More dogs with heart ailments are living longer lives through technology once reserved for their human masters.
Oregon State University professor of cardiovascular medicine David Sisson says pacemaker implants in dogs have risen from 100 to 200 implants a year in the 1990s to 300 to 500 a year today. Nearly all pacemakers used in dogs and other animals such as cats and horses are donated by medical device makers that are disposing of pacemakers deemed unsuitable for humans because of ebbing battery life. The devices are worth $5,000 to $10,000 and are funneled to a clearinghouse that sells the devices to veterinarians for about $500. Purdue University Dr. Henry Green is one of about 200 U.S. veterinary cardiologists who perform the implants.