A stricture is a circular scar that forms after an injury to the wall of the esophagus.
Tumors of the esophagus can produce a stricture-like narrowing. The principal sign of esophageal stricture is regurgitation.
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.
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.
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 in associated with removing the precipitating cause.
Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns regarding this condition.
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