For the first time in Charlotte, one of CARE’s cardiologists, Dr. Camden Rouben, successfully implanted two pacemakers, first in a cat and soon after in a dog. The catheterization lab at CARE enables the cardiology specialists to carry out minimally invasive surgeries (interventional) on pets who have heart problems. Chloe Leshner of WCNC featured the pacemaker story, celebrating a promising future for our beloved cats and dogs who suffer from life-threatening cardio diseases.

Sevvie’s Story

Dr. Rouben’s first patient was Severus “Sevvie” Barnes, a four-year-old male cat. Sevvie was diagnosed with a third-degree AV block, meaning there was a blockage of the normal electrical flow to his heart. This decreased electrical flow caused low heart rate and led to collapse episodes. Initially, CARE’s cardiology team tried to improve his heart rate with medications. However, Sevvie did not respond well and his owners elected to have a pacemaker placed. He did extremely well during the surgery and is thriving at home. His prognosis for a normal life is excellent!

Charlie’s Story

A week later, on March 9, 2021, Dr. Rouben placed his second pacemaker in a 10-year-old male Cocker Spaniel named Charlie Cothren. Charlie suffered from a second-degree AV block as well as a blockage of the normal electrical flow in the heart. Because of this, Charlie fainted frequently. After unsuccessfully treating his condition with medication (the medicines did not agree with him), his owners chose to have a pacemaker placed to ensure that his heart beats more regularly and to prevent him from fainting. We are happy to report that Charlie’s prognosis for a full recovery is also wonderful!

If your family veterinarian has diagnosed your cat or dog with a heart condition, ask for a referral to CARE’s cardiology team. We will work with you and your primary vet to determine the best treatment plan. CARE is excited for all the possibilities the catheterization lab will offer and this service helps support the primary mission of improving the quality of each patient life.

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