Picking up the pace

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: November 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves
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Heart block, treated by a pacemaker, is a life-threatening condition that affects both animals and people. In fact, did you know that hundreds of pacemakers are implanted in dogs and cats every year?

With heart block, the electrical impulse that normally stimulates the heart to beat is out of whack. As a result, the heart beats too slowly and cannot supply enough blood to the body. Affected animals lack energy, have difficulty breathing and often collapse. In severe cases, the heart stops beating and the animal dies.

A pacemaker, approximately the size of a silver dollar, monitors the heartbeat and sends an electrical jumpstart if it slows too much. Amazingly, this sophisticated treatment starts with a relative simple procedure.

We share so much with our pets; in this case, even our medical treatments seem to be keeping pace.