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  • Author or Editor: Peter C. Belafsky x
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OBJECTIVE To assess feasibility of flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) in awake dogs, determine whether specific variables associated with the oropharyngeal phase of swallowing can be recognized, and evaluate the safety and tolerability of FEES.

ANIMALS 6 healthy client-owned large- and giant-breed adult dogs.

PROCEDURES A topical anesthetic was applied to the nasal passage of each dog, and a fiberoptic endoscope was passed transnasally until the tip of the scope was positioned in the oropharynx. All dogs voluntarily drank colored water followed by consumption of a commercial canned diet and then a kibble diet mixed with food color. During each swallow, laryngeal and pharyngeal anatomic structures were evaluated and depth of bolus flow prior to the pharyngeal phase of swallowing was assessed. Evidence of bolus retention in the vallecula or pyriform sinuses and laryngeal penetration of the bolus were recorded.

RESULTS FEES was completed without major adverse events and was tolerated well by all 6 dogs. Mild, self-limiting epistaxis was noted for 2 dogs. The nasopharynx, oropharynx, and hypopharynx were observed in all dogs; movement of food boluses through the esophagus was observed in 2 dogs, and food boluses in the stomach were visible in 1 dog. Pharyngeal and laryngeal function was considered physiologically normal in all dogs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE FEES appeared to be a feasible diagnostic tool for use in large- and giant-breed dogs. Studies are warranted in dogs with oropharyngeal dysphagia to determine whether FEES can be tolerated and whether it can augment videofluoroscopy findings.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To validate the use of high-resolution manometry (HRM) in awake, healthy dogs and compare the effects of bolus type (liquid vs solid) and drug treatment (saline [0.9% NaCl] solution [SS] vs cisapride) on esophageal pressure profiles.

ANIMALS 8 healthy dogs.

PROCEDURES In a crossover study, each dog received SS (10 mL) IV, and HRM was performed during oral administration of 10 boluses (5 mL each) of water or 10 boluses (5 g each) of canned food. Cisapride (1 mg/kg in 60 mL of SS) was subsequently administered IV to 7 dogs; HRM and bolus administration procedures were repeated. Two to 4 weeks later, HRM was repeated following administration of SS and water and food boluses in 4 dogs. Pressure profile data were obtained for all swallows, and 11 outcome variables were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS After SS administration, predicted means for the esophageal contractile integral were 850.4 cm/mm Hg/s for food boluses and 660.3 cm/mm Hg/s for water boluses. Predicted means for esophageal contraction front velocity were 6.2 cm/s for water boluses and 5.6 cm/s for food boluses after SS administration. Predicted means for residual LES pressure were significantly higher following cisapride administration.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that HRM was feasible and repeatable in awake healthy dogs of various breeds and sizes. Stronger esophageal contractions and faster esophageal contraction velocity occurred during solid bolus and liquid bolus swallows, respectively. Lower esophageal sphincter pressure increased significantly following cisapride administration. Esophageal contractions and bolus transit latency should be further evaluated by HRM in clinically dysphagic dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research