- Bloat (also known as gastric torsion or gastric
dilatation-volvulus (GDV)) is an emergency condition in dogs, seen most
commonly in deep-chested large and giant breed dogs. The disease is
characterized by the presence of a large amount of gas in the stomach and
twisting of the stomach along its axis. Treatment for shock and then
surgery is usually necessary.
- Megaesophagus is a disease of the esophagus
characterized by low motility and dilation. Most cases in adult dogs are
idiopathic. It is the most common cause of regurgitation in dogs. Other
causes of megaesophagus include myasthenia gravis, lead poisoning, and
- Volvulus (twisted intestines), also known as
mesenteric volvulus, is a rare condition in dogs. German Shepherd Dogs are
predisposed. Factors that predispose dogs to this condition are
intestinal foreign bodies, intestinal cancer, intussusception, and other
intestinal diseases. It has a poor prognosis.
- Foreign body is an object foreign to the body that
becomes lodged in the gastrointestinal tract (or other part of the
dog). Dogs are susceptible to gastrointestinal obstruction due to their
ability to swallow relatively large objects and pass them through the
esophagus. Foreign bodies most commonly become lodged in the stomach
because of the inability to pass through the pyloric sphincter, and in the
- Anal fistulae, known as perianal fistulae in dogs,
are most common in German Shepherd Dogs. They are characterized by
draining tracts in the skin around the anus. The cause is unknown.
Surgical treatment is common, but recently use of cyclosporine in combination
with ketoconazole has been shown to be effective.
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is the inability
to properly digest food due to a lack of digestive enzymes made by the
pancreas. This disease is found frequently in dogs.
- Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is
common in dogs. It is most commonly seen in middle-aged and older
overweight dogs. Miniature Schnauzers are predisposed. Contributing factors
include diabetes, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and dietary indiscretion.
Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and
- Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of diseases
in dogs that are idiopathic and characterized by the presence of
inflammatory cell infiltrates in the stomach and/or intestinal walls. It is
a common condition. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.
Treatment is with dietary modification and use of medications such as
corticosteroids, metronidazole, sulfasalazine, and azathioprine.
- Bilious vomiting syndrome is vomiting in response
to bile-induced inflammation of the stomach. Bile salts interfere with
the gastric mucosal barrier, allowing acid to irritate the stomach
lining and cause gastritis.
- Intussusception is characterized by telescoping of
one part of the gastrointestinal tract into another part, forming an
obstruction. It is most common in dogs six to eight months old. Surgery
is necessary for treatment.
- Lymphangiectasia is an intestinal disease of dogs
characterized by chronic diarrhea and loss of proteins such as serum
albumin and globulin. It is considered to be a chronic form of
protein-losing enteropathy. Breeds commonly affected include the Soft-Coated
Wheaten Terrier, Norwegian Lundehund, Basenji, and Yorkshire Terrier.
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is a disease of dogs
characterized by sudden vomiting and bloody diarrhea. The symptoms are
usually severe and can be fatal if not treated. It is most common in
young adult dogs of any breed, but especially small dogs such as the Toy
Poodle and Miniature Schnauzer.