Median survival time for dogs with mean heart rate less than 125 bpm (1037 days) was significantly longer than those with mean heart rate of 125 or higher (105 days). The results of this study show that patients with atrial fibrillation live longer with lower heart rates.
Eventually, euthanasia will be appropriate. That said, many dogs can live quite a long time with medical management, especially if they do not have underlying structural heart disease or heart failure to begin with.
What do you do if your dog goes into AFib?
In dogs, cardioversion may be successful in returning the heart to a normal rhythm, but often the rhythm returns to atrial fibrillation in the dog. Consequently, treatment for atrial fibrillation involves the use of drugs to slow the rate. Such drugs include dilitiazem, atenolol and/or digoxin.
Kaplan-Meier survival curves were analyzed for dogs split into 2 cohorts based on the median mean heart rate of 125 bpm. Median survival time for dogs with mean heart rate less than 125 bpm (1037 days) was significantly longer than those with mean heart rate of 125 or higher (105 days).
Patient signalment, cardiovascular and rhythm diagnosis, medical treatments during the Holter recording, and patient outcome were recorded.
Sex, neutering status, age, weight, study site, and cardiac diagnosis were not significantly associated with either all-cause or cardiac mortality. The presence or absence of CHF at the time of diagnosis of atrial fibrillation was not significantly associated with all-cause mortality.
Dr. Boatright, a 2013 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, works as a general practitioner and emergency veterinarian in western Pennsylvania. She is active in her state and local veterinary medical associations and is a former national officer of the Veterinary Business Management Association.
The results of this study show that patients with atrial fibrillation live longer with lower heart rates. This study suggests a therapeutic target of 125 bpm based on Holter recordings for patients with atrial fibrillation. Prospective studies are needed to further explore treatment targets in patients with atrial fibrillation as well as compare the medications used for rate control.
Does atrial fibrillation shorten your life?
Untreated AFib can raise your risk for problems like a heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, which could shorten your life expectancy. But treatments and lifestyle changes can help prevent these problems and manage your risks.
Can dogs live with AFib?
Can atrial fibrillation be cured in dogs?
Both rhythms can lead to a decrease in heart function related to chaotic rhythm and excessively rapid heart rates. These electrical disturbances can rarely be “cured” back to normal because the majority of dogs with AF have progressive underlying heart disease.
How long can a dog live with heart disease on medication?