Electrocardiographic consequences of a peripatetic lifestyle in gray wolves (Canis lupus)

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Cardiac chamber enlargement and hypertrophy are normal physiologic responses to repetitive endurance exercise activity in human beings and domestic dogs. Whether similar changes occur in wild animals as a consequence of increased activity is unknown. We found that free-ranging gray wolves (Canis lupus, n=11), the archetypical endurance athlete, have electrocardiographic evidence of cardiac chamber enlargement and hypertrophy relative to sedentary captive gray wolves (n=20), as demonstrated by significant increases in QRS duration, QT interval, and QT interval corrected for heart rate, a tendency towards increased Q, R, and S wave voltages in all leads, and a significant decrease in heart rate. We conclude that exercise activity level and therefore lifestyle affects physiologic variables in wild animals. An immediate consequence of this finding is that physiologic measurements obtained from a captive wild-animal population with reduced exercise activity level may not accurately reflect the normal physiologic state for free-ranging members of the same species.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Electrocardiographic consequences of a peripatetic lifestyle in gray wolves (Canis lupus)
Series title Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
DOI 10.1016/S1095-6433(98)10066-1
Volume 120
Issue 3
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 557
Last page 563