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Audit of the provision of nutritional support to mechanically ventilated dogs and cats

Greensmith, Thomas D.; Chan, Daniel L.


Thomas D. Greensmith

Daniel L. Chan



To evaluate the use of enteral and parenteral nutrition in a population of mechanically ventilated cats and dogs, identify factors associated with implementation of nutrition, and assess the frequency of nutritional support within 72 hours of absent caloric intake.


Retrospective, single?center audit from June 2013 to June 2016.


ICU of a veterinary university teaching hospital.


Fifty?eight animals (50 dogs, 8 cats) that underwent mechanical ventilation for ?6 hours with complete medical records.



Measurements and Main Results

Data collected included nutritional provision, time to initiation of nutrition, period of absent caloric intake, percentage of caloric intake obtained, and possible factors contributing to the delay or failure to implement nutrition. Thirty?one percent of patients (dogs 16/50, 32%; cats 2/8, 25%) received nutritional support during mechanical ventilation with all but 2 dogs receiving parenteral nutrition. Of those patients that did not receive nutrition (dogs 34/50, 68%; cats 6/8, 75%), documented contraindications or notations within the medical record for its omission were present in 16 of 34 dogs (47%) and 4 of 6 cats (66.7%). Thirteen animals (11 dogs, 2 cats) had >72 hours of absent caloric intake with only a small number of these receiving nutrition (dogs 4/11, 36.4%; cats 0/2, 0%).


Only 18 of 58 (31%) mechanically ventilated dogs and cats at our institution received nutritional support, and the majority of these were fed parenterally (16/18, 88.9%). For animals that did not receive nutrition, there was no clear reason for its absence in many cases. Animals with absent caloric intake >72 hours had poor implementation of nutritional support in contrast to current guidelines. A repeat audit after implementing changes to institutional protocols for nutritional provision is warranted to assess the impact on morbidity and mortality.


Greensmith, T. D., & Chan, D. L. (in press). Audit of the provision of nutritional support to mechanically ventilated dogs and cats. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 20, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 22, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 30, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 8, 2021
Journal Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Print ISSN 1479-3261
Electronic ISSN 1476-4431
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords General Veterinary
Public URL


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