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The amazing Atticus

“This time last year, Atticus, my Birman cat, should have died.  He was critically ill with an intestinal blockage.  My own vet did not think he would survive the journey to The Ralph.  But from the moment we arrived, both Atticus and I received the very best of care.  All of the staff were exceptional, from the lovely, caring receptionist, to the nurses and the vets, especially the wonderful Kim.  Nothing was too much trouble.  In the early days when everything was touch and go, I really appreciated the dedicated treatment Atticus received.  At all stages of his treatment, both night and day, I was kept informed of his progress.  In fact, I am sure that Kim also took the trouble to keep in touch even after her working day had finished!

Atticus having hugs with his family.

Miraculously, a month later Atticus made a complete recovery, and apart from having multiple shavings of his fur, you would not know he had been so critically ill.  On subsequent visits to my own vet, I was informed that the surgery and treatment that Atticus received was of a technical level beyond that of normal veterinary skills.  Two of my own children are doctors and they commented how the treatment Atticus received is available in only the most well equipped intensive care units in the NHS!

A little snooze…

I will forever be grateful to all the staff at The Ralph.  Atticus brings me so much joy and happiness.  He brightens up every day for me and no-one can snuggle like him in bed!  I know for certain that my children come back home to visit Atticus as much as to see me! I am so lucky that Atticus was one of the first patients to receive exceptional care from The Ralph.  Had he been taken ill a few weeks earlier I have no doubt he would not have survived.  The Ralph and all its staff are heroes to me.  I cannot praise them enough.” – Atticus’ carer, Alison.

The clinical bit…

Atticus presented to our Emergency + Critical Care Service for evaluation of vomiting and collapse. Atticus had been vomiting, not eating, and was lethargic for the two days leading up to his referral. He goes outside regularly and is a known hunter and scavenger. On presentation, Atticus was found to be in severe shock and was very dehydrated. His blood pressure was abnormally low. When we assessed him, we found he had a painful abdomen (belly) and could detect a firm, round object in the mid-abdomen. There were no sounds from his gut, and his abdomen was very swollen. A point-of-care ultrasound showed free fluid in his abdomen, and X-Rays were suggestive of an obstruction in the intestine.

Atticus was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction. We stabilised him with intravenous fluid therapy (a drip), a blood transfusion (as he was anaemic) and vasopressor therapy to increase his blood pressure. Atticus underwent surgery where a round, firm object was found and removed. This object was later determined to be a furball.

Atticus in our Cat ICU.

Following surgery, Atticus’ status steadily improved and at the time of discharge he was walking around, meowing and talking to everybody – he loved being the centre of attention!

Atticus returned to our Emergency + Critical Care Service two-weeks later, following a period of loss of appetite. Diagnostic tests and an ultrasound revealed no abnormalities, with the surgical wound healing well. Atticus was discharged with guidance for at-home monitoring where slowly but surely his appetite increased.

We are overjoyed by Atticus’ recovery and to hear how well he has been doing since we last saw him almost a year ago!

For more information about our Emergency + Critical Care Service, please click on the link.

Take care,

Team Ralph

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