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How to provide early enteral nutrition in the canine pancreatitis patient

02 November 2021
12 mins read
Volume 12 · Issue 9
Figure 2. Gently slide the naso-gastric tube into the patient's nostril.
Figure 2. Gently slide the naso-gastric tube into the patient's nostril.


This article provides a useful insight into the benefits of early enteral nutrition in canine pancreatitis patients. A brief explanation of the anatomy and physiology, followed by the pathophysiology, helps the reader understand the disease process. Feeding tubes are beneficial in anorexic patients and selecting a diet and calculating the resting energy requirements is an essential skill to practice to help prevent malnutrition. This article provides a practical step-by-step guide on how to place a nasogastric feeding tube in dogs, including how to clean and secure it in place. Owner education is essential in helping them understand the disease, manage chronic cases and prevent further flare ups in the future.

There are many practical skills s registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) can utilise in primary care practice. Nursing cases such as canine pancreatitis can lead to many challenges for the veterinary team. Nutrition is a vital part of the nursing care, and the placement of a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube can have endless benefits. This article will help veterinary nurses to understand the pathophysiology of canine pancreatitis, the benefits of early assisted enteral nutrition and how to successfully place a NG feeding tube.

The pancreas is a flat, long, abdominal organ (Thomas Colville, 2016), which sits adjacent to the stomach. The pancreas is connected to the duodenum (the first portion of the intestine) via the pancreatic duct. Most of its mass is made up of exocrine glandular tissue, which produces digestive enzymes (Thomas Colville, 2016). These digestive enzymes flow from the pancreas via the pancreatic duct when food leaves the stomach and enters the duodenum. This helps break down food for absorption through the small intestine.

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