Clinical Studies

Puppy Heart Rate Study

Establishing normal electrocardiographic values in puppies using 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiograms (Holter monitoring)

5 small patches of fur are shaved so Holter leads can be appliedHolter leads attached to a puppyProtective vest covers Holter leads


Purpose of Study

Current literature for veterinary cardiologists focuses on normal heart rates for adult dogs over the age of one.  While this helps with the diagnosis of cardiac disease in adult dogs, it poses a problem for veterinarians when they are attempting to evaluate a puppy for suspected cardiac disease. The purpose of this study is to gather information about heart rates in healthy puppies. This data will be used to help establish normal heart rates in puppies, thus providing veterinarians with valuable information when screening for cardiac disease in puppies. For this study we will be using a small, wearable device called a Holter monitor, to collect ECG data for 24 hours. An ECG is a recording of the electrical activity of the heart.


Participants will help to establish screening parameters for veterinarians to use when they are screening puppies for cardiac disease. In addition, participating puppies will receive a free physical exam and owners will receive a gift certificate for a free scoop of ice cream at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe.

Enrollment Requirements

Enrolled puppies need to be between 3 and 11 months old, healthy and comfortable visiting the veterinarian.

Treatment Methods

Once participating puppies have received their physical exam, five small patches of fur will be shaved so the Holter monitor leads can be applied. Puppies will then be fitted with a vest. This vest will help to keep the Holter leads in place and will hold the monitor itself. Puppies will need to wear the Holter monitor and vest for 24 hours. Owners and their puppies will need to return to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital the following day for Holter monitor removal.

Owner Responsibilities

Owners will be asked to bring their puppy to WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital for both the initial appointment and then 24 hours later for Holter monitor removal. They are responsible for making sure their puppy does not chew on or do damage to the Holter monitor and leads. Owners will be asked to fill out a “Patient Activity Diary” during the 24 hours their puppy is wearing the Holter monitor.

Contact Information

For more information please contact:

Valorie Wiss Clinical Studies Coordinator
Office: 509-335-0798
Cell: 509-432-5345

Rebecca Tracey