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Pacemaker for Dogs

Q. I recently saw something on the news about pacemakers for dogs. Is this new? Is it practical?

A. Pacemakers in dogs have been use in veterinary medicine for quite some time now but only in dogs that require them, ie dogs that have arrhythmias that are detrimental to the health of the dogs. As with all surgery there is an inherent risk.

Q.My dog is getting older, but he still gets around pretty well. Every now and then (not very often) he can't stand up - you can tell the problem is in his back legs.

He tries, but nothing. It doesn't happen often, but it is scary when it does. Any idea what's happening?

A. In regards to the dog that has intermittent episodes. His pain may be originating from either his back or possibly his hindlegs. It will be important to have him examined during one of these episodes so that the source can be identified.

If it is from his back it could be caused by disc disease where a disc is pushing up on his spinal cord and nerve roots.

If it is involving his joints then it may be secondary to arthritis.

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Veterinarain Gregory Herndon DVM

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