It is also known as choke. It may be acute or chronic and is characterized by inability to swallow, regurgitation and bloat.
Etiology: Obstruction may be due to potatoes, watermelon, turnips, oranges and apples. Large gelatin capsule may also lodge in the esophageal region. The enlargement of cervical and mediastinal lymphnodes due to abscessation or pulmonary tuberculosis results in obstruction. Traumatic rupture of abscesses during treatment may also lead to esophageal obstruction. Esophageal paralysis and stenosis cause obstruction.
Clinical signs: Animal stops eating suddenly and is restless. There is regurgitation of food, salivation and coughing. Complete obstruction in ruminants leads to accumulation of gas in the rumen leading to tympany. Ruminal movements are continuous and forceful.
Laboratory diagnosis: Laboratory investigations are not much helpful in the diagnosis. However, radiological examination may indicate the site of obstruction or stenosis.
Diagnosis: Esophageal obstruction may be mistaken for esophagitis. The later is mostly accompanied by stomatitis or pharyngitis. Stomach tube may be passed to locate the site of obstruction.
Treatment: In acute cases, sedation of the animal is essential before any other treatment. Atropine sulphate can be given to relax the spasms. Food and water may be withheld till the obstruction is cleared.