Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Narrowing of the Esophagus in Cats

ADVERTISEMENT

Esophageal Stricture in Cats

 

The esophagus is the tubular organ that runs from the throat to the stomach; an esophageal stricture is an abnormal narrowing of the internal open space of the esophagus. There is no apparent genetic factor involved, and it occurs in cats at any age.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Regurgitation (return of food or other contents from the esophagus)
  • Liquid meals are often tolerated better than solid meals
  • Difficulty swallowing is seen with upper esophageal strictures
  • Howling, crying, or yelping during swallowing when the cat has active inflammation of the esophagus
  • Good appetite initially; eventually, lack of appetite with progressive esophageal narrowing and inflammation
  • Weight loss and malnutrition as the disease progresses
  • Weight loss to severe weight loss with muscle wasting in cats with chronic or advanced stricture
  • Excessive production of saliva and drooling, and/or reacting in pain when touched on the neck and esophagus may be seen in cats with inflammation of the esophagus at the same time the stricture is present
  • Progressive regurgitation and difficulty swallowing may lead to aspiration pneumonia
  • Abnormal lung or breathing sounds, such as wheezing and coughing, may be detected in cats with aspiration pneumonia

 

Causes

 

  • Backward or reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux) during anesthesia - most common
  • Backward or reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus, unrelated to anesthesia (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Esophageal surgery
  • Ingestion of chemical irritants
  • Esophageal retention of pills and capsules
  • Esophageal foreign object
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Cancer
  • Mass lesion (known as a granuloma) secondary to the parasite Spirocerca lupi; occasionally seen in the southeastern United States

 

Diagnosis

 

Your veterinarian will want to rule out many of the possible diseases or conditions that might cause these symptoms. For example, if your cat has just been weaned, an abnormality called vascular ring anomaly may be the problem. In order to arrive at a definite diagnosis, your doctor may conduct a barium-contrast X-ray, which uses a radiopaque fluid in the esophageal passage, so that the passage of the liquid shows on the X-ray image, revealing abnormalities in the passage. An X-ray may reveal a foreign body caught in the esophagus. An insertable visual diagnostic tool called an endoscope can also be useful for visually examining the esophagus in closer detail. Your doctor will also be looking for tumors and masses.

 

 

 

Related Articles

Acid Reflux in Cats
The uncontrollable reverse flow of gastric or intestinal fluids into the tube connecting...
READ MORE
Narrowing of the Anal or Rectal Opening in ...
Rectal stricture occurs when a cat's rectal or anal opening is constricted due to...
READ MORE
Intestinal Tumors (Apudomas) in Cats
Adenoma is a gastrointestinal tumor which secretes peptide hormones -- hormones that...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search cat Articles

 

 

Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM