Scooby, a normal active 6-year-old Black Labrador Retriever from Utah, suddenly started fainting up to ten times a day. The diagnosis was a third-degree heart blockage; the electrical impulses to his heart pump weren't firing. Scooby was given only a few weeks to live.
And so his owners, Gary and Stacey Anthon and their four children ages 7-17 turned to “Dr. Google.” They found that only veterinarian colleges performed surgery to implant pacemakers and the cost was $3000.
Not having that much money to spend on their dog, they looked further and found that Dr. Amara Estrada of the University of Florida was conducting a study on canine pacemakers. They offered to donate Scooby to the study just to save his life, but as it turned out, the study paid for Scooby's surgery and follow-up exams. Scooby will be allowed to return to his family between check-ups.
Cashing in some frequent flyer miles, they flew with Scooby to Florida where a pacemaker was inserted. After three months they will bring Scooby home then return with him every three months for check ups for the 18-month study. After that he is expected to live a normal life.
The study is funded by the Morris Animal Foundation (Remember Morris the cat from the cat food commercials? I’m pretty sure this is a foundation named for him, but correct me if I’m wrong.)
Medtronic has donated the pacemakers. The study will help model some of the problems and successes of humans with pacemakers.
Don’t you love stories like this where everyone benefits? Scooby has his life handed back to him and the results of the study will improve pacemakers for all humans who might need one some day.
Updated list of foods not on the recall list is here.