Bradyarrhythmias and pacemaker therapy in dogs with Chagas disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Chagas disease (Trypanosomiasis) is a cause of myocarditis in the southern United States causing cardiac conduction abnormalities, arrhythmias, and heart failure. OBJECTIVES: To report clinical findings and outcome in Chagas positive (CP) dogs requiring pacemaker implantation for bradyarrhythmias. ANIMALS: One hundred and forty-four client-owned dogs requiring pacemaker implantation. METHODS: Retrospective case series. Information regarding history, physical exam, laboratory and diagnostic imaging findings, treatment, and survival were obtained from medical records, with additional follow-up information obtained by contacting referring veterinarians and owners. RESULTS: Of the 144 dogs requiring pacemaker implantation from January 2001 to May 2010, 83 (57.6%) had a Chagas titer performed and 9 (10%) were CP. Concurrent ventricular arrhythmias (odds ratio 1.61, P = .005) or atrioventricular (AV) block (odds ratio 4.18, P < .001) increased the likelihood that a Chagas titer was submitted. Median age for CP dogs was 6.2 years (range, 0.3-10); 7 were male. Bradyarrhythmias included high-grade 2nd or 3rd degree AV block (n = 8) and sinus bradycardia with 1st degree AV block (n = 1); 5 had concurrent ventricular arrhythmias. A positive Chagas titer had a negative impact on survival (hazard ratio 4.04; 95% CI 1.36-12.1, P = .012) with a reported median survival time of 365 days (interquartile range, 84-973 days). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Bradyarrhythmias can result in clinical signs requiring pacemaker implantation in CP dogs, and although the diagnosis negatively impacts survival, pacemaker therapy is a viable treatment option.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Intern Med

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Saunders, A. B., Gordon, S. G., Rector, M. H., DeMaster, A., Jackson, N., Clubb, F. J., Fosgate, G. T., & Miller, M. W.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Saunders, AB||Gordon, SG||Rector, MH||DeMaster, A||Jackson, N||Clubb, FJ||Fosgate, GT||Miller, MW

publication date

  • May 2013