Regurgitation in Dogs (Canis) | Vetlexicon
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Regurgitation

ISSN 2398-2942

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Introduction

  • Backward flow of ingested food from the esophagus.
  • Regurgitation is a clinical sign NOT A DIAGNOSIS.
  • Cause: esophageal irritation, motility disorder or obstruction.
  • Signs: food returned with lack of abdominal effort, production of mucoid saliva between meals.
  • Diagnosis: signs, radiography, esophagoscopy.
  • Treatment: depends on cause but most cases also require treatment for esophagitis if regurgitation has been persistent.
  • Prognosis: depends on cause but can be good with appropriate treatment.

Presenting signs

  • Often presented for investigation of vomiting.
  • Food or mucoid saliva returned with minimal effort.
  • Depression.
  • Anorexia.

Acute presentation

  • Dyspnea asociated with inhalation pneumonia.
  • Acute dyspnea or sepsis if esophageal perforation occurs.

Age predisposition

  • Middle-aged to older for other etiologies.

Special risks

  • Animals with esophageal dysfunction are at risk of aspiration pneumonia.
  • This risk can be increased by procedures such as:
    • Anesthesia or sedation which further reduces esophageal function.
    • Positioning in dorsal or lateral recumbency for radiography (particularly if patient is struggling).
      Care if administrating oral barium that patient does not aspirate this as consequences can be severe/fatal.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Esophageal obstruction

Timecourse

  • Usually relatively acute onset over days.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Elwood C (2006) Diagnosis and management of canine oesophageal disease and regurgitation. In Practice 28 (1), 14-21 VetMedResource.
  • Washabau R J & Hall J A (1997) Diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal motility disorders in dogs and cats. Comp Cont Ed Pract Vet 19 (6), 721-737 VetMedResource.