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Pyloric Obstruction/Stenosis

By: Dr. Nicholas Trout

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Related Diseases

Many disorders can lead to vomiting and most of them are far more common than pyloric obstruction or stenosis.

  • Gastrointestinal foreign bodies are ingested material that is either not digested or slowly digested. These can cause obstruction or irritation to the stomach and intestinal tract. Common foreign bodies include rocks, bones, plastic toys, socks, pantyhose and various other objects. String, yarn and thread can create linear foreign bodies. These can get anchored at the base of the tongue or the stomach and cause the bowel to bunch up or be plicate. Young dogs are more commonly interested in foreign bodies and on physical examination they may not be painful on abdominal palpation. Radiography and endoscopy will help discriminate a foreign body from pyloric obstruction or stenosis.

  • Vomiting can be a component of many viral causes of gastroenteritis, such as distemper or parvovirus. Again, young unvaccinated dogs may be affected and are often painful on abdominal palpation. These animals usually have concurrent diarrhea and other clinical abnormalities that are quite different from pyloric obstruction or stenosis.

  • Several metabolic disorders can lead to vomiting such as uremia secondary to kidney disease, diabetes, and liver insufficiency. Laboratory analysis of blood samples obtained from the patient should lead your veterinarian to pursue these disorders.

  • Diseases of the pancreas such as pancreatitis, pancreatic tumors and pancreatic abscesses can produce vomiting. Most animals with pancreatic disorders are painful on abdominal palpation.

  • Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the lining of the abdomen. The most common cause of peritonitis results from intestinal or gall bladder rupture, and animals have vague clinical signs often accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. Again, dogs with peritonitis are usually painful on palpation of their abdomen, but this may be localized rather than generalized, dependent on the extent of the problem.

  • Gastric tumors can cause vomiting. The most common type of tumor in dogs is called a gastric adenocarcinoma, and it occurs most commonly in the pyloric region and therefore needs to be differentiated from benign pyloric obstruction typically seen in middle aged to older small breed dogs. Endoscopy with biopsies will be important to discriminate these two diseases.

  • Gastric ulceration is most often secondary to taking anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen, phenylbutazone etc. The pylorus is a common location for an ulcer to occur. Endoscopy is the most sensitive test to allow visualization and biopsy of an ulcer.

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