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Electrocardiography of the normal domestic pet rabbit
  1. B. Lord, BVetMed, CertZooMed, MRCVS1,
  2. A. Boswood, MA, VetMB, DVC, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS2 and
  3. A. Petrie, BSc, MSc, CStat, CSci, FHEA2
  1. Division of Clinical Studies, Hospital for Small Animals, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG
  2. Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  1. E-mail for correspondence reuschbrigitte{at}

To establish a well-tolerated technique for recording electrocardiograms (ECGs) and a reference range for the normal pet rabbit ECG, 46 healthy pet rabbits were studied. The following reference ranges were calculated. Heart rate was 198 to 330 bpm. P waves had a duration of 0.01 to 0.05 seconds and an amplitude of 0.04 to 0.12 mV. The P-R interval was 0.04 to 0.08 seconds and the duration of the QRS complex was 0.02 to 0.06 seconds. The amplitude of the R wave was 0.03 to 0.39 mV. The Q-T interval was 0.08 to 0.16 seconds. The amplitude of the T wave was 0.05 to 0.17 mV. Mean electrical axis was found to be −43° to +80°. Evidence of variation due to breed or bodyweight was not found to be significant, except for a quadratic relationship between R wave amplitude and bodyweight. The ECG recording technique used in this study for pet rabbits was well tolerated and shown to be both reliable and repeatable.

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