Pharynx: dysphagia in Dogs (Canis) | Vetlexicon
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Pharynx: dysphagia

ISSN 2398-2942

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Synonym(s): Swallowing disorder

Introduction

  • Normal swallowing is divided into 3 stages:
    • Oral.
    • Pharyngeal.
    • Esophageal.
  • Normal swallowing involves the use of cranial nerves: V, VII, IX, X, XII.
  • Pharyngeal dysphagia will occur in association with either mechanical obstruction or cranial nerve dysfunction.
  • Mechanical obstruction usually associated with foreign bodies or tumors.

Alternative techniques

  • Differential diagnosis of pharyngeal dysphagia:
    • Foreign body.
    • Neoplasia.
    • Cranial nerve dysfunction.
    • Cricopharyngeal achalasia.

 

Decision taking

Criteria for choosing test

  • First decide on stage of swallowing causing dysphagia. This should be based on the history and clinical signs exhibited by the patient.
  • With pharyngeal dysphagias patients usually exhibit:
    • Salivation occasionally with blood.
    • Retching and gagging on eating/drinking.
    • Appearance of food/fluid down the nostrils.
    • Re-appearance of food/fluid into the mouth.
    • Coughing, especially during swallowing attempts.
    • Aspiration pneumonia Lung: aspiration pneumonia and pyrexia.

 

 

Risk assessment

  • Mechanical disorders in particular may result in breathing difficulties as well as dysphagia.
  • High risk of aspiration pneumonia Lung: aspiration pneumonia occurring naturally or following fluoroscopy using contrast media.
  • High risk when sedation or anesthesia is used to assess the pharynx.
    Must be ready to carry out emergency tracheotomy Tracheostomy: temporary if patent airway cannot be established with endotracheal tube.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Technique

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Simpson J W, Thomas D & Hall E (eds) (1996)BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Gastroenterology.
  • Spodnick G J & Page R L (1995)Canine and Feline Oropharyngeal Neoplasms. In:Current Veterinary Therapy XII. J Bonagura (ed), W B Saunders, Philadelphia. pp 691.
  • Willard M D (1992)Dysphagia and Swallowing Disorders.In:Current Veterinary Therapy XI.J Bonagura (ed). W B Saunders, Philadelphia. PP 572.