MCGM Club Profile



   Constitution &   

   Members Only

   MCGM Breeders

Meet the Breed

   Breed Standard

   Health Articles



MCGM Club Events

2016 Specialty



Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis in Dogs

Pyloric stenosis is a digestive disorder focused around the pyloric sphincter muscle, which serves to pass food from the lower stomach into the small intestine. When the pyloric sphincter begins contracting or spasming leading to abnormal narrowing, this is called stenosis. This region of the stomach connects with the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. The exact cause of the disease is still unknown, but it has been found to be either congenital (existing at birth) in nature or acquired later in life.

  • Breeds Affected—Pyloric stenosis is most frequent in short-faced breeds such as bulldogs, Boston terriers and boxers. Within these breeds, usually young males are at the highest risk for it. Cases of congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is found to be common in the boxer, Boston terrier, and bulldog. The acquired disease, on the othe hand, is more common in the Lhasa apso, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Pekingese, and Poodle. Males are also more predisposed to this disease than females.
  • Symptoms —One of the most noticeable symptoms of pyloric stenosis in dogs is regurgitation of meals within a couple of hours of eating. Because food has not had time to digest properly, when it is regurgitated, it often appears still in its original, whole form. Other symptoms of this disorder include dehydration, weight loss and depression. Risk factors that may play a role in influencing the disease process include: Tumors, Chronic stress, Chronic gastritis, Stomach ulcers, Chronic increase in gastrin (hormone that stimulate secretion of HCL in stomach) levels.
  • Diagnosis—Your dog's veterinarian will take a detailed history from you and perform a complete physical examination and laboratory tests on the animal. The results of routine laboratory tests, including complete blood profile, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis, may be variable depending upon the underlying cause. In dogs with severe ulceration, for example, anemia may be present. X-rays, meanwhile, may reveal a distended stomach due to stenosis of the pyloric canal. For more detailed results, your veterinarian may perform a gastrointestinal barium contrast study, in which barium sulfate is given orally to help highlight the location and extent of the narrowing on X-rays. Another technique called fluoroscopy is sometimes employed. This imaging technique obtains real-time moving images of internal structures of the dog on camera with the use of a fluoroscope. The veterinarian may also employ endoscopy for detailed evaulation, in which he or she will look directly into the stomach and duodenum using an endoscope, a rigid or flexible tube that is inserted into the stomach and duodenum to visually inspect and take pictures of the region. Abdominal ultrasonography may also help in identifying the narrowing of the pyloric canal.
  • Treatment—The only way to cure pyloric stenosis in dogs is through surgery. Once a diagnosis has been made through a thorough medical history, blood work, x-rays and
    possibly gastroscopy procedures, the dog needs to have a veterinarian surgically
    alter the pyloric sphincter. They may widen the area of stomach outflow or sever
    the pyloric sphincter itself to accomplish this. Surgery is most commonly employed to correct the pyloric canal narrowing. Fluid therapy, meanwhile, is used to stabilize a dehydrated animal due to chronic vomiting.
  • Living and Management—Though pyloric stenosis can be a chronic problem, it is not usually a fatal one except in very severe cases. If the affected animal is constantly vomiting meals,the acids from their stomach can cause serious damage to their throats. They may also begin to lose weight, and possibly become so malnourished that their condition leads to death. Proper nutrition (highly digestible, low fat diet) and activity restrictions will be instilled by the veterinarian, especially when the dog has undergone surgery. If recurrence of the defect should occur, a more aggressive surgical intervention will be required.
    Overall prognosis after surgery is excellent and most animals respond well. However, in the case of neoplasia, prognosis is not good.

Other health problems can occur in your Maltese. If you notice anything unusual with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This webpage is for general information only and is not intended to be a medical guide.

                                                                             Copyright © 2015 by The Maltese Club of Greater Miami, Inc.
                                                                          All rights reserved.  Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.