• Bradycardia;
  • Heart block;
  • Pacemaker;
  • Sick sinus syndrome

Artificial pacing (AP) is a treatment for symptomatic bradyarrhythmias unresponsive to medical therapy. This retrospective study was designed to define the practices and outcome of AP in dogs at 7 referral institutions participating in the Companion Animal Pacemaker Registry and Repository (CANPACERS). The indications, implantation techniques, complications, long-term outcome, and owner satisfaction were examined. One hundred fifty-four dogs were identified as undergoing AP from January 1, 1991, to January 1, 1996. Third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block (n = 91; 59%) and sinus node dysfunction (n = 45; 29%) were the most common indications for AP. Transvenous endocardial AP systems were implanted in 136 dogs (88%), and epicardial systems were implanted in 18 (12%). Complications associated with AP were reported in 84 dogs (55%). Major complications occurred in 51 dogs (33%), including dislodgement of the pacing lead (n = 15; 10%), generator failure (n = 10; 6%), cardiac arrest during implantation (n = 9; 6%), and infection (n = 7; 5%). Minor complications occurred in 47 dogs (31%), including seroma formation (n = 18; 12%), muscle twitch (n = 17; 11%), and inconsequential arrhythmias (n = 15; 10%). Fourteen dogs (9%) experienced both major and minor complications. Survival analysis revealed 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates of 70, 57, and 45%, respectively. Age and presence of preexisting congestive heart failure (CHF) had a negative effect on survival (P= .001). Sixty percent of dogs with preexisting CHF died within 1 year of implantation, whereas 25% of dogs without heart failure died during the same period. Owners rated their satisfaction with the procedure as high in 80% of the dogs.