Endoscopic Removal of Foreign Body in Upper Gastrointestinal Tract in Dogs: Success Rate and Complications

Franco Metzker Poggiani, Rodrigo Pereira da Costa Duarte, Marcelo Ismar Silva Santana, Paula Diniz Galera


Background: Dogs and cats with acute signs of choking, retching, cough, vomiting, regurgitation, hypersalivation, dysphagia and odynophagia should have the presence of a gastrointestinal foreign body (FB) as part of their differential diagnosis, where it is a frequent condition in the care of small animals. Most objects lodged in the esophagus, stomach, and proximal duodenum can be removed by upper digestive endoscopy, a curative, little invasive procedure. The objective of our study was to evaluate the physical aspects and location of esophageal and gastric FBs observed in 88 dogs and the age and breed of the affected animals and to determine the success rate and eventual complications associated with the procedure as well.

Materials, Methods & Results: Eighty-eight cases of dogs, males and females of varying ages and breeds, submitted to upper digestive endoscopy were selected because of suspicion of esophageal or gastric FBs. The endoscopic procedure aimed at confirming the diagnosis, whether or not followed by endoscopic removal of these objects. Prior to endoscopy, the animals had laboratory tests (blood count and serum biochemistry) and subsequently to the anesthetic protocols of choice for each case. Data including breed, age, type of constituent material and anatomical location of the FB, endoscopic procedure success rate and complications were recorded and descriptively evaluated. Of the 88 dogs evaluated, 60% (n = 53) were male and 40% (n = 35) female. According to the breed of the animals, 55% (n = 49) were small-breed dogs, 29% (n = 25) large-breed dogs, and 8% (n = 7) medium-breed dogs, and 8% were of mixed breed dogs, which could assume various sizes. Shih Tzus accounted for 18% (n = 16) of the animals, Lhasa apsos 8% (n = 7) and mixed breed 8% (n = 7), where these were the most frequently affected breeds. Regarding age, animals 1 to 5 years old represented 66% (n = 58) of the patients, and those 6 to 10 years old accounted for 20% (n = 18), while 11% of the dogs were over 10 years old (n = 10). Two animals (3%) had no information about their ages. Pieces of cloth were the most frequently found FBs, representing 20%(n = 20), followed by animal bones (19%) and fruit pits (10%). As for location, 78% (n = 69) of the FBs were located in the stomach and 22% (n = 19) in the esophagus. The success rate of endoscopic FB removal in this study was 83% (n = 73). In 76% (n = 67) of the animals, there were no complications due to the presence of FB in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The most frequent complications were esophageal ulcerations (n = 7) and the inability to move the FB (n = 5) and adherences. (n = 4).

Discussion: The results showed that small-breed dogs, especially Shih Tzus and Yorkshires, represented a larger number of cases, probably due to their popularity in Brazil, where the study was conducted. Males were more prevalent than females, and the most affected age was between 1 and 5 years, with emphasis on younger animals. There were more gastric FB cases compared to esophageal FB cases, which was related to the interval between the ingestion of the object and veterinary care. Although not the most prevalent FB, the high rate of mango pits can be explained by the vast number of mango trees in the Federal District. There were few complications compared to the success of cases, indicating that endoscopy is the procedure of choice for the diagnosis and removal of FBs from the gastrointestinal tract.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.100574

Copyright (c) 2020 Paula Diniz Galera

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