Tube Feeding

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Anonymous

The only 2 times that I have tube fed, the calf died. Both times the calf was in really bad shape and probably would have died anyway. But now I'm afaird to try it again. Anybody have any suggestions on how to make sure you don't put it down there lungs instead. Any information would be very helpful. Thanks so much!

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Anonymous

1. Get an esophagal feeder that has a rigid - preferably stainless steel feeding tube. 2. This is a two person job if you aren't experienced. One to hold the calf, one to insert the feeding tube. 3. Insert the tube into the calf's mouth. You can feel the bulb on the end of the tube after it has swallowed it. It should be in front on the left side. Feel it move down the esophagas. Only when you are comfortable the calf is still breathing, open the valve on the tube. 4. Once you have done this a few times it is easy but the confidence come from having done it. Just understand the calf couldn't breathe if you had the tube down the wrong pipe.

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Anonymous

> The only 2 times that I have tube
> fed, the calf died. Both times the
> calf was in really bad shape and
> probably would have died anyway.
> But now I'm afaird to try it
> again. Anybody have any
> suggestions on how to make sure
> you don't put it down there lungs
> instead. Any information would be
> very helpful. Thanks so much!

first the feeder

we cut the ball of the end, a weak calf cannot swallow it, and if you force it down you will tear the throat, smooth the edge of the tube.

from behind the calf place your knees on each side of the calf ,place your hand under its chin and force its mouth open with your thumb and fingers place the tube down the left side of its throat take your left hand and feel along the side of its neck you will feel the tube moving down . if you dont take it out and try again, dont "RUSH" a few extra minutes will not kill but fluid in its lungs will

If you are alone you hold the bag in your teeth or find a nail close by to hang it up

I have tubed hundreds of calves without losing one to fluid in its lungs.

dont overfill the calf! fluids can come up if in doubt give less more often

regards Art

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Anonymous

In a calf, the windpipe is in front of the "foodpipe" or esophagus, and is close to the skin. I would not cut the bulb off of a tube feeder, as a calf that needs to be tubed is too weak to "swallow" the tube, anyway. You will physically be passing the tube down the windpipe. This is true in all cases of tubing a calf. They do not passively & willingly swallow the tube - there is some action on your part to push the tube down to where it needs to be.

The bulb helps you feel the end of the tube as it travels down the windpipe. Hold the calf between your knees with its butt in a corner or against a wall so it can't back up. CLAMP the tube closed and double check to make sure the clamp is closed. Open the calf's mouth, slide the end of the tube into the calf's mouth, usually on the left side, and slide the tube down the calf's throat. As you are advancing the tube, feel the outside of the calf's throat with your other hand. If the tube is in the windpipe and not in the esophagus, you will feel the bulb passing just barely underneath the skin. If you don't feel the tube just barely underneath the skin, you are in the wrong pipe. Pull the tube out and start over.

Do not lubricate the tube with vaseline or any other petroleum products. Getting those products into the lungs will give the calf pneumonia. I don't usually lubricate the tube with anything.

Cutting the end off the tube is risky because the tissues in a calf's throat are delicate, just as yours are, and can be easily damaged.

Once the tube has been advanced down the calf's throat, oh, probably about 18 inches or so, open the clamp slowly and carefully. Allow the liquid to run into the calf's stomach. If you see any signs of the fluid bubbling back up into the calf's mouth or other signs of breathing problems, clamp the tube and remove it immediately. Fluid in the calf's lungs causes a "chemical pneumonia" that the calf may not recover from. When the bag of fluid is empty, CLAMP THE TUBE AGAIN, THEN pull the tube out. That's it. Clamping the tube before pulling it out keeps any residual fluid in the tube from running into the calf's lungs on the way out.

And, yes, having an extra pair of hands the first time or two you do this is a big help.

The first time I had to tube a calf, the vet told me over the phone that he knew I could do it. I told him there was no way I was going to attempt this unless he demonstrated it first. I paid him to come out and show me how and it was money well spent. That's how I learned the positioning of the airway and the esophagus and the purpose of the bulb.

In theory, the bulb helps to block fluid from passing back up past the bulb, but mostly it helps you feel the tube as you pass it.

> The only 2 times that I have tube
> fed, the calf died. Both times the
> calf was in really bad shape and
> probably would have died anyway.
> But now I'm afaird to try it
> again. Anybody have any
> suggestions on how to make sure
> you don't put it down there lungs
> instead. Any information would be
> very helpful. Thanks so much!
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> In a calf, the windpipe is in
> front of the "foodpipe"
> or esophagus, and is close to the
> skin. I would not cut the bulb off
> of a tube feeder, as a calf that
> needs to be tubed is too weak to
> "swallow" the tube,
> anyway. You will physically be
> passing the tube down the
> windpipe. This is true in all
> cases of tubing a calf. They do
> not passively & willingly
> swallow the tube - there is some
> action on your part to push the
> tube down to where it needs to be.

> The bulb helps you feel the end of
> the tube as it travels down the
> windpipe. Hold the calf between
> your knees with its butt in a
> corner or against a wall so it
> can't back up. CLAMP the tube
> closed and double check to make
> sure the clamp is closed. Open the
> calf's mouth, slide the end of the
> tube into the calf's mouth,
> usually on the left side, and
> slide the tube down the calf's
> throat. As you are advancing the
> tube, feel the outside of the
> calf's throat with your other
> hand. If the tube is in the
> windpipe and not in the esophagus,
> you will feel the bulb passing
> just barely underneath the skin.
> If you don't feel the tube just
> barely underneath the skin, you
> are in the wrong pipe. Pull the
> tube out and start over.

> Do not lubricate the tube with
> vaseline or any other petroleum
> products. Getting those products
> into the lungs will give the calf
> pneumonia. I don't usually
> lubricate the tube with anything.

> Cutting the end off the tube is
> risky because the tissues in a
> calf's throat are delicate, just
> as yours are, and can be easily
> damaged.

> Once the tube has been advanced
> down the calf's throat, oh,
> probably about 18 inches or so,
> open the clamp slowly and
> carefully. Allow the liquid to run
> into the calf's stomach. If you
> see any signs of the fluid
> bubbling back up into the calf's
> mouth or other signs of breathing
> problems, clamp the tube and
> remove it immediately. Fluid in
> the calf's lungs causes a
> "chemical pneumonia"
> that the calf may not recover
> from. When the bag of fluid is
> empty, CLAMP THE TUBE AGAIN, THEN
> pull the tube out. That's it.
> Clamping the tube before pulling
> it out keeps any residual fluid in
> the tube from running into the
> calf's lungs on the way out.

> And, yes, having an extra pair of
> hands the first time or two you do
> this is a big help.

> The first time I had to tube a
> calf, the vet told me over the
> phone that he knew I could do it.
> I told him there was no way I was
> going to attempt this unless he
> demonstrated it first. I paid him
> to come out and show me how and it
> was money well spent. That's how I
> learned the positioning of the
> airway and the esophagus and the
> purpose of the bulb.

> In theory, the bulb helps to block
> fluid from passing back up past
> the bulb, but mostly it helps you
> feel the tube as you pass it.

Anyone who can't tell the difference between the bulb and tube has no buisness tubing a calf anyway

only a few calves will need the bulb off just be verry careful not to force the tube into the throat

most of the calls we get are to late after the dammage is done

some of the vets in our practice cut the entire tube off using only the soft plastic tube this i would not reccomend until you get better at tubing

just remember that if the calf is small 50lbs or under take extreme care

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A

Anonymous

Get the calf in a sternal position if unable to stand. Feet and legs fold under calf, in laying down position, elevate and extend the neck, then pass tube, if you can blow air into tube, smell air that comes back, if it is sweet like breath you are in the lungs, gut odor will be sour, or have a gastric smell from digestive juices. When you identify the correct placement then fill feeding bag wil material to be administered, make sure you have a clamp to shut off fluid flow, do not over feed, watch the speed of the fluid flow through the tube, if it come back, stop and wait, then continue or stop all together, 2 quarts is really too much, better to give 1- 1.5 and repeat in 4-5 hours depending on the need of the calf.

If calf is standing, pin between your legs, and elevate head and neck with a free hand, place tube and follow same as above.

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