Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Cricopharynx achalasia / dysphagia

Contributor(s): James Simpson, Kenneth Simpson

Introduction

  • Cause: failure of cricopharyngeus muscle to relax or a lack of co-ordination between cricopharangeal relaxation and pharangeal contraction → inability to swallow food bolus.
  • Associated with neuromuscular disorders.
  • Congenital in Cocker/Springer Spaniel +/- toy breeds, acquired in older animals.
  • Most frequently seen around weaning.
  • Signs: dysphagia, nasal reflux of food, rhinitis, aspiration pneumonia.
  • Diagnosis: fluoroscopy.
  • Treatment: surgical resection.
  • Prognosis: guarded.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Congenital (Cocker Spaniel and Springer Spaniel).
  • Fibrosis following trauma.

Pathophysiology

  • Failure of cricopharyngeus muscle encircling proximal esophagus to relax → obstruction to passage of food into esophagus → repeated attempts to swallow, retching, choking, gagging on swallowing, dysphagia → nasal reflux, rhinitis → aspiration of food → aspiration bronchopneumonia.

Timecourse

  • Congenital - usually at the time of weaning.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Washabau R J & Hall J A (1997) Diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal motility disorders in dogs and cats. Comp Cont Ed Prac Vet 19 (6), 721-737 VetMedResource.
  • Elkino A D (1987) Correcting cricopharyngeal achalasia in a puppy. Vet Med 82 (12), 1241-1242 VetMedResource.
  • Venker-van-Haagen A J et al (1986) Contributions of the glossopharyngeal nerve and the pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve to the swallowing process in dogs. Am J Vet Res 47 (6), 1300-1307 PubMed.
  • Rosin E & Hanlon F (1972) Canine cricopharyngeal achalasia. JAVMA 160 (11), 1496-1499 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hoskins J (1999)Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine.4th edn. Ettinger & Feldman. p 2118.


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