Heart rate variability during respiratory pauses in puppies and dogs

Pediatr Res. 1987 Sep;22(3):306-11. doi: 10.1203/00006450-198709000-00014.


We studied the time course and change in heart rate during respiratory pauses in puppies (3-4 wk) and young adult dogs. We measured ventilation and ventilatory pattern using barometric plethysmography and recorded the respiratory rate (RR) interval using a pre-processor with an accuracy of 0.2 ms. During tidal breathing, the fluctuations in RR interval were an order of magnitude smaller in the puppy than in the dog. During respiratory pauses in dogs, the RR interval increased sharply, stabilized around the level of expiration of previous breaths, and dropped immediately with the subsequent inspiratory effort. The time course of the change in heart rate was different in the puppy: there was a gradual increase in the RR interval during the entire course of the pause and the maximum RR interval reached was substantially higher than during expiration of previous breaths. Our results suggest that 1) the change in heart rate at the outset of respiratory pauses is too fast to be related to blood gas changes in both puppies and dogs and 2) the mechanisms responsible for the vagal gating of heart rate during tidal breathing and during respiratory pauses are not well developed in early life in the puppy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Dogs
  • Heart Rate*
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / growth & development
  • Plethysmography
  • Respiration*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology
  • Time Factors