Potential link between
AF and blood clots
in giant breed dogs
Nottingham Vet School third year student Lowri Heseltine will be conducting a research project over the next three months studying atrial fibrillation in giant breed dogs, namely Irish Wolfhounds, Great Danes and Deerhounds. In humans there is a link between atrial fibrillation and thromboembolic disease (blood clots) but in dogs this has not been confirmed yet.
The aim of Lowri’s project will be to establish if there is in fact a connection in dogs suffering with atrial fibrillation and death or complications due to the formation of blood clots. By establishing if there is a link the door could be opened to potential future research into the benefits of medication to help reduce the chances of developing blood clots and possibly improve the outcome for dogs suffering with atrial fibrillation.
As part of the project Lowri will be working with cardiologists to study case histories and outcomes of dogs affected by AF. In addition to this aspect of the project, Lowri would like to work directly with the owners and breeders of the giant breeds to gather crucial information from them. To that end Lowri has created a survey for owners of Irish Wolfhounds (and the other giant breeds) that have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation to gain an insight into the condition in these dogs. The criteria for being involved would be that the dog has a confirmed diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. The survey will be an online questionnaire (a paper version can also be made available) that asks questions under the following categories:
- Contact details of the owners (which cannot be shared and will be kept confidential within the research group)
- General information about the dogs (e.g. age, level of exercise, neutering status)
- Clinical information with regards to the atrial fibrillation (e.g. how it was diagnosed, treatment/management strategies for the AF or any other medical condition)
- General clinical information (e.g. comorbidities)
- Details of cause of death if applicable
(takes about 15 mins to complete)If you currently have, or have previously had, a dog diagnosed with atrial fibrillation,please take the time to fill out this questionnaire and help Lowri and the teamuncover new information regarding this disease in giant breed dogs.For any questions or queries regarding this project,Lowri can be contacted here.