Inflammation of the Esophagus Average Cost

From 79 quotes ranging from $800 - 4,000

Average Cost

$2,300

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What are Inflammation of the Esophagus?

Esophagitis is described when the esophagus (a tunneled canal that is lined with mucous membrane and linking the throat to the stomach) becomes inflamed within its inner and outer layers.  Inflammation of the esophagus may result from conditions such as acid reflux, obstruction due to a foreign object, or neoplasia. The most common indicator of esophagitis in dogs is struggles with food consumption and fluid intake. Your pet may regurgitate his food or show signs of discomfort when swallowing. Mild inflammation often has no obvious symptoms. Medication is most often the course of treatment, though in some cases, surgery is needed.

Inflammation of the esophagus can be a secondary complication resulting from a wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders. Inflammation, such as with esophagitis, typically occurs when there is an illness involving the gastrointestinal tract.

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Symptoms of Inflammation of the Esophagus in Dogs

  • Pain 
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Poor posture and movement
  • Excessive reflux or regurgitation

Types

There are many types of disorders of the esophagus that can cause inflammation.  

  • Esophageal foreign bodies
  • Acid reflux
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Congenital lower esophagus sphincter abnormality
  • Strictures
  • Megaesophagus (dilation of the esophagus)
  • Esophageal diverticula (expansion of the esophageal wall)
  • Infections (aspiration pneumonia)
  • Parasitic infections (protozoa, ringworm, tapeworm, whipworms, flukes)
  • Viral infections (rotavirus, parvovirus, coronavirus)
  • Bacterial infections: (salmonella, e.coli)
  • Various medications (antibiotics, nonsteroidal inflammatory agents)
  • Tumors
  • Cricopharyngeal achalasia (swallowing disorder)
  • Stomach ulcers (infected with H.Pylori)

Causes of Inflammation of the Esophagus in Dogs

  • The swallowing and ingestion of foreign bodies, such as bones or toys, often cause esophagitis in canines
  • Esophageal strictures can be associated with the act of consuming foreign bodies and can cause inflammation
  • Any disease that causes acute or chronic emesis (vomiting) can result in gastroesophageal reflux disease where reflux consistently flows from the stomach to the esophagus
  • One of the reasons for reflux could be the abnormal functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter 
  • When the sphincter is closed, food and acids are not allowed to flow backwards into the esophagus;  if your dog has recently undergone anesthesia, this can cause the sphincter to relax and remain that way too long, allowing the flow of acids to enter the esophagus
  • Dogs with narrow nostrils and shorter noses (known as Brachycephalic breeds) such as Pugs, English and French Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-Peis, and Chow Chows are known to have a congenital condition that results in the abnormal functioning of the diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
  • This hernia occurs when the muscle lining of the hiatus (initial part of the diaphragm) weakens, allowing the stomach contents to protrude through the diaphragm and into the chest region
  • Neoplastic tumors, toxicity (like poisoning due to ingestion of cleaning products or rodenticide), parasites, and bacterial or viral infections also contribute to inflammation

Diagnosis of Inflammation of the Esophagus in Dogs

If you or your veterinarian suspect that blockage is due to a lodged foreign object, he may conduct thoracic and neck x-rays.  An esophagogram, which is the use of barium contrast (barium sulfate or iodinated contrast) is a diagnostic tool that can actively visualize the inside of your dog’s body as he consumes food. This provides further information that includes the size, content, and overall condition of the gastrointestinal tract.

The use of an endoscope may be suggested as it has a camera attached that can take photographs and take tissue samples for testing.   An additional tool is the esophagoscopy, taking a step further as it uses the endoscope to inspect the condition of the esophageal mucosa.

Contrast radiology, biopsy, and esophagoscopy can also be done to check for strictures, reflux, and neoplastic growth.  A complete blood count and biochemical profile are standard tests to be done that examine the specific amount of red and white blood cells, in addition to platelets, to determine whether they are neoplastic cells.

Treatment of Inflammation of the Esophagus in Dogs

There are many ways to treat inflammation of the esophagus, starting with dietary management.  Based on the severity of the blockage, stricture, or reflux, food and water intake should be restricted to allow the esophagus to heal (symptoms could worsen and the overall health of your pet could deteriorate).  A low fat and low protein diet rich in carbohydrates should be given in small increments along with foods that do not have allergens, including soy, rice and gluten. If your pet is a candidate for surgery, the use of IV fluids (especially electrolytes and potassium) or a feeding tube that is directly inserted into the stomach, bypassing the esophagus completely may be necessary to allow it to heal.   

Using medications such as gastric acid inhibitors (antacids) that decrease the amount of gastric stomach acid produced may be prescribed. Esophageal or gastric coating agents can be used to protect and soothe the lining of the esophagus due to consistent exposure to stomach acids.  Gastrointestinal motility drugs can aid with swallowing.  Antibiotics can be used to eliminate and kill harmful bacteria, in addition to pain medication to reduce any discomfort. Nonsteroidal inflammatory agents should be used with discretion, as they are well known to cause ulcers.  

Strictures (narrowing) of the esophagus can occur due to severe esophagitis. Balloon catheter therapy is done with an endoscope to widen the stricture, and may be done a couple of times more to ensure that the results are permanent. Rigid endoscopy removal may also be helpful to remove foreign bodies such as toys or bones as the use of the forceps enables maneuverable ability to grasp objects. However, surgery may be necessary based on the level of damage and the cause. A transthoracic esophagostomy may be required for larger foreign bodies. Tumors may be treated with aggressive chemotherapy drugs or radiation.

Recovery of Inflammation of the Esophagus in Dogs

The use of medication is extremely helpful in countering the symptoms of esophagitis. Your veterinarian may advise you to refrain from solid foods and water for up to 3—5 days. The outlook and prognosis of mild to moderate esophagitis is good. Dogs with strictures have a more guarded prognosis as esophageal perforation (a hole in the esophagus leading to the stomach) may occur with balloon catheter therapy and can be lethal. However, if your dog is diagnosed with neoplastic tumor growth, the prognosis is considered to be very poor with a life expectancy of 1-2 months (no treatment) and up to 12-14 months (with treatment).

Inflammation of the Esophagus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Teddy
Maltese
9 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Gagging
Vomiting
Regurgitation
Breathing Difficulty when gagging

Medication Used

emeprid
Losec
Antepsin

Hi there,

My dog ate the zipper off a zip at the end of Jan and needed stomach surgery to remove it. Although he recovered from the stitches etc, it became obvious fairly quickly that he had a new problem as he was unable to keep food down. Our vet diagnosed him with oesophagitis after an endoscopy and it was determined that he developed this condition as a result of the anaesthetic rather than swallowing the zip.

Ever since, I've been feeding him soft food from a height but if he gets even the smallest amount of food on the ground and eats that, he vomits up lots of foam and sometimes bile from his stomach.

My main question is how long should it take for his oesophagus to recover and if there is a stricture there, will that actually heal by itself or does it need medical intervention?

At the moment the vet has prescribed antepsin, losec and emeprid but I thought maybe they are also causing his stomach to be upset and might be while bile is coming up at times. Would it be a good idea to stop all meds and see how he gets on then?

Is the main thing to ensure he doesn't vomit at all in order for it to start the healing process? For example last week he had 4 days of no vomiting and then ate a cooked mushroom off the ground and vomited that back up immediately with foam. Over the next 2 days, at some point he brought up a small bit of bile so I'm not sure if that was a result of the set back the day before or whether it's from the medication as both incidents weren't at feeding time?

The good thing is that he is in great form and is still interested in food - too much actually as he is searching the floors for anything that's dropped which I'm trying to avoid!

Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Anna

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
Whilst it isn’t common, in some cases acid from the stomach will leak into the esophagus causing irritation and in some cases strictures; if there is a stricture present and there is no improvement in the condition, balloon dilation therapy may be used to try to increase the size of the lumen at the point of the stricture. It is important to continue with the medications prescribed by your Veterinarian and to not allow anything to drop on the floor, you should also punish Teddy for eating off the floor as an attempt to discourage this behaviour (I know it can be difficult). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Grady
Wire Fox Terrier
8 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Regurgitating,
Throwing up

My 8 yr old wire hair Fox Terrier got into a bowl of spaghetti and ate a lot! After she ate it, she started throwing up, at times gag like throwing up.
A couple days later she started regurgitating. Took her to the veterinarian, after X-rays they diagnosed her with Mega Esophagus. She didn’t have any problems before the spaghetti incident.
Could it really be because of that and not ME?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Secondary mega esophagus can be caused by inflammation of the esophagus, so I would say that is possible, yes. Regardless of the cause, the mega esophagus needs to be treated - I'm not sure what therapy Grady is on, but it would be best to follow up with your veterinarian for further care. I hope that things resolve for Grady and he gets back to his normal self!

Thank you for your help. She is on antacids, Metoclopramide & Sucralfate. We are feeding her at an incline and her food is a slurry, kinda like melting ice cream. After she eats, we hold her up for about 30 minutes.
If this was the cause, is there hope that once the esophagus possibly heals that this could correct itself?

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Doakes
Sheepadoodle
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Difficulty eating
Wheezing
Coughing

Medication Used

Famotidine
Sucralfate

Our dog has been having difficulty eating. While he's eating he stops to wheeze and cough and seems like he has difficulty breathing. We took him to the vet and have just started doing the medication that coats his throat as well as a soft foods diet, as they think it's an inflamed esophagus. How long does it typically take for medication like this to work? Could it have been caused by chewing on a bully stick?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining him, I can't comment on how quickly he should recover, but if he did have some irritation to his esophagus, the medications should start to help within a day or two. If it has been longer than that, he may need a follow up visit to assess whether things are getting better or not, and if he is responding to the medications, or if he needs a different course of treatment. I hope that he gets better quickly!

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Jagger
Dachshund sheltie mix
3 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

discomfort
Vomiting
Discomfort when swallowing
Choking/coughing

Medication Used

none

My puppy is a little over 3 months old. 2 days ago someone gave her a bunch of cooked white chicken meat at about 4 pm. It was an excessive amount and i asked him to stop and he gave her more. My gut told me it wasn’t good. Then she went to the vet for her first check up. I told the vet and he wasn’t worried and said she looked perfect. She got 2 vaccinations and I brought her home. She slept the rest of the night and at about 3 am she threw up. In her vomit was the chicken and Christmas tree pine needles from our tree. She threw up approximately once every 1-1.5 hrs until 9 am. After the first 2 vomits everything after that was stomach bile. At 9 was when I called the vet and they said to bring her.. He didn’t see any obvious signs of obstruction so we gave her fluids and anti nausea medication. He said we could do a radiograph but it was expensive so I said we would hold off for now. I took her home and she slept all day. She got up a few times to drink water and pee but that was it. In the night she would wake up and have to pee and then drink more water. She finally started wagging her tail and giving kisses again but is still very lethargic and won’t eat. She also has not pooped in more than 24 hrs. Now what we have noticed is that when she drinks she will take a few sips and then sort of cough/choke and it seems unconfortable to swallow. Is it possibly that her esophagus could be inflamed from all of the vomiting? I also was worried that there could be a pine needle stuck in her throat. What do you think of all this?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
When I was reading your question I was thinking about the possibility of a pine needle being stuck in the throat since the small size and folds of the tissue make a good environment for problems. Lethargy isn’t uncommon after a multiple bouts of vomiting and reduced food intake, I would keep an eye on Jagger and possibly try to feed some wet food with some plain canned pumpkin to see if some bowel movement can be made. If the coughing/choking continues, you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Apollo
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
10 months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Drooling

We have a staffordshire bull terrier, 10 months old. Yesterday he suddenly started drooling, drinking a lot of water and acted like he couldn't breathe. Rushed him to vet, x-rays showed a lot if swelling in esophagus. Gave him a steroid shot and sent him home with a script for antacids. We spoon fed him a can of dog food last night. What caused thus sudden onset? Is there anything else we need to do. We rescued this sweetie from a terrible situation and want the best for him.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
Swelling or inflammation of the esophagus may be caused by a variety of different causes but is mainly attributable to acid reflux, poisoning or consumption of caustic substances or foreign objects; management is generally to control inflammation and reduce stomach acid. This is the first step in treatment and is generally effective, if the condition continues then further diagnostic testing would be required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Apollo
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
10 months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

We have a 10month old staffordshire bull terrier that started having trouble. Rushed him to the vet, x-rays only showed a lot swelling in the esophagus. They gave him steroid shot and a shot to relax him, sent him home with a prescription for antacid. We spoon fed him a small can of food last night. Will the prescribed meds help? What causes this? It appeared suddenly.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
Swelling or inflammation of the esophagus may be caused by a variety of different causes but is mainly attributable to acid reflux, poisoning or consumption of caustic substances or foreign objects; management is generally to control inflammation and reduce stomach acid. This is the first step in treatment and is generally effective, if the condition continues then further diagnostic testing would be required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Frankie
Shetland Sheepdog
9 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

foam
Bile
Regurgitation

Medication Used

Famotidine

About 2 weeks after a full dental with extractions, my 9 year old Sheltie began regurgitating all solid foods. We were quickly prescribed an R/X canned diet of a low fat food. He had a series of x-rays to verify no obstructions and an even more advanced series of x-rays that ruled out megaesophagus. However, when he eats anything even remotely solid, he regurgitates these foamy fluid sacs. Sometimes the food stays down, sometimes it doesn't. To keep food down, I have resorted to poaching turkey, sweet potatotes and veggies and pureeing them to the point of near liquid and he keeps that down (there's vitamin powder in it too). We stopped taking Rimadyl and have been on famotidine for a month. Nothing has improved. If he finds a cat treat or sneaks any solid food, it's foamy reguritate city. We have an appointment in 8 days (the first available) at the local university for evaluation by internal medicine. Have you heard of such a thing. His symptoms mimi mega-E the most but fortunately that has been ruled out. Any thoughts?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
This does sound like classic megaesophagus with other usual possible causes being also ruled out by x-ray (tumour, foreign objects, strictures etc…). I am just trying to think of another cause which would cause regurgitation without showing signs on x-ray. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Max
Husky mixed with other
10 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Stomach lining red
Bloated Abdomen
Not eating food
Inflamed esophagus
Vomiting small amounts

Medication Used

Rimadyl 1/2 2xdaily
Betamox 500 2xdaily
Ulasanic 5ml 3xdaily
Metronidazole 400mg

My dog Max has not been well for the last 2 weeks. Eating barely anything and vomiting bile. On the 18th we took her to our vet, where he gave her and antibiotic. We returned with max to the vet on the 19th, where he then did blood tests and an X-ray, where he noted a blockage. Upon cutting her open found it was a twisting of the small intestine. He untwisted it and flushed out the blockage. We picked her up the following day.

Thursday the 20th. She then returned home, we continued with her antibiotics etc. and she still did not eat. Her behaviour returned to normal, except still not eating or barking. On Sunday evening the23rd, we took her back and the vet perhaps thought it was a gut problem. He gave probiotics and an injectable antibiotic. And told to return the next morning if she hadn't improved her eating. Her appetite increased marginally so We took her back on Monday morning.

He then kept her for past 2 nights, and did an esophagoscopy and noted that her esophagus was extremely inflamed and her stomach lining is red, but was unsure as to why her stomach was still bloated. He also did another enema.
She is home now, still not interested in food (although I do understand that it may be painful to eat) we are giving her tablets crushed up with yogurt in a suringe.

I am really concerned as to why her stomach is still bloated. I softly rubbed her stomach a couple hours ago and she vomited up a small amount of stuff whilst I was still sitting there with her.

Do you perhaps have any opinions on what could be going on? Really concerned and scared to just "ignore" the bloated stomach.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations

Bloating in the stomach is probably due to a lack of food intake (acid in the stomach) and feeding yogurt to an empty stomach can cause vomiting. I don’t want to recommend anything as Max is under her Veterinarian’s duty of care; but possibly reducing the acid production and encouraging eating with a bland diet may help, but discuss with your Veterinarian first as she is after surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lily
Beagle
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Red esophogus
Vomiting

My 2 year old beagle has been diagnosed with esophagitis. We have been feeding her very small amounts of Science Diet Low fat I/D but she vomits everytime she eats. I read that you recommended a low fat, low protein, high carb diet for this diagosis. What could I cook for her to eat? She is taking an antibiotic and acid reducer at this time.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
If Lily is having trouble to keep down any type of food, it may be best to try and give her boiled chicken breast and rice (33%:67%) as this is high quality protein and low fat which is also bland and non-irritating; also feeding her on a flight of stairs may help, if you put the food bowl on a high step with her front legs one or two steps down and her back legs further down it may help from a gravity point of view. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Max
Husky/mix other
10 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness
Not eating at all
Drinks water occasionally
Inflamed esophagus

Medication Used

Rimadyl
Ulsanic 5ml 3xdaily
Metronidazole 400mg 2xdaily
Betamox 500mg 2xdaily
Probiotic

My dog Max has not been well for the last 2 weeks. Eating barely anything and vomiting bile. On the 18th we took her to our vet, where he gave her and antibiotic. We returned with max to the vet on the 19th, where he then did blood tests and an X-ray, where he noted a blockage. Upon cutting her open found it was a twisting of the small intestine. He untwisted it and flushed out the blockage. We picked her up the following day. Thursday the 20th. She then returned home, we continued with her antibiotics etc. and she still did not eat. Her behaviour returned to normal, except still not eating or barking. On Sunday evening the23rd, we took her back and the vet perhaps thought it was a gut problem. He gave probiotics and an injectable antibiotic. And told to return the next morning if she hadn't improved her eating. Her appetite increased marginally so We took her back on Monday morning. He then kept her for 2 nights, and did an esophagoscopy and noted that her esophagus was extremely inflamed and her stomach lining is red, but was unsure as to why her stomach was still bloated. He also did another enema. She is home now, still not interested in food (although I do understand that it may be painful to eat). It has now been 2 weeks and she still hasn't eaten at all, and is not interested in food. We are giving her tablets crushed up with chicken broth through a syringe to her.
She is suddenly looking a lot weaker over the last 36 hours. She did drink quite a bit of water earlier. Our vet will only be available in 20 hours as he has no emergency contact number. What do you suggest we give her now to help boost her energy and help her through the night?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations

Whilst Ulsanic is a gastroprotectant, a medication like Pepcid may reduce acid in the stomach which could help reduce inflammation in the oesophagus due to acid reflux (quite likely if she isn’t eating and the stomach is empty). I understand that your Veterinarian is unavailable, but if Max is getting weaker it would be best to visit an Emergency Clinic as I cannot recommend any medication for Max without examining her in the condition she is in. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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