Fielding D. O’Niell, DVM, MS
On Friday evening, before our long Christmas holiday weekend, Mrs. Betsey Poehler brought in "Micki:, her 13 year old Labrador Retriever. Micki just didn't seem to have much energy over the past week. On physical exam she seemed to be in great shape for a 13 year old, that was until I listened to her heart. Micki had a severe cardiac arrythmia. I ran an EKG which showed 3rd degree atrial-ventricular heart block. Without extreme intervention, it's doubtful that Micki would have survived to see Christmas morning.
That evening I sent Micki to the Veterinary Referral and Critical Care center in Goochland where Dr. Emily Olson, their board-certified cardiologist, performed an echocardiogram to check for heart based tumor. It was. Her Echo was clear. The following morning Micki was transferred to North Carolina State University's Veterinary School and admitted to the Emergency, where Dr. Jessica Ward, a Cardioloy resident, surgically implanted a pacemaker into Micki's heart. She immediately converted to a normal rhythm. On Christmas Eve, Micki was back at home chasing the cat up and down the stairs again!
Merry Christmas to all!