Esophagitis is an inflammation of the mucosa lining the esophagus. A special type of this condition is known as reflux-esophagitis.
Anorexia, retching, vomiting and excessive swallowing of saliva are typical symptoms of esophagitis. Affected animals often utter in pain when swallowing or refuse food and drink all together. Some dogs will start to eat grass. If no water is consumed they may become dehydrated. As a complication of the condition, vomit may be discharged into the airways and cause pneumonia. A typical symptom of reflux-espohagitis is vomiting before meals in the morning or evening. The vomit may contain traces of blood or pure bile.
Esophagitis can be caused by the consumption of toxic substances such as strongly acidic or basic substances, and hot foods. It can also be caused by infection or trauma, for example, a foreign body. Reflux-esophagitis occurs when gastric acid leaves the stomach and irritates the lower portion of the esophagus.
Diagnosis is based upon clinical history and thorough examination of the patient. Food should be withdrawn and intravenous fluid administered during the first phase of treatment. Acid-blocking drugs and anti-inflammatory medicine help to reduce irritation and allow the mucosa to heal. Once food can be offered, a sensitivity diet should be followed.
If your dog is showing symptoms of esophagitis, consult a vet in the near future. Severe cases should be referred to a clinic immediately. Please take a look at the following diet, as it may be beneficial to your animal.