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Hospitals

Comprehensive Care + 24 Hour Emergency

Nutrition

Canine, Feline, Exotics/Wildlife
Bear

Meet Our Specialists

The Cornell University Hospital for Animals is among a small number of animal hospitals across the nation that offers comprehensive nutrition services provided by boarded specialists in the area of veterinary nutrition for hospital and clinic patients, as well as nutrition consultations for animal owners across the country.

Our veterinary nutrition specialists ensure that each of our patients is receiving an optimal diet to promote healing and recovery. For hospital patients who are too sick to eat, our service provides comprehensive tube feeding approached to ensure appropriate nutrition during hospitalization, as well as intravenous nutrition when needed.

We also work with referring veterinarians to create home diet plans to promote wellness and help prevent or treat disease. Our home-prepared formulations use foods from your kitchen to help animals maintain a healthy weight and manage chronic disease. We also provide technician led phone consultations with pet owners looking for the ideal over the counter products for their companions.

Our service works with a wide range of specialists at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals including internal medicine, oncology, cardiology, neurology and exotic specialists to ensure your animal receives the most comprehensive care available in veterinary medicine.

What to Expect From Nutrition Services

If your pet is a patient at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, your primary veterinarian may request a consultation with Nutrition Services. If your animal is not a Cornell patient, your primary veterinarian may make a referral to our service. Once we review your animal's medical records, a clinician or technician from our service will call to ask about your animal's nutrition history and any current diet issues.

We will work with you to formulate a diet for your animal that is complete and balanced, and addresses any health conditions or chronic diseases. We may recommend a commercial dog food, supplements or provide recipes for a home prepared diet.

Success Stories

Dale and Debbie Reichard originally brought in their Shnauzer Tobie to CUHA for medical management of his liver shunt.. Tobie had been doing well, but at 9 years of age he was diagnosed with another problem, calcium oxalate bladder stones. These are two medical conditions that have separate dietary plans that do not overlap particularly well. Tobie's veterinarian contacted the Nutrition Service to help create a dietary plan that would help prevent further calcium oxalate stones in the bladder and maintain his liver condition.

We created a diet plan for Tobie consisting of shunt friendly protein sources partially restricted in calcium and phosphorus with moderate sodium content and low oxalate that helped to manage his liver and bladder stone problems. Sadly, Tobie died of cancer 3 years later.

Tobie's owners, the Reichard’s, also own a giant Schnauzer named Niko who was recently diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disorder with excessive protein loss and poor fat absorption leading to excessive weight loss, which requires an expensive hypoallergenic commercial food. Again, they called the Nutrition Service to see if there was a less expensive alternative to feeding their 85-pound companion. We developed a plan that includes an inexpensive novel ingredient diet based on egg and potato that was low in fat and approrpaitely supplemented. Since starting on his new diet, Niko is doing very well and slowly becoming the vibrant dog they once knew. 

Nutrition Services

Companion Animal Diet Consultation

Many of the dietary needs of your companion can be obtained by feeding a general over-the-counter or therapeutic commercial diet. However, in many cases, supplementation or increasing specific components in the diet are beneficial to maintaining or optimizing health. We are available to discuss your pet’s nutrition and how it affects the health and longevity of his of her life.

Obesity Consultation

Obesity prevention can help eradicate many medical and surgical problems that we see every day and also improve and extend your pet’s quality of life. Obesity management is achieved through strategies to satiate your companion, attention to calorie intake, and knowing the weekly percentage of weight loss. We can provide a detailed weight loss program for your pet that includes recommendations for therapeutic or over-the-counter calorie-restricted diets and the proper feeding guidelines. With our assistance, your pet can lose weight safely and effectively.

Homemade Diet Formulation

Many clients are interested in cooking for their companions. While we often recommend commercial food products, some disease and client concerns warrant home prepared diets. We provide recipes that are grain-free, gluten-free, or vegetarian for interested clients. We are happy to design a detailed and well-balanced diet to meet your pet’s special needs.

Total Parenteral or Partial Parenteral Nutrition

When animals are critically ill or cannot take in enough calories, intravenous nutrition may be required. Adequate and proper nutrition is very important for pets that are hospitalized, and has a great impact on a pet’s attitude and the healing process. If you feel that your animal needs this service, please ask your primary clinician for a referral to our service.

Equine Forage and Diet Analysis

The feeding of your equine companion can be complex, particularly after diagnosis of certain medical conditions. A complete dietary analysis based on diet history, present supplementation, and forage analysis can help manage medical illnesses and potentially improve athletic performance. Forages and concentrates can be analyzed, providing us with an exact list of the specific nutrients your horse is receiving. All of this information helps us generate a detailed report that will support your feeding plan for your equine companion or entire stable. 

    Related Info

    American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition
    An international association of veterinarians and animal scientists with a common interest in animal nutrition and animal health.

    American College of Veterinary Nutrition
    An organization dedicated to advancing the specialty area of veterinary nutrition and increase the competence of those who practice in this field by establishing requirements for certification in veterinary nutrition, encouraging continuing professional education, promoting research, and enhancing the dissemination of new knowledge of veterinary nutrition.

    Balance IT
    An online software program that provides recipes for balanced, homemade animal diets.

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