–A team made up of human health and veterinary medicine professionals came together for what will be the first milestone in animal cardiology in the country.

–The patient, a 9-year-old feline of the Maine Coon breed, was operated on after being diagnosed with an auroventricular block, which caused him constant fainting.

-The surgery involved cardiologists from CES Cardiología and veterinarians from the University's Veterinary and Zootechnical Center (CVZ).

Envigado, February 7, 2020. Romeo, a Maine Coon cat, became the first feline in Colombia and one of the few in Latin America in which a pacemaker was implanted to treat a heart disease that had affected him for some time. The surgery, the only one of its kind in the country, was performed by specialists from the CES University of Medellín.

The 9-year-old feline arrived in December 2019 at the CES University Veterinary and Zootechnical Center (CVZ), located in the municipality of Envigado, Antioquia, with symptoms of fainting. After a rigorous diagnosis, the veterinarians determined that the animal suffered from a grade 3 auroventricular block, that is, an interruption of the electrical impulses from the atria to the ventricles.

“This breed is predisposed to have cardiological problems. Romeo came to CVZ in December 2019. At this point he was fainting every minute. He only managed to get up and then faint and that was given to an electrical activity in his heart ", confirmed Dr. María Adelaida Mejía Durango, coordinator of the Center's Veterinary Cardiology area.

After knowing the diagnosis, the owners of Romeo and the CVZ veterinary medical staff began a marathon effort to prevent death and replace heart failure. In the search for solutions, they consulted for the first time CES Cardiology, a cardiology unit with professional staff from all specialties in human health, supported by CES University.

It was then like on January 24, 2020, a group of specialists in human and animal health made up of two anesthesiologists, four cardiologists, an internist, a veterinary neurosurgeon, two instrumenters, a radiologist, a student in the last semester of Veterinary Medicine and Assistants participated in the pacemaker implant surgery in the operating room of the Veterinary and Zootechnical Center (CVZ).

At 12:45 p.m., the procedure began, the first of its kind to be done to a feline in the country. The intervention consisted of implanting electrodes in the heart of the animal through a thoracotomy, as explained by the cardiovascular surgeon of CES Cardiología, Dr. Luis Andrés Vélez.

“Due to the cat's anatomy and for ease, it was better to implant electrodes in the heart, but through a thoracotomy, that is, through opening the kitten's chest and reaching the heart to implant electrodes there so that the blockage can be solved with a pacemaker, that when the cat needs it, the pacemaker will be there working and it will prevent the cat from dying ”, said the cardiovascular surgeon, a specialist in human health.

The surgery lasted until 2:57 pm According to the medical staff, the intervention to be the first with these characteristics in a feline in Colombia, since one similar to a canine had already been done in Bogotá, was classified as successful. .

“This procedure is novel because putting a pacemaker in a cat is not common in Colombia or in the world. At the international level there are few reported cases. It is novel because we did it with an interdisciplinary team: we joined with the cardiologists of the CES University, electrophysiologists, cardiovascular medicine and anesthesiologist and we worked with the veterinary doctors of the Center to perform this surgery and others in the future, to contribute to the well-being of our pets " , concluded the veterinary cardiologist Mejía Durango.

After spending three days in postoperative recovery, Romeo was discharged from the hospitalization area of the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Center of CES University on Monday, January 27, 2020. He is currently in good health, excellent physical performance and a weight of 5.8 kilograms.

The cost of the surgery was $ 2,873,000 for equipment and medical supplies. The cardiologists of CES Cardiology donated the pacemaker that Romeo carries with him today, which has a commercial cost of close to $ 9,000,000 and is similar to the one implanted in a child or adolescent.

Medical equipment:

Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Center (CVZ)

Neurosurgeon: Dr. Juan Pablo Villegas

Veterinary Cardiologist: Dra. María Adelaida Mejía

Anesthesiologist: Dr. Karim Arcadio Piñerua

Internal Physician: David García Zapata.

CES Cardiology staff

Surgeon: Luis Andrés Vélez

Electrophysiologist: Dr. Juan Carlos Díaz

Cardiologist: Dr. Jorge Marín MD.

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