• dysphagia;
  • cricopharyngeal achalasia;
  • videofluoroscopy;
  • dogs

Videofluoroscopic evaluation of both liquid barium and barium soaked kibble was performed in 11 adult, clinically normal dogs of varying breeds. Each examination was digitized and evaluated frame by frame to establish the normal timing sequence of the pharyngeal phase of swallowing. Closure of the epiglottis was considered the onset of swallowing. The time to each of the following events was recorded: (1) Maximum pharyngeal contraction, (2) Opening of the epiglottis, (3) Opening of the cranial esophageal sphincter, and (4) Closure of the cranial esophageal sphincter. These values were found to be consistent both intra and interpatient. Retrospective analysis of 3 videofluoroscopic examinations from dogs that met the subjective criteria defining cricopharyngeal achalasia was then performed. A statistically significant delay in the time to opening and closure of the cranial esophageal sphincter was found employing both liquid barium and barium soaked kibble in the dogs with cricopharyngeal achalasia.