Comparison of complication rates in dogs with nasoesophageal versus nasogastric feeding tubes


  • Dr. Parker's present address: Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, 601 Vernon Tharp St, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

  • Offprints will not be available from the authors.

  • The authors declare no conflict of interests.

  • Presented in part at the 2012 American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Symposium, New Orleans, LA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to

Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.




To compare complication rates between nasoesophageal (NE) and nasogastric (NG) feeding tubes in dogs.


Retrospective study.


University referral veterinary hospital.


A total of 46 dogs that were fed through a NE (n = 28) or NG (n = 18) tube between January 2007 and December 2011 and that also had either thoracic radiography or computed tomography performed so that location of the distal tip of the tube in either the esophagus or stomach could be confirmed.



Measurements and Main Results

The medical record of each eligible case was reviewed and data recorded included signalment, underlying disease, body weight, body condition score, medications, duration of feeding, diet used, and complications observed (ie, vomiting, regurgitation, diarrhea, early tube removal, clogged tube, epistaxis, pulmonary aspiration, hyperglycemia, and refeeding syndrome). Dogs with NE tubes were significantly younger than dogs with NG tubes (P = 0.03) but there were no other significant differences in signalment, underlying disease, medications, duration of anorexia, percent of resting energy requirement achieved, or change in weight during tube feeding. There also was no significant difference between the NE and NG groups for any of the recorded complications. Significantly fewer dogs in the NE group died or were euthanized (3/28) compared to the NG group (7/18; P = 0.02) but outcome was not associated with age, underlying disease, or any of the recorded tube complications.


This study did not identify a difference in complication rate between NE and NG feeding tubes in dogs. Additional studies are required to determine the optimal terminal location of feeding tubes in dogs.