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Screening Assessment for Hospitalized Patients

A nutritional assessment should be performed on admission and at least daily for hospitalized patients. Historical information should establish the patient’s food preferences, unexplained weight change, and recent appetite changes including anorexia, hyporexia, and dysrexia (see terminology definitions in Table 3). The physical exam should include an assessment of mentation, an examination for the presence of ascites or edema, and an assessment of available diagnostics. BW needs to be checked at least daily to assess the hydration status of the patient. Specific feeding orders including calculation of resting energy requirement, specific food(s) to be offered, feeding amount (based on a percentage of resting energy requirement [RER]), and frequency offered should be written and assessed daily.

These guidelines are supported by generous educational grants from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets, and Royal Canin®.

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