Dog Diagnosed with Megasophagus? Don’t despair!

“Megaesophagus is a condition in which a dog’s esophagus is enlarged to the point that food remains in the esophagus and never makes it down to the stomach and is instead regurgitated. The muscle contraction and relaxation that normally takes place to move food down to the stomach doesn’t work. Megaesophagus can be present since birth or can develop in adult dogs. If left untreated, it can cause a range of problems, including starvation and aspiration pneumonia.” This quote was extracted from a site called The Pet Project and their post details how to get a hold of “Baily’s Chair” which enables dogs to eat in a way that lets food get down into the stomach more easily, as well as giving many great resources for where to go for support and information about this condition. Check out this fantastic You Tube video of a dog using a chair like this – it’s so flippin’ cute how the dog jumps into place!

In the “Answers from Experts” (03/99 issue) of the Whole Dog Journal, Holistic vet Dr Carolyn Blakey suggests that homeopathy can help, as well as acupuncture, “which would be great for stimulating whatever tonal ability the dog may have. With megaesophagus, the whole problem is a lack of innervation (sufficient supply and activity of the nerves). The messages are just not getting through to the esophagus to constrict and move food down; it gets all flaccid. But acupuncture can get those neurotransmitters working, or at least, get them working better than before.”
She also mentions that it would be important to have a good vitamin mineral supplement as well as digestive enzymes to help the dog (or cat) to absorb more nutrition from the food that makes it into the stomach.

3 Responses to “Dog Diagnosed with Megasophagus? Don’t despair!”

  1. Morgan Griffith

    All these modalities are well and good and I would certainly throw everything I could at a dog with megasophagus. In reality be prepared for heartache as your dog’s health declines. Some dogs do make it, others not. For the ones that don’t it is an ugly life and an ugly way to die.

  2. Green Dog

    For people that are searching for answers, I’d like to think that the comment by Morgan above wasn’t meant to discourage you or make you feel hopeless. Our job as caretakers is to give the pet you love the very best care you can to give them the best quality of life possible. Perhaps Morgan has had a bad experience with this disease, or lost someone she loved from it. I hope you will continue your search for ways to make your megasophagus dog as happy and comfortable as you can – I’ve known dogs who were rescued with this condition that were going to be simply put down because their owners couldn’t be bothered to do things to accommodate it. They had more happy life ahead of them because someone was willing to get creative with their care, and I think that counts for something.

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