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Inflammation of the Esophagus in Dogs



If gastrointestinal reflux is the cause of the esophagitis, your veterinarian will treat the cause and the symptoms to reduce their amount and frequency, and also to prevent the esophagus from narrowing in response to the stress and trauma.


If your dog is found to have a case of mild esophagitis it may be treated as an outpatient and will not likely need to be admitted into hospital. However, if your dog is suffering from complications like pneumonia, it will need to be admitted into hospital for intensive care and treatment. Fluids will be required for patients suffering from dehydration, and oxygen will be supplemented until your dog's breathing has improved and it is out of danger. Antibiotics are often required to treat pneumonia in affected patients, but this is not always the case.


Living and Management


Your veterinarian may recommend withholding water and food for a few days. While your dog is recovering, there are various methods for giving nutrition, including intravenous nutrition.


When your dog is able to ingest food again, a soft, palatable and highly nutritious food is recommended. Follow up progress checkups are an important part of after care, and endoscopy examinations are usually performed to verify that the esophagus is healing properly. The prognosis for affected animals is good if the esophagitis is recognized and treated promptly and aggressively. However, if the condition has progressed to the point that the esophagus has formed a stricture (narrowing), the prognosis is usually very poor.



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