Assessing a surgical treatment for dogs with hiatal hernia and/or gastroesophageal reflux

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Study coordinator
Name - Dr. Philip Mayhew
Email -
Phone - (530) 752-1393 Surgery

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"Help us learn more about this surgery to treat dogs with hiatal hernias and gastroesophageal reflux!"
Animal: Dogs
Age: None specified
Keywords: hiatal hernia, HH, gastroesophageal reflux, GER, dog, canine, hiatal herniation, brachycephalic obstructor syndrome, BOS, brachycephalic
Type: Device / Surgical Technique
13 Participants
Background and purpose
We believe that brachycephalic dogs have a tendency to develop hiatal herniation (HH) with greater frequency than non-brachycephalic dogs. Dogs with relative obstruction of the upper airways may generate a decreased pressure in their chest during inspiration (breathing in) that results in the upper part of the stomach being sucked into the chest (HH). This can lead to clinical signs including regurgitation, esophageal stricture formation and aspiration pneumonia if severe. We hypothesize that, if the upper airway obstruction in these dogs can be alleviated, improvement in their respiratory compromise might be seen as well as a reduction in the severity of their HH.
What happens in this study
  • Fill out a questionnaire about your dog’s clinical signs.
  • High-resolution manometry or HRM study (place a small catheter down your dog's nose, and give your dog a small amount of water to swallow, so we can trace the pressure profile of your dog’s esophagus)
  • Barium esophagram, which involves imaging of your dog using a fluoroscope (moving x-ray machine) after he/she swallows water and food boluses
  • Place a small pH-monitoring probe in your dog’s nose to monitor of esophageal pH for 1 day
  • Impedance planimetry or Endoflip, which involves inflation of a very low-pressure balloon within the lower esophagus
  • An upper gastrointestinal endoscopic study immediately before upper airway surgery.
  • Follow-up exam 30 and 60 days after surgery
Pet owner responsibilities

If you allow your dog to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing the dog to the VMTH.

Participation requirements

We are looking for:

  • Brachycephalic breed (dogs with broad short skulls)
  • No evidence of other upper airway obstructive pathology (especially tracheal collapse and hypoplastic trachea)
  • No previous brachycephalic surgery
  • Evidence of hiatal herniation on fluoroscopic imaging (performed pre-operatively)
Benefits and risks of participating
We cannot promise any benefits to your dog or other animals from your taking part in this clinical trial; however, possible benefits include a better understanding of your dogs presence or absence of hiatal herniation which may aid in longer-term management of this component of his or her clinical signs. Results from this study may influence treatment of other dogs with similar conditions going forward.
The trial will pay for all of the diagnostic tests associated with the study, including costs associated with the HRM and esophagram studies, Endoflip measurements, pH impedance studies, endosocopic studies, biopsy procedures, pathology fees as well as the hospitalization and anesthesia fees associated with the second visit to the hospital at 30-60 days post-operatively. The owner will have to cover the surgical procedure, hospitalization and any possible complications associated with the surgical procedure and recovery during the first visit.
PDF Docs
Clinical Trial Informational Flyer
Study duration and period
We expect that participation in this clinical trial will last for 30-60 days.
Recruitment period
From Dec. 13, 2016
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
1 Garrod Drive
Small Animal Clinic - Soft Tissue Surgery
Davis, CA 95616
Dr. Philip Mayhew

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