Electrocardiograms (ECGs) are a good baseline test for assessing cardiac rhythm. ECGs have not been reported in any zebra species and in very few Perissodactyla species. Standard limb, six-lead ECGs were recorded in 23 anesthetized Grevy's zebras (Equus grevyi). Heart rate, RR interval, P-wave duration, RR maximum/minimum, PR interval, QRS duration, QT interval, ST segment deviation, P-wave amplitude, QRS amplitude, and T-wave amplitude were measured and calculated from lead II ECGs from these Grevy's zebras. Several variables were tested, including gender, age (0–24, 24–48, 48–180, and >180 mo), weight (<350 kg or >350 kg), pregnancy status, and anesthetic differences (standard dose or supplemented dose), to see if they affected ECG values in these animals. There were no significant differences in any of the ECG parameters between genders. RR and QT intervals were longer in older zebras; heart rates were faster in younger zebras. The RR and PR intervals, as well as the QRS duration, were greater in heavier zebras; heart rates were faster in lighter zebras. The RR interval was significantly longer in pregnant zebras. There were no significant differences in any of the ECG parameters for zebras anesthetized with a standardized dose of the drug combination etorphine–detomidine–acepromazine compared to those receiving additional supplements of these drugs and/or ketamine. All other parameters were not significantly different among groups, except where noted previously. The results of this research indicate that differences in ECG parameters in zebras may occur between animals of different ages, weights, and pregnancy status and that these factors should be considered when interpreting the respective ECGs of these zebras.
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Vol. 39 • No. 3