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photograph of a dog named toby

Photography: courtesy of @toby_pelusa

A few days after the one year anniversary of the surgery performed on the cat Romeo, the first feline to have a pacemaker inside its body in Colombia; The Veterinary and Zootechnical Center (CVZ) of the CES University of Medellín, the entity that carried out the unprecedented intervention of the animal, is preparing to perform its second procedure of this type in the country, this time on a canine from the city of Manizales.

The patient is Toby, an eight-year-old cross between a Creole and a Golden retriever, who was diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia, caused by a third degree atrioventricular block, according to the Manizales veterinary doctors who gave an expectation of Life to the animal until December 2020. Professionals in that city came to that conclusion after the owners of the canine noticed eight months ago that the dog lost its balance and fell suddenly to the ground.

“It is a patient who from 3 years of age began to present monthly seizures and with homeopathic medication he improved. Since October 2020 he has been passing out and is shaken on the floor. With the pacemaker, the patient will be able to have a normal life, run, jump without having to faint ”, explained Dr. María Aldelaida Mejía Durango, head of the Cardiology area at CVZ.

If everything goes as expected, on February 18, 2021 an interdisciplinary team made up of surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, veterinary medicine from theCES University CVZand human health professionals fromCES Cardiologyas electrophysiologists, also from Medellín, they will meet a new milestone for animal science by implanting their second pacemaker in a domestic species in the country, after the successful experience of the Romeo cat. It will be the second dog to have a pacemaker in Colombia, after hearing about the case of Leche, a French poddle who was operated on more than five years ago in Bogotá.

CVZ will donate resources

Faced with this scenario, theVeterinary and Zootechnical Center CES - CVZ- announced that it will be linked with a donation to the patient to carry out the procedure and will make available, at no cost, an interdisciplinary team of veterinarians with extensive experience that will articulate with human health professionals fromCES Cardiology, another CES University service center.

For the procedure, the doctors will donate the pacemaker, valued at about $ 9,000,000 pesos. In addition, the CVZ will donate about 3,000,000 pesos more, in expenses related to hospitalization, laboratory tests, specialized cardiology consultation, electrocardiogram and others. And finally, cardiologist surgeons, electrophysiologists, anesthesiologists veterinarians will join the surgery at no cost.

For CES professionals, the procedure means having an opportunity to continue innovating in the sector for animal welfare. It allows the Center to advance in research successfully, combining teaching-service, to raise the quality of life of patients. All this, in the middle of an articulated work between diverse professionals.

“To implant the second pacemaker in Colombia in a canine symbolizes hope for CVZ, that which allows us to believe that it is possible to save lives through veterinary medicine, exercised with love, professionalism, and ethics. It is the materialization of a dream, because it places applied science, the replication of good practices and the rigor of human medicine, which is now transferred to animals, at the service of our patients ”, expressed Carolina Cataño Gil, CVZ manager.

This is the second procedure that the Center will perform after its successful experience with the cat Romeo Aslan, who had a pacemaker implanted on January 24, 2020 at the facilities of the veterinary clinic, also after suffering from a grade 3 auroventricular block , that is, an interruption of the electrical impulses from the atria to the ventricles.

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