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Companion Animal Practice
Nutritional support for the hospitalised small animal patient
  1. Marge Chandler

    Marge Chandler qualified as a doctor of veterinary medicine from Colorado State University in 1984. She is currently a senior lecturer in internal medicine and clinical nutrition at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh. She holds a masters degree in animal nutrition and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Companion Animal) and the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, and a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists.

Abstract

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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