Dr Anderson is presently affiliated with the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. Presented in part at the 2009 Merck-Merial NIH-NCRR National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, Raleigh, NC, August 2009.
Retrospective Evaluation of Parenteral Nutrition in Alpacas: 22 Cases (2002–2008)
Article first published online: 21 MAR 2011
Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 598–604, May/June 2011
How to Cite
Clore, E.R.S., Freeman, L.M., Bedenice, D., Tony Buffington, C.A. and Anderson, D.E. (2011), Retrospective Evaluation of Parenteral Nutrition in Alpacas: 22 Cases (2002–2008). Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 25: 598–604. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.0708.x
- Issue published online: 3 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 21 MAR 2011
- Submitted December 28, 2009; Revised December 16, 2010; Accepted February 2, 2011.
- Critical illness;
- Intravenous feeding;
- Nutritional support
Background: Parenteral nutrition is an important method of nutritional support in hospitalized animals, but minimal information has been published on its use in camelids.
Hypothesis/Objectives: The purpose of this study was to characterize the use of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in alpacas, evaluate the formulations used, and determine potential complications.
Animals: Twenty-two alpacas hospitalized at the Tufts Cummings School for Veterinary Medicine (site 1: n = 8) and the Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (site 2: n = 14).
Methods: A retrospective analysis of all alpacas that received TPN between 2002 and 2008 was performed to assess clinical indications, clinical and clinicopathologic data, and outcome.
Results: The most common underlying diseases in animals receiving TPN were gastrointestinal dysfunction (n = 16), hepatic disease (n = 2), and neoplasia (n = 2). Several metabolic abnormalities were identified in animals (n = 20/22) before TPN was initiated, including lipemia (n = 12/22), hyperglycemia (11/22), and hypokalemia (n = 11/22). Median age was significantly lower for site 1 cases (0.1 years; range, 0.01–11.0) compared with those from site 2 (4.9 years; range, 0.1–13.7; P= .03). Animals at site 2 also had a longer duration of hospitalization (P= .01) and TPN administration (P= .004), as well as higher survival rate (P < .02). Twenty-one of 22 alpacas developed at least 1 complication during TPN administration. Metabolic complications were most prevalent (n = 21/22) and included hyperglycemia (n = 8/21), lipemia (n = 7/21), hypokalemia (n = 3/21), and refeeding syndrome (n = 3/21).
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: TPN is a feasible method of nutritional support for alpacas when enteral feeding is not possible. Prospective studies are warranted to determine optimal TPN formulations for alpacas.