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OBJECTIVE To determine risk factors for surgical intervention, complications, and outcome in dogs with an esophageal foreign body (EFB).

DESIGN Retrospective observational study.

ANIMALS 224 incidents of EFB in 223 dogs evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital from 1995 through 2014.

PROCEDURES Hospital records were reviewed to collect data regarding signalment, history, clinical signs, EFB type and location, procedures, complications, and outcomes. Breed distributions were compared between dogs with EFB and the entire canine patient population during the study period. Variables were tested for associations with each other and with outcomes.

RESULTS Terrier breeds were most common (71/233 [30.5%]). Duration of EFB entrapment, body weight, anorexia, lethargy, rectal temperature, and esophageal perforation were associated with the need for surgical intervention. Older age, longer duration of EFB entrapment, and perforation were associated with a poorer prognosis. Endoscopic retrieval or advancement into the stomach was successful for 183 of 219 (83.6%) EFBs, and 16 of 143 (11.2%) entrapments resulted in postprocedural esophageal stricture. Overall median duration of hospitalization was brief (1 day), and the need for surgical intervention was associated with a longer duration. Overall mortality rate was 5.4% (12/223); 90 of 102 (88.2%) dogs with a median follow-up period of 27 months after EFB treatment had an excellent outcome.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Study findings suggested that endoscopic EFB retrieval remains the initial treatment option of choice for affected dogs, provided that esophageal perforation does not necessitate surgical intervention. Although esophageal stricture formation was the most common complication, the overall rate of this outcome was low.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine the dose of alfaxalone for IM administration combined with dexmedetomidine and hydromorphone that would allow endoscopic-guided orotracheal intubation in rabbits without causing a decrease in respiratory rate or apnea.


15 sexually intact (9 females and 6 males) healthy Miniature Lop rabbits weighing a mean ± SD of 2.3 ± 0.3 kg and ranging in age from 4 to 9 months.


In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, rabbits received 0.1 mg of hydro-morphone/kg and 0.005 mg of dexmedetomidine/kg, plus alfaxalone at either 2 mg/kg (5 rabbits), 5 mg/kg (5 rabbits), or 7 mg/kg (5 rabbits). Drugs were mixed in a single syringe and administered IM. Semiquantitative rating scales were used to evaluate quality of anesthesia and intubation. Orotracheal intubation was attempted with endoscopy and confirmed by capnography.


The number of successful intubations was 0, 3, and 4 in rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. Median (range) anesthesia quality scores (scale, 0 to 12; 12 = deepest anesthesia) were 3 (2 to 5), 6 (5 to 6), and 6 (4 to 9) for rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. The median (range) intubation quality scores (scale, 0 to 3 [ie, intubation not possible to easiest intubation]) were 0 (0 to 0), 2 (0 to 3), and 2 (0 to 3) for rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. None of the rabbits experienced a decrease in respiratory rate or apnea.


Increasing doses of alfaxalone combined with hydromorphone and dexmedetomidine increased the success rate of endoscopic-guided orotracheal intubation. Increasing the dose of alfaxalone had no effect on respiratory rate.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association