Heart rate variability and vasovagal tone index in brachycephalic dogs

An Acad Bras Cienc. 2024 May 10;96(2):e20231250. doi: 10.1590/0001-3765202420231250. eCollection 2024.


Brachycephalic breeds of dogs, most of which show signs of the brachycephalic syndrome may have greater parasympathetic stimulation than other breeds, leading to higher values of heart rate variability and vagal tone index. The aim of this study was to establish a computerized electrocardiographic study and an assessment of the vagus sympathetic balance through heart rate variability and vagal tone index of five brachycephalic breeds compared to mesocephalic dogs. Sixty dogs were used, divided into groups made up of Boxers, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih-Tzu and no defined breed mesocephalic dogs. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Shapiro-Wilk test, Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn’s test or ANOVA and Bonferroni (p<0.05). In the evaluation of vagal sympathetic balance among all the dogs, there was a negative correlation between heart rate and HRV 10RR (r = – 0.7678; p < 0.0001), HRV 20RR (r = – 0.8548, p < 0.0001) and VVTI (r = – 0.2770; p = 0.0321). It can therefore be concluded that the dog’s breed and morphology did not alter its electrocardiographic parameters or heart rate variability. The vagal tone index, which in other studies differed in brachycephalic dogs, showed no difference when compared separately in brachycephalic breeds.

PMID:38747800 | DOI:10.1590/0001-3765202420231250