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Esophageal feeding tube placement and the associated complications in 248 cats

Breheny, Craig R., Boag, Alisdair, Le Gal, Alice, Hõim, Sven‐Erik, Cantatore, Matteo, Anderson, Davina, Nuttall, Tim, Chandler, Marjoie L., Gunn‐Moore, Danièlle A.
Journal of veterinary internal medicine 2019 v.33 no.3 pp. 1306-1314
adverse effects, cats, death, enteral feeding, glucocorticoids, infectious diseases, regression analysis, risk
BACKGROUND: Esophageal feeding tubes are commonly used to provide enteral nutrition to cats, but their use is associated with adverse effects. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the complications associated with e‐tube placement in cats and to identify factors predisposing to these complications. ANIMALS: Cats that had an esophageal feeding tube placed (n = 248). METHODS: This was a retrospective case review in which clinical records were interrogated across 2 referral centers to identify records of cats that had esophageal tubes placed. Clinical data were collected for signalment, clinical indication, method of placement, time of removal, and any complications. Logistic regression was then employed to assess the odds of an increase in complications, including infection and death. RESULTS: For those cats that survived to discharge, tubes were in place for a median of 11 days, ranging from 1 to 93 days. Complications occurred in 35.8% of the cats, with the most common being tube dislodgement (14.5%), followed by stoma site infections (12.1%). Cats receiving glucocorticoids or oncolytic agents (OR = 3.91; 95% CI, 1.14‐13.44) and with discharge at the stoma site (OR = 159.8; CI, 18.9‐1351) were at an increased odds of developing a stoma site infection, whereas those with a lower weight (OR = 1.33; 95% CI, 1.02‐1.75) or (pancreatic [OR = 4.33; 95% CI, 1.02‐18.47], neoplastic [OR = 15.44; 95% CI, 3.67‐65.07], respiratory [OR = 19.66; 95% CI, 2.81‐137.48], urogenital [OR = 5.78; 95% CI, 1.15‐28.99], and infectious diseases [OR = 11.57; 95% CI, 2.27‐58.94]) had an increased odds of death. The duration of time in place and the cat being discharged with the tube in place were not associated with an increased risk of infection or death. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Owners should be made aware of the potential risks involved and their predisposing factors.