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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Pyloric Stenosis




Condition Overview

Congenital pyloric stenosis is caused by a thickening of the ring of muscle at the outlet of the stomach, resulting in a partial or complete obstruction of the gastric outlet.


Symptoms begin at weaning or shortly thereafter, when pups start to eat solid food. The characteristic sign of pyloric stenosis is vomiting partially digested food several hours after eating. Typically, the vomitus does not contain green bile. The vomited meal may be ingested, only to be vomited again later.


The cause for this condition is unknown. An increased incidence is seen in brachycephalic breeds such as Boxers and Boston Terriers.


The diagnosis is made by an upper gastrointestinal X-ray examination. The presence of barium in the stomach 12 - 24 hours after ingestion indicates an obstructed stomach. Gastroscopy may be recommended.


Pyloric stenosis is effectively treated with an operation that divides the enlarged muscular ring between the stomach and the duodenum. Some dogs recover without surgery, but dietary management is essential. The choice of treatment depends on a number of factors that must be determined by your veterinarian, but most cases will require surgery.

An acquired form of pyloric stenosis, called hypertrophic gastropathy, occurs in middle-ages dogs. See Chronic Gastritis.


There is no prevention for this condition.


Please contact your veterinarian if you think your pet may have this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


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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