To describe refeeding syndrome in an equid without a history of recognized risk factors.
Refeeding syndrome with marked hypophosphatemia developed in an aged miniature donkey gelding during treatment of suspected enterocolitis. Hypophosphatemia (manifested clinically as ileus and neuromuscular weakness) developed despite a short (3 day) history of hyporexia, increased body condition (7/9), and adherence to nutritional recommendations for critically ill equids. Nutritional support included nasogastric enteral feeding with a commercial equine nutrition product claiming to provide 100% of the National Research Council’s daily recommended protein, vitamin, and mineral requirements for equids. Hypophosphatemia developed despite this enteral supplementation and was ultimately corrected by intravenous administration of sodium phosphate solution.
New or unique information provided
This case report suggests that risk factors for refeeding syndrome in equids may be broader than previously recognized. Specifically, critically ill equids at risk for insulin dysregulation may have unique nutritional co-morbidities and requirements. This report highlights the need for both broader recognition of risk factors for refeeding syndrome, and revised best-practice nutritional guidelines and supplementation products to improve equine critical care.
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EarlyView.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents