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Pendo Gets Fitted With A Pacemaker

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

At the beginning of May, Pendo's owners called us because they noticed he wasn't well. He was suffering from episodes of breathlessness and wasn't himself at all. During the covid-19 pandemic, we are assessing patients remotely as much as we can, so Pendo's owners videoed his breathing for us to assess. Mark Ames (veterinary surgeon) decided we needed to examine him for further investigations.

Mark noticed his heart rate was low and beating with an abnormal rhythm and so an ECG was performed to assess the function of his heart. It was clear from the ECG trace that there was a problem with his heart called an atrioventricular block of the 3rd degree, Which in basic terms means there is no communication between the atrium and the ventricles of the heart. This results in a worrying slow heart rate and abnormal rhythm.

Pendo's abnormal ECG trace

There is a risk of sudden death with this disease and many dogs require a pacemaker to restore the function of the heart. However this operation does not come without risks and so a big decision was to be made. In order to give Pendo the best chance his owners agreed to go ahead with a pacemaker being fitted. So Mark referred Pendo to Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists (AMVS) in Winchester where Pendo would be treated by specialist cardiology vets. On the 5th of May Pendo underwent surgery and had a pacemaker fitted under his skin, with wires attached directly through his jugular vein and in to his heart. Post-op tests revealed Pendo's heart was now functioning normally and at a set rate of 70 beats per minute.

Pendo was discharged from AMVS on Friday 8th to recover at home. We have seen Pendo for check ups and dressing changes since then and he is doing exceptionally well. His surgical wounds healing brilliantly and his heart continuing to function normally. He will need strict rest for a few of weeks before his heart rate is increased by AMVS. The he can build up his exercise and eventually go back to his normal active lifestyle. Because the pacemaker is under the skin on his neck and the wires passing through his jugular vein, Pendo can no longer wear a collar and lead and will have to be walked wearing a harness for the rest of his life.

We hope Pendo continues to have a brilliant recovery and wish him and his family all the best.

Pendo starting to feel better!

“We just wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your amazing care and devotion to your pets, especially under the current circumstances. We hate to think what would have happened if Mark and Louise and the rest of your staff had not reacted so quickly. A huge thank you also to Fabio Sarcinella and the people at Anderson Moores for accepting and operating on Pendo so quickly. He is not out of the woods yet of course and there is a lot to do still but it is a great start.”

No more bandages, just a t-shirt to stop him scratching


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