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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.

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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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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

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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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3320 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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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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3320 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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Gretta's Litter

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Boston Terrier

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6 Weeks

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Intermittent Vomiting

We have a litter of five Boston Terriers that are 6 weeks. We started weaning @ 4 weeks with very small amounts of pureed puppy food. We noticed that we had episodes of some mouth breathing with hyper-salivation. We thought it was respiratory and our vet prescribed abts. Now we have moved into total weaning and the problem is very intermittent and has effected all 5 of the puppies. They are gaining weight, and are otherwise healthy, happy puppies. We went 3 days without an episode then this morning 3 hours after eating, 3 of the puppies were hyper salivating and ended up regurgitating part of their undigested meal (small amount). We have tried different foods, but nothing has been successful. Is it possible we are dealing with a genetic pyloric issue in all 5 puppies (3 females; 2 males)? Puppies are all sold and scheduled for shipping the end of the month. We do not want to sell sick puppies. No veterinarian we have spoken to (3) with multiple years of experience have any answers. Do you recommend restarting the feeding process with something highly digestible then graduating them to a more age appropriate diet to rule out this condition? Is there some medication that could have with gastric irritation if that is what we are experiencing?

July 26, 2017

Gretta's Litter's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

If it is determined that the litter are affected by pyloric stenosis caused by a genetic trait (Boston Terriers are prone to this condition), it is best practice to have them removed from the breeding pool to prevent further puppies being born with the condition. To help with a diagnosis, it may be worth having an x-ray performed with contrast media on the most severely affected puppy to see if there are any anomalies with the pyloric canal or any other unusual finding which may cause the vomiting in all puppies. I am sure that other causes like infections, parasites and food spoilage have all be ruled out. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

Your response was very direct and quick. We will take the most affected male to our vet to start the process. We do not want our buyers to bear this cost and heartbreak. You are correct, all other causes have been ruled out. Thank you!

July 26, 2017

Gretta's Litter's Owner

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Juno

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Mixed breed (most likely a boxer pit bull mix)

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1.5 years old

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Shivering

My family adopted a rescue dog two weeks ago. After having her for 3 days we noticed she want eating drinking or having a bowl movement. We took her back to the dog shelter and they did xrays and a barium and the results were indicative of an obstruction in the pylori region. Surgery was performed one week ago but yielded no obstruction. The diagnosis was simply inflammation. Three days post surgery our dog was sneezing and breathing funny so we took her back to the shelter where she was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. She had been doing well and seemed to bed on the mend. Yesterday we fed her dry food for the first time. She awoke in the middle of the night throwing up and shivering. First she was throwing up her food and then yellow mucous looking fluid. Should we panic and take her to an emergency vet or could this simply be that the sudden change in dry food mixed with her possible pylori stenosis could simply be the culprit?

July 26, 2017

Juno's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It is possible that there is pyloric stenosis which causes problems with passage of digesta from the stomach to the duodenum. I would recommend moving back to the wet food for a few days to see if there is any improvement; if you are wanting to feed kibbles to Juno, you may need to slowly introduce the kibbles over time with 10%/90% for a few days, 20%/80% etc… If the vomiting continues, you should visit your Veterinarian for another examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

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Thunder

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Maltese

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15 Years

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Critical severity

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Pain

Dr. Callum thanks for the information. The tumor biopsy came back benign. My vet was shocked because she was almost positive it was Adenocarcinomas. She said it is benign tumors that can develop in small, older dogs. Actually she had never heard of it and had to research it. She has him scheduled for a surgery with a surgeon Tuesday afternoon. This will be eight days after his exploratory surgery. He did have a bowel movement last night. He is continuing to eat, but he does still have pain and discomfort about an hour after he eats. His bowel movement was diarrhea, but they told me to expect that the first time. He has not thrown up because he has been on the nausea medications, but he has licked at times like he may have been experiencing nausea. This morning he had pep in his step. My concern is surviving the surgery because of his age and recent surgery. My parents, who keep him when I am at work, tell me to delay the surgery until he is stronger. My vet tells me she expects his digestive tract to recover better after this upcoming surgery, because the surgery will correct the pyloric canal obstruction. She did say there is the risk of being under anesthesia, but she speaks very highly of the surgeon and says that she has lots of experience with this type of surgery. Again, what are his odds, in your opinion, of surviving this at 15 years of age? His blood work at the emergency clinic showed that he had very good liver levels. As a matter of fact, the vet there said it was really good for his age. I trust my vet, and if she thinks he needs it this soon, then there must be a good reason. My parents are really scared that he is going to die if he has the surgery this soon. What would you do if this were your dog?

July 26, 2017

Thunder's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Fantastic news that the tumours removed for Histopathology were benign, now the treatment plan needs to be reviewed; I agree with your Veterinarian that surgery is better to be done soon rather than later, the biggest risk for surgery in older dogs is the level of liver function, if Thunder’s liver is functioning well it would be best to operate and have one ongoing recovery time than him recovering and then after a period of time putting him through surgery and recovery again. Please bear in mind that all surgery carries a level of risk and healthy young dogs may pass away during surgery due to unforeseen circumstances (but is very rare). Although I haven’t seen the extent of the tumours on the stomach to determine the possible success of surgery; your Veterinarian visually examined the tumours and removed two of them during the exploratory laparotomy so she would have a better idea of the chance for success. Based on the information you gave me, I would go ahead with the surgery which would mean he would recover overall faster. I wish Thunder the best for Tuesday and a speedy recovery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

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Rossi

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Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

11 Years

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Critical severity

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My 11 year old chocolate Labrador was diagnosed 2 years ago with thicking of the pyloric vale he has managed on a diet of 6 small soft easy digest meals a day with 30 min break from food and exercise before able to have water and keep it down, he used to vomit about once a month on this strict plan but now it’s become harder to control he can only manage short walks if he goes to far he’s sick Also vomits once a week So we took him back to the vets to see if it had got worse only to find he now has a splenic mass we have the option to leave it and he will just sadly bleed to death one day could be a month or 2 or do surgery to remove the mass if not cancerous and he manages to recover from the surgery all is ok but he can’t have surgery on his pyloric as they have refused to do this in the dogs best interests if it is cancer then sadly even with removing the spleen the cancer will spread withIn 2 months Bringing his life to an end Currently I don’t want to say yes to surgery even if it’s cancer or not cancer as we won’t know until we do surgery, my worry is we put him through surgery and he still passes away due to his pyloric vale getting worse and unable to eat Anyone know What is the life expectancy of a dog with a Chronic pyloric vale issues ?? To help me decide

Narrowing of the Pyloric Canal Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$3,000