Objective: To investigate the percentage of prescribed enteral nutrition that is actually delivered; the percentage of goal feeds [defined in terms of the animal's estimated resting energy requirement (RER)] that are delivered; and the reasons animals are under or overfed in a small animal teaching hospital.
Design: Prospective investigation.
Setting: Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Animals: All dogs and cats that received tube feeding while admitted to the Ryan Veterinary Hospital during the months of August–December 2003.
Interventions: The medical record for each animal was reviewed to determine the feeding prescription, the amount of tube feeds actually delivered, and any reasons why the amount delivered differed from the amount prescribed. The amount prescribed was also compared with the animal's goal feeds which were defined for a patient as 50% RER/day on the first day of feeding and 100% RER/day for the remaining days of hospitalization.
Main results: Twenty-five animals (23 cats and 2 dogs) were enrolled in the study. Animals received a median of 91% (range: 68–100%) of their prescribed feeds/day and a median of 90% (range: 36–133%) of goal feeds/day. Nausea or vomiting and conflict with other treatments were the most common recorded reasons for incomplete feeds.
Conclusions: Both prescribed and goal feeds were delivered to the animals in this investigation with a good rate of success. Consultation with the Nutrition Support Service improved the likelihood that prescribed feeds would meet the animal's estimated RER.