This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.


The "transit time" is how long it takes an undigested particle to travel from the mouth to be excreted through the anus


Transit time is usually measured by administering inert particulate matter e.g. barium swallows, or radiopaque pellets. These can be tracked using sequential X-rays along the gastrointestinal tract and abnormal passage times through the various sections of the gastrointestinal tract can be recorded. It should be noted that the size of the particles themselves is one of the factors which can influence transit time. Particles less than 2mm in diameter, for example can leave the stomach without delay.

Factors that influence transit time

Many factors can influence the transit time of gastrointestinal contents including motility disorders, partial or complete obstruction of the intestinal lumen due to foreign bodies or narrowing/closure of the lumen due to intramural or extramural factors e.g. tumours or constricting bands such as blood vessel anomalies like persistent right aortic arch (link to diseases/cardiac-PRAA).


Last updated : October 2013