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Enteral nutrition by tube.

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Department of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh.


When oral intake is unsatisfactory or contraindicated, maintenance of nutrition by tube feeding is an alternative to the parenteral route. A large volume of research data supports the decision to use the enteral route whenever possible. Entry of food into the alimentary tract is a stimulus to structural and functional maintenance of that tract. Enteral nutrition can be given via indwelling nasoesophageal, pharyngostomy, esophagostomy, percutaneous or surgical gastrostomy, or enterostomy tube. Use of an appropriate catheter, familiarity with the technique used, and careful patient selection and monitoring are important factors in successful tube feeding. Blenderized pet food diets should be fed whenever possible; commercially available liquid diets provide an alternative when tube caliber or patient factors preclude the use of blenderized foods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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