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Metropolitan Veterinary Associates, thanks you for considering us, as a source of information for your pet care. In the following video you will be shown techniques, for at-home treatments of common pet issues. If at any point, you do not fell comfortable performing these techniques, you should consider contacting your veterinarian. Remember, while it is possible to do these techniques with one person, it is always easier to do them with two people present.

Hi there, I’m Lisa. – And I’m Kara. We’re both nurses at Metropolitan Veterinary Associates. – Today, we will be showing you how to use and maintain a feline feeding feeding tube. Feeding tubes are placed in cats, that either have the inability or lack of desire to eat on their own. They may remain in place, for weeks to many months with good management. – The materials you will need are canned food as prescribed by your veterinarian. Lukewarm water, a syringe for water, a syringe for food, triple antibiotic ointment, moistened cotton swab and an E-tube wrap. – Before we get started, it is important to understand how the feeding tube works. An esophageal feeding tube, enters the esophagus through a small skin incision and sits just prior to the stomach sphincter. It is then suture to the skin and covered with an E-wrap. A tube syringe, adapter and cap are placed on the end of the tube. – It is important to remember that the tube should always be caped and not open to air. – Pets can eat despite the feeding tube. If your pet is interested in food, allow them to eat and notify your veterinarian. Some pets may need encouragement, such as petting or talking to them while offering food or giving a taste on their lips. It is very important to only offer and encourage a little bit. And then remove the food until the next offering. Please be aware that cats can develop a food aversion when food is constantly around. – Medications may also be given through feeding tubes. They must either come as liquids or tablets and powders that can be dissolved well and water. Be sure to follow your veterinarians instructions about giving medications through the tube. It is very important that you flush the tube with water, before and after each feeding or medication administration. – Another aspect of a feline feeding tube, is daily bandage and tube care. The tube site should be cleaned at least once daily to prevent infection. Use a moistened cotton tip swab or clean damp cloth, to gently remove any cross or food debris from the site. Be sure to pat it dry prior to replacing the rap. Triple antibiotic ointment may be placed at the tube site to help prevent an infection. – The wraps should be changed and washed every other day. Be sure you can fit two fingers comfortably under that rap, to ensure it is neither too tight nor too loose. Always keep the tube contained under an E-tube wrap and ensure that the feeding tube is well secured. – In preparation for the feeding, mix the prescribed amount of food and water and blend to the desired consistency. The diet should be blended into a smooth gruel. You may also lightly warm the food, but be sure to mix thoroughly after doing so. Test the food like you would with a baby bottle and make sure the gruel is not too hot prior to feeding. – Now we will show you the steps for feeding a cat through the feeding tube. First, you will need to attach an empty syringe to the tube syringe adapter and pull back on the plunger to check for negative pressure. Negative pressure is a force working against you as you pull the plunger of the syringe back. When you pull on the plunger. It should be sucked back into the previous position. Continue to evacuate any air or food until you achieve negative pressure. If you are unable to get negative pressure, please stop and contact your veterinarian. Once negative pressure is achieved, slowly administer the recommended amount of pre-feeding water. Stop, if coughing or gagging occurs as this could reflect movement in the tube positioning. Should this occur, do not proceed with the feeding and call your veterinarian. Once you have obtained negative pressure and no coughing or gagging occurs with the water, attach the food filled syringe and slowly push the food into the tube. This should typically take about 15 to 20 minutes. If nausea, excessive salvation, lip smacking agitation or gagging occurs slow the feeding. A little bit of licking and salvation is normal. If slowing the feeding does not resolve this issue. Stop and wait five to 10 minutes, before trying to resume the feeding again. Once the feeding is complete. Administer the recommended amount of post feeding water to help prevent clogging of the tube. – It is important to remember, that there are common complications and we want you to be aware of them and show you how to deal with them. If food is left in the tube, it may become clogged. If this occurs, please first try to force the clock out by applying increased pressure on your water filled syringe. If this is ineffective, you can try to gently flush, with two to four milliliters of Coca Cola. To dissolve or dislodge the clogged material. If this does not work, please contact your veterinarian. – If your pet vomits during the feeding, you need to stop and resume at the next scheduled time. If vomiting becomes a continuous problem, please be sure to call your veterinarian. – Another potential complication, is the movement of the E-tube position. Although it is rare an E-tube can be regurgitated up the esophagus enlarge in or near the airway. Administration of food could then result in an airway obstruction, or the development of aspiration pneumonia. Therefore, prior to administering a feeding, always check for negative pressure and pay close attention to your pets reaction to the pre-feeding water. If you have any concerns as to the tube position, please contact your veterinarian. – The tube is held in place by sutures around the point of entry in the skin. If you notice some of these sutures becoming loose, or if the tube is no longer held firmly in place by the sutures, call your veterinarian immediately. It is very important to make sure the tube is well maintained and cared for. There is always a risk of infection at the tube insertion site. Be sure to go back to the beginning of this video, to go over the methods of care we have discussed. If your pet seems painful, lethargic, or has a fever, call your veterinarian. And remember your veterinarian is only a phone call away. Be sure to contact them if any of this is unclear or uncomfortable to you. – And as always be sure to show your feline friends some love for being patient and cooperative with you.