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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jax is 12 weeks old, over the past five weeks there have been a few occasions where he couldn't hold any food or water down but seemed to be fine the next day.. Just figured he was easting something that wasn't agreeing with his stomach. He did it again yesterday and so i took him to the vet today and they diagnosed him with megaesophagus. X ray showed lots of food in his esophagus. Anyone else out there had this health problem. Thanks
 

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blackcrowe said:
Jax is 12 weeks old, over the past five weeks there have been a few occasions where he couldn't hold any food or water down but seemed to be fine the next day.. Just figured he was easting something that wasn't agreeing with his stomach. He did it again yesterday and so i took him to the vet today and they diagnosed him with megaesophagus. X ray showed lots of food in his esophagus. Anyone else out there had this health problem. Thanks
Sadly yes. At the advice of two different vets, I euthanized a 5 week old puppy born with MegaE a few years ago. Difficult to do, but I think it was the humane thing to do in that situation. Dogs born with this affliction generally only live 2-3 years, eventually dying of aspiration pneumonia.

I've also had a geriatric (11 years old) dog develop MegaE as a symptom to some disorder we were never able to diagnose...there are something like 60 diseases that can cause acquired MegaE. We managed to keep her alive about 10 months, until she died of cancer...I don't know that I'd do that again. It was EXTREMELY difficult to keep weight on her; she looked like she was more than half starved all the time no matter what we did. It's also difficult to deal with a dog that violently disgorges everything packed up in their throat with no warning whatsoever on a frequent basis..

You'll need to liquify all food, and feed the dog from a vertical position. I found it helped to have the dog sit in front of you and put it's paws on your shoulders for about 10-15 minutes after they ate..all of these tricks an effort to use gravity to get as much food down the throat and into the stomach as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
do you know if some cases are more severe than others. We had been softening his food until just a couple of weeks ago. that is when we noticed it. hopefully he will be fine if we keep softening. Plus sometimes he'll go several days eating 3 cups of dry a day and everthing is fine. normal activity and normal stool. The vet also told me that sometimes as a dog matures the muscles used to push the food to the stomach may develope and start working better. I guess all i can do is hope for the best. Am going to another vet wednesday for a second opinion.
 

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blackcrowe said:
do you know if some cases are more severe than others. We had been softening his food until just a couple of weeks ago. that is when we noticed it. hopefully he will be fine if we keep softening. Plus sometimes he'll go several days eating 3 cups of dry a day and everthing is fine. normal activity and normal stool. The vet also told me that sometimes as a dog matures the muscles used to push the food to the stomach may develope and start working better. I guess all i can do is hope for the best. Am going to another vet wednesday for a second opinion.
I'm sure it's possible some cases are worse than others, but I really don't know for sure. Good luck!
 

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The vet was talking about this to someone when I took my cat in the other day. It sounded like it was bad with their pup though and he seemed to want them them to put it down. It sounded like their dog was keeping anything down though. He did say it may mature but for this pup it didn't sound like it would be soon enough:(

Do you know how common it is? Is it genetic? I'm kinda interested to know. I hope your pup does fine,if he can keep at least some things down I'm sure he's much better off than the pup I heard about.
 

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oh dear God, No. Murreydobe, IMO you are one of the most informed people on this forum, but I really hope you are totally, completely, thoroughly wrong this time.

cc
 

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Codysmom said:
oh dear God, No. Murreydobe, IMO you are one of the most informed people on this forum, but I really hope you are totally, completely, thoroughly wrong this time.

cc
I will second that. :sadcry:

I'm gonna look this up on the internet, I am curious now as well. We will be wishing the best for you at your vet visit on Wednesday.
 

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Codysmom said:
oh dear God, No. Murreydobe, IMO you are one of the most informed people on this forum, but I really hope you are totally, completely, thoroughly wrong this time.

cc
Well..I sure don't have all the answers about dobermans (or much of anything else). I've been wrong a time or two before.:)

But this is a subject I'm pretty familiar with, having dealt with it with two different dogs. Congenital MegaE is a serious defect, one that has an extremely high mortality rate. Dogs born with this disorder usually don't live very long, and they tend to die of a particularly ugly form of pneumonia. Definitely not something I WANT to be right about. Yes, some puppies outgrow it to some degree..but they're not the norm.
 

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BTW..I forgot to mention this..there's a drug that used to be used for humans with MegaE, Cisapride. I gather it's supposed to improve motility of the muscles in the throat.

We tried it with my geriatric bitch that developed acquired MegaE..it was very expensive and not easily available..I had to go to a special pharmacy that compounded it on the spot for me. I didn't see any real difference when she was on this drug. But it might be something else to try.
 

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From An Article I found, written by Val Whitman
http://www.tollerhealth.com/Megaesophagus.html

Hope this helps.

What to do if your pup/dog has megaesophagus?
* The first thing to do is get a correct diagnosis. This is commonly done using a barium study. Your vet can perform this easily.
* There are no medications that really work, although there are a few which can aid in digestion for older dogs.
* Elevate dog's food and water. By elevate, I mean so their front feet are off the floor and resting up on the surface where the food/water is. A stool works well, or even using stairs can work. You will need to grow your platform as your pup gets bigger.
* Feed a watery slurry of dog food, or dry food. Most vets recommend a slurry as that seems to go down better. We initially had Wiley on dry, but we switched to liquid hoping that will move down easier. To prepare his food we put his serving of dry food in a cup and add enough water to cover it and a little more. Using a hand held blender we whip it up into a watery oatmeal type consistency. He slurps it down and thinks it is a tasty treat! This also is a good way for us to keep water down him - when mixed with his food it seems to stay down better.
* Hold them upright for at least 5 minutes after they eat and after they drink if water is a problem. Often Wiley will burp just like a baby. Your vet can tell you from doing the barium how severe your pup is, and that can help you determine how long you need to hold them upright. Try to keep them quiet for a period after eating as well.
* Crate training is a must, unless you want to clean up messes in the middle of the night. He doesn't often urp at night, but it can happen and changing towels from his crate is easier at 2 AM than the alternatives.
* Invest in paper towel companies!! Fortunately, we had installed hardwood floors not long before getting Wiley, so clean up is quick and easy. When he manages to hit the carpet, standard carpet cleaners seem to do the trick.
* Keep everything out of baby's mouth! Mega dogs seem to be constantly hungry and Wiley will put anything in his mouth (including his own poops - yuck!). All puppies tend to be mouthy, but he is worse and anything that goes down will undoubtedly come back up.
* Train for praise and love. Most training treats won't stay down, so you will need to train pup to do it for love! Koehler is one training method that does not use treats, but any method can be adapted to omit treats. Some dogs think a tennis ball is better than a treat anyway! I have found that the fake chocolate drop treats do stay in him - they are small and must just slip on down into his tummy.
* Give them LOTS of love and affection!

Prognosis?
Some dogs outgrow the condition when it is seen in puppies. Adult dogs that develop megaesophagus do not outgrow it. The real killers of mega are malnutrition in young dogs, and aspiration pneumonia. In advanced stages of the condition, some dogs are given a feeding tube so food is inserted directly into the stomach through the side of the dog. This is a fairly drastic approach, and other methods of keeping food down should be explored first. As noted above, aspiration pneumonia is cause by the regurgitation of food that gets inhaled into the lungs. This foreign matter irritates the lungs, causing fluid and the onset of pneumonia. Watch for coughing, elevated temperature and signs of labored breathing. When in doubt, get a chest x-ray! Some dogs can be sick without coughing or having a emperature.
 

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Another....
From http://barkbytes.com/MEDICAL/med0053.htm

Megaesophagus
Diet Suggestion
This feeding plan was sent to Bark Bytes by one of our readers. As with any diet please consult with your veterinarian - before you place your dog on such a diet. It is posted here - as it may be a help to some of you.

I have a 5-year old English Bulldog, diagnosed with megaesophagus. My ex-wife returned him to me when she was no longer able to care for him.
My vet suggested puree-ing his food..feeding him from a height..etc.

Nothing worked. He kept upchucking.

But, one common denominator I discovered was that he was able to "keep down" Meaty Bones when I gave them as a reward. So I decided to take his regular recommended amount of dry dog food..chop it in a blender, use the recipe below.. and feed it to him many times as a "treat" throughout the day until he got the two cups in his belly that was recommended.

Here's the recipe:

2 cups dry dog food (his recommended daily amount) chopped in blender
1 egg
1 Tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup milk
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Mix
Form into flat pieces the size of silver dollars
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
Cool
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Feed many times in small amounts throughout the day as treats until the 2 cups are in his belly. You can mix up a whole month's worth in about an hour or so over the weekend.

I plan to buy high-protein puppy food until my little guy catches up.
He doesn't upchuck any more.

Hope this helps others.
Hope this works. It did for me.
 

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My last Rottweiler developed this and had to be PTS in the end because of it and other problems, she had it really severely. She couldn't drink or eat anything at all and the vet said there was nothing more we could do for her. Not all cases are as severe as hers was, I hope you have better luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the concerns and advice. I have been reading stuff on the net since i got home from the vet 8 hours ago. I have actually purified a cup of food and fed it to him over 4 times in the last few hours. None of it has come up. I can tell that to continue doing this i really need to find a food that is of very high quality, and dense in all the proteins and nutrients that he needs right now, especially being a puppy. Maybe even blend up some raw stuff as well. Right now he eats Chicken Sooup. I feel like this is a pretty good food, but I need to be giving him the best. I don't care what the cost is! Some of the better foods will also require less amounts per day to give the dog what he needs. That would help out since i can only give him small amounts. Any suggestions on the best foods I can buy and maybe some raw suplements that i can also blend up in the food.

Thanks so much for all the Genuine concerns.
 

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He is a lucky boy to have such a lovin and caring owner,good luck with any thing you try.
 

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blackcrowe
I hope that everything turns out ok and if the little guy does have megaE you aer able to deal with it. Apollo has a lot of trouble keeping weight on and we have had success with EVO, pretty high in protein and for him is easily digestable.

good luck and I'll say a prayer for the doberbaby.

cc
 

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I don't know what the best is, but my dogs have done great on Solid Gold. www.SolidGoldHealth.com In MY opinion, its the best :D There is an entire thread about raw feeding in the "Town Hall section" There are lots of people here who feed raw also, hopefully they can give you some guidance. Keep us updated on his progress.

Lots of luck to you guys from Rommel & Piper :)
 

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I never heard of this...I understand it from reading the thread...but I was just wondering if this is something that gets better over time...or if it is just when they are puppies...or if they may always have it?
 

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Have you been in touch with Jax's breeder about his condition? Wondering if their sire/dam had the same condition as a pup and it improved as the pup matured. Is Jax the only pup in the litter with this condition or do his sibs suffer from it as well? Any responsible breeder would want to be told of any health issues.

Perhaps contacting your local DPCA chapter might help - someone there might have some suggestions/advice.

Best of luck to both of you!
 
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