AU veterinarians perform rare heart procedure on thoroughbred horse with AFib

BY MITCH EMMONS
Veterinarians at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine have successfully conducted their first procedure to correct atrial fibrillation in an equine patient, being one of only a handful of veterinary schools nationwide able to perform the procedure.

Both the medical team and horse owner are excited about the results. The procedure on Moissanite, a 6-year-old thoroughbred jumping horse, involved a team of large and small animal faculty veterinarians and technicians from cardiology, equine medicine, anesthesia and radiology services in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Atrial fibrillation—commonly known as AFib—occurs in humans and large animals, says Dr. Seung-Woo Jung, an assistant professor of cardiology in the Department of Clinical Sciences who sees both large and small animal cases.

“A true veterinary team effort was put together to conduct this procedure, and because it was the first time we have conducted a TVEC [transvenous electrical cardioversion] procedure on a horse, it provided a wonderful educational opportunity for our staff and veterinary students,” Dr. Jung said.

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