Anyone's dog have megaesophagus?

wantoretire_didDecember 23, 2009

And how do you get him/her to keep water down?

DD was just diagnosed after several years of treating asthma w/ prednisone to control the regurgitation and aminophylline for breathing. He also has secondary pneumonia, which is being treated w/antibiotic.

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I do not have a dog with this problem, but I was reading on one of the rescue sites about a dog with the same problem. The dog had to eat and drink in an inclined position so that the food could go down; and stay in an inclined position for a little while so that the food would stay down.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 12:22AM
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Try doing a search for a group at the place that starts with a Y. I can't mention or link to it here, it's not allowed.

I know I've seen people on the Addison's dogs forum there talking about it in the past. There's a lot of good info on the A-dogs group page so I'd guess there might be some good info on this one too.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 1:32AM
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thanks for your responses. I found the "Y" site and read of Knox blox, which I have made and he loves. My question is, how many/much to help hydration? He is 40 lbs. Is eating snow (not a big deal for a dog who licks his butt!!), but I don't think it is enough. Any advice gladly taken.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 7:26PM
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One of my great danes has congenital megaesophagus. She can drink normally, but she does have to eat standing on her hind legs like this (please excuse the messy laundry room!):

She's not a gulper when she drinks, though, so that may have something to do with her being able to share the other dogs' water bowl. I also soak her food in water, so she gets a lot of fluids that way, as well. A friend had to give her dog crushed ice because he couldn't keep water down, so snow is probably a good wintertime alternative.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 8:01PM
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food and fluids need to be given in vertical position...and the dog needs to remain there for several minutes after.

most pets should drink 28 milliliters (one ounce) of water for every pound they weigh. This means that a 40-pound dog needs about one liter (about one quart) of water every day.
Best of luck...also the snow is not a good idea for normal dogs and worse for ME dogs as very cold substances can effect mega E.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 9:30PM
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That site has some really questionable information. Since we got Mattie, I've gotten to know a number of other people who have dogs with megaesophagus. Neither my dog nor any of the other dogs I know with megaesophagus stay in a vertical position after eating--and certainly not for 20-30 minutes! Only one of my friends' dogs needs to be inclined to drink fluid. He's a gulper, though, and we think this is why.

My dog's case, although manageable, is still on the severe end of the spectrum, since she is now six years old and her condition has not improved over time. That is, she still regurgitates every time she is not fed properly. There are varying degrees of severity with this disorder and some of the measures mentioned on that site may be necessary for the most severe cases, but at least in my experience, it's not the norm.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 12:38PM
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holligator, although it's true there are different stages of Mega E, the poster did say her dog already has had pneumonia, therefore aspiration due to having Mega E is more than likely the cause. The way to help avoid aspiration pneumonia from Mega E complications is to change the position of the esophagus by using a vertical positioning. Simply put, raising the bowl no matter how high doesn't do that enough. Vertical postioning + gravity (while feeding and drinking and 20 minutes after) for dogs with Mega E is a good thing.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 8:28AM
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I completely understand the purpose of positioning to avoid aspiration pneumonia, but vertical positioning doesn't mean the esophagus needs to be at a 90-degree angle from the floor. Any angle more than 45 degrees will accomplish the purpose of using gravity to get food or water to the stomach, and significantly elevating the bowl absolutely does do that enough for most dogs with megaesophagus.

Unless the dog has a ring stricture, it will take seconds, not 20+ minutes, for everything to reach the stomach. Dogs with only megaesophagus and no strictures inhibiting swallowing typically do not need to be restrained in a vertical position after eating. We have Mattie trained to stand at her bowl for a few seconds after she finishes. Usually, she burps and then gets down.

I know a lot of people do it because they read that it was necessary, but for most dogs, it's really not. As uncomfortable as it is for dogs to eat in a Bailey chair and be restrained in it afterward, I wouldn't want to put a dog through it multiple times a day if it wasn't necessary. My vet initially recommended that very thing, and we were prepared to do it. But, the person I got the dog from had rescued more than a dozen dogs with megaesophagus over the years, and she explained how vets tended to be overzealous in their treatment recommendations and shared her successful methods. I talked it over with my vet, who agreed that we could try some alternatives. My vet now recommends those alternatives first and hasn't had a dog who actually needed a Bailey chair since.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 12:13AM
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Unless the dog has a ring stricture, it will take seconds, not 20+ minutes, for everything to reach the stomach

HOLLIGATOR, In regards to your above statement i'm assuming you mean an vascular ring anomaly, but that is not the only stricture that can occur with dogs and Mega E.
it's also not just about getting the food to the stomach but allowing enough time for the food to stay in the stomach to do it's duty in the digestive process, especially if if the Mega E is secondary due to other lower digestive problems.
I do however understand what you are doing is working for your dog, and that is one of the first things to try. But many times it's not enough and further extension of the head and neck and body is required. I feel it is important to mention that the bailey chair is not a horrible thing either. Most dogs do very well in this and it is especially helpful for dogs with aspiration pneumonia issues such as that with this original poster.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 10:31PM
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I have just adopted a male chihuahua who is extremely under-weight. His spine and ribs portray so badly. I believe he has megaesophagus however I plan to have this confirmed with a vet asap. He gulps his water and brings it back up... anything he eats (that is very little) within minutes he brings it back up. He is coming up on two years and I do not understand how he has survived for so long eating and drinking like this. How can I put weight back on him?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 1:41PM
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I'm not a dog (maybe in a past life) but I have something like this myself. I eat small amounts at a time and sleep propped up. I also take Pepcid to stop acid reflux.

The Wikipedia page about this problem has good information at the end:

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia article about megaesophagus

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 5:29PM
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Here is the feeder I made my dane

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:36PM
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Here is the feeder I made my dane

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:37PM
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    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:39PM
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My 12 1/2 year old GSD was recently diagnosed. The best I can do with feeding is get him to stand on an uphill ramp. He will not stay there long. His back legs are arthritic and he doesn't even "sit" anymore. He is either standing or laying down. Every time he eats he wants to lay down afterward. He is also gets dehydrated. He drinks water (after eating) but then hours later clear mucus and some food comes up. Is the food getting into his stomach? I need help here. I just ordered him a ProCollar and his bowl is elevated to chin level.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Google the Bailey Chair. It's made specifically for this. Talk to your vet or Internal Medicine Specialist Vet for lots of info. and also have good info.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:11PM
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