Food Consumption, Energy Balance and Hospital Outcome in Dogs and Cats
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2004
A.C. Carciofi; M.A.Brunetto; V.O. Fraga; F. Prada; M.G. Sousa

The main purpose of nutritional assistance to the hospitalized patient is to maintain or avoid the decrease of immunologic response, decidual synthesis and repair, and intermediate drug metabolism, which are considered the most important consequences of denutrition. The present study has investigated the correlation between caloric ingestion, duration of internment and outcome death of hospitalized dogs and cats.

These animals were hospitalized at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of São Paulo State University - Campus of Jaboticabal - Brazil for several reasons, including diseases and surgical management. Their weight was observed and their repose energy requirements (RER) calculated accordingly to the equation RER (132 x body weight 0.75) for dogs and RER (60 x body weight) for cats. All patients were initially fed with super premium dry commercial food (Receita da Natureza - Guabi® - Brazil), unless they had medical prescription for fasting. Although their food ingestion was estimated in zero, they were included in this study. When no voluntary ingestion was observed, they were fed with enteral nutrition by the use of tubes or peripheric parenteral nutrition. Test T was used to compare the average food ingestion and the average of internment duration between the group discharged from hospital and the group that died. Chi square test and Spearman correlation were used to verify the dependence between the death group and group discharged from hospital and the energy ingestion rate.

The number of animals included in this study was 279 (223 dogs and 56 cats). 64.1% presented positive energy balance and 35.9% presented negative energy balance. The group discharged from hospital represented 76.7% (n=214) of the animals. The average RER ingestion of this group was 71.12%, and for the death group was 33.97% (p<0.001). The average duration of internment of the discharged group was 7.18 days, whereas the average duration of the death group was 5.45 days (p= 0.16). The consumption 1 rate (0-33% RER) represented 38% of the discharged animals and 62% of the dead ones. The consumption 2 rate (34-66% RER) included 84% of the discharged animals and 16% of the dead ones. The consumption 3 rate (up to 67% RER) represented 89% of the discharged animals and 11% of the dead ones, showing the lower mortality among the animals that consumed more food (p<0.001). Regarding the duration of internment, in the consumption 1 rate, 78% of the animals were hospitalized up to 5 days; 39% from 6 to 15 days and 11% 16 days or more. Thus, when the animals consumed more food, the duration of internment was higher (p<0.002), which can also be verified by the positive association between food ingestion and duration of the internment (R=0.21 and p<0.05).

The patients that consumed more food presented a higher percentage of discharge and, at the same time, remained more time hospitalized. So, we conclude that the maintenance of a positive energetic balance allows longer therapy management, and that the animals with negative energetic balance had a short internment due to their death.

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A. C. Carciofi

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