Pacemakers for Pooches

June 3, 2011

DENVER, Colo. " Current and future techniques in animal pacing practices will be discussed at the 2011 ACVIM Forum on Wednesday, June 15.

Results from a recent survey of American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Board-certified Cardiologists on pacing complications, unique procedures, new practices, and techniques in development, will be presented by Daniel F. Hogan, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology).

The same pacemakers manufactured for use in human patients can easily function in animals. Programming several parameters will make them more appropriate for animals, along with minor changes in the implantation procedure.

“We are lucky to be able to gain access to pacemaker equipment that has been judged too old to go into humans but can be placed in an animal and obtained at a cost that is reasonable for owners,” says Dr. Hogan.

Many similarities between domestic animal hearts and human hearts exist, including congenital defects and acquired conditions such as degenerative valvular disease. One notable exception is that domestic animal rarely develop atheroscleromatous disease (heart attack, stroke, etc.), while this is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease in humans.

Major and minor complications of animal pacemaker installation, based on retrospective surveys, will be highlighted in the presentation. The most common major complication is lead dislodgement, while the most common minor complication is swelling around the pacemaker generator.

The ACVIM is the national certifying organization for veterinary specialists in Cardiology, Large Animal Internal Medicine, Neurology, Oncology, and Small Animal Internal Medicine. The ACVIM hosts an annual continuing education meeting (ACVIM Forum) where cutting-edge information, technology, and research abstracts are showcased for the veterinary community. For more information, including an online program, please visit

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The mission of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM)is to enhance animal and human health by advancing veterinary internal medicine through training, education, and discovery.


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