Risk Factors for Death in Dogs Treated for Esophageal Foreign Body Obstruction: A Retrospective Cohort Study of 222 Cases (1998–2017)

A. G. Burton, C. T. Talbot, M. S. Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Limited data exist describing risk factors for death, and long-term outcomes in dogs with esophageal foreign body (EFB) obstruction. Hypothesis/Objectives: To evaluate short- and long-term outcomes, and analyze risk factors for death in dogs with EFB obstruction. We hypothesized duration of entrapment and treatment type would affect outcome. Animals: A total of 222 dogs were treated for EFB obstruction at an emergency and referral hospital between March 1998 and March 2017. Methods: Medical records for dogs with EFB were retrospectively evaluated. Results: Foreign material most frequently was osseous (180/222 [81%]), with distal esophagus the most common location (110/222 [49.5%]). Duration of clinical signs was not associated with risk of death (OR = 1.08, 95% CI 0.99–1.17; P = 0.2). Entrapment was treated by endoscopy (204/222 [91.8%]), surgery after endoscopic attempt (13/222 [5.9%]), and repeat endoscopy after surgery was recommended but declined (5/222 [2.3%]). In-hospital case fatality rate was 11/222 (5%). Risk of death was significantly higher with surgery (OR = 20.1, 95% CI 3.59–112.44; P = 0.001), and 5/5 (100%) of dogs died if undergoing endoscopy after surgery was recommended but declined. Increasing numbers of postprocedural complications (OR = 3.44, CI 2.01–5.91; P < 0.001), esophageal perforation (OR = 65.47, CI 4.27–1004.15; P = 0.003), and postprocedure esophageal hemorrhage (OR = 11.81, CI 1.19–116.77; P = 0.04) increased in-hospital risk of death. Esophageal strictures were reported in 4/189 (2.1%) of survivors available for follow-up. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Death is uncommon in canine EFB; however, treatment type affects outcome, and these data should be used to guide decision-making in dogs with EFB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1686-1690
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Canine
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophageal stricture
  • Esophagitis
  • Esophagoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk Factors for Death in Dogs Treated for Esophageal Foreign Body Obstruction: A Retrospective Cohort Study of 222 Cases (1998–2017)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this