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June 30, 1969

Synchronous Myocardial and Diaphragmatic Contractions In a Dog

Author Affiliations

Animal Medical Center New York

JAMA. 1969;208(13):2475. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160130059019

To the Editor:—  Persistent vomiting in a dog evoked an unusual syndrome consisting of simultaneous contraction of the heart and left hemidiaphragm. The condition, positively diagnosed by cinefluorography, was successfully treated with an intravenous infusion of phenobarbital.The etiology and signs of synchronous contractions of the heart and diaphragm are similar in both man1 and dog.2,3 Intravenous administration of Ringer's solution has been reported to be effective in treating this condition in the dog.2 In man the administration of calcium salts,4 phrenic nerve blockade,5 and quinidine therapy6 have occasionally been associated with successful relief of the condition.

Report of a Case:—  Following ingestion of an unknown toxic substance, an adult dog vomited persistently for 24 hours, after which forceful, rhythmic abdominal contractions were observed. The electrocardiogram was normal. Fluoroscopic image intensification and cinefluorograms demonstrated the synchronous contraction of the heart and left hemidiaphragm.Since intravenous