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Syncope in Boxer dog being treated for arrhythmia
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Syncope in Boxer dog being treated for arrhythmia

Our 11.5 yr old Boxer boy has been collapsing then urinating himself in the middle o/the night for just over a year now. 1st episode was October 2011; 2nd was in January - both times he woke up, coughed + collapsed onto his side. The 3rd was April 1. The dog woke up, stood up, tried to cough, collapsed as before, but this time with eyes wide open lost control of his bladder. Then he got up about 1min later like nothing happened. We took him to a 24-hr Animal ER. They said it sounded like syncope since he didn't stiffen or seize.They did a 3min EKG and a battery of blood tests; all were normal.  

In mid-July 2012, the dog collapsed & peed himself again at night. We took him to a cardiologist. Said he thought the dog was fainting at night due to Boxer ARVC. Did an EKG & saw a slightly elevated heart rate w/some arrhythmic beats. Did a heart ultrasound and saw a slightly enlarged R-ventricle. Put the dog on 60mg of Sotalol 2x/day, then did a 24-hr Holter monitor. The leads came off @some point during the night but the cardiologist said he got a good enough read to see that there was no sign of an arrhythmia.  

In October, 3 months later, the dog fainted + peed again. Took him back to the dog cardiologist. An EKG showed no arrhythmia. The blood showed no thyroid problems. Heart ultrasound looked normal.

In November, the dog fainted + peed himself in the middle of the night again. Since the dog's been on meds, his condition has either stayed the same (collapsing every 3 months) or worsened (now collapsing every month!), depending on how you look at it. The vet now wants to redo the dog's Holter  to see if the dog's blood pressure/pulse are getting too low @night. Is going in the right direction? Is it possible the fainting isn't caused by the arrhythmia? What are the chances that the medication the dog is taking to control his occasional fainting has the side effect of occasional fainting? My husband and I would be very appreciative of a second opinion.
Tags: Heart
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Aleda M Cheng, D.V.M., C.V.ABlank
American Animal Hospital
Randolph, NJ
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