Hi everyone! I love helping animals and year round I fundraise for animals in need. My newest project is to raise funds to pay for at least two Bailey Chairs For Dogs suffering from Canine Megaesophagus. In a nutshell the muscles of the esophagus fail and they cannot propel food or water into the stomach. Many dog owners do not know that the Bailey Chair is a solution to this problem and I would like with your help to improve the lives of at least two dogs if not more. Everyone who donates $20.00 or more to my project will get a mention on my radio show and blog once I meet my the goal. I will reach out to the rescue community and pet owners alike to find two dogs that are in desperate need of a Bailey Chair.
My three dogs Galaxy, Thornton, and Mr Twix are all very healthy and they want to paw it forward for dogs who are not as fortunate as they are.
Thank you in advance for helping two dogs enjoy a better quality of life.
Sam “The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll Dogs”…woof!
What is Canine Megaesophagus? Megaesophagus is difficult to detect and diagnose, and the medical options are few. The muscles of the esophagus fail and it cannot propel food or water into the stomach. (It’s like a balloon that has been inflated several times and then hangs limp.) The result is that ingested food sits in the esophagus within the chest cavity and never makes it to the stomach. The most serious complication is that digestive fluid/food will at some point pool in the esophagus which generally results in aspiration of digestive fluid/food, leading to pneumonia. (Aspiration Pneumonia) Megaesophagus can occur at any age as a puppy, or as an older dog. If it afflicts a puppy, the cause is usually genetic, or due to a surgically repairable condition called PRAA (Persistant Right Aortic Arch). If not secondary to another disorder in adult animals, it is called “idiopathic” (cause unknown). Megaesophagus can be secondary to other diseases such as Myasthenia Gravis, Thyroid, Addisons and other Neurological disorders.
Symptoms: Regurgitation of water, mucous or food. (Regurgitation is throwing up without any warning; “vomiting” is associated with wretching.) Loss of appetite or refusal to eat. Sudden weight loss. Swallowing difficulty, exaggerated and/or frequent swallowing. They will also try to clear their throat frequently with a “hacking” sound. Sour and/or foul-smelling breath. Many canines can be mis-diagnosed with a gastrointestinal problem. Aspiration pneumonia is a frequent complication.
Management: Your canine needs to be placed in a vertical feeding position immediately to avoid starvation and/or aspiration pneumonia. (Note: Not an “elevated bowl.” Elevating the bowl does not place the esophagus in the proper orientation so that gravity will work.)
Vertical feeding can be accomplished with the Bailey Chair. The canine must remain in the chair for 20-30 minutes post feeding to allow gravity to work.
A low-fat or low residue canned food fed either in a milkshake consistency or in “meatballs” works best. (If using the meatball method, they must be swallowed whole.) Each dog is different and experimentation with food consistency is required.
Multiple feedings, 3-4 meals per day, is also suggested.
Fluids must be consumed in the vertical position.
Medications may include an acid reducer (like Pepcid-AD or Prilosec) 1 or 2 times per day; motility drugs (metoclopromide/reglan, cisapride/propulsid/, low dose erythromycin) to help empty the stomach to minimize reflux from the stomach into the esophagus; and/or an esophageal “bandage” for esophagitis.
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