CVM’s Emergency and Critical Care Services on Duty 24-7 and Throughout the Holidays

Lainey, a 2-year-old miniature dachshund, is shown wearing her therapeutic leg boot. Lainey is recovering from a severe leg and pelvis injury she sustained when struck by a vehicle. Lainey was a referral patient treated last summer by the Auburn CVM Emergency and Critical Care Service. (Photo provided by the pet owner.)

“I could not thank (Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine) … enough for providing (my pet) with her care and being so dedicated in (her) recovery …”

Such testimonials are common for the CVM to receive from pleased pet-loving clients, and during this holiday season, many are traveling with their pets — and accidents do happen. When they do, the CVM’s Emergency and Critical Care Service is on duty 24-7 with a fully-staffed medical unit and advanced emergency care services and capabilities.

The opening testimonial comes in an email from Haley Alderman, a pleased pet owner from South Carolina, whose miniature dachshund, Lainey, was struck by a vehicle during the summer. The accident occurred during Alderman’s visit with family in Florida. The 2-year-old dog unexpectedly leaped from Alderman’s car into a busy road and was struck by a trailer being pulled by an on-coming truck. The animal suffered severe injuries to her back leg and pelvis.

“I rushed her to a local emergency vet clinic,” Alderman writes. “It was determined that Lainey would need to be transported to a vet that could address her needs. … There was no doubt that we were choosing Auburn.”

“Lainey was in shock when she arrived here,” recalls Dr. Katie Nash, a resident in Emergency & Critical Care and one of the Auburn veterinarians who treated Lainey. “We stabilized her and worked with her several days in our Intensive Care Unit to manage her pain and treat her injuries.”

Dr. Katie Nash, left, and Dr. Lenore Bacek are shown with a dialysis machine. Dialysis is one of the many advanced medical services available through the Auburn CVM Emergency and Critical Care Service.

Lainey underwent surgery to repair her damaged leg and pelvis and was able to be discharged to her owner and the care of her primary veterinarian back in South Carolina.

This type of pet referral and treatment success story is typical at Auburn’s Emergency and Critical Care Service, located in the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital.

“We often get referrals from other veterinarians – some from as far away as Florida and Kentucky,” Dr. Nash said.

But a pet owner does not have to be referred by a veterinarian to use the Auburn hospital.

“We get a lot of veterinarian referrals, but pet owners can just come in with their injured or sick pet,” said Dr. Lenore Bacek, a clinical assistant professor in Emergency & Critical care and also one of the veterinarians who treated Lainey.

“We have critical care and other specialists on duty around the clock,” Dr. Bacek said. “We serve emergencies whenever they happen. And during this holiday season, we are open, staffed and ready at all times.”

In addition to its fully-staffed medical unit, Auburn’s Emergency Services and Critical Care has capabilities not generally available at most ordinary veterinarian clinics.

“We have such equipment as mechanical ventilators, dialysis for continued renal replacement therapy, and a new hyperbaric oxygen chamber,” Dr. Nash said. “We can treat all types of pet emergencies.”

“We offer emergency and critical care, collaboration with other services, support services, 24-hour care, as well as advanced care capabilities,” Dr. Bacek adds. “We also can take consulting case calls from local veterinarians around the clock.”

The clinic is located on the campus of the College of Veterinary Medicine at 1220 Wire Road, Auburn, Ala. 36832. The emergency phone number for the Small Animal Clinic is 334.844.4690. Additionally, the emergency clinic for large animals is also located on the CVM campus in the J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital at 1500 Wire Road. Its emergency phone contact number is 334.844.4490.

— Mitch Emmons (