UNLIKE healthy animals, which can metabolise fat even when they are not eating, sick or traumatised patients catabolise lean body mass when they have insufficient calories, thus compromising cardiac, respiratory and immune functions. The need for nutritional support should therefore be recognised and initiated early during the course of hospitalisation, with the number of calories required calculated carefully to prevent under‐ or overfeeding. This article discusses the options available for the nutritional support of hospitalised small animal patients.
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