Oesophageal ectasia as a cause of dysphagia and milk regurgitation in a neonatal foal

D. M. Wong, R. E. Ruby, E. Van Eerde, K. G. Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Dysphagia and milk regurgitation are relatively infrequently observed clinical signs in neonatal foals but, when present, can commonly arise from anatomic or functional disorders of the upper airway. Less commonly, milk regurgitation can be caused by anatomic or neuromuscular disorders of the oesophagus. In the report presented here, a neonatal foal was examined for milk regurgitation at 4 days of age and was diagnosed with transient oesophageal ectasia via oesophagoscopy and contrast radiography. Aspiration pneumonia was treated with broad-spectrum antimicrobials and the owner was instructed to intermittently elevate the forelimbs to facilitate passage of milk out of the dilated oesophagus. The milk regurgitation resolved and reassessment of the foal at 6 weeks of age documented the absence of oesophageal ectasia and resolution of aspiration pneumonia. The foal was reported to be healthy and consuming food normally 6 months after initial examination and was in good body condition. This case is unique in that the oesophageal ectasia improved with time; furthermore, other potential causes of dysphagia and milk regurgitation of oesophageal origin in neonatal foals are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)O45-O49
JournalEquine Veterinary Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

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  • congenital
  • dysfunction
  • horse
  • oesophagus
  • pharynx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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