Holter monitor information for owners

What is a Holter?

Your pet has been fitted with a portable digital ECG
recorder to assess the heart rate and rhythm of the heart in his/her own environment during normal daily activity. We use it to see if there is an underlying heart rhythm abnormality causing your pets clinical signs e.g. collage or weakness. We usually aim to obtain a 24-Hr Holter recording, but this can be extended to 48 hrs or 1 week where needed. We can obtain important information from the recording such as resting and exercising heart rates and any unusual heart rhythms as well as heart rhythms during major abnormal events such as collapse. We also use the device to monitor response to therapy, so it is highly likely your pet may need future Holter monitoring. In some breeds e.g. Boxer dogs, we use the Holter device to screen for certain heart diseases which can cause fatal arrhythmias.

How is it attached?

The Holter device and leads are tucked in a pocket within the second layer of the jacket provided. Please do not remove the jacket during the recording unless your pet is extremely unsettled. Most dogs will tolerate wearing the jacket and device without interfering with it. The monitor is expensive and should be treated with care.
It is NOT WATERPROOF. Please make sure your pet is not allowed to swim and if heavy rain is unavoidable your pet must wear a raincoat! Please prevent the vest from getting muddy or wet as this may cause discomfort.

Damage to the device must be avoided as it is expensive to repair and replace. Animals must be monitored at all times while wearing the device and should have the provided collar on.

There are 3 leads attached to 3 sticky pads2 on the right and 1 on the left side of the chest. Please monitor that the ECG clips are attached to the sticky pads and that the pads are stuck to the skin throughout the recording. You can check this through the leg holes without removing the jacket.

  • If you notice a loose lead please reattach to the pad RED on LEFT, YELLOW on TOP RIGHT and GREEN on BOTTOM RIGHT
  • If the pad becomes detached push firmly back into place.

If you are unable to reattach the pad:

1. Please press the yellow and green button on the device evenly at the same time to see if the recorded is still working. If you can see a trace on the screen no further action is needed. Please record which lead is loose

2. If no trace is visible call us.

What do I need to do?

Please complete the diary provided by logging normal events such as when your pet is eating, sleeping, exercising; unusual activity such as panting, distress, excitement and major abnormal events such as collapse or weakness. The more information you write down, the better.
If there is a major abnormal event please press the GREEN BUTTON ONLY on the recorder at the time. This will mark the exact time of the event on the ECG trace. This will not stop the recording but will help up identify what arrhythmia is causing the signs. This will help us determine the treatment plan for your pet.
It is not always possible to document a collapsing episode during the recording.

Please return the jacket and Holter device WITH your completed diary at the prearranged appointment. It is important to try keep to this appointment as you may be charged for a longer recording if you do not.  We send the Holter recording to an external company for analysis. We will receive the report usually within 1 week but we can ask for 24 hr turn around at an extra cost in emergency cases.

If you have any problems during the recording, please do not hesitate to call us and we can help guide you on what to do.