Can dogs have acid reflux?

In this article, we will answer the query, “Can dogs have acid reflux?” along with some other questions like is acid reflux safe for your dog? What is acid reflux? What are the causes of acid reflux? What are the clinical signs of acid reflux? How do you treat acid reflux? And what is GERD?

Can dogs have acid reflux?

Yes, dogs can have acid reflux. It is not safe for your dog to have acid reflux because it can damage the epithelium of the esophagus in your dog. This is due to the acid-mixed food that approaches the esophagus.

Is acid reflux safe for your dog?

No, acid reflux is not safe for your dog because the acid can damage the mucosa of the hollow organs such as the esophagus. It is due to the failure of the sphincter to close. 

The sprinter is the muscular structure that prevents the backflow of the acid. The sphincter is called the cardiac sphincter.

What is acid reflux in dogs?

Acid reflux is the backflow of the acid mixed food from the stomach into the esophagus. It is not a normal physiological phenomenon and there are many causes of acid reflux in dogs. 

The acid reflux can damage the mucus lining the esophagus. You should rule out every cause of the acid reflux to diagnose the exact cause of it.

What are the causes of acid reflux in dogs?

Following are the causes of acid reflux in dogs:

Allergens

One of the causes could be allergies. The allergens are the allergic food you are feeding your dog. The most common allergic foods are soy, gluten, and GMOs. 

If your dog ate any of the allergic food, he will have acid reflux which can damage the upper gastrointestinal tract of the body.

Anesthesia

The second cause of acid reflux in dogs is anesthesia. The anesthesia relaxes the cardiac sphincter which is responsible for preventing the backflow of the acid mixed food into the esophagus. 

When the muscles of the sphincter relax, it doesn’t prevent the backflow of the food into the esophagus. 

In anesthesia, the food can go into the windpipe because the epiglottis is relaxed and it cannot prevent the flow of food into the windpipe of your dog.

For this reason, it is recommended to keep your dog fasting so that there is no acid reflux in dogs. 

Spicy and oily foods

When your dog eats spicy and oil foods, there is an overproduction of acid in the stomach which could be a reason for the backflow of acid into the esophagus.

Chronic vomiting

Chronic vomiting is one of the causes of acid reflux because the stomach muscles become weak and they are unable to prevent the backflow of ingesta into the esophagus.

So far we have discussed the causes of acid reflux in dogs. Now let’s dive into the details of what are the clinical signs of acid reflux in dogs?

What are the clinical signs of acid reflux in your dog?

Following are the clinical signs of acid reflux in dogs:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Regurgitation of food
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Lip licking
  • Restlessness at night

If you see these signs in your dog, you should know that the acid is damaging the epithelial lining of the esophagus and before it gets worse you should take your dog to the vet.

How do you treat acid reflux?

The first thing you can do is to give less protein and fat to your dog. This will reduce the production of acid in the stomach of your dog.

The next thing you can do is to give antacids to your dog which can further reduce the production of acids in the stomach. You can give aluminum hydroxide to your dog so that it protects the lining of the esophagus. 

Prokinetic medications such as metoclopramide can reduce the backflow of acid from the stomach into the esophagus of the body.

Before giving any medications to your dog you should consult a vet to know about the safety, dose rate, and side effects of that particular medication. You should not give any medications without the consultation of your vet otherwise it can give more harm than good.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux is a chronic disease in which the lower esophageal sphincter is unable to control the backflow of acid into the esophagus of the body. There are various causes of GERD. This is a specific condition in dogs and it should be treated specifically.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the query, “Can dogs have acid reflux?” We also discussed other questions like is acid reflux safe for your dog? What is acid reflux? What are the causes of acid reflux? What are the clinical signs of acid reflux? How do you treat acid reflux? And what is GERD?

References

https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/c_multi_gastroesophageal_reflux

https://www.thesprucepets.com/acid-reflux-in-dogs-4692195

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-gerd-in-nonbrachycephalic-dogs

https://brindleberrypetphoto.com/7-ways-to-improve-gerd-symptoms-in-dogs/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.