Parenteral Nutrition in Birds

Key Points

  • Metabolism slows during starvation and increases during critically illness.
  • Nutritional support is indicated in the patient with significant weight loss, extended anorexia, and/or a low serum albumin.
  • Tube feeding is the preferred method of nutritional support.
  • Parenteral nutrition is indicated if the bird cannot be tube fed or cannot protect its respiratory tract.
  • Parenteral nutrition solution is a mixture of protein, carbohydrate, and lipid.
  • Follow strict aseptic technique when compounding and administering parenteral nutrition.
  • Potential complications which can develop include hyperglycemia, glucosuria, hypophosphatemia, and sepsis.

If the gut works, use it. The preferred route for providing nutrition is enteral feeding since this preserves intestinal structure and function. Parenteral nutrition is indicated to prevent malnutrition when patients cannot consume adequate nutrients by oral feeding or tube feeding or when the respiratory tract cannot be protected. Parenteral nutrition is 100% bioavailable since nutrients reach tissue without the variations associated with gastrointestinal digestion . . .

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