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Gavage Feeding in the Avian Species

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There are a handful of unique considerations that you should take into account before gavage feeding an avian patient. And while it may seem intimidating, knowing a few tips ahead of time can help you prepare! Sarah Harris, CVT, VTS(ECC) walks through the basics of gavage feeding in the avian species.

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Sarah Harris's picture
Sarah Harris

CVT VTS(ECC)

Enrolled: 02/2014

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Alejandra Sanchez's picture

Question: does the feeding tube need to be flushed with anything? As to not push air into the crop of our patient.

Sarah Harris's picture

I usually preload the red rubber catheter or the gavage needle to push the air out. With that said, small amounts of air can be normal in the GI tract, so a little bit of air may not be a big deal. However, a large amount is probably uncomfortable for the bird just like it is for us. Another thing is that it's really hard to know what a large or small amount is for a bird. A small amount of air may be a proportionately large amount for a very small bird. Preloading the gavage device really doesn't come with consequence, so better safe than sorry. Great question!