Used Pacemakers Give New Life To Animals

Feb 20, 2019

A partnership between a hospital and a veterinary clinic is lowering the cost of life-saving operations for animals.

When patients at Medical Center Navicent Health in Macon receive new pacemakers, they can donate their old ones to the University of Georgia’s veterinary clinic.

The devices can then be implanted in animals. UGA’s clinic implants five to 15 used pacemakers a year, mostly in dogs.

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Dr. Gregg Rapaport is a veterinary cardiologist at UGA. He said the partnership saves lives and money.

“A brand new pacemaker can cost thousands of dollars," Rapaport said. "So this kind of program allows us to keep our costs reasonable and somewhat affordable.”

Rapaport said they’ve also implanted pacemakers in cats, a ferret and a horse.