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What is Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal?

The pyloric canal connects the stomach to the small intestine. A small band of muscles called the pyloric sphincter opens and closes during digestion to allow food to pass into the small intestine. If the pyloric sphincter is too narrow or the passage becomes blocked, food will have nowhere to go. This is called pyloric stenosis; it usually results from a thickening of the muscles and mucosa and sometimes a tumor or lesion can occur in this area as well. Pyloric stenosis leads to the development of chronic pyloric hypertrophic gastropathy (CHPG) with symptoms of vomiting and often weight loss and dehydration. This is a congenital condition is many brachycephalic breeds. Puppies are born with an abnormality in the smooth muscles of the pyloric canal and will develop symptoms as soon as they start eating solid food. Other breeds may develop the condition later in life. Left untreated, CHPG can be fatal since the dog will be unable to absorb adequate nutrition. In most cases, the muscles can be reopened with surgery so that food can pass properly and the dog will recover.

If the pyloric canal becomes too narrow, it will cause blockage between the stomach and the small intestine and dogs will have symptoms of chronic vomiting. Veterinarians call this pyloric stenosis. In dogs, it can usually be treated successfully with surgery.

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Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $1,500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$3,000

Symptoms of Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal in Dogs

Dogs should be evaluated by a veterinarian any time they have symptoms of chronic vomiting that occur one or more times per week. The following signs could suggest narrowing of the pyloric canal.

  • Chronic intermittent vomiting
  • Vomiting undigested food several hours after eating
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Regurgitation
  • Failure to gain weight (in puppies)
  • Weight loss
  • Thirst
  • Aspiration pneumonia

Types

There are two types of pyloric stenosis.

Congenital 

Dogs with an inherited condition often develop symptoms upon weaning. This is more common in brachycephalic breeds.

  •  Boxers
  • Boston Terriers
  • Bulldogs

Acquired 

Dogs can acquire the condition at any point in their lives. The acquired version is more common in some breeds.

  • Lhasa Apso
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pekinese
  • Poodle
  • Rottweiler
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Causes of Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal in Dogs

Many factors can contribute to a dog developing pyloric stenosis, especially conditions which increase the amount of gastrin in the stomach and cause inflammation in the mucosa.

  • Ulcers
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Tumor
  • Stress

The condition is more common in male than in female dogs. It is also usually more serious in small dogs that already have less space in their stomach.

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Diagnosis of Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal in Dogs

The veterinarian will thoroughly examine your dog and likely take bloodwork and urine tests. Other potential causes will have to be eliminated, including infection or an autoimmune response that is causing chronic gastritis. If all other tests come back normal, and your dog has been showing symptoms for some time, the veterinarian may suspect pyloric stenosis. Breed and age factors can be relevant, so the veterinarian will need a complete family history. Taking note of when the symptoms first started is also important.

Abdominal x-rays will be taken. Veterinarians often add contrast dyes to make it easier to see what is happening to the fluids in the stomach. X-rays will usually show that the stomach is enlarged and that it is not emptying into the intestine at the appropriate time. In many cases, endoscopy is needed to make a definitive diagnosis. This procedure involves inserting a camera down the throat to take pictures of the inside of the stomach. The dog will be anesthetized for this procedure. The veterinarian will also be able to check for tumors and cancerous lesions at the same time and may take biopsies of the gastrointestinal walls. The veterinarian could decide to perform exploratory surgery instead of endoscopy.

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Treatment of Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal in Dogs

Surgery is the most common treatment for pyloric stenosis. Dogs with severe symptoms of vomiting may need to be treated supportively until they are healthy enough for surgery. Your dog might need intravenous fluids or medication to resolve the alkalosis that can occur after vomiting stomach acid.

The veterinarian will usually perform a pyloromyotomy or a pyloroplasty. These types of surgeries involve opening the pyloric sphincter and widening it so that food can pass into the intestine properly. If there is a tumor this will be removed, and the vet will do a biopsy to determine if it is cancerous. The dog will likely need to stay in a veterinary hospital several days after surgery to recover, and may need to be on a special diet until the stomach has healed. The vet might prescribe antibiotics to limit infection as well as anti-emetic medication.

In most cases, surgery is successful. If the dog still has mild symptoms of vomiting the veterinarian may prescribe medication and suggest frequent small meals to limit the problem. This treatment could also be recommended instead of surgery for mild conditions, or for dogs that are not healthy enough to have surgery.

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Recovery of Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal in Dogs

The prognosis for pyloric stenosis is good and most dogs will make a full recovery. This is a common condition in dogs, and it is frequently treated successfully. Some conditions may need to be managed by limiting meal size and medication, or the veterinarian may recommend certain food that is easier for your dog to digest. In a few cases, a second surgery could be required if severe symptoms persist. If the condition is cancerous, it could pose more of a problem, but this is rare.

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Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $1,500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$3,000

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Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Baby Bell

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Pug

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9 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Only Passes Liquid

My pup (full pug) was born (my litter) 7/29/17. She is classic text book chronic hypertrophic pyloric gastropathy - right at weaning she was symptomatic. Being the runt, I assumed it was worms, but being so small we were careful on dosing that young (5 - 6 weeks). Once from "gruel" to softened kibble - so ensued the daily vomiting. Some day we nursed her through the shock when we weren't paying attention and others she did very well. Diagnoses with local vet about a month ago. At least we have an answer. Actually we have a really kewl video of her tummy - looks like she has an alien inside. We are NOT rich people and I need help or a recommendation of a good university program that may not be so expensive. We are open to travel - thank you

May 14, 2018

Baby Bell's Owner

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0 Recommendations

I’m not aware of any specific university program or any other offering, there are options for raising money or getting assistance with the cost of any treatment or surgery by reaching out to nonprofit organisation which may be able to assist with cost or refer you to an appropriate program. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.dogingtonpost.com/need-help-with-vet-bills-or-pet-food-there-are-resources-available/

May 15, 2018

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Gideon Dozer

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Boxerdoodle

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Gideon was originally diagnosed with pancreatitis and IBD in June. He's been on a strict diet and meds... Prednisone and Tylan Powder. He is still on those but I recently started Cerenia to try to stop the vomiting. After doing great from the end of June until Oct., (even weaning off the Prednisone), he tanked. He is having bouts of vomiting for 3 days, good for 3-5, then back to vomiting. He begun to refuse food, and I estimate he has lost at 5+ lbs. (79 lbs down to maybe 73). He had bloodwork, ultrasound & fecal test in June; would those have determined if this was his issue? What test would he need, and how healthy does he need to be, because he is really going downhill quickly.

Dec. 8, 2017

Gideon Dozer's Owner

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0 Recommendations

You should return Gideon to your Veterinarian for an examination and a check of the pancreas and bowel; it may be that you need to return him back to the prednisone, but this would be based on an examination by your Veterinarian. These types of cases can be difficult to manage and may become unpredictable, but without examining Gideon I cannot give you any guidance on what to do next. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Dec. 8, 2017

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Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $1,500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$3,000

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