How to tube feed a neonatal patient | VETgirl Veterinary CE Videos


This VETgirl video demonstrates how to tube feed a neonatal puppy or kitten. Nutritional support is key in the neonate, and should be started once the neonate is normothermic, eupneic, and stable.

Goals of neonatal medicine include temperature control, fluid therapy, nutritional support (with the goal of weight gain), stimulation of urination and defecation, and control of infectious disease and parasites. Steps for tube feeding of the neonate include the following:

1) Premeasuring a red rubber catheter (to the last rib) to the appropriate length
2) Marking it (with a Sharpie permanent marker or white tape marker) so you know how far to insert the orogastric tube
3) Inserting the tube into the mouth
4) Checking appropriate tube placement (by flushing in 2-3 mls of tap water)
5) Slowing tubing the appropriate neonatal milk replacement fluid
6) Flushing with a small amount of water
7) Kinking the tube and removing it immediately
8) Ideally, weaning the neonate onto a bottle as soon as possible (if appropriate suckle reflex)

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