Episodic syncope caused by ventricular flutter in a tiger (Panthera tigris)

J Zoo Wildl Med. 2013 Jun;44(2):500-4. doi: 10.1638/2012-0203.1.


A captive, 9-yr-old castrated male tiger (Panthera tigris) from an exotic cat sanctuary and rescue facility was observed to have three collapsing episodes within a 2-wk interval prior to being examined by veterinarians. No improvement in clinical signs was noted after empiric treatment with phenobarbital. During a more complete workup for epilepsy, ventricular flutter was observed on electrocardiogram (ECG). The arrhythmia resolved with a single intravenous bolus of lidocaine. Cardiac structure and function were unremarkable on echocardiogram and cardiac troponin I levels were within normal limits for domestic felids. No significant abnormalities were noted on abdominal ultrasound. Complete blood count and biochemistry panel were unremarkable, and heartworm antigen and Blastomyces urine antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were negative. Antiarrhythmic treatment with sotalol was initiated. On follow-up ECG performed 1 mo later, no significant arrhythmias were noted, and clinical signs have completely resolved.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lidocaine / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Panthera*
  • Sotalol / therapeutic use
  • Syncope / etiology
  • Syncope / veterinary*
  • Ventricular Flutter / complications
  • Ventricular Flutter / veterinary*


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Lidocaine
  • Sotalol