Veterinary Nutrition Consultation Service
The VTH Nutrition Consultation Service is the only veterinary nutrition service in the Mid-Atlantic region
staffed by faculty who are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. The mission of the service is to:
- Provide high-quality consultation to veterinarians on the nutritional management of healthy or sick small and large
- Assist primary care, medicine, and surgery faculty with nutritional support of patients in the teaching hospital.
- Use the latest technology in nutrition and feeding systems to provide excellent care and service.
View the Nutrition Consultation Service Photographic Tour.
Contact the Service
- For questions about nutrition services, please contact
- To schedule a consultation, please arrange a referral through your local or primary care veterinarian.
Large Animal Nutrition Services
Balanced nutrition is the
cornerstone of maintaining health, preventing and treating multiple disorders, and prolonging the longevity of large
animals. The nutrition service frequently consults on:
- Nutritional disorders such as obesity in horses. Obesity creates excessive body fat stores which may predispose
the horse to develop severe metabolic disorders, which could result in laminitis and other problems.
- Gastrointestinal disturbances which develop due to errors in ration formulation or in overall feeding
These and other clinical problems could be prevented and treated with customized dietary programs.
The Large Animal nutrition service offers:
- Nutrition counseling, assessment of nutritional status, ration and feeding management
- Weight reduction and weight maintenance plans
- Optimizing nutrition for patients recovering from illness or surgery
- Optimizing nutrition for prevention of disease
- Nutritional counseling for all the various life stages of large animals including:
- Herd management nutrition
- Farm visits and on-farm consultations, including collection and shipment of feeds and forages for
- Formulation of balanced rations utilizing computer software and up-to-date feeding standards, such as
National Research Council and Kentucky Equine Research
Small Animal Nutrition Services
Balanced nutrition is the cornerstone of
maintaining health, preventing and treating multiple disorders,
and prolonging the longevity of companion animals. There are many diseases and disorders of small animals that
can be ameliorated with therapeutic diets such as:
- Renal disease
- Cardiac disease
- Endocrine disorders
- Hepatic disease
- Skin disorders
- Gastrointestinal disease
The Veterinary Nutrition Consultation Service works together with both the referring veterinarians and the primary
care, medicine, and surgery services within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital to provide the best nutrition for healthy
and sick patients.
The Small Animal nutrition service offers:
- Assessment of nutritional status, diet and feeding management
- Weight reduction and weight maintenance plans for dogs and cats
- Customized therapeutic and non-therapeutic diet recommendations
- Feeding guidelines for voluntary food intake and administration of food through feeding tubes
- Optimizing nutrition for patients recovering from illness or surgery, including nutritional support through
tube feeding or parenteral nutrition
- Evaluation of home-made recipes for nutritional completeness and balance
- Formulation of complete and balanced home prepared diets utilizing computer software and up to date feeding
standards for dogs and cats, such as National Research Council and the Association of American Feed Control Officials
- Nutritional counseling for the various life stages of small animals including:
- Performance (hunting, racing, etc)
Forms and Body Condition Scoring (BCS) Charts
Nutrition Consultation Service Personnel
The Nutrition Consultation Service is staffed by faculty who are board certified by the American College of
Veterinary Nutrition, which recognizes clinical expertise in nutrition. Periodically the service is supported
by residents training in the specialty of clinical nutrition.
William S. Swecker, Jr., DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVN
Megan Shepherd, DVM, PhD