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Critical Care Case of the Year

Date: 11/14/2011 3:09 pm

A six-year-old yellow Labrador retriever that stayed 34 days in intensive care is the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Critical Care Case of the Year.

Atticus, the pet of Dr. Michael and Barbara Raines of Americus, Ga., came with other animals from across the Southeast on Nov. 6 to be honored during the annual Celebration of Life. Nurses and doctors selected these extraordinary cases from more than 1,500 animals treated in the past year by the Critical Care Program within the Small Animal Teaching Hospital. They gathered to share stories of survival and to present the Manny Morpeth Award for Case of the Year, named for the first recipient in 2002.

The purpose of the program is to welcome back some of the special animals and their owners who triumphed over adversity to survive despite overwhelming odds.

A veterinarian referred Atticus to the College of Veterinary Medicine Small Animal Teaching Hospital after he diagnosed the dog with pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. “Atticus had gotten into the trash a few days before he came to Auburn and he had been showing signs of vomiting and lethargy,” said Clinical Instructor Adesola Odunayo, D.V.M., who presented the award.  “His veterinarian took him to surgery and diagnosed him with severe pancreatitis.”

While he was at Auburn, Atticus had many medical issues. “He had severe pneumonia and fluid building up in his chest, abdomen, and pancreas. His pancreas continued to be severely inflamed which ultimately started to affect the function of his liver,” said Dr. Odunayo.  Atticus required two additional surgeries and many critical treatments including intravenous antibiotics, intravenous fluids, a flushing of his abdomen, and intravenous nutrition.

“Atticus was loved by his many caretakers,” Dr. Odunayo said. “He beat the odds and was discharged on August 21. He has been doing great at home and is back to spending time with his other siblings.”

Ricardo Irizarry, D.V.M., who until recently served as a clinical instructor in critical care, played a large role in Atticus’ recovery.

The Critical Care Program is a same-day referral center designed to serve the needs of veterinarians in the Southeast. The veterinary program at Auburn is the oldest in the South and the nation’s seventh oldest.

Contact: Tara Lanier, 334-844-3698,

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