Dogs have specific nutritional requirements and the precise needs of the critical canine patient reflect these nutritional differences.

Emeraid HDN for canine critical care
EmerAid Canine HDN
• semi-elemental
• digests easily
• allows for rapid absorption of nutrients
Emeraid sustain, essential nutrition for recovering canines
EmerAid Canine Sustain
• more complex nutrients
• strengthens canine intestinal tract
• rebuilds lean body mass
• supports immune system
healthy dog
Under the supervision of a veterinarian, gradually transition to appropriate food.

Balanced nutrition for critically ill canines

EmerAid® Intensive Care™ HDN Canine is specifically designed for the canine physiology and is nutritionally designed to give each debilitated canine the best possible chance of life:

  • EmerAid scientifically addresses the specific nutritional needs of canines.
  • EmerAid HDN also provides a high level of nutritional flexibility for the veterinary healthcare team. Each nutrient-dense, high-energy EmerAid formulation can be prepared at various levels of concentration, as determined by the needs of the patient. Each formulation can also be mixed with other EmerAid products or other appropriate foods. Cutting edge science combined with the art of veterinary medicine results the best possible patient outcomes.
  • EmerAid® Intensive Care HDN™ or “Highly Digestible Nutrition” is a therapeutic diet scientifically designed for critically ill or recovery canine patients. Developed by critical care veterinarians and nutritionists.

Saving The Critical Patient

Emergency medicine often involves the care of patients that have “crashed”:  animals that are weak, depressed, malnourished, or severely debilitated.  Nutrition is a vital part of critical care medicine and yet the process of digesting, absorbing, and assimilating nutrients often requires energy that the critical patient does not have to spare. EmerAid provides critical care nutrition for these patients in the form of a semi-elemental diet. Nutrients are provided in a simplified form allowing the body to quickly digest and absorb the nutrients, thus sparing the patient’s already over-taxed resources.

Nourishing Enterocytes — So They Can Nourish The Rest Of The Body

The gastrointestinal tract is lined with cells called enterocytes, which help digest, absorb, and transport nutrients into the body. Vital nutrients absorbed by enterocytes include amino acids and peptides, carbohydrate (complex and simple saccharides), lipids, water, vitamins, and ions (or minerals). Enteral nutrition is preferred whenever possible, because enterocytes undergo atrophy without luminal nutrient stimulation. (Ford & Mazzafero, 2012)

By focusing on the nutritional needs of the enterocyte, EmerAid Intensive Care Diets scientifically provide the maximum amount of nutrition that can be absorbed with the least energy expenditure.

EmerAid Intensive Care HDN Is Semi-Elemental

In critically ill patients, the body’s main goal is to support key organs like the heart, brain, liver, and lungs. Blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract is reduced thus slowing gastrointestinal motility.  As enterocytes form a tight seal to protect the body from harmful bacteria or toxins, digestion and absorption of nutrients are similarly altered (Martindale, 2002). Unfortunately, these physiologic changes make it difficult for nutrients to be absorbed when the body needs nutrition the most. Consequently, debilitated patients benefit from a predigested or a semi-elemental diet.

Semi-elemental diets contain ingredients that are purified and hydrolyzed, combined with a small amount of complex highly digestible ingredients. Through an innovative balance between purified amino acids and hydrolyzed protein, EmerAid maintains an osmotic balance that minimizes the risk of diarrhea by preventing the loss of water and other vital nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract.

Supporting The Immune System Of The Patient

When an animal “crashes”, the immune system is put on high alert and antioxidants are needed in larger quantities (Chandra, 1997; Manzanares, 2013). The EmerAid Intensive Care Diet supports the body’s immune system by providing high levels of nutrients critical to immune function and antioxidant systems (Table 1).

Table 1. Nutrients in EmerAid Intensive Care Diets that support the immune system

  • Arginine a
  • Copper
  • Cysteine b
  • Glutamine a
  • Taurine
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

a: Depletion of arginine and glutamine is particularly common during periods of starvation and catabolic stress, and supplementation has been shown to improve patient outcome (Labow 2000, Oehler 2002).

b: Cysteine is necessary to produce glutathione, a powerful anti-oxidant in the body.

Diets containing nutrients that support the immune system have been shown to enhance the recovery of critically ill human patients and there is strong evidence to suggest this same potential in animals (Chan, 2008; de Aguilar, 2012; Manzanares, 2013).

Building A Healthy Body With Lean Body Mass

When an animal becomes debilitated, the body begins to catabolize its own muscle to survive. Loss of muscle means loss of protein, which increases the risk of post-operative infection and wound dehiscence and decreases wound healing. Protein malnutrition can also alter drug metabolism causing undesirable responses to medication. By providing amino acids, peptides, and L-carnitine, EmerAid is designed to not only rebuild build lean body mass, but also provides protein for a number of important metabolic processes (Chandra, 1997).

Emeraid sustain for canines

EmerAid® Sustain™ HDN Canine is specifically designed to be recovery nutrition for the canine physiology. As the canine patient heals and improves from critical illness to a recovery state, the gastrointestinal tract is often able to digest more complex nutrients. However the muscles of the intestinal tract need to be strengthened to prevent potential difficulties in transitioning to “normal” food. Therefore,  EmerAid© Sustain™ HDN recovery care nutrition is recommended.

EmerAid Sustain is a recovery diet designed to support the underweight/malnourished patient or transition the debilitated patient from a critical care diet to normal feeding. EmerAid© Sustain™ Recovery HDN™ is scientifically formulated to rebuild lean body tissue, support the immune system, and meet the needs of the metabolically stressed patient. This scientific formulation allows the patient to return to  proper health as quickly as possible.

To transition from a critical-care diet to a recovery diet, EmerAid© Sustain™ HDN can be mixed with the EmerAid® Intensive Care HDN Canine diet in increasing proportions over time. This transition should continue until the canine patient is eating only EmerAid Sustain Recovery.

*Note:  EmerAid Intensive Care canine diets can be fed for an extended period of time

Completing Recovery

The canine patient should remain on EmerAid© Sustain™ HDN throughout the recovery process. Once the patient is doing well and has been medically cleared by their veterinarian, the diet can be gradually transitioned to the patients’ regular food as recommended by the veterinarian.


Chan DL. The role of nutrients in modulating disease. J Small Anim Pract 49(6):266-271, 2008.

Chandra RK. Nutrition and the immune system: an introduction. Am J Clin Nutr 66(2):460S-463S, 1997.

de Aguilar-Nascimento JE, Bicudo-Salomao A, Portari-Filho PE. Optimal timing for the initiation of enteral and parenteral nutrition in critical medical and surgical conditions. Nutrition 28(9):840-843, 2012.

Ford RB, Mazzaferro E.  Kirk and Bistner’s Handbook of Veterinary Procedures and Emergency Treatment, 9th ed. 2012. Elsevier, St. Louis, MO.

Labow BI, Souba WW. Glutamine. World J Surg 24(12):1503-1513, 2000.

Martindale RG, Shikora SA, Nishikawa R, Siepler JK. In: American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ed). Nutritional Considerations in the Intensive Care Unit: Science, Rationale, and Practice. City, State: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company; 2002.

Oehler R, Pusch E, Dungel P, et al. Glutamine depletion impairs cellular stress response in human leucocytes. British J Nutr 87(Suppl 1):S17-S21, 2002.