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Team Approach to Emergency and Critical Care Saves Lives

Exciting advances in emergency and critical care

The Companion Animal Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) Service at the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center provides emergency and intensive care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Drs. Amy Butler and Ed Cooper, both board-certified specialists in the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, lead a team of specialized and highly skilled registered veterinary technicians, critical care residents, interns, and fourth-year veterinary students. The critical care unit is equipped with state-of-the-art ventilators, oxygen cages, dialysis care, monitors for heart, lung, blood pressure and vital signs, defibrillators and infusion pumps, which precisely administers fluids and medication. Real-time cameras monitor isolation cages for animals with potentially contagious disease. The equipment is expensive and charitable gifts often enable us to obtain the best medical equipment to benefit our patients as well as our patient care staff.

Veterinary specialty services in the Medical Center collaborate with the ECC to provide anesthesiology and pain management, internal medicine, surgery, clinical pathology, and diagnostic imaging, as well as treatment plans for conditions related to cardiology, oncology, ophthalmology, and others.

A recent example of our comprehensive approach to patient care is the case of Bosco, a police K-9 from Zanesville, Ohio that was shot during an attempted arrest. Bosco arrived at the Medical Center in very critical condition, suffering from multiple injuries. Paralyzed from what seemed to be the neck down, a CT scan revealed that a bullet was still lodged in his body. Neurologist Dr. Ronaldo da Costa determined that Bosco's spinal cord was bruised; removal of the bullet was unnecessary and could cause further complications to his delicate condition. Once Bosco's condition stabilized, our canine rehabilitation service team began daily exercise sessions to improve his strength, balance, and confidence. Since starting therapy, Bosco has taken steps with his back legs - with sling support of his body - and also has developed a little movement in his front legs. His progress has impressed his caregivers and offered them hope that he will continue to improve. There is no doubt that the teamwork of the critical care, imaging, neurology and rehabilitation staff is the reason for his steady improvement.

During his first week in the ICU, Bosco rested comfortably in a specially-designed, padded crib thanks to a donation from a generous client. Our canine rehabilitation room and the associated equipment, crucial to Bosco's recovery, became a reality thanks to the generosity of friends of the Medical Center who believe in and are committed to our mission of providing "the best care anywhere" for ill and injured animals. Were it not for the generosity of our friends, Bosco may have faced a much slower recovery or different outcome.

Many may fear a critical illness or life-threatening injury of a beloved pet. You can rest assured that with the breadth and depth of services, years of experience, quality of care, and leading-edge veterinary medical services we offer, your dog, cat, equine or farm animal is in the best of hands at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center.

Emergency appointments can be made with or without a referral. If you have an emergency and are able, please call 292-3551 to alert us that you are on your way.

By Kristine McComis


About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State

Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 35,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patients each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health.   


Last updated: 

Friday, May 4, 2012 - 3:15pm