A TIMPERLEY moggie has his nine lives fully in tact – thanks to a tiny pacemaker.

Eight-year-old tabby Shady is back on his feet following a very unusual life-saving procedure.

Owner Laura Hutchinson had brought her pet for a routine clinical examination at Walker Green Vets, in Moss Lane, Timperley, when it was discovered that Shady had a slow heart rate.

Vet Ben Walker recommended that Shady have further tests and called on the help of specialist veterinary cardiologist, Emily Dutton, of Cheshire Cardiology.

Tests revealed that the beloved pet had a ‘complete heart block’ which put him at high risk of heart failure – but a pacemaker could save his life.

Pacemaker implants in humans are commonplace but rare in dogs and very rare in cats.

A team of specialists, including Emily, surgeon Catherine Sturgeon, from Visiting Vet Specialists, and Carl Bradbrook, a veterinary anaesthetist, came together to carry out the tricky operation at Walker Green vets last month.

The operation involved accessing his heart through his belly and attaching a special lead to the outside of the muscle while it is still beating. This lead, which connects to a pacemaker, can detect when Shady’s heart fails to beat and sends an electrical impulse.

The clinic’s head nurse Emma Greene was on hand to assist.

“The run up to the operation was a mixture of excitement and nerves – the procedure had not been performed at Walker Green before, so we wanted to ensure that the day ran as smoothly as possible,” she said.

“As the operation progressed and it was time to suture the lead to Shady’s heart, Catherine asked me to use my fingers to lift Shady’s sternum up so that she could get a good view, I could feel his heart beating against my finger.

“I felt lucky to have such a hands on role and closely witness Catherine’s intricate surgical skills.”

Shady came out the other side and was sent home to recover. He returned to see the team of specialists last week for his post-op check-up – and is fighting fit.

His owner Laura, who said she was ‘shocked and worried’ when she found out Shady needed a pacemaker fitted, said: “He has recovered really well. He’s quite a placid cat so he has just been taking it easy but he’s becoming more playful.

“The team have been excellent. Emily has been in contact to check up on Shady and Ben and his staff looked after us well.”

“We are all over the moon that Shady has made such a good recovery,” added Emma. “It makes us feel proud that we have been able to do this for Shady and his owner.”