Introduction: The prevalence of arrhythmias in dogs and the influence of sex, breed, age, and body weight were analysed over a seven-year span.
Material and Methods: In total, 1189 referrals for cardiological examination by electrocardiography were received at one academic centre in Poland between 2008 and 2014. The largest proportion of the examined dogs were cross-breeds with body weight below 25 kg (n = 153, 12.87%), followed by German Shepherds (n = 122, 10.26%), Labrador Retrievers (n = 68, 5.72%), Yorkshire Terriers (n = 63, 5.3%), and Boxers (n = 60, 5.05%). Retrospective analysis was made of 1201 standing or right recumbent electrocardiograms without pharmacological sedation. The prevalence of arrhythmias was examined in terms of sex, age, body weight, and breed of the dogs.
Results: A total of 630 (52.46%) electrocardiograms showed no signs of arrhythmia, but 96 (7.99%) and 475 (39.55%) pointed to physiological and pathological arrhythmias respectively. The most commonly diagnosed type was atrial fibrillation with 33.68% incidence, followed by ventricular arrhythmias (28%), sinus pauses (27.58%), supraventricular arrhythmias (24%), and atrioventricular blocks (22.95%). Pathological arrhythmias were most commonly found in male dogs and in German Shepherds.
Conclusions: Atrial fibrillation predominated, followed by premature ventricular complexes. Male dogs were generally more prone to heart rhythm disturbances.
Although peripheral blood analysis has become increasingly automated, microscopy is the only available method for the diagnosis of anisocytosis and poikilocytosis. The aims of the study were to compare RBC volume data obtained with two different analysers and by manual assessment of smears and to compare this data between dogs in various stages of heart failure secondary to degenerative mitral valvular (DMV) disease. The impact of diuretic administration on RBC morphology was also assessed.
Material and Methods
Sixty-eight dogs, 56 in different stages of DMV disease and 12 as healthy controls, were studied. Impedance and flow cytometry haematological analyses were performed for each animal. Additionally, two smears were prepared for manual analysis. RBC structure, staining, and size differences were recorded.
There were no significant differences between the blood morphological parameters assessed using haematological analysers nor between dogs receiving diuretic treatment and those not treated. Based on the manual smear, significantly higher erythrocyte anisocytosis was observed in the dogs with symptomatic DMV disease than in the control group.
Haematological analysers based on impedance and flow cytometry provide reliable and comparable morphological results in dogs with heart failure. However, microscopic assessment of blood smears is a more reliable tool to detect erythrocyte anisocytosis.
In recent years, the high sensitivity and specificity of novel miRNA biomarkers have been utilised for early diagnosis and treatment monitoring of various diseases. Previous reports showed that abnormal expression of miR-208 in mice resulted in the development of an aberrant cardiac conduction system and consecutive arrhythmias. On the other hand, a study on infarcted human heart tissue showed upregulation of miR-208a in subjects with ventricular tachyarrhythmias compared to healthy controls. We prospectively investigated the expression of miR-208a and -208b in the serum of dogs presenting different cardiac arrhythmias.
Material and Methods
A total of 28 dogs with atrial fibrillation (n = 8), ventricular premature contractions (n=6), conduction system disturbances (n = 7), and free of heart conditions (as controls) (n = 7) were enrolled in the study. Total RNA was extracted from serum samples and miR-208a and -b, miR-16 as well as a cel-miR-39-5p spike-in were analysed with qPCR and ddPCR.
miR-208a and miR-208b were not expressed in any of the samples. The calculated ddPCR miR-16 relative expression (normalised with cel-miR-39 spike-in) showed a good correlation (r = 0.82; P < 0.001) with the qPCR results.
This outcome warrants further investigation, possibly focusing on tissue expression of miR-208 in the canine heart.
Atrial fibrillation may potentially contribute to oxidative stress to a greater extent than chronic heart failure. The aim of the study was to compare the serum total antioxidant capacity and enzymatic antioxidant defence of dogs with chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation with those of subjects with chronic heart failure and sinus rhythm and healthy controls.
Material and Methods
A total of 33 dogs were divided into three groups: dogs with chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation (CHF + AF; n = 12), chronic heart failure and sinus rhythm (CHF + SR; n = 9), and healthy controls (n = 12). Serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC), serum CuZn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, and plasma glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity were determined.
SOD activity and serum TAC were significantly lower in the study groups than in control animals. Catalase activity was significantly higher and plasma GPx activity significantly lower in dogs with CHF + AF compared with the CHF + SR and control dogs.
The results suggest that chronic heart failure in dogs significantly impacts the serum TAC and the antioxidant enzymatic defence, while plasma GPx activity is markedly lower in dogs with chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation. The role of that imbalance needs further investigation.
Trajectory tracking for a mobile robot with skid-slip compensation in the vector-field-orientation control system
The article is devoted to a motion control problem for a differentially driven mobile robot in the task of trajectory tracking in the presence of skid-slip effects. The kinematic control concept presented in the paper is the Vector Field Orientation (VFO) feedback approach with a nonlinear feed-forward skid-slip influence compensation scheme. The VFO control law guarantees asymptotic convergence of the position tracking error to zero in spite of the disturbing influence of skid-slip phenomena. The paper includes a control law design description, stability and convergence analysis of a closed-loop system, and practical verification of the proposed control concept. The experimental results illustrate control quality obtained on a laboratory setup equipped with vision feedback, where the Kalman filter algorithm was used in order to practically estimate skid-slip components.
Ventricular rhythm disturbances are a common pathology in human and veterinary medicine. In humans, the algorithmic approach is used to differentiate wide QRS complex tachycardia. The most commonly used are the aVR and Brugada algorithms as well as the ventricular tachycardia (VT) score developed by Jastrzębski and coworkers. In veterinary medicine, no such algorithms are available and the only parameter used to describe VT abnormalities is the duration of the QRS complexes. The aim of this analysis was determining whether human medicine algorithms for VT are applicable in veterinary medicine to differentiate wide QRS complex tachycardia in dogs.
Material and Methods
A retrospective analysis was performed on 11 dogs of both sexes and various breeds and age diagnosed with VT. The diagnosis was based on ambulatory ECG, further established based on the reaction to lidocaine or adenosine or an invasive electrophysiological study.
Of the 11 tracings passed through the aVR algorithm, 10 met the VT criteria. The most common criterion was the Vi/Vt ratio (8 out of 11 tracings). Based on the VT score, seven out of eight dogs had a high probability of VT.
Retrospective analysis of ECGs by aVR and VT score indicates that the applied algorithms may be useful in differentiating wide QRS complex tachycardia as a quick, easy, and non-invasive alternative to cardiac electrophysiology.
Electrical cardioversion is a therapeutic procedure used to convert various types of arrhythmias back to sinus rhythm. It is used to restore the sinus rhythm in dogs with atrial fibrillation. The effect of the electrical energy used during cardioversion on red blood cells (RBC) is not fully understood. Studies on humans reported lysis of RBC following electrical cardioversion. Similar studies have not been carried out on dogs. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of electrical cardioversion on chosen RBC parameters.
Material and Methods
The study was carried out on 14 large and giant breed dogs weighing from 30 to 84 kg with lone atrial fibrillation (lone AF). Electrical cardioversion was carried out under general anaesthesia by biphasic shock with 70–360 J of energy. Blood was collected at T0 – during atrial fibrillation, prior to cardioversion, and at T1 – 30 min after electrical cardioversion. Complete blood counts as well as total and direct bilirubin concentrations were evaluated. A maximum output of 360 J was used.
In all cases, electrical cardioversion was effective, and no significant changes in the number of RBC and RBC indices were noted. Similarly, there were no statistically significant differences in the levels of total and direct bilirubin.
Electrical cardioversion in dogs led neither to statistically nor clinically significant RBC lysis.
Introduction: Pacemaker implantation is the only effective symptomatic treatment for life-threatening bradyarrhythmias. Major complications observed after implantation of cardiac pacemakers include lead dislocation, loss of pulse generator function, and inadequate stimulation. The aim of this retrospective single-centre study was to analyse the indications for pacemaker implantation and the incidence and types of complications associated with this procedure in dogs treated for symptomatic bradyarrhythmia.
Material and Methods: The retrospective analysis included 31 dogs with symptomatic bradyarrhythmia, implanted with permanent cardiac pacemakers in 1992–2017. The list of analysed variables included patient age, breed, sex, indication for pacemaker implantation, comorbidities, and the incidence of procedure-related complications along with the type thereof.
Results: The most common indication for pacemaker implantation was 3rd degree AVB, followed by SSS, advanced 2nd degree AVB, and PAS. Pacemaker implantation was associated with a 35% overall complication rate and 6.45% periprocedural mortality. There were no significant differences in terms of procedure-related complications with regard to age, sex, breed, indications for pacemaker implantation, or comorbidities.
Conclusions: Cardiac pacing is the only effective treatment of symptomatic bradycardia, but as an invasive procedure, may pose a risk of various complications, including death.
The technical details of a balloon stratospheric mission that is aimed at measuring the Schumann resonances are described. The gondola is designed specifically for the measuring of faint effects of ELF (Extremely Low Frequency electromagnetic waves) phenomena. The prototype met the design requirements. The ELF measuring system worked properly for entire mission; however, the level of signal amplification that was chosen taking into account ground-level measurements was too high. Movement of the gondola in the Earth magnetic field induced the signal in the antenna that saturated the measuring system. This effect will be taken into account in the planning of future missions. A large telemetry dataset was gathered during the experiment and is currently under processing. The payload consists also of biological material as well as electronic equipment that was tested under extreme conditions.