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Greyhound With Megaesophagus Problems


Guest greymomcrt
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Guest greymomcrt

We have a foster who was diagnosed with Megaesophagus.

 

The problem seems to have gotten worse after she was spayed.

 

After x-rays and trying different rounds of meds, we have resorted to finely grinding up her food,

using a raised feeder, feeding in small watered down (gruel like) portions.

 

The poor girl has lost 10 pounds. Any gravel pieces in her food will cause major boughts of heaving.

 

Has anyone got any suggestions?

 

From what we are hearing, this is a permanent problem. Has anyone had a grey with this problem?

 

Thanks,

Claire

 

 

 

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Claire,

 

I have a Greyhound with a Vascular Anomaly. It is a birth defect - a constricted esophagas. The results are very similar to Megaesophagus.

 

After running many test & meeting with several vets I finally got a diagnosis. The surgeon said most pups with Ben's condition are either repaired by 14 weeks or put down. We got Ben from a shelter when he was 10mo old. He was diagnosed at 14mos as he kept regurgitating his food.

 

The trick is for him to keep food down - same as Megaesophagus.

 

We tried grinding kibble, soaking kibble in water until it was soaked - none of this worked well.

 

What we worked out is pureed food. Ben is only 64lbs. He gets 1/2 can of Eukanuba Low Residue, mix with about 1/4cup of water & puree in a blender. It will look like gravy. Then I take about 1/2 can of Merrick & do the same. I just pour the Merrick on top as it smells better than the Low Residue. When he eats I hold the bowl up as high as I can so he can reach it. This helps to stretch the neck which can help with flow. You can also position them on a staircase - like put the bowl 2-3 steps up - if you have stairs. After Ben eats we then burp - we call it dancing. I put his front feet on my shoulders & burp his left side, just behind the shoulder, where the esophagus is. I try to get him to "dance" a bit as movement can help the food go down.

 

We do this twice a day. As long as the food goes down (you can see it when it backs up on him) I follow up with a can of Ensure after each meal. Again - I hold the bowl as high as I can. This helps to push any remaining food down & helps with nutrition. It is not great for his teeth, but you can't have it all.

 

Ben just turned 5 & is in great shape. His weight is perfect. His vet (and the surgeon) are amazed he has thrived the way he has. He goes through spells where he will have a few bad days and regurgitates a lot. When he does we skip a meal (to let his system recover) & start over. Greyhounds can loose weight very fast, but they can put it on fast too.

 

Ben has aspirated several times over the years, but has never developed pneumonia. I am lucky - I know Ben & I know the signs when he is getting sick. I keep all the meds at home & have always been able to head off an infection.

 

It's a lot of work, but he is worth it.

 

Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement

Louisville, KY

 

 

Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement, Louisville, KY

Greyhound Festival of the Bluegrass -July 19-21, 2013

Holiday Inn/Hurstbourne, Louisville KY

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...

Ben has aspirated several times over the years, but has never developed pneumonia. I am lucky - I know Ben & I know the signs when he is getting sick. I keep all the meds at home & have always been able to head off an infection.

 

Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement

Louisville, KY

 

 

May I ask, how can you tell when he has aspirated anything? I know to look for signs of pneumonia (fever, lethargy, labored breathing, "wet" cough, etc), but how do you know he's aspirated before the pneumonia signs start to show? And what meds do you use to stave off infection?

 

(don't mean to hijack, but just had a laryngeal tieback done on one of my pups last week...)

Edited by ZoomDoggy

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~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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Guest Jennifer4719

My mom had a mini doxie with megaesophogus. She raised her from a puppy and with her being a small dog, my mom used to feed her while sitting at the table. She allowed her to put her front feet on the table with her hind legs on my moms lap. After she finished eating, she held her upright for about 15-30 minutes. She had most of her problems at night while sleeping and her episodes started getting worse and more frequent. My mom had her put down last December and she was 2 years old. Obviously there is no way you can hold your grey on your lap, but when I was doing some research for my mom's dog I came across a contraption called a "Bailey Chair" designed for a dog that had megaesophogus.

 

Here is the info:

http://www.geocities.com/bailey_chair/

 

I hope this helps and that you find something that works for your grey.

Edited by Jennifer4719
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Can't speak for megaesophagus exactly, but you should do a search in this forum for "Bailey chair" -- GTer terdanner built and used one for her pup and it saved his life. It's a device that keeps the dog upright for a time during and after feeding, so everything goes down.

 

The mass in Batman's innards severely restricted his esophagus. He couldn't have any chunks. Some things I did/learned with him:

 

- Count calories! It takes a LOT of wet/pureed food to equal a dry meal.

 

- If feeding kibble, either grind it dry and then add water or soak it overnight in LOTS of water. Some kibbles take up water better than others. Some will still have hard spots the next morning no matter how much water you add. In general, flat, lower-fat kibbles (like Natural Balance) work best for soaking overnight.

 

- Feed at least 4 times a day. With all the liquid needed, volume is high and pup may not want to eat enough at 1-2 feedings to make up a full day's needs.

 

- For pills, crush them up or open capsules and give in a slurry of cream cheese and milk, warmed peanutbutter, etc. A pill is a chunk, and it can get stuck down there.

 

- For treats, I gave graham crackers as they shatter and soften readily. I don't know if a megaesophagus dog could have these but they worked fine for Batman's case.

 

Hugs and luck.

 

 

ETA: To be on the safe side, I ground EVERYTHING for his meals. Scrambled eggs, chicken breasts, chicken livers, everything. Made my cheap osterizer unhappy now and then, but it worked.

Edited by Batmom

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest lizmego

Claire -

Contact Joyce McRorie with GPA Orange County/Greater LA. She had a foster that I beleive was later adopted by the foster family and the grey's condition was fully explained at last year's conference in San Diego.

 

Liz

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Guest greymomcrt
I came across a contraption called a "Bailey Chair" designed for a dog that had megaesophogus.

 

Here is the info:

http://www.geocities.com/bailey_chair/

 

I hope this helps and that you find something that works for your grey.

 

Wow Thanks for all the information.

 

Lady Luck is 4 1/2. The problem seems to have really manifested itself after her spay. Possibly the intubation aggrevated it when she was sedated.

 

I will keep grinding up her food and try to find some supplements to help with the weight.

 

The Bailey Chair link mentioned "Pepcid" type meds being given. Did you ever administer them to your hound?

 

Claire

 

Right now we are 2 days with nothing coming up.

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...

Ben has aspirated several times over the years, but has never developed pneumonia. I am lucky - I know Ben & I know the signs when he is getting sick. I keep all the meds at home & have always been able to head off an infection.

 

Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement

Louisville, KY

 

 

May I ask, how can you tell when he has aspirated anything? I know to look for signs of pneumonia (fever, lethargy, labored breathing, "wet" cough, etc), but how do you know he's aspirated before the pneumonia signs start to show? And what meds do you use to stave off infection?

 

(don't mean to hijack, but just had a laryngeal tieback done on one of my pups last week...)

 

 

It happens after he has been regurgitating. He will re-eat it if you don't catch it & pick it up. Ben has learned that if I see him regurgitating I pick it up, so he will leave the room in hopes you don't find him.

 

When he aspirates I will normally notice the symptons a couple of hours after the regurgitation stops. He will curl up and hold his head up - with his nose pointing up towards the ceiling. He breathes through his nose with his mouth closed. The vet said that the actual infection takes about 24hrs to set in. When I notice Ben doing the above I start his meds. (All my vets have said they have never seen an adult dog survive a Vascular Anomaly, so Ben has kind of been a test case. Others may have different responses.)

 

You have to wait a while until he settles or the pill will come out too. He gets one 20mg Prednisone. Then he will go on a broad spectrum of antibiotics for 5 days - 1 Baytril a day, Flagyl 2x a day & Cephalexin 500mg every 12hrs. In the early months he did this more often. Ben has only aspirated once in the last 6mos.

 

Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement

Louisville, KY

 

 

Jennifer Watkins

Shamrock Greyhound Placement, Louisville, KY

Greyhound Festival of the Bluegrass -July 19-21, 2013

Holiday Inn/Hurstbourne, Louisville KY

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Guest Jennifer4719

 

Lady Luck is 4 1/2. The problem seems to have really manifested itself after her spay. Possibly the intubation aggrevated it when she was sedated.

 

The Bailey Chair link mentioned "Pepcid" type meds being given. Did you ever administer them to your hound?

 

 

 

Your Welcome!

 

My mom did give an antacid(Gaviscon, I think) to her pup and she also was on Regalan(Sp?) at one point. The Regalan is something that helps the stomach speed up digestion.

 

The intubation may have disrupted her swallow reflex. I just went through the same thing with my stepdad recently and he could not swallow after a 4 day intubation. It has been 3 weeks and working with a Speech pathologist he just passed his barium swallow. He will have his feeding tube removed soon! Hopefully Lady Luck will make a rebound as well and be ok. It may just take some time for the muscles and nerves to come back. Intubations can cause trauma that is unknown, especially if it was a difficult intubation, or if the tube was too large or the cuff was over inflated.

 

Please keep us posted on her progress.

 

 

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Guest greymomcrt

Thanks everyone for all the info.

 

I believe Huc's Lady Luck must have a mild case. (Thank Heavens)

 

I have pulverized her kibble in a coffee grinder, added warm water and made a gruel like substance.

 

It has been 2 days now since her last bad episode of heaving and retching up everything. The kibble wasn't ground small enough (food processor still left small chunks in it).

 

Raised bowl and several small meals seems to be helping.

 

She seems a little high strung and acts nervous. I'm hoping the more relaxed she gets the better off she will be.

 

She was having a terrible time in the kennel and is doing much better here at the house.

 

I'll be happy to get some weight on her. She may be a foster for some time.

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Guest greytlady

I have a little JCKC girl that was diagnosed with megaesophagus. After much trial and error I found that Eukanuba puppy does best for her. She gets a cup at a time, soaked till it is slurpy and eats on a raised feeder. If I give more than a cup at a time she urps it up. So she gets one cup, goes out side, comes back in and gets the other cup. She hasnt urped up anything in weeks.

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Claire -

Contact Joyce McRorie with GPA Orange County/Greater LA. She had a foster that I beleive was later adopted by the foster family and the grey's condition was fully explained at last year's conference in San Diego.

 

Liz

this is a picture i took of casey, who was at the gpa national adoption conference in san diego:

 

103618177-M.jpg

 

she was demonstrating how she ate while seated in the chair.

Steve, owner/photographer Crackerdog Photography, writer of ShutterHounds. Follow me on Instagram.
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Guest greymomcrt

I truly believe this is GT at it's best :confetti

 

The replies from everyone have been really helpful

 

Hugs to everyone from Huck's Lady Luck :bighug

 

We are on day 3

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My girl Ragsy has MegaE also but only mildly so we feed 4-5 small meals a day and massage her throat to make sure the food has all gone down. You can see a bulge in her neck if it gets stuck. She will eat like this for two or three days then she has a day where she won't eat till late evening so we think maybe the food gets stuck further down and only goes through gradually after a build up of several meals. It doesn't really seems to bother her though and we have been this way for over three years now since we got her at around 10 years old. She doesn't seem to be getting any worse so I guess we've been lucky and I hope you will find the condition quite manageable also.

Sue from England

 

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I didn't notice anyone answering about the pepcid...yes, you can certainly give a regular pepcid...I believe they are 10mg.

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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I didn't notice anyone answering about the pepcid...yes, you can certainly give a regular pepcid...I believe they are 10mg.

 

Oops. Didn't notice the question. I gave B 10mg (one regular pill) twice a day. You can give more than that but I would consult with vet before giving more. The pills are actually small enough that I was able to give B his normally but for a megae. dog you might need to crush them up.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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