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March 29, 2007

You Gotta Have Heart

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- (AP) -- No running or jumping for six weeks. But then Scooby should be his old self again, thanks to a pacemaker for dogs. The 6-year-old black Lab was fainting from a heart blockage and given just weeks to live. But then his owners learned about the University of Florida's Veterinary Medical Center, which inserted the pacemaker Tuesday.

"We cashed in some frequent flier miles and my wife and I flew with Scooby down to Gainesville," Gary Anthon said.

Amara Estrada, a veterinary cardiologist, is conducting a study on dogs and pacemakers, so Scooby's owners didn't have to pay for surgery, The Salt Lake Tribune reported on its Web site Wednesday.

"Scooby is the first out-of-stater," said Estrada, who has worked with six dogs.

The study, sponsored by the Morris Animal Foundation with pacemakers from Medtronic, will help doctors assess some of the problems and successes of humans with pacemakers. Scooby will stay in Florida for three months, then return for checkups over 18 months.

"It's worth it to pay for the extra trips down there," Anthon said.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com/search/ci_5545454

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