megaesophagus

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Nala, a German Shepherd, suffers from megaesophagus which is a condition which makes it difficult for dogs’ muscles to propel food down to the stomach. One remedy for this illness is a dog high chair. The video above is not Nala but is an example of this high chair. Here’s the story from 9News.com in Colorado:

Animals with megaesophagus have muscles in the esophagus that fail and are unable to propel food or water into the stomach.

Without some form of help, the prognosis for these animals is not good.

“They either starve to death over a long period of time, a slow starvation because they never get the nutrition, or they die of aspiration pneumonia,” McDonald said.

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The McDonalds built a chair based on the Bailey Chair and Nala has been eating in it for the last three years. Nala is now very healthy, energetic and weighs 80 pounds.

Nala does have to stay in the high chair for 25 minutes after she finishes eating to allow the food to reach the stomach. She is so comfortable in the high chair that she typically falls asleep during this time.

Fortunately for Nala and other dogs suffering from megaesophagus, the high chair appears to be a working solution. Click here for the full story and another video. Also, click here to visit a website called Canine Megaesophagus which is dedicated to bring awareness to this canine condition. The dog in this video really appears to be enjoying his meal!

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Bella eating in her chair (by MegaBella917)

This is our cute dog Bella. She was diagnosed with congenital megaesophagus soon after we found her at 4 months old. Megaesophagus means that her esophagus is enlarged and lacks the muscle mobility to swallow food while horizontal. This is her “Baileys Chair,” which she needs sit in while eating and for 10 minutes after she eats. She eats soft dog food with a little water mixed in. She is now seven months old and doing great!

Little glimpse into my life. My golden doodle who is almost 1! He has a condition called megaesophagus which means he can’t swallow food properly and sometimes not breathe well. He has no muscles or nerves in his esophagus (my poor baby). The biggest concern is that he might have a heart condition but right now he is healthy enough since he has started to grow again! I love my duke. We named him after John Wayne.

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This is one of my family’s dogs, Bobby, or Bob for short. He’s about two years old, and has been living with my family for about eight months now.

He’s a very sweet and hyper dog, and he especially loves my mom. Every day, when she gets home from work, he runs right to her, crying, and the second she sits down, he climbs right up to her, licking her face, not leaving her alone once. He has an appetite to match his heart, often trying to climb up on the table and counter to steal whatever food he can. Whenever someone has food, he will stare at them with the most darling eyes until it’s given to him, or until it’s gone. He’s a tad undisciplined, very paranoid, and a few bricks short of a load, but he’s a good dog overall.

Unfortunately, there’s a tragic story behind him. Before the temporary owners we adopted him from had him, he’d been found with two electric collars around his neck- causing his bark to sound very strained, even today. When we adopted him, he was SOBBING that his past owners had left him with us, and wouldn’t leave the front door for two hours before giving up and lying down. Soon enough, however, he began to warm up to our family, especially since he had a playmate in our other dog. Time with him was normal, except that very meal, he’d have to take half a pill, and I never knew why.

Then, during the summer, the seizures started.

At first, he only had them few and far between. In fact, I’d rarely seen him have one, and it was my mom dealing with them. However, that was before she had to go back to work, and when she did, not only did they start getting worse and more common, but I was left as the only one to deal with them. The first few I saw, they unsettled me quite a bit. It was almost as if he was possessed, he twitched as if he was swimming on the floor, his eyes went wide, and he screamed, his mouth foaming as he kept biting at the air, and it became more often that he’d end up chewing his lips until they bled, even biting a chunk off of his lips as time passed. Eventually, it even came to having six or seven seizures that lasted a half hour long per day, only made worse once again by the fact that we were going to move to a new house in barely a week. To explain how stressing the situation was is difficult, as I eventually had to wash blood off my skin from his chewing, becoming a common thing, and spend my days just watching him closely and making sure he didn’t leave my sight, a feat made even more difficult with such a hyper little creature that wanted to sniff everywhere, even in seizure mode, and leaving me unable to pack for the move and unable to relax, especially the idea of him having another seizure.

Eventually, my mom brought him in to the vet when time allotted  and his pill intake started to increase. He started having less seizures, and as the pill intake increased, he never has them at all, especially with the inclusion of a liquid medicine. However, he had changed quite a bit. Before the fit of seizures, he wasn’t quite as dopey as he is now, and he had an adorable quirk, as he’d spin in circles when he wanted something, or was excited, after learning the trick from his past owners. Now, not only has he forgotten the trick altogether, and his intelligence went down, but he has barely any sense of balance, even tripping over his feet when simply walking across a room, and sliding down the stairs and falling onto his side. However, he seems to be getting at least a little better.

And then it got worse again.

A few days ago, he started shivering uncontrollably. At 2 am, my mom finally took him to a vet again, and it was revealed that he has Megaesophagus, a condition where the esophagus is enlarged, food fails to be digested properly, and remains in the stomach only to either be regurgitated, end up in the lungs, or to simply rot away in the stomach. From this, he easily contracted pneumonia, and was put on antibiotics. If the doctor can’t figure out what’s causing the enlargement, fortunately Bobby’s life won’t change to much, but he’ll have to eat in a Bailey’s Chair for the rest of his life, and we’ll have to give him water while closely monitoring him, rather than let him get it whenever he wanted like before.

However, Bobby doesn’t let it get him down. Like I said earlier, he’s a sweet and happy dog, and he still acts like nothing bad is going to happen to him despite his poor health and conditions. I hope even in his state, he’ll at least live happy for his remaining life,no matter how short it will end up in the end.

Megaesophagus - how to prevent your pet from aspiration pneumonia

Megaespophagus is a condition in which espohagus is enlarged due to failure of a digestive proces or neurological disorders such as myastenia gravis. Your animal may have problems with swallowing food, regurgitations and persistant vomiting. It is important not to feed an animal in “casual” position but to put a bowl f.e on a chair  so the dog or cat may eat in a straight position (as on photos below). This position may help pass the food through the enlarged espohagus and stop it from going to the respiratory system and ipso facto prevent your pet from aspiration pneumonia. There are often bailey chairs to help with the procedure. The animal should maintain in that position for about 15 to 20 minutes after meal .

Anybody around here have a dog with Megaesophagus?

We just got back from the barium study and it’s definitely that. It’s a pretty severe case. She’s already aspirated a bit into her lungs. We already found the right food for her so we’re not gonna change that. I just wanna know if any of you have any advice because I’m not gonna lie I’m pretty scared. She’s still a puppy I don’t wanna have to put her down…

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What I’ve Been Up To Lately… http://wp.me/s3katc-jaxson

I can’t believe it has been about 3 months since my last post! I seriously hate neglecting my food blog baby, but I’ve had my hands full taking care of the newest addition to my little cave. I’m so excited to formally introduce Jaxson, my 4 month old pitbull-boxer puppy!

Isn’t he adorable? Jaxson was one of seven in my sister’s litter of puppies. I was given first pick of the litter and when I…

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Does anyone know anything about megaesophagus in dogs? My dog was recently diagnosed with it and she keeps regurgitating no matter what we do (diet, eating upright, etc). Other than the regurgitating she’s acting completely normal. I’m afraid we’re going to have to put her down and I just want to know if there’s anyone who has any advice.

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Bella Eating In Her Chair.

Bella has Congenital Megaesophagus and must eat sitting up, her owner built this custom chair for her. Congenital Megaesophagus is caused by lack of esophagus muscle and prevents food from moving to the stomach, gravity helps Bella digest her food.