Pyloric Stenosis in puppies

Congenital pyloric stenosis is caused by a thickening of the ring of muscle at the outlet of the stomach, resulting in a partial or complete obstruction of the gastric outlet. The cause is unknown. An increased incidence is seen in brachycephalic breeds such as Boxers and Boston Terriers.

Symptoms begin at weaning or shortly thereafter, when pups start to eat solid food. The characteristic sign of pyloric stenosis is vomiting partially digested food several hours after eating. Typically, the vomitus does not contain green bile. The vomited meal may be ingested, only to be vomited again later.

The diagnosis is made by an upper gastrointestinal X-ray examination. The presence of barium in the stomach 12 to 24 hours after ingestion indicates an obstructed stomach. Gastroscopy may be recommended.

Treatment: Pyloric stenosis is treated effectively with an operation that divides the enlarged muscular ring between the stomach and the duodenum. Some dogs recover without surgery, but dietary management is essential. The choice of treatment depends on a number of factors that must be determined by your veterinarian, but most cases require surgery.