Objective – To compare continuous to intermittent feeding at delivering prescribed nutrition in hospitalized canine and feline patients.
Design – Retrospective clinical study.
Setting – University teaching hospital.
Animals – Fifty-four cats and 37 dogs.
Measurements and Main Results – Twenty-four-hour periods of prescribed and delivered nutrition (kcal) were recorded, and the percentage of prescribed nutrition delivered (PPND) was calculated. If the patient received nasoenteric feeding for >1 day, then the average PPND per day was calculated. Frequency of gastrointestinal complications (vomiting, diarrhea, and regurgitation) was calculated per patient for each group. The PPND was not significantly different between patients fed continuously (99.0%) and patients fed intermittently (92.9%). Vomiting affected 29% of patients (26/91), diarrhea affected 26% of patients (24/91), and regurgitation affected 5% of patients (5/91). There was no significant difference in incidence of gastrointestinal complications between the patients fed continuously and the patients fed intermittently. There was a significantly higher incidence of diarrhea and regurgitation in dogs than in cats.
Conclusions – PPND was not significantly different for continuous versus intermittent feeding via nasoenteric tubes. Frequencies of gastrointestinal complications were not significantly different between patients fed continuously and patients fed intermittently. Enterally fed dogs had a significantly higher frequency of regurgitation and diarrhea than enterally fed cats. Prospective studies are warranted to investigate causes for these potential inter-species differences.