Acid reflux is a health problem that is marked by the stomach contents entering the esophagus repeatedly and going back to the stomach again. In dogs, this condition can be difficult to observe. The problem does not manifest by any change in behavior.
Is Acid Reflux Dangerous?
Yes, it can be potentially dangerous and the condition can be uncomfortable for suffering dogs. When a dog has this issue, it may suffer from gastric reflux including problems like:
- Occasional weak vomiting
- Burbling or burping after meals
- Persistent bad breath
Other peripheral symptoms can be present as well. The tissues in the esophagus can suffer erosion due to this condition. The risk of esophageal ulcers can be higher in dogs that suffer from this health problem. Acid reflux may not be serious on its own, but there can be thinning, narrowing or even necrosis due to esophagus irritation by the entry of acid. Passive regurgitation may also cause the intrusion of vomit into the lungs. When this occurs, severe lung damage can be caused.
What Causes Acid Reflux in Dogs?
In cases of dog acid reflux, it is often that a hiatal hernia is the cause. This is a structural defect which is marked by the protrusion of the top of stomach through the diaphragm – in the area where only the esophagus is supposed to land. It can make the esophagus unable to close properly, and acid can enter it as a result.
The condition has been noted in many fat dogs, and it is suspected that obesity could be a possible cause for Acid Reflux. The gastroesophogeal space can get constricted due to a higher level of fat, and acid can be forced up the esophagus as a result. Thus, it is important to keep your dog at a lower body weight.
Production of too much stomach acid can also happen when there is a high amount of calcium in the bloodstream of dogs. This can contribute to the production of too much acid in stomach. High amount of blood calcium can be detected with the help of a small blood sample.
Acid reflux in dogs can also be caused due to various other causes:
- Improper emptying of the stomach
- Unusual weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter
- Prednisone and some other medicines which can make dogs prone to acid reflux problems
If you find your dog suffering from discomfort or exhibiting pain after having meals, or is struggling to eat its foods, call a vet right away.
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