Retrospective evaluation of the route and timing of nutrition in dogs with septic peritonitis: 68 cases (2007–2016)

Kristin M. Smith, Aaron Rendahl, Yiwen Sun, Jeffrey M Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the impact of route of nutrition on length of hospitalization and survival to discharge in dogs with septic peritonitis. Design: Retrospective study from 2007 to 2016. Setting: University teaching hospital. Animals: Sixty-eight dogs with septic peritonitis that survived ≥48 hours. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Nutritional strategy was categorized into 1 of 4 groups: voluntary, feeding tube, parenteral (PN), and combined feeding tube and PN. Body weight, body condition score, time without caloric intake before and during hospitalization, length of hospitalization, and percentage of resting energy requirements provided during the first 3 days of nutritional support were recorded. Overall, 54/68 dogs survived (79%). Survival Prediction Index 2 scores were not significantly different between groups. Dogs receiving PN only were less likely to survive than those receiving any enteral nutrition (OR 9.7; 95CI 1.84–58.75). Compared to dogs not receiving PN, dogs receiving any PN were significantly less likely to survive (OR 9.66; 95% CI 1.7–105.8), and were in hospital significantly longer (P = 0.025). Metabolic complications associated with PN were frequent but not associated with increased length of hospitalization or survival to discharge. Conclusions: Dogs with septic peritonitis that received any PN were in hospital longer and less likely to survive but may have been sicker than those receiving other forms of nutritional support. Further studies are warranted to evaluate reasons for worse outcomes in dogs with septic peritonitis receiving PN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-295
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • canine
  • enteral nutrition
  • nutritional support
  • parenteral nutrition
  • sepsis


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