Esophagitis is a medical condition in which the esophagus becomes inflamed in both its inner and outer layers. Inflammation of the esophagus is mostly caused by disorders such as acid reflux, foreign object blockage, or neoplasia.
Further life-threatening consequences, such as infection or inflammation, might result from esophageal illness. Therefore, early detection of esophageal disease is critical so that appropriate treatments can relieve discomfort and enhance the quality of life.
While not as common as gastrointestinal ailments in dogs, the esophageal disease is a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention. Because regurgitation, the predominant symptom of esophageal illness, is highly similar to vomiting, it is frequently misdiagnosed.
Regurgitation occurs when the contents of the dog’s stomach pass backward via the esophageal system and into the mouth. Vomiting is the violent contraction of stomach muscles to expel stomach contents.
Causes of Esophageal Disease in Dogs
A dog’s esophagus might be functional or structural. Your veterinarian will try to determine which, if any, of the more prevalent esophageal illnesses have affected your dog.
Genetics does play a role in the development of esophageal illness. Any dog can have esophageal disease, but certain breeds are more prone to it. Chinese Shar-Pei, Fox Terrier, German Shepherd Dog, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Schnauzer, Newfoundland, Boston Terrier, and all Toy Breeds are more likely to acquire esophageal illness.
Symptoms of Esophageal Disease in Dogs
Esophagitis symptoms in dogs include any of the following:
- Weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Poor posture and movement
- Excessive reflux or regurgitation
- Loss of appetite
Recognizing the dog’s esophagus problems is crucial for the dog’s overall health. Dogs with esophageal illnesses have minimal symptoms and are easily misdiagnosed. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe anything unusual about your dog’s swallowing.
The only physical indications of esophageal illness in dogs are difficulty swallowing and regurgitation. The stomach muscles do not contract; therefore, regurgitation occurs without effort. Consequently, you may believe that your dog is vomiting when, in fact, they are regurgitating. Excessive vomiting or regurgitation is the reason for concern and necessitates a thorough examination by your veterinarian.
Diagnosis of Esophageal Disease in Dogs
Your veterinarian will use various techniques and tests to evaluate the kind and severity of esophageal illness in dogs. Various prevalent esophageal diseases in dogs must be diagnosed using particular tests.
Cricopharyngeal Achalasia is a condition in which the cricopharyngeal muscle does not relax, thus making it difficult for your dog to swallow foods or liquids. An endoscope is an ideal tool designed to help examine the cricopharyngeal muscle to ensure that it is working appropriately.
The megaesophagus is a condition in which the esophagus has extended unnaturally. Regurgitation is the most common symptom of megaesophagus, although a chest x-ray can typically determine the severity of the stretched esophagus.
The narrowing of the esophagus is known as esophageal strictures in dogs. To diagnose an esophageal stricture, fluoroscopy and endoscopy will be used.
Esophagitis is esophageal inflammation caused by acid reflux or foreign particles in the esophagus. An endoscope will examine the esophagus and determine the degree of inflammation. Foreign items in the esophagus can be detected using x-rays, endoscopy, and, in certain cases, only a physical examination.
esophageal Diverticula are pouch-like dilations of the esophageal wall. Endoscopy and contrast x-rays can be utilized to examine for diverticula or scarring from these pouches.
Dogs’ Esophageal Disease Treatment
The vets will implement a treatment plan once your veterinarian has diagnosed your dog with esophageal illness. The treatment approach will be customized for your dog and the esophageal illness discovered.
Cricopharyngeal Achalasia: The muscle is generally severed during surgery. This will allow the muscle to relax and normal swallowing to resume the following surgery promptly.
Megaesophagus: The disease will proceed uncontrollably if an associated condition is not treated. Although there is no specific treatment for megaesophagus, environmental variables can be altered to help your dog.
Elevating your dog’s upper body while eating and keeping him elevated for at least 15 minutes after eating allows gravity to move food down the esophagus. However, a diet adjustment may be required because food texture is crucial.
Esophagitis: To reduce inflammation in the esophagus, medications may be prescribed. A dietary modification may also be recommended. For example, a feeding tube may be inserted if the inflammation is severe until the swelling subsides. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to reduce the risk of bacterial infection.
Esophageal Diverticula: If the diverticula are small enough, a soft diet combined with eating upright can typically cure them. Diverticula of a larger size will necessitate surgery to remove the pouch and restore the esophageal wall.
Broch Esophageal Fistula in Dogs: A broncho esophageal fistula is an improper connection between the esophagus and the airway to the lungs. It seldom occurs in dogs once foreign material penetrates the esophageal wall. It is also visible at birth, particularly in Cairn Terriers. Coughing after eating or drinking is the most prevalent symptom.
X-rays and contrast x-rays are used by veterinary clinic in Houston TX to diagnose the problem, which involves an ingested dye showing up on the x-rays. Surgery is required to remove the damaged lung lobe and heal the esophagus. The prognosis following surgery is favorable.