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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4754
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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Mega oesophagus

Customer Question

My Lhasa Apso who is 8 years old has been diagnosed with Mega Oesophgus is there anything I can give him. Thank you, julie

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.
Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

Has your veterinarian already done the testing to diagnose this (I assume this was diagnosed via X-rays) and then identified if she has pneumonia secondary, which may account for the breathing issues? This must must be treated with an antibiotic for 4-8 weeks. And then did your vet discuss the different medical options to try? The level of therapy tried really dose depend on how much she regurgitates. I can certainly outline my standard approach to this problem.

Dr. Joey :

Did you do the screening test for myasthenia gravis (acetylcholine receptor antibody test) and test for hypothyroidism? These are important to rule out. However, in a dog of her age these are unlikely. If positive for either then treatment might help, but realistically will not cure.

Treatment for this involves trying to promote reduced esophagitis (esophagus inflammation) with a drug like omeprazole given daily long-term and a drug to promote forward motility such as metoclopramide. If myasthenia is diagnosed then there is medication to help and some dogs with that problem might benefit from corticosteroids.

Dr. Joey :

As well you need to explore what foods and positions during/after eating will help reduce the level of regurgitation. Did your vet talk about constructing a Bailey chair? (Here's a link for great info on that: http://petprojectblog.com/archives/dogs/megaesophagus-and-the-bailey-chair/). Some dogs do better with moist food fed in 4-8 meals a day (small meals) whereas others do better with kibble. You have to experiment.

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Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.

You appear to be unavailable for a live chat or we are having a difficult time connecting. I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. We can continue our dialogue in this setting.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

My goal is to provide the best answer possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Dr Joey. Your answer came through last night for some strange reason but it matches exactly with my vets diagnosis. All the test you suggested were done and the meds were given, I really wanted to know if there was anything more, thank you for that. Buster is coping quite well so far and the vomiting has stopped for 36 hours now so here's hoping.

Thank you so much.

Julie

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.
This is really good news that so far the regurgitation has stopped. The disease is much tougher to treat in our older dogs. I wish I had good news for you that there was a "new" cure but we still do not have much.
Please keep me posted!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi
Dr JOey,

Can my other dog catch this illness.?

julie

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.
Megaesophagus is NOT contagious. No worries. Very individual to the dog.
Cheers,
Dr. Joey