5 Most Common Reasons If You Are Recommended Fluoroscopy Swallow Study For Your Pet In Houston, Texas

5 Most Common Reasons If You Are Recommended Fluoroscopy Swallow Study For Your Pet In Houston, Texas


Owning a dog is one of life’s greatest joys. Whether snuggling on the couch together or sharing long walks, our furry friends bring us endless love and companionship. But sometimes, we may have to provide extra care if they are experiencing medical problems. That’s why it can be worrying if you are recommended to get a fluoroscopy swallow study for your beloved pet – but don’t worry! We are here to help guide you through the process and explain why this test may be important for your pet. Whether you have an older dog or a pup who loves their treats, they can both benefit from having the fluoroscopy swallow study done so they can stay safe and healthy!

We’ll discuss how the procedure works and some common reasons your vet may suggest getting one done. Read on to learn more and understand why this examination is necessary for some of our furry friends!

What Is a Fluoroscopy Swallow Study?

A Fluoroscopy Swallow Study (FSS) is a diagnostic procedure that evaluates the safe passage of food, liquid, and medications through your pet’s body. It helps diagnose problems with swallowing or esophageal function and also considers for any obstruction or foreign bodies that might be present. FSS can identify possible medical conditions that might be causing difficulty for your pet.

The study is performed in a veterinary hospital or office under the supervision of a specialist and with the aid of a veterinary fluoroscopic C-arm machine. The procedure involves giving your pet sedation and placing them on its back with an X-ray device that takes images of the entire esophagus as food, liquid, or medication passes through it. While fluoroscopy can help identify potential problems, it is not a definitive diagnosis, and further testing may be needed.

FSS can be beneficial for pets that have difficulty swallowing, regurgitating their food or liquid, are reluctant to eat, have recurrent vomiting or coughing episodes during meals, or cannot keep down medications due to esophageal dysfunction. It can also help identify foreign bodies or obstructions that may be causing difficulty for your pet.

Suppose your pet is experiencing any of these issues. In that case, it is encouraged that you speak with your veterinarian about the possibility of a Fluoroscopy Swallow Study to help diagnose and treat the issue. With this information, your veterinarian can develop an appropriate treatment plan for your pet and help ensure a happy and healthy life.

5 Most Common Reasons If You Are Recommended Fluoroscopy Swallow Study For Your Pet In Houston, Texas?

Fluoroscopy swallow study, also known as modified barium swallow (MBS) or esophagram is a diagnostic imaging test used to examine the anatomy and physiology of your pet’s swallowing system. In Houston, Texas, a qualified team of veterinarians can perform a fluoroscopy swallow study on your pet to diagnose various conditions affecting the throat and esophagus. Here are the five most common reasons your pet may need this procedure:

To Identify Obstructions

A fluoroscopy swallow study can identify any obstructions in the throat or esophagus. It is especially helpful for confirming a diagnosis of foreign body ingestion, which can cause blockages that put your pet at risk for further complications, including aspiration pneumonia and other breathing problems.

To Diagnose Esophageal Dysfunction

The procedure is also used to assess esophageal function and identify any problems with the muscles or nerves that control the swallowing reflex. If your pet has difficulty swallowing, regurgitates food, or coughs after eating or drinking, their veterinarian may recommend a fluoroscopy swallow study for an accurate diagnosis.

To Evaluate Reflux

A fluoroscopy swallow study can evaluate acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition occurs when stomach acid travels up the esophagus and into the throat, causing irritation and inflammation. It is essential to identify reflux to provide your pet with the proper treatment and preventive measures.

To Diagnose Dysphagia

A fluoroscopy swallow study can be used to assess dysphagia or difficulty swallowing. This condition occurs when there is an obstruction or damage to the throat or esophagus, which can cause your pet to choke or cough when attempting to swallow. This procedure can also detect any problems with the muscles used for swallowing and identify any areas of scarring that may be causing difficulty.

To Monitor Disease Progression

The procedure can also monitor any disease progression or treatment effectiveness. Suppose your pet has been diagnosed with a condition that affects its swallowing. In that case, a fluoroscopy swallow study may be recommended to see how the condition progresses or if the treatment plan works.

Overall, fluoroscopy swallow studies are an invaluable tool for diagnosing and treating conditions affecting your pet’s throat, esophagus and swallowing reflex. An experienced team of veterinarians in Houston, Texas, can perform this procedure with Veterinary imaging care, accuracy, and expertise.

Signs That May Indicate Your Pet Needs a Fluoroscopy Swallow Study?

If you observe any of the following signs in your pet, it may be time to consider a fluoroscopy swallow study:

  1. Regular vomiting

    If your pet is regularly vomiting more than once or twice per week, it could point to an underlying issue with swallowing. A fluoroscopy swallow study can help identify the source and provide treatment recommendations.

  2. Pain or discomfort while eating

    If your pet displays pain or discomfort while eating, it’s time to investigate further. A fluoroscopy swallow study can help determine if an obstruction in the esophagus needs to be addressed. It may also reveal a condition like Megaesophagus, which can be managed through dietary changes and lifestyle modifications.

  3. Weight loss or lack of appetite

    Weight loss or a lack of appetite in your pet could indicate that they are having difficulty swallowing due to an underlying issue. A fluoroscopy swallow study can help identify the cause and provide treatment recommendations to help manage the problem.

  4. Changes in behavior

    If your pet has been exhibiting any changes in their behavior that could be related to swallowing, it’s essential to investigate further. A fluoroscopy swallow study can help uncover the cause and provide treatment recommendations accordingly.

    Overall, a fluoroscopy swallow study can be an essential tool in helping to identify any issues with your pet’s swallowing that may not be evident by other means. If you observe any of the above signs, now is the time to get your pet checked out and consider a fluoroscopy swallow study for your pet.

How is the Procedure of the Fluoroscopy Swallow Study Conducted?

The fluoroscopy swallow study is conducted similarly to any other X-ray examination. The pet will be positioned on the X-ray table, and contrast material (barium sulfate) will be given to help visualize the structures of the esophagus during swallowing. The radiologist will control the speed at which the contrast material moves through the esophagus and view the images on a monitor. The X-rays will provide a dynamic, real-time evaluation of swallowing movement that can be recorded for further review.

The procedure is performed under sedation with anesthesia to ensure your pet’s comfort. This helps minimize any stress or anxiety your pet may experience during the procedure. Using contrast material eliminates any radiation exposure to your pet, so there is no need for additional precautions beyond those already applicable during X-ray imaging.

The results from the fluoroscopy swallow study will allow the radiologist to identify any abnormalities of the esophagus or other structures and provide recommendations for further diagnostic or therapeutic management, as indicated. The results are usually available the same day for review by your veterinary team.

If you have questions about this procedure or want to discuss if the fluoroscopy swallow study is the right option for your pet, please speak with your veterinarian. They will be able to provide you with the best advice and help you decide what is in your pet’s best interest.

How to Read Your Pet’s Results From a Fluoroscopy Swallow Study?

Reading the results from a fluoroscopy swallow study can be challenging. It requires knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology. At Safari Veterinary Care Centers, we are here to help you better understand your pet’s results. Here are some tips to help you better understand your pet’s results:

Know the Anatomy

When reading the results from a fluoroscopy swallow study, it is essential to understand the anatomy of your pet’s digestive system. This includes the throat, esophagus, and stomach. A basic understanding of these organs will help you better comprehend the results.

Look for Abnormalities

The results should include information about any abnormalities found during the procedure. Look for indicators of obstruction, such as narrowing or spasms in the esophagus. Also, note if abnormal muscle contractions in the throat or stomach could interfere with swallowing.

Understand Medical Terminology

The report may contain medical terminology that you are unfamiliar with. If this is the case, research the terms and ask your veterinarian to explain what they mean about your pet’s results. This will help you better understand the diagnosis and plan any necessary treatment or lifestyle changes.

Understanding the results of a fluoroscopy swallow study can be difficult, but with a basic knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology, you can better grasp the diagnosis. If you have questions about your pet’s results, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for further clarification.

Relevant Questions

Q: What is a swallow study on dogs?


A swallow study is an examination that utilizes videofluoroscopy to evaluate the anatomy, physiology, and mechanics of a dog's swallowing function. This type of procedure is also known as a Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study (VFSS). X-ray imaging during the exam allows for a detailed evaluation of your pet's oral and pharyngeal structures, including the muscles used for swallowing. This procedure is especially beneficial in diagnosing dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) or other disorders affecting your pet's ability to swallow normally. During a typical VFSS exam, food items of increasing thickness are offered to your pet as they move through various stages of swallowing to assess their ability to swallow correctly. The VFSS procedure has become the gold standard for diagnosing dysphagia in veterinary medicine by providing standardized protocols that emulate physiologic feeding practices. Fluoroscopy Swallow Study is a safe and effective way to evaluate your pet's swallowing function and ensure they receive the best care.

Q: Why would you need a swallow test?


A swallow test, also known as a fluoroscopy swallow study, is used to help diagnose and evaluate any potential problems with swallowing. This type of test may be recommended if you are experiencing difficulty or pain while swallowing food, have food sticking in your throat, or have specific breathing difficulties. The exam results can help your doctor determine the best treatment for your condition. If you have a pet, they may also need to undergo a fluoroscopy swallow study to diagnose any potential swallowing issues. This test can help identify problems such as foreign object ingestion or an obstruction in the throat that could be causing difficulty swallowing food. With the information from this test, your veterinarian can then recommend the best treatment plan for your pet.


Understanding why your pet may need a fluoroscopy swallow study and how the procedure is conducted can be intimidating. By familiarizing yourself with the different common reasons if you are recommended a swallow study, signs that may indicate they need it, and how to read the test results, you can feel more informed and confident in your decisions. Fluoroscopy swallow studies, which involve advanced imaging techniques, are relatively painless for your pet, offer a wide range of information regarding their digestion system, and can help diagnose potential issues before they cause serious issues for your furry friend. If you believe that your pet needs a fluoroscopy swallow study here in Houston, Texas, take some time to research each point mentioned previously and consult with your veterinarian to make an educated decision. Don’t wait until it’s too late- get informed now! Common Reasons If You Are Recommended Fluoroscopy Swallow Study For Your Pet In Houston, Texas, are just one part of an overall care package that we can provide to ensure your pet lives their best life!

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