Supportive therapy Supportive therapy

Intravenous fluids should be administered throughout anaesthesia at a rate of 10 mI/kg per hour. The rate should be reduced in animals with congestive heart failure or anuric renal failure, and monitoring central venous pressure is advisable. Urine output should be maintained at more than 0.3 ml/kg per hour in the dog.

The need for nutritional support of patients with catabolic disease is becoming increasingly important. Anorectic animals or those with recognised catabolic disease such as congestive heart failure or cancer, should be provided with adequate nutrition before elective surgery either by force feeding or tube feeding. Nasogastric tubes (Fr6) can be passed easily in conscious dogs and cats, and they offer a simple, effective way of providing nourishment to geriatric patients.

In some cases postoperative malnutrition can be predicted, and early placement of nasogastric (or naso-oesophageal), pharyngostomy, gastorstomy or jejunostomy tubes is advantageous. Diets for tube feeding should be high in energy density, provide adequate nitrogen in the form of protein, and be administered in a liquid formulation to facilitate passage down the tube.

Use of a heated pad, circulating hot water blanket or insulated blankets help minimise heat loss and prevent the development of hypothermia during anaesthesia. A fall in body temperature can greatly prolong the recovery period.