Megaesophagus


 
 

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Upon swallowing, food moves to the stomach via the esophagus or "food tube". A weakening and dilation of esophageal muscles (megaesophagus) can be caused by inflammation or obstruction. Megaesophagus usually appears in young puppies, where it is congenital, or in older dogs. Megaesophagus is a serious condition. When the esophagus is dilated or the muscles weakened, it can cause a dog to regurgitate food before it reaches the stomach or even regurgitate it even after it reaches the stomach, but has not not yet passed into the intestines. Regurgitation can lead to aspirational pneumonia, a condition not to be taken lightly.

Tasha began vomiting intermittently, which led to esophagitis (irritation of the esophagus), which led to megaesophagus, which in turn led to aspirational pneuomonia. Tasha's first regurgitation episode was around noon on a Tuesday. The next day she was unable to keep water down and that night was admitted to the ICU at Tuft's Veterinary Hospital. Nineteen days later she went to the Rainbow Bridge.

Dog.Com Comprehensive article on megaesophagus, including an overview of the gastro-intestinal tract.

VetInfo.Com A good question and answer page on megaesophagus.

Mar Vista Animal Medical Center An animated explanation of megaesphagus.

BarkBytes.Com A Canine Cyber-Magazine article on megaesophagus by Jennie Bullock.

A personal account of megaesophagus in an older Golden.

Diet suggestion for megaesophagus.


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