Annabel is a six-year-old spayed female Shar Pei who has been seeing our internal medicine department for acute renal failure. She had a history inappetence and weight loss that had not resolved, so it was decided to have an esophagostomy tube (e-tube) placed for supportive care to ensure adequate food and water were being provided. Oral medications can also be dissolved and administered through an e-tube.
Annabel was placed under general anesthesia for the procedure, and a small incision was made in her neck and esophagus. The e-tube was then placed through the skin and tissues in the side of her neck, directly into her esophagus and sutured in to secure it, leaving part of the e-tube exposed. A cloth collar was wrapped around Annabel’s neck to protect the incision site and help hold the exposed end of the e-tube in place.
After Annabel’s e-tube was placed, a radiograph (X-ray) was taken to ensure proper placement within the esophagus. Once proper placement was verified, she was recovered from anesthesia and discharged to her family that afternoon. E-tubes are typically temporary and need to be kept clean, so detailed discharge instructions were given on proper tube care and feeding instructions to her owners.
Annabel’s family reported a few days after the procedure that she was doing well since the e-tube had been placed and today is esophagostomy tube free!