor rental and analysis £495.00 + VAT – includes full quantitative analysis of the first 24hours plus screening and event recording analysis for the remaining 6 days (longest and shortest R-R intervals plus any “events” when the monitor was activated by the owner).

We offer additional accidental damage cover for all Holter monitoring services at a further £25 + VAT per recording regardless of duration if selected when the monitor request is submitted. Owners are still expected to treat the monitors with utmost care during recording and are supplied with appropriate information regarding this (see Holter Monitoring for further information).

Holter monitoring services for veterinary cardiologists

We offer quantitative Holter analysis for veterinary cardiologists owning their own Lifecard CF Holter monitors, using the Spacelabs Pathfinder digital system. Please contact us for further information.

Cardiologists wising to purchase our bespoke Holter Monitoring Vests please use the link below.

To upload Holter data for analysis please use click here  to  fill out an online submission form  and attach your patient diary (registered users only). If you would like to register for our Holter analysis service please contact us to set up your account and check your Holter monitors are compatible.

How to request a Holter monitor

A Holter monitor can be requested by completing the online submission form below or downloading and completing a submission form from the downloads section. Alternatively you can contact us by phone.

The monitor is usually dispatched the next working day after receipt of the submission form unless you have specified a certain date. Your monitor will be supplied with a complete fitting kit including a Lifecard CF monitor, HeartVets Holtervest, electrodes, battery, instructions and patient diary to be completed by the client. Duplicate forms are also available from the downloads section.

The monitor is preset to record for 48 hours, and in most cases a recording duration of around 24 hours is considered appropriate for assessment of heart rate or rhythm away from the clinic. If your patient is suffering an episodic collapse the monitor can be set to record for up to 7 days and the set-up process for weekly recording is detailed in the fitting kit instructions.

When recording is complete you can remove the monitor but you DO NOT need to switch it off or press any buttons (although if you have pressed buttons accidentally this does not affect the recording).

Returning the holter couldn’t be easier, together with the vest pop the monitor in the provided jiffy bag and pre-paid mailbag and simply drop off at your local post office.

Here we show how to fit a Lifecard holder monitor to a dog using one of our bespoke Holter monitoring vests.

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