Puppy has Enlarged esophagus

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by heatherindeskies, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    little chocolate lab has enlarged esophagus... has anybody had any dealings with this? poor little thing vomits up most of her food, yet she is energetic and is slowly gaining weight.... surgery is an option but risky. the vet seeing her said he has only seen this one other time. Any thoughts?
    thank you.
  2. Avla

    Avla Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2010
    Unfortunately, it is a common thing in labs.

    Here is some info on treatment.

    Treatment: The primary goals are maintaining nutrition and preventing complications. Divide a puppy’s daily ration into four or more small meals. It is important to provide food and water from raised bowls to maximize the effects of gravity. A semiliquid or gruel mixture is easier for some dogs to swallow. Others do better with solids. This should be determined by trial and error. If possible, the dog should remain standing up-that is, front feet on a stepstool or ladder-for 15 to 30 minutes after eating so gravity will help move the food into the stomach.

    Even with dedicated care, many dogs with megaesophagus will remain somewhat stunted and have bouts of aspiration pneumonia. Episodes of aspiration pneumonia require antibiotics, selected after culture and sensitivity tests. Signs of pneumonia are coughing, fever, and rapid, labored breathing.

    Puppies with congenital megaesophagus may eventually outgrow the condition. Surgical correction of some vascular ring anomalies is possible. Dogs with congenital megaesophagus should not be used for breeding.

    Adult-onset megaesophagus is irreversible, but some dogs do well for many years with careful attention to feeding and prompt treatment of respiratory infections.​
  3. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    thank you so much!
  4. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    [​IMG] I hope everything goes well for you and the puppy! [​IMG]
  5. amity3520

    amity3520 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I'd do a quick search for it in the search bar on here, there was a topic about it not long ago with a lot of helpful tips from owners with dogs with mega-esophagus! Good luck!
  6. Crazyland

    Crazyland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sandhills NC
    Mega-E dogs are just as great as any other, they just need a special diet plan and a dedicated owner.
    It isn't a death sentence like it used to be.
    Post pictures of the darling. [​IMG]
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I remember a woman with a dog that had that problem. I remember that she had an area set up for the dog to rest in, after meals. It had pillows for the dog to rest it's head on, so the head would stay elevated after meals. It was either a sofa or bed and she would sit there with her dog for awhile after meals. I think the dog was really good about it, once it understood what she wanted it to do and got used to the routine..
  8. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    We have a megaesophagus dog. [​IMG]

    To "treat" her, we basically just run dry dog food through a food processor to turn it into powder, mix it 2-parts water, 1-part food (to make a thin 'gruel' type consistency), and feed her on a little stand I made that's countertop-height. She just turned four in August, and was diagnosed at 7wks..

    That may or may not work for your dog, of course...just kinda just gotta find what works for her and go with that.

    I'm not gonna lie to ya -- keeping her fed can be aggravating at times!...but she's worth it. [​IMG]
  9. rainierlass

    rainierlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2010
    I have a 6 1/2 year old Australian Shepherd diagnosed with Mega-E when she was 12 weeks old ......I was told that 30% of them grow out of it......mine didn't - but it is quite manageable........I fed canned for years but the price of premium canned was a bit much so I decided to just soak kibble to a mush and feed from an elevated dish - some kibbles soak water better than others - you might have to trial and error - - I just put hers in a dish ...fill with water and put in the microwave for 2 minutes - then let cool till it is safe to feed and not too hot - some owners place their dogs in a 'Bailey-chair' built specifically for them - - I just make sure Tess stays upright after feedings and she does pretty good - - I do not let her drink much water at a time as it will undoubtedly come back up - straight water is your enemy ( too much of it anyway) - it was a frustrating road to say the least but I will say she is one of the best dogs I have ever had and am so happy I did not make other choices ( altho after having her for a month at diagnosis there was no way I would have)! She is a fantastic agility dog and has qualified for Nationals 2 years in a row - - Mega-E is NOT a death sentence!

    There is a Yahoo group for Mega-E owners where you might find answers to some of your questions but I will say a lot of the dogs on that site are far worse than mine -- I do not give her any meds for it - some give Pepcid etc.

    The main danger with these dogs is aspiration pneumonia - where they get the regurge into their lungs - - luckily we have not had this happen with Tess - -

    A Mega-E dog is not for the squeamish owner.........you will deal with a lot of what we call 'urping'- - it is not vomit per se as it is just the food that has not made it to the stomach - - Tess is a good recycler - if you let them clean it up they will get the nutrition - - and needless to say what used to be light gray carpet is now wood flooring!!! Over the years Tess has learned what she needs to do - - for the first couple of years we elevated the front of her crate at nite - - she would also lay on the end of the couch with her head propped up - and when she starts to cough and get urpy she takes herself to the back door! Such a good girl!

    Please feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.......I will try to help!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  10. mercedes

    mercedes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2010
    My girl was diagnosed at age 8,so we are dealing with the adult on-set version.Trough trial and error I have figured out what works for us.I find that soaking the kipple,like rainierlass suggested works much better than the gruel.Also I give icecupes in place of water,a small amount every couple of hours to keep her hydrated.You don't want liquids pooling in the esophagus,that's what causes the spitting up.Everything avla said is really good advice.Having the dog sit next to you and be petted for 10 minutes after meals works great.My dog just recently went thru a bout of aspiration pneumonia and is hard to get rid of,so watch for hacking and drooling.Maybe a more experienced vet? [​IMG] to your puppy.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by