If the diverticulum is small and is not causing significant clinical signs, your veterinarian may only recommend a change in diet for you dog. A soft, bland diet, given frequently and followed by copious liquids, will most likely travel through the esophagus to the stomach unhindered. If the diverticulum is large, or is associated with significant clinical signs, surgical resection will probably be recommended. The potential for food being drawn into the lungs, and leading to aspiration pneumonia makes the importance of dietary management key to avoiding fatal complications. Aggressive care will be called for if aspiration pneumonia is present. Fluid therapy, antibiotics, and nutrition via tube will be necessary. Your veterinarian will prescribe medications for your dog on the basis of the diagnosis.
Living and Management
Your doctor will want to monitor your dog for evidence and prevention of infection or aspiration pneumonia. You will need to maintain a positive nutritional balance throughout the disease process. Patients with diverticula and impaction (i.e., food material that is packed tightly) are predisposed to perforation, fistula, stricture, and postoperative rupturing of the incision. For this reason, your veterinarian will want to revisit your dog on a regular schedule. Prognosis is guarded in patients with large diverticula and overt clinical signs.
A band of tissue that makes a passage narrower
The windpipe; it carries air from the bronchi to the mouth
Small structures that filter out the lymph and store lymphocytes
The tube that extends from the mouth to the stomach
The sac in the wall of a tube shaped organ
The muscle in the abdomen that aids in breathing
The digestive tract containing the stomach and intestine