Applications, complications, and outcomes of transvenous pacemaker implantation in 105 dogs (1997-2002)

Gerhard Wess, William P. Thomas, Denise M. Berger, Mark D Kittleson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


We reviewed the indications for age and breeds of dogs who received transvenous endocardial artificial pacemaker (AP) implantation (n = 105) and complications and survival thereafter at a single institution over a 6-year period. A third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block (59%) and sick sinus syndrome (SSS; 27%) were the most common indications, along with a high-grade second-degree AV block (9%) and atrial standstill (5%). The most common breeds identified were Labrador Retriever (n = 16; 11 with a third-degree AV block), American Cocker Spaniel (n = 14; 10 with SSS), and Miniature Schnauzer (n = 13; all with SSS). Common presenting complaints were syncope (n = 66) and exercise intolerance or lethargy (n = 25). Half of the dogs (n = 52) had a history of acute onset of clinical signs (<2 weeks). Mean survival time for the 60 dogs who died during the study period was 2.2 years (range, 0.1-5.8 years). Major complications occurred in 13% of dogs and included lead displacement (n = 7), sensing problems that led to syncope (n = 3), infection at the pacemaker site (n = 1), bleeding (n = 1), and ventricular fibrillation during implantation (n = 1; successfully defibrillated). Minor complications occurred in 11 dogs (11%). The success rate of transvenous AP implantation was comparatively high (all dogs survived the first 48 hours), and the complication rate was comparatively low when compared with a previous multicenter study, most likely because of how commonly the procedure was performed and supervisory experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-884
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Bradycardia
  • Cardiac pacing
  • Syncope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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