|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
Providing enteral nutrition to injured or ill exotic animal patients by means of assisted feedings minimizes catabolism and gastrointestinal morbidity associated with anorexia, while optimizing immune system and organ function, and providing nutritional precursors necessary for healing. When determining the nutritional needs of a debilitated animal, it is important to account for both metabolic rate and energy requirements. Providing enteral nutrition via a feeding tube utilizes the functional gastrointestinal tract in patients that cannot or will not eat. Additionally, administration of food through a feeding tube is significantly less stressful for patients than restraint and syringe feeding. Feeding tube placement should be considered in any animal where the stress associated with syringe feeding is likely to result in significant morbidity or when the need for an extended period of assisted feeding is required.