Dog stomach blockages (also called
gastric outflow obstruction) occur when the stomach has trouble
contents. The pyloric canal is a stomach outlet where inflammation and
scarring block the pyloric canal. There are two forms, complete and
In younger dogs, a condition called pyloric stenosis, where there is a
narrowing between the stomach and the small intestine is a common cause
of any blockage. The condition causes fluids to accumulate in the
stomach. When the dog vomits it results in the loss of fluid, causing
dehydration and other symptoms. When the small intestine is obstructed
vomiting also results.
Conditions that block the digestive system and causes a dog stomach
blockage includes ulcers and gastritis. Other
(rare in dogs). Neoplasia are tumors that grow and
obstruct the gastrointestinal system.
Dog Neoplasia Stomach Obstruction
(type of neoplasia or tumors) masses were diagnosed based on biopsies
taken endoscopically. Gastric outlet obstruction was almost complete in
Photo Credit: R.M. Bright
Dogs with flat faces (brachycephalic)
can get a condition
congenital pyloric stenosis. Affects any brachycephalic breed such as
bulldogs, boxers and Boston terriers).
Acquired chronic hypertrophic gastropathy occurs in Lhasa
Shih tzus, Poodles and Pekingese
Large breed dogs suffer from gastric dilation and
If the stomach is only partially blocked then one symptom is
more than 12 hours after eating. Vomiting should be differentiated from
regurgitation. Vomiting food 8 hours or more after eating is
consistent with gastric retention. Regurgitation after eating is not.
You might see blood and partially digested food. If completely blocked
then your dog will vomit forcibly right after eating.
Other symptoms include:
Excessive salivation (ptyalism)
Lack of appetite
Dark stools that contain blood (melena)
A dog stomach blockage is diagnosed with X-Rays or ultrasound. Other
include a Gastroscopy or GI series, blood and urine tests. The
veterinarian will look for abdominal pain, signs of dehydration, or any
The veterinarian will look in the mouth for any foreign bodies.
Other possible causes that need to be eliminated before
Surgery is used to correct the dog stomach blockage or
obstructions are treated as an emergency. Intravenous fluids are needed
to rehydrate the patient and to provide circulatory support.
After vomiting has ended, a bland diet is provided for 1 to 2
After 2 days a patient can resume a normal diet
If surgery is used, patients are monitored for peritonitis
(inflammation). Dogs with obstructions caused by foreign objects are
often repeat offenders and will need to be monitored.
The prognosis for an obstruction or dog stomach blockage is good to
excellent in uncomplicated cases.
prognosis is initially guarded where there is any perforation of the
intestines. Any folding of the peritoneum that attaches the
stomach, small intestine, pancreas, spleen and other organs to the
posterior wall of the abdomen leads to a poor to grave prognosis.
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