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Pyloric Stenosis in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

While pyloric Stenosis is a condition that can affect cats, it is far more common in dogs which is why we’re going to focus our discussion on our canine friends.

That said however…

Much of the information discuss below will be equally applicable to our feline friends so if you feel that your cat may be suffering from this condition, feel free to keep on reading because we feel that you too will be able to find a lot of valuable information here as well.

Because…

At the end of the day whether it’s a dog or a cat that has this condition, one should not take its presence lightly!  You see, pyloric stenosis is a medical condition that affects the tubing that allows the stomach to pass food onto the small intestine where it can be ‘processed’ by the body.

Now obviously this…

Can develop into a very dangerous condition because it prevents your poor pup from being able to gain any nutrients from the food they eat.

In fact…

Dogs with this condition can eat all they like and it won’t pass through the body. Rather, the “unfortunate” pooch will vomit it all back up again.

And while…

This is certainly going to be quite unpleasant for you and for your housekeeping abilities, it is actually quite serious for the dog.  You see, prolonged exposure to this condition can lead to starvation in undiagnosed dogs, ending ultimately in death.

And the problem is…

It’s not only hard to diagnose this tricky condition, but it is also only treatable via surgery. So, if your dog does contract this condition you can pretty much bet on the fact that it is going to be pretty costly to fix!

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet wanted to take a moment and take a closer look at Pyloric Stenosis and find out what it is, what it does and how we go about treating or identifying it so that if you do find yourself in the position of owning a dog that develops this condition, you’ll be better prepared to know what to expect!

So, what is pyloric stenosis in dogs and what does it do?

The first thing we should probably mention about pyloric Stenosis is that it is also sometimes referred to by its slightly longer name of Chronic Hypertrophic Pyloric Gastropathy so if you’ve been given this diagnosis just know that it’s pretty much the same thing as pyloric stenosis absent 15 or 20 letters or so.

And what happens…

When a dog develops pyloric stenosis is that the Pyloric Sphincter (that’s the aforementioned tubing that connects the small intestine and the stomach) becomes blocked in some way, thereby preventing nutrients from completing their journey. Unable to pass through the food has only one place to go…back up.

As a result…

Gastric problems will occur in dogs with this disease as the duodenum (the start of the small intestine) and the stomach remain connected, but the connection is blocked. The ‘Hypertrophic’ part of its name just means that the Pyloric Sphincter has thickened over time, either in itself of the stomach lining around it. In either case the new thickening has caused Pyloric Obstruction and is slowly damaging the dog over time.

Additionally…

The Pyloric Canal, this little piece of tubing can become blocked for a variety of different reasons.

Unfortunately…

Little is known about why it develops but scientists have connected this condition with overproduction of the hormone Gastrin.  This “overproduction” in some cases seems to be inherited via DNA from a parent, in other cases it is developed over time.  At any rate this second variant usually happens in dogs older than ten years of age.

That said…

Regardless of “why” your dog has developed a blockage, what remains the same is that this blockage of the gastric outlet via hypertrophy of the muscle or stomach lining means that your dog will regurgitate most of what you feed it. The disease is characterized by weight loss and excessive, recurrent vomiting.

So…

If your dog can’t keep anything down all of a sudden and is either still a puppy under one year old, or is a dog over the age of ten, then this disease might well be the cause. Take them to the vet immediately and tell them of the symptoms.

We should also point out…

That the Pylorus is particularly small in Brachycephalic dog breeds (that’s dogs that have short snouts, to the less scientific among us), and is therefore more common among these dog types.

And since…

This condition does seem to be inherited in some cases it is always worth investigating what your breeder known about your pup’s familial health. If a parent had this condition then there is a high chance your dog will get it too. The only known prevention of this disease is to stop breeding affected dogs, although since there is a second variant related to gastrin production and levels then even that is not a fool proof method.

Affected Breeds

As we mentioned above, any Brachycephalic breed has a chance of inheriting this condition, and has a higher chance than other breed types of developing it over time

Known breeds affected by this condition are:

  • The Boxer
  • The Boston Terrier
  • The Bulldog
  • The Lhasa Apso
  • The Maltese
  • The Shih Tzu
  • The Pekingese
  • The Poodle
  • The Rottweiler

Please remember that any dog breed or mixed breed dog can develop this condition over time.

Treatment Options

The treatment options your vet will offer will depend on what particular variant your pet has and upon where the instruction lies. In all cases this disease is tricky to diagnose and will require a Barium X-ray test.

In this test…

The dog is fed the Barium and the X-ray shows how far through the system it gets. If it has not passed through the Pyloric Sphincter then they can tell there is a problem. They will also be able to tell via this procedure where exactly the problem lies.

Once diagnosis is…

Achieved your vet will want to schedule surgery. There are four options here. A Gastrojejunostomy will bypass both the Pylorus and the duodenum whereas a Pyroplasty opens a flap that allows nutrients to pass through.

A Gastroduodenostomy…

Will bypass the Pylorus alone while the final option, a Pyloromyotomy slices straight through the obstructive muscle.

 

Which brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel like your pet may have pyloric stenosis (or any other health issue for that matter) the first thing that you’re going to want to do is have him or her check out by a vet ASAP!

Because…

The truth is, an early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering him or her, but beyond that diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies articl

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