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7th Jul, 2022

Poorly pooch Dexter gets the beat after being fitted with pacemaker

Solihull Editorial 24th Apr, 2022

A CONSTANTLY collapsing canine has undergone emergency life-saving surgery to cure his dangerously low heart rate.

Seven-year-old German Shepherd Dexter was suffering from a condition called Persistent Atrial Standstill (PAS), which was causing him to crash to the floor every few minutes, leaving his devoted owners fearing they might lose their beloved pet.

However, Dexter was swiftly referred as an emergency out-of-hours case for expert care at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull.

RCVS and European specialist in small animal cardiology Fabio Sarcinella decided to operate the night Dexter was admitted because the dog’s condition was so serious.

“Dexter was collapsing every few minutes, even with minimal exercise, as his heart rate continued to slow down alarmingly,” he said.

“We carried out an electrocardiogram (ECG) which confirmed the diagnosis of PAS, which occurs when the top chamber of the heart stops working and results in a very low heart rate.

“In Dexter’s case, his heart rate could go as low as 36 beats per minute, causing his collapsing episodes. The normal heart rate is between 80 and 120 beats per minute.

“In the circumstances, the only available treatment for Dexter was the fitting of an emergency pacemaker.”

Dexter recovered well from surgery and was allowed home just two days later, much to the delight and relief of his concerned owner Daniel Pickup, from Boston in Lincolnshire.

He said: “Willows gave us hope in a really difficult time – just what any pet owner would want – and they have quite literally given Dexter his life back.

“Although the diagnosis was a shock, the opportunity to give him a good life again with a pacemaker was not a hard decision to make.

“We have since returned to see Fabio for Dexter’s first post-operative check and the results show what a success it has been.”

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