AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Auburn University has made another breakthrough in veterinarian medicine as a 7-year-old bulldog named Joe underwent a first of its kind heart operation at the Auburn Vet School.
Joe the bulldog and his humans are from Mississippi. When Joe began having fainting spells and collapsed, they brought him to AU.
Older dogs with slowing hearts like Joe are visiting AU's College of Veterinary medicine for their emerging cardiology program with advanced technology and treatment protocols.
This year, Joe became the first dog at AU to receive and thrive on the most advanced pacemaker available to humans.
The surgery, performed by Dr. SeungWoo Jung, was a success.
Dr. Jung says before this breakthrough, pacemakers for dogs were older, human models, used to regulate the heart's bottom chamber.
Today's human pacemakers regulate top and bottom chambers, but typically were not used in canines until now.
Joe's family is hoping their bulldog's state of the art human pacemaker will extend his life by another two years, making their human hearts very happy.
In the last two years, manufacturers will either donate or offer human pacemakers at reduced costs to veterinary cardiology departments.
That means AU's vet school was able to offer Joe's family this device at no additional cost to the owners.