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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Regurgitation

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Condition Overview

Regurgitation is the relatively effortless expulsion of undigested food, without retching. Regurgitating should not be confused with vomiting. Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of stomach contents, preceded by drooling and retching.

Symptoms

Relatively effortless expulsion of undigested food, without retching.

Causes

Regurgitation occurs because the esophagus is physically blocked or because it lacks peristaltic activity. In either case, the food accumulates until the esophagus is overloaded, after which the food is passively expelled.

The sudden onset of regurgitation in a previously healthy dog is almost certainly due to a foreign object caught in the esophagus. Constant drooling indicates that the dog cannot swallow saliva.

Chronic regurgitation (this may come and go, but appears to get worse) suggests a partial obstruction caused by megaesophagus, stricture, or tumor.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis can be made my witnessing the event.

Treatment

The underlying cause is the focus of treatment.

Prevention

Prevention will be based upon the underlying cause.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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