Immediately find an internal medicine veterinarian that can perform the following. Your primary vet will not refer you in a timely manner. Time is of the essence!! Ask for an endoscopy, which gives vets a close-up view of the esophagus via a camera attached to a long tube that is inserted down the esophagus. Unless a dog or cat has pneumonia in addition to esophagitis, routine laboratory tests (complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis) often return normal results.

X-rays – especially barium contrast x-rays – and ultrasound imaging may be helpful, but changes caused by esophagitis are usually subtle and not easy to detect by these methods.

Endoscopy is considered the best method for diagnosing esophagitis. The procedure involves passing an endoscope into the esophagus to visualize areas of inflammation. While rare, the endoscope can also be used to obtain esophageal tissue samples for biopsy, or to remove a foreign body.


This site is based on our personal experience and research we have done to try to inform the general public. It should not be used as professional veterinary advice. Please consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your pet is experiencing any of these issues so that they can address it as soon as possible.