Pyloric stenosis in dogs is a disorder that affects the stomach. It is caused when the muscle at the outlet of the stomach (i.e. pylorus) becomes too thick, which causes a delay in emptying food from the stomach. Signs that your dog might have this condition include vomiting and regurgitation. Pyloric stenosis is often a congenital malformation of the pylorus and therefore symptoms are usually seen in puppies or young dogs. Conservative treatment is often implemented with dietary changes and medications. In severe cases, the surgical opening of the pylorus can be performed.

What is pyloric stenosis in dogs and what are the causes?

Pyloric stenosis is a disorder of the stomach that results in gastric retention in dogs. Common symptoms include regurgitation, vomiting, and dehydration. Pyloric stenosis most often occurs in young dogs, usually those between the ages of 6 and 12 months. This condition is the most common type of congenital gastrointestinal outflow obstruction in puppies. Acquired pyloric stenosis occurs later in life and is usually secondary to another disease process affecting the stomach and is common in brachycephalic breeds such as bulldogs.

What are the clinical symptoms of pyloric stenosis in dogs?

The most common symptoms of pyloric stenosis in dogs include vomiting or regurgitation, abdominal discomfort and reduced appetite. In some instances, vomiting may be projectile in nature. With chronic cases, weight loss and poor body condition can develop.

How do you diagnose pyloric stenosis in dogs?

In some cases, a barium series x-ray study may be performed that can reveal evidence of delayed gastric emptying. X-rays alone however are not completely diagnostic for pyloric stenosis in dogs. To obtain a definitive diagnosis, your veterinarian will likely recommend an abdominal ultrasound or endoscopy, using a camera scope to visualize the pylorus. The benefit of performing endoscopy is that a biopsy can be obtained for a definitive diagnosis.

What is the treatment for pyloric stenosis?

Treatment of pyloric stenosis is usually conservative, although there are surgical options available for severe cases. Conservative treatment includes dietary changes and medication. Dogs with pyloric stenosis should be fed 3-4 small meals per day instead of one large meal. Gastrointestinal-based foods from your veterinarian should be considered and will have the best results, especially in the canned form. In addition to dietary changes, using medications to reduce stomach acid (e.g. omeprazole) accumulation and improve stomach motility (e.g. metoclopramide) can be beneficial and reduce clinical symptoms.

What is the prognosis for dogs diagnosed with pyloric stenosis?

The prognosis for pyloric stenosis in dogs is usually good, especially when treated with conservative measures. With conservative treatment, the goal of therapy is to manage symptoms as a complete cure is not obtainable. In some cases, pyloric stenosis may be severe enough to warrant surgery, this is uncommon.

Pyloric stenosis in dogs is a common disorder that affects the stomach of pups. It can be caused when the pylorus muscle thickens, which causes delayed gastric emptying. Symptoms include vomiting and/or regurgitation. Treatment for pyloric stenosis may involve dietary changes and medications to reduce stomach acid accumulation or improve motility. The prognosis is usually good with conservative treatment but surgery may be needed in some cases.