Stand number 90-93
This article is sponsored content brought to you by DLC Australia.
Early nutritional support is essential for a successful outcome in many acute gastrointestinal diseases. Here are highlights from an article by Jörg M. Steiner Dr.med.vet., PhD, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA, AGAF
One of the physiological principles that plays an important role in the gastrointestinal tract is that alimentation of the gastrointestinal mucosa is achieved both by supply of nutrients through the blood, but also through direct absorption of nutrients from the intestinal lumen.
Many patients with acute gastrointestinal diseases, such as acute pancreatitis or acute haemorrhagic gastroenteritis show vomiting and/or anorexia. This in turn leads to an overall decrease in the uptake of nutrients that can be digested and absorbed. The lack of nutritional support of enterocytes and thus the intestinal mucosa has an impact on intestinal barrier function and could lead to bacterial translocation and even sepsis.
This overall lack of supply of nutrients and energy is contrasted by an increased demand for nutrients and energy. Many acute gastrointestinal diseases are associated with damage to enterocytes in the lining of the GI Tract. Naturally they must be replaced by new tissue, which requires nutritional building blocks as well as energy. Because of this imbalance of nutrient and energy supply and demand during acute gastrointestinal conditions, these conditions are often associated with a loss of body mass and other complications. There are some important guidelines for the nutritional support of dogs and cats with acute gastrointestinal diseases:
- Nutritional support should be initiated as early as possible,
- Enteral alimentation should be chosen whenever possible, and
- The condition of the patient must be considered when choosing a diet.
Early nutritional support for improved outcomes
Nutritional support should be initiated as early as possible in dogs and cats with acute gastrointestinal disorders. Using resources from the body for repair places additional demands on an animal that is already experiencing major stress from acute illness and this can have a negative impact on outcome.
However, providing nutritional support can reverse this imbalance and thus have a positive impact on outcome.
Nutritional support of a patient with acute gastrointestinal disease
During the acute phase of GI disease, it can be difficult to find a suitable diet, which is readily consumed by the patient and does not place additional stress on the intestinal mucosa. Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) may be a great choice.
It is important to note that patients who are moderately to severely dehydrated do require intravenous rehydration, but ORT products contain small quantities of nutrients that can easily be assimilated, and these will usually be preferred over water by most patients and can be offered alongside IV fluids, and as they are withdrawn.
One example of such an ORT product is Oralade. It has been shown to be well consumed by both dogs and cats.
ORT has an added benefit that it stimulates overall oral intake of patients that are anorexic, which may stimulate food intake.
ORT may alleviate the need for a feeding tube. When the animal has returned to a normal appetite, the suitable GI diet should be chosen with the specific characteristics, depending on the gastrointestinal disease at hand.
To request the full article by Dr Jörg M. Steiner, contact DLC or download now at www.oralade.com.au