12 December 2011

Coping with canine congenital megaesophagus

This is our cute dog Bella. She was diagnosed with congenital megaesophagus soon after we found her at 4 months old. Megaesophagus means that her esophagus is enlarged and lacks the muscle mobility to swallow food while horizontal. This is her "Baileys Chair," which she needs sit in while eating and for 10 minutes after she eats. She eats soft dog food with a little water mixed in. She is now seven months old and doing great.
The first fifteen seconds tells the story. It's cute the way she's learned to flip the tray. In humans, megaesophagus can result from achalasia or Chagas' disease.


  1. It's heartwarming to see someone who cares that much for their dog. Most owners would have put down an animal with that condition without a second thought. That video made my day. Thank you.

  2. Having worked in a vet clinic that treated a couple of puppies with this, I assure you that a) it doesn't always need this degree of management, and b)"most" owners don't put down the dogs that have this, unless something goes badly wrong and it is in the dog's best interest. (Aspiration is a constant threat, for instance)

    That said, it's not a tremendously common thing, although more so in some breeds (Shepherds), and some puppies outgrow it, if it is managed early.

  3. Thank you for loving her and for doing this.

  4. Our German Shepherd with megaesophagus is 9 years old now. She is fed with bowls on stands, several small meals daily and then sleeps with a neck pillow at night. The pillow uses velcro to hold it in place and the pillow is placed under her chin. Kinda looks like a beard. This allows her to sleep without the constant rasping. It is on the Megaessophagus list serv as Mystique's Pillow. You can get some sleep at night.


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