An EKG is a measure of the electrical output of the heart. Not all heart conditions can be detected by listening with a stethoscope. If a Veterinarian suspects a heart condition in your pet they may want to have a EKG run in addition to other testing. An EKG is run by placing electrical leads on key points of the patient.
All patients undergoing general anesthesia have an EKG on during the procedure so the Registered Veterinary Technician monitoring the patient can make sure the heart is beating at a steady rate with a proper electrical output. Sometimes, general anesthetic can cause minor problems with the electrical signals within the heart. By having a technician monitor the EKG waveform we are able to detect any problems and treat them before any significant issues develop.