Inflammation of the Esophagus in Dogs What Causes Esophagus Inflammation In Dogs and How Can It Be Managed?

Inflammation of the Esophagus in Dogs

Dogs tend to experience esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus, which can result in a range of symptoms from discomfort to terrible agony.

Inflammation of the esophagus, also known as esophagitis, is one of the common esophagus problems in dogs and can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from discomfort to severe pain. The muscular tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach is called the esophagus; when it is inflamed, it can obstruct this function and result in a variety of problems for dogs.

In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for esophagitis in dogs, so that pet owners can be better equipped to identify and manage this condition.

Causes of Dog Esophagitis

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of dog esophagitis, including:

  • Foreign bodies: Due to their natural curiosity, dogs frequently like chewing on or ingesting objects that shouldn't be, which can result in foreign objects being stuck in the esophagus. Esophagitis can result from these things irritating and inflaming the esophageal lining.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Acid and digestive enzymes irritate the esophageal lining in GERD, a condition where the stomach's contents flow back into the esophagus. In dogs, this may result in chronic esophagitis.

  • Motility disorders: The esophagus is a muscular tube that transports food from the mouth to the stomach through the use of coordinated contractions. Food can get caught in the esophagus and cause these contractions to stop, which can result in esophagitis and inflammation.

  • Bacterial or viral infections: Dogs can develop esophagitis from a bacterial or viral infection. These infections can lead to inflammation and damage to the esophageal lining.

  • Certain medications: Certain medications, such as DOXYCYCLINE or POTASSIUM BROMIDE, can cause esophagitis as a side effect. These drugs have the potential to inflame and irritate the esophagus lining.

Keep in mind that esophagitis can also be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases, or cancer. Therefore, it is important to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian if they are exhibiting symptoms of esophagitis.

Esophagitis in Dogs Symptoms

There are a number of clinical symptoms that might mean your dog has esophagitis, including:

  • Difficulty swallowing: Dogs with esophagitis may have trouble swallowing because food finds it difficult to pass through the inflamed and uncomfortable esophagus.

  • Drooling: If your dog is experiencing discomfort or pain when swallowing, it may drool excessively.

  • Regurgitation: Dogs that have esophagitis may vomit their food shortly after eating because the food is not getting to their stomachs correctly.

  • Weight loss: Your dog may lose weight if they are having trouble swallowing or are regurgitating its food.

  • Anorexia: Dogs with esophagitis may lose their appetite and stop eating since swallowing, and eating can be difficult and painful.

  • Respiratory signs: In severe cases of esophagitis, food can become stuck in the esophagus, which can lead to respiratory distress.


Physical examination, medical history, and diagnostic tests are frequently used to diagnose canine esophagitis. Common esophagitis diagnostic procedures include the following:

  • Radiography: X-rays can be used to detect any foreign objects that may be lodged in the esophagus, as well as to assess the shape and structure of the esophagus.

  • Endoscopy: Endoscopy is a diagnostic technique in which a tiny, flexible camera is inserted into the esophagus to see the inside of the tube. This examination is frequently used to identify esophagitis and assess the level of inflammation.

  • Biopsy: A biopsy is a procedure in which a tiny sample of esophagus tissue is removed for microscopic analysis. This examination can assist in identifying the underlying cause of esophagitis, which may be a bacterial or viral infection.

  • Barium Swallow Study: This test involves giving the dog a barium solution to drink and then taking X-rays to see how the barium moves through the esophagus. This test can help diagnose motility disorders, which can cause esophagitis.

  • Blood work: Blood work may be performed to assess the dog's overall health and to look for any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the development of esophagitis.

Treatment for Esophagitis in dogs

The underlying cause of the inflammation will determine the best course of treatment for canine esophagitis. Among the frequent methods of managing esophagitis are:

  • Medications: Corticosteroids can be used to reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort. Antacids and proton pump inhibitors may also be prescribed to manage acid reflux. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the esophagitis is caused by a bacterial infection.

  • Dietary changes: If the esophagitis is caused by acid reflux, your veterinarian may recommend switching to a diet that is low in fat and acid. This can help minimize the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach and prevent it from flowing back into the esophagus.

  • Surgery: If a foreign object is lodged in the esophagus, surgery may be necessary to remove the object and prevent further damage to the esophageal lining.

  • Management of underlying conditions: If the esophagitis is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism or an autoimmune disease, VETORYL and FUROSEMIDE may help alleviate the symptoms of esophagitis.

In general, canines with esophagitis typically react well to therapy, and with the right care, the majority of dogs can fully recover. The length of recovery will depend on the underlying cause. Esophagitis in dogs recovery time falls within a few days to a few weeks of starting treatment.

Prevention Tips

There are several steps you can take to help prevent esophagitis in your dog, including:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: As obesity is a risk factor for acid reflux, keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help lower the likelihood that it will get esophagitis.

  • Avoiding table scraps: Table scraps, especially those that are high in fat, can increase the risk of acid reflux and esophagitis.

  • Feeding smaller, more frequent meals: Feeding smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach and prevent it from flowing back into the esophagus.

  • Providing plenty of water: Providing lots of water will assist your dog in washing out any acid that may have refluxed into the esophagus and lower the risk of esophagitis.

  • Avoiding specific foods: Foods like chocolate, onions, and coffee might raise your risk of esophagitis and acid reflux.

  • Avoiding stressful circumstances: Because they raise your dog's chance of developing esophagitis and acid reflux, stressful situations like thunderstorms or fireworks should be avoided.

You can assist your dog in avoiding esophagitis and ensure that they may have a happy and healthy life by following these instructions and working closely with your veterinarian.

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