Tasmanian devil gets pacemaker

Nick, a Tasmanian devil at the San Diego Zoo, is the second of his kind to get a pacemaker

A Tasmanian devil named Nick, who lives at the San Diego Zoo, is the second of his kind to undergo surgery to have a pacemaker installed.

This past January, veterinarians at the San Diego Zoo found that Nick had an abnormal heart rhythm. When they did an echocardiogram and electrocardiogram, they confirmed Nick had cardiac conduction disorder.

After consulting with veterinary cardiologist Joao Orvalho, DVM, of UC Davis, the zoo veterinarians decided Nick’s best option was to get a pacemaker.

Nick had surgery on May 11. Associate veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo, Cora Singleton, DVM, along with her staff worked with Fred Pike, DVM, of the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego to place the place the pacemaker in Nick.

“We are optimistic that this procedure will give Nick an additional one to two years of a happy and healthy life,” said Dr. Cora Singleton said on the San Diego website. “He will have a recheck exam to evaluate his pacemaker in three to six months, then annually thereafter.”

Nick is doing great now, having moved back into his enclosure after he recovered from his surgery.

Check out his journey in this video from San Diego Zoo:

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