Dogs with mega esophagus

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mercedes, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. mercedes

    mercedes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2010
    TX
    Is anyone caring for a dog with an enlarged esophagus?My beloved rottie was diagnosed a year and four month ago and I found that a lot of the advise I got from the vet and even some of the stuff I read on line was not very helpful.In fact some of the advise made the management of this condition more difficult.Because she is so dear to me I refused to give up and figure out ways that make her and my live much easier,like only giving ice cubes,no water.Soaking dry dog food instead of giving a soupy mix.Feeding 4-5 small meals a day, 5 or 6 hours apart.She has gone from spitting up 15-20 times a day to 0 maybe occasionally once and I do not have to sit with her and hold her upright for 20 minutes after each meal.In this case not listening to the vet and making the effort to find a better way has saved my dogs live and allowed me to keep what little sanity I have left.[​IMG]
     
  2. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    YES! We have one...a white GSD, diagnosed at 7wks of age. Pretty much as soon as she started eating soaked puppy chow, she started spitting up.

    I built her a stand to eat on.. Not a "bailey chair", but...well, it's like a countertop-height box with a step on the front of it, if that makes sense.. She puts her front feet up on the step and eats off the top.. She's not perfectly upright, but it works for us.

    As for feeding, we actually run dry dogfood through a food processor to turn it into powder.. To make her a meal, we take one dry cup of the poweder and mix it with 2 cups of water to make sort of a "gruel" consistency.. I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but she really prefers if we spoon it out to her...yanno, so she doesn't have to eat out of the bowl. [​IMG] She likes her food that way, though...it's all she's ever known. [​IMG]

    We put the powder in the fridge to keep it fresh (they coat the kibble with preservative, so breaking the kibble = breaking "the seal," as it were) and feed her like that 2-3x/day.

    Oh, and when she's done...we don't let her jump down until she burps. It's just something we noticed that she'd do after eating, and when she did it, she was prone to spit up at the same time. So we wouldn't let her down until she burped...pat her sides...pat her back...BURRRRRRRRRP...ok, you can get down now. She knows the routine forward and backward and will often stand on her own and kinda look around till she burps, then jump down.

    [​IMG]

    She rarely actually drinks water on her own, either.. She gets a lot with her meals, and she's inside most of the time, so I guess she just doesn't need a whole lot. Of all the things that were unlucky for us, the fact that she's not constantly thirsty like some of our dogs is one of the few, rare bright spots..

    She almost never spits up these days.. Once in a blue moon.. She started a vomiting spell last year sometime and the vet re-checked her M/E just to be sure it wasn't contributing to the vomiting...it wasn't...vet said it didn't look any worse than it was when she was little, and whatever we were doing for her m/e -- KEEP DOING IT..

    Average life expectancy for m/e dogs is apparently 2yrs....she's 4yrs old this month. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. mercedes

    mercedes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2010
    TX
    My girl was 8 years old when she was diagnosed.I tried the "gruel" that you are describing,but that did not work for us.Most of it came back up even with burping.Thats when I started soaking the food without grinding it up first and that did the trick.:celebrateBefore that the spitting up was so bad that I wanted to hang a roll of paper towels from her collar so I always had one handy.She is a changed dog now and I sometimes almost forget that something is wrong.As far as life expectancy,I think a lot really depends on the care that they are receiving from the owner.The only problem that we had so far is one bout with aspiration pneumonia,something VERY common in dogs with this issue.If you hear a little hacking cough at night or see drooling, head for the vet!!!!!Your girl sure sounds like a smart one,but then all German Shep's are:D.Got one of those too.I hope she continues to do well and has a long,healthy life.[​IMG]
     
  4. Crazyland

    Crazyland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sandhills NC
    I have two friends on another board that have Mega E dogs.
    Maiya is living proof things can get better. She was being tube fed for a long time. Finally they just left it out after having it put back in to many times to count. Now she is gaining weight and improving!
    The other person does SAR with her dog. He uses a Bailey chair. Boy were his puppy pictures adorable in it. [​IMG]

    They are wonderful dogs and have a life thanks to caring people like you who are willing to do just a little work for their dietary needs,.
     
  5. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    Quote:Absolutely...should have pointed out that the 2yr thing is what I've read as an "in the wild" life expectancy. In other words, if they go undiagnosed and/or get no special care for the condition, they usually only live to be about 2. [​IMG]

    I remember reading a story once about a stray or rescue that was picked up, determined to have some kind of issue, and x-rayed for M/E...it had it, and had more than a liter of fluid and rotting food in an esophageal 'bag' that was resting on the lungs, around the heart, etc.. So sad.. Had to put that one down pretty much immediately..

    That's always been my biggest fear with m/e, since we were able to get the spitting up thing about 99.99% taken care of right off the bat...I still worry that it might stretch, and stretch, and stretch, and finally get to the point that it's collecting food and liquid, putting pressure on the heart, lungs, etc..

    Needless to say, we were both super worried and GREATLY relieved when she was re-x-rayed and it wasn't appreciably worse than when she was 7wks old. [​IMG]


    Hey...since there are other M/E people here, I have a question for ya.. A silly one, but something I've always wondered about.

    Do your M/E dogs have a tendency to lay on their backs? Ours does...has since she was little, and I truly don't know if it's just something she likes to do because she's weird, or if it's something that she's determined to be helpful in some way. She'll lay that way for HOURS sometimes. [​IMG]
     
  6. mercedes

    mercedes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2010
    TX
    My rottie sleeps on her back sometimes,not very often.My GSD lays on his back when he is in a happy mood.Maybe it's a breed thing.[​IMG]
     
  7. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    Could be just a weird dog thing.. [​IMG]

    Only references to it I could find online had to do with submission, etc, but she does it more or less randomly....she'll lay down on her side and wiggle around a minute, roll to where she's on her back, then just lay there...paws up.. [​IMG]
     
  8. stephgamez

    stephgamez New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2012
    Thanks so much for your story. We have a 5 week old small dog that was just diagnosed and the vet says 6 to 9 months for the little guys life expectancy. I have been so depressed!!!
     
  9. Lucky65

    Lucky65 New Egg

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    May 13, 2014
    The best way to help a dog with Megaesophogus is to have someone build a bailey chair and if your dog is struggling with water try this recipe.
    Many dogs with megaesophagus can’t drink fluids normally without regurgitating. To keep adequate hydration some dogs may need to be given subcutaneous fluids. Other dogs can tolerate drinking liquids that have been thickened. Knox Blox made with Knox unflavored gelatin is another way that some dogs can stay hydrated and they make a great nutritious treat for those dogs who can drink water, too!

    Here’s the recipe:

    1 cup cold low sodium chicken or beef broth
    4 packages of Knox unflavored gelatin
    3 cups of boiling liquid (water or a mixture of broth and water)

    Pour a cup of cold broth into a 9 x 11 or 9 x 13 baking pan.
    Sprinkle 4 packages of gelatin over the top and stir
    Add 3 cups of boiling liquid and stir until the gelatin is disolved
    Refrigerate until solid – approximately 3 hours
    Cut the firm gelatin into dice sized blocks and store in the refrigerator

    Your dog may hesitate to eat these at first, but usually once they try them, they love them!


    or you can try thick it. you can buy this at Walgreens, Walmart almost any pharmacy.

    Bailey Chair works great. Surgery usually never works. Do your research like I did and you'll find a ton of things.

    Good luck to you and your canine.
     
    meanolmomma likes this.

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