Reflux Esophagitis in Dogs

Overview of Canine Reflux Esophagitis

Reflux esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus that results from the backward flow of gastric or intestinal fluid into the esophagus. This fluid contains acids and other irritating substances that can cause severe inflammation and ulceration in dogs.

Causes of Reflux Esophagitis in Dogs

Reflux esophagitis is seen in both dogs and cats. It occurs in males and females and all ages are affected, although younger animals with congenital hiatal hernia are at increased risk.

There is no breed predilection reported, but Chinese shar-pei dogs may be prone as it is associated with hiatal hernia.

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Reflux Esophagitis in Dogs

A thorough knowledge of history and clinical signs is very important and is most often helpful in the diagnosis. Diagnostic tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of reflux esophagitis. They include:

Treatment of Reflux Esophagitis in Dogs

Home Care for Dogs with Reflux Esophagitis

Administer prescribed medication/diet and treat esophageal reflux as directed by your veterinarian. Control vomiting, limit anesthesia and avoid other disorders that predispose to reflux esophagitis.

Avoid late night feedings, as late feedings tend to diminish gastroesophageal sphincter pressure during the animal’s sleep, contributing to reflux.