In an unprecedented medical milestone in Central America, a shitzu dog became the first dog to receive a pacemaker. She is a seven-year-old pet who lives in Jacó. This historic operation took place at the end of August.
Chou Chou was diagnosed with sick sinus syndrome. It is a condition that affects the heart rhythm and can cause debilitating symptoms, such as fainting and difficulty breathing.
The recommendation from her veterinarian was to place a pacemaker, a medical device that is implanted in the heart and emits gentle electrical impulses to stimulate this muscle. This device helps maintain a regular and healthy heart rate.
Paola Campos, from Cimes Veterinaria, led the team involved in the procedure. She indicated that the operation lasted approximately one hour and was concluded successfully.
Using a fluoroscopy
“Until now this operation had not been carried out in the country due to the lack of trained personnel and the absence of specialized equipment. However, we became the first veterinary center in Costa Rica that has fluoroscopy. It is an essential tool that allows us to see the route through the vein for precise placement of the pacemaker,” commented Campos.
Chou Chou will have to rest for six weeks and will have weekly monitoring to check her heart rate. Then, periodic clinical checks will be carried out with the support of specialists from the medical device company Meditek.
The life expectancy of her, who is currently seven years old, is approximately 12 years, so this operation will allow her to enjoy a full life.The device implanted in Chou Chou has a small, ergonomic design called a physiocurve.
The installed equipment
The equipment was delivered by Meditek, which not only provided the pacemaker but also carried out previous training visits to the veterinary center team.In addition, he provided other medical supplies and support in the room during the procedure. Likewise, it offered patient follow-up, including a review within 24 hours after implantation and training in the use of remote monitoring.
“The device implanted in Chou Chou has a small and ergonomic design called a physiocurve, which allows adequate positioning. In addition, it is made with special materials that prevent the body from rejecting it.
“This pacemaker connects remotely to a platform so that it can be monitored in real time by the doctor and the dog’s family from anywhere in the world,” said Angie Dávila Barreda, rhythm and heart failure team lead at Meditek.
“We are very grateful to Dr. Campos and the entire team involved in this operation for allowing Chou Chou a new chance at life.“This little dog has great emotional value for us, since it was my mother’s pet before her death. From now on we can see that the operation has significantly improved Chou Chou’s quality of life and that makes us very happy,” added GsellGuilles, owner of Chou Chou.