Diagnosis and Management of GI Motility Disorders

Albert E. Jergens, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Gastrointestinal motility disorders are a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for many practitioners. Here’s how to narrow down the affected area so you can identify the cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Gastrointestinal (GI) motility disturbances are widely under recognised in dogs and cats, primarily because we do not have good tools to diagnose them. Delayed transit disorders are commonly suspected by clinicians and may involve the oesophagus (megaoesophagus and dysmotility), stomach (delayed gastric emptying), small intestine (postoperative ileus and pseudoobstruction), or colon (constipation and megacolon). This two-part article discusses general causes of GI motility disorders affecting the oesophagus to the colon, and offers insight for appropriate diagnostic evaluation and treatment options for these disturbances. This article covers the GI tract as a whole; a second article will focus on oesophageal diseases that cause motility disturbances

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