Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Treatment of a paroxysmal atrioventricular block by implantation of a bipolar, single-chamber cardiac pacemaker in a donkey

Abstract: Case Summary: A two-year-old donkey presented with recurrent syncope. Electrocardiography revealed periods without any atrioventricular conduction and without any ventricular escape rhythm with a duration of up to one minute. Finally, atrioventricular conduction resumed spontaneously with a preceding ventricular escape beat. Laboratory tests and echocardiography identified no reversible cause. The diagnosis of a paroxysmal atrioventricular block (PAVB) was made. Therefore, a single-chamber cardiac pacemaker was implanted under general anesthesia. The device was programmed in the VVI mode to prevent further syncope. The therapy was considered successful as the donkey revealed no further syncope during the follow-up period of 17 months. Clinical relevance: Clinically relevant bradycardia is rare in equids. This is the first report to our knowledge to describe a PAVB, a term commonly used in human medicine, in a donkey. Detailed information about the diagnosis and the successful therapy is included, with a special focus on the implantation and programming of the permanent pacemaker.


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