It's a dog's life as Labrador receives pacemaker in Hong Kong first
A 6-year-old Labrador called Oscar has made veterinary history in Hong Kong after being given a heart pacemaker, a newspaper report said Thursday.
The dog suffered from a heart block which caused him to faint up to 10 times a day and could have killed him, the South China Morning Post said, DPA reported.
After the operation, which was performed on Tuesday, surgeons said he could live another six years as the electronic device kept his heart rhythms in order.
While animals have previously received pacemaker implants, it was the first operation done in Hong Kong because the city lacks specialists for the operation.
Vets Ken Thorley and Matthew Field consulted several cardiologists at colleges in the United States including the University of California and Cornell University before carrying out the 90-minute operation.
Thorley said, "When you operate on the heart, you are always very tense, but we were happy to see how well it went."
Oscar's owner, Anna Lee, said the dog's condition was not easy to treat.
"If I had not done it, Oscar would have died," she said.
Lee will pay for the pacemaker but not the full operation fees, estimated at 20,000 Hong Kong dollars (2,564 US dollars) by Thorley.
Oscar will continue to be monitored and will have the pulse of his pacemaker adjusted to help the device, and his heart, last as long as possible.