|Barked: Tue Nov 23, '10 10:34am PST |
|Bama - get some pH paper (you can usually find it in garden supply stores) and use it to determine if the liquid is vomit or regurg. Vomitus, which comes from the stomach, is acidic due to the HCL present in the stomach juices. Regurgitation, which comes from the esophogus, is basic since is is infused with sodium bicarbonate from cells of esophogus. This will help you to determine where exactly this is coming from.
After than....slowing down the food intake can help. Some dogs do suffer from GERD or acid reflux which can result in regurgitation before or after meals. Often water will make it occur too. Treatment of acid reflux is pretty easy and benign. Stomach acid blockers can be given daily, something like famotadine (pepcid) or omeprazole (prilosec).
As for megaesophogus (ME), this is much more common in your larger breeds (think GSD, Golden, Shar Pei, Mastiff) in my experience although I do know it has a genetic link in shnauzers and wire fox terriers. It is also very common in dogs suffering from hypothyriod so anytime ME is suspected a full thyroid panel should be checked. Supplementation with thyroxazine can resolve some cases of ME. ME Info
Some other possible things affecting the espophogus/GI tract could be stricters, ulcers, foreign bodies or vascular ring anomoly. Stricters are abnormal narrowings of the esophogus that can be caused by FB's, ulcers etc. Ulcers have now been found to be caused by a specific bacteria (H. Pylori) which once sets in attacks the wall of the GI tract and causes pain and discomfort. A foreign body could be present in the esophogeal wall. It may not be blocking the tube but imbedded in wall causing irritation etc... Vascular ring anomolies are congenital so you would suspect this to be a more chronic (especially since very young) issue if it where going on.
There is also the possibility of tumors (benign or malignant), hernias, and inflammatory disease or response.
In all of the above cases the best diagnostic tool is an endoscopic exam under full anesthesia. This tube shaped camera is passed down the throat and shows live on a TV screen exactly what is going on inside the esophogus and into the stomach. It is also possible for them to take biopsies of funny looking areas while they are there too.
Here is a good link about causes and treatments of regurgitation --> Regurgitation in Dogs
My first step would be to determine if this is regurgitation or vomitus. Then I would discuss with my vet a dose of acid blocker like pepcid, omeprazole, zantac or cimetadine. If no change is seen after a couple weeks with the stomach acid blockers I would schedule a consult with a local Internal Medicine Specialist to discuss endoscopy.
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