Article Text

Short Communication
Reversible megaoesophagus associated with primary hypothyroidism in a dog
  1. F. Fracassi, DMV, PhD and
  2. A. Tamborini, DMV
  1. Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, Ozzano dell'Emilia (BO), Italy
  1. E-mail for correspondence federico.fracassi{at}

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HYPOTHYROIDISM has historically been cited as a possible cause of megaoesophagus. However, a definitive association between hypothyroidism and megaoesophagus has not been proved (Johnson and others 2009). This short communication describes a case of megaoesophagus in a dog with primary hypothyroidism.

A seven-year-old entire female German shepherd dog was presented with a 10-day history of regurgitation (passive ejection of food, without abdominal effort or a prodromal phase) a few minutes after feeding. The frequency had decreased in the past two days, after the referring veterinarian changed the dog from a dry to a canned diet and prescribed 1 mg/kg ranitidine (Zantac; GlaxoSmithKline), administered orally every 12 hours. No other medications were given. It was also reported that the dog was weak and had non-pruritic dermatological abnormalities, consisting of a poor and dull hair coat and hair loss, over a period of months. The dog had had a normal oestrus six months previously and polyuria/polydipsia (PU/PD) was absent. The dog was regularly vaccinated and prophylactically treated for ectoparasites.

On physical examination, the dog had a body condition score of 6/9 and a diffusely poor, dull and dry hair coat with bilaterally symmetric rarefaction in the truncal area; there was evidence of alopecia and hyperpigmentation in areas of friction and on the tail. The physical examination was otherwise unremarkable.

Regurgitation can result from congenital …

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