Results of pacemaker implantation in 104 dogs

J Small Anim Pract. 2007 Jan;48(1):4-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2006.00190.x.


Objectives: To document the outcome, survival and complications involved in pacemaker implantation in dogs in a retrospective study.

Methods: Case records for all dogs in which pacemaker implantation was performed were reviewed.

Results: A total of 104 dogs underwent pacemaker implantation. Dogs were presented with atrioventricular (AV) block (71), sick sinus syndrome (25) or vasovagal syncope (eight). Age at presentation varied from six months to 13 years with a median age of seven years and two months. The Labrador was the most commonly represented breed (17 cases). All but one dog survived pacemaker implantation, with 93 showing resolution of their clinical signs while 10 dogs showed intermittent residual signs. One-, three- and five-year survival estimates were 86, 65 and 39 per cent, respectively. Major complications after implantation were documented in 15 dogs and three of these led to fatalities. Minor complications were noted in 23 dogs. Sudden death occurred in six dogs three to 55 months following successful pacemaker implantation.

Clinical significance: Transvenous pacemaker implantation was successful in reducing or eliminating clinical signs in over 90 per cent of dogs with third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block or sick sinus syndrome. In dogs with vasovagal syncope, six of eight dogs had greatly reduced frequency of collapse and two became asymptomatic. Although the procedure was associated with complications, these were rarely life threatening and good survival was documented in the majority of cases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / mortality
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Heart Block / mortality
  • Heart Block / therapy
  • Heart Block / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Pacemaker, Artificial / veterinary*
  • Pedigree
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / veterinary*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / mortality
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / therapy
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / veterinary*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome