To increase acidic esophageal lumen pH in dogs that developed gastroesophageal reflux (GER) during anesthesia. We compared water and 2 different bicarbonate concentrations.
112 healthy, nonbrachycephalic dogs presented for ovariectomy.
Following standard anesthesia and surgery protocols for ovariectomy in all dogs, esophageal lumen impedance and pH were monitored using a dedicated probe. Esophageal impedance indicates the presence of GER whereas pH indicates the acidity level. Dogs with strongly acidic GER and an esophageal lumen pH value < 4.0 were included in the study, and lavage was performed with either tap water, bicarbonate 1%, or bicarbonate 2% until the pH increased to > 4.0. The effect of lavage on esophageal pH was compared using the Kruskal–Wallis and Wilcoxon 2 sample tests. Associations between lavage and pH changes were determined.
Of 48/112 dogs with strongly acidic GER, 33% neutralized their esophageal pH during surgery. For the 32 dogs that maintained an esophageal lumen pH value < 4, esophageal lavage with water increased the lumen pH to > 4 in 78.6% of dogs, whereas both bicarbonate concentrations increased it in 100% of the dogs to a more neutral pH (P < .0001). The dogs in the water group were more likely to regurgitate after anesthesia (36% vs 0% in both bicarbonate groups, P = .028).
Bicarbonate 1% and 2% increased esophageal lumen pH to more than 4 after strongly acidic GER. Lavage with water was mildly effective, but required large volumes and predisposed to further regurgitation after anesthesia.