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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Esophageal Stricture

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Condition Overview

A stricture is a circular scar that forms after an injury to the wall of the esophagus.

Symptoms

Tumors of the esophagus can produce a stricture-like narrowing. The principal sign of esophageal stricture is regurgitation.

Causes

Most injuries are caused by esophageal foreign bodies. Swallowed caustic liquids (a liquid capable of burning, corroding, or destroying living tissue) and gastroesophageal reflux are other causes.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis can be made by X-ray after the dog has been given a barium solution, or by an esophageal endoscopy. The stricture appears as a fibrous ring that narrows the esophagus.

Treatment

Early strictures can be treated by stretching the wall of the esophagus with a balloon catheter passed through the endoscope. When this is not successful, surgery may be considered to remove the strictured segment. The operation is difficult and has a high complication rate. After successful surgery, most dogs are able to swallow normally. Those who continue to have problems may have developed a motility disorder (abnormal intestinal contractions) due to enlargement of the esophagus.

Prevention

Prevention in associated with removing the precipitating 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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