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PolarPup 04-04-2014 10:09 PM

Dental Care for Megaesophagus Dog
My 5 month old pup has congenital megaesophagus. He has done well so far with dietary management, but I worry about the long-term effects on his teeth. Obviously, he isn't able to have rawhides, Greenies, or really anything for chewing that could be broken down into pieces and swallowed. Any sort of raw bone is definitely out.

He has a Nylabone, but doesn't really show much interest in it. I picked up a deer antler at the store today for him, but am hesitant to give it to him since my vet has cautioned they can cause broken teeth. He's not a super strong chewer (not nearly as bad as my lab mix!), but I'm still curious if anyone's dogs have managed to break up the antlers into pieces?

I know the reality of ME is that long term care comes secondary to life style management, but the optimist in me wants this pup to stick around for the long run, preferably with healthy teeth to boot! And of course because of his condition, I don't want to be putting him under anesthesia a few years down the road for a dental.

Any suggestions on what I can use? I hate being so limited with my options!

2S1H 04-05-2014 02:48 PM

I have 2 dogs with congenital megaesophagus & both enjoy chewing on antlers. I have never seen them break off a piece nor have I noticed any splintering either. They just naturally wear them down. I would suggest the whole antler rather than the split ones & obviously throw it away when it gets worn so small that it could be a choking hazard.

For teeth cleaning you can buy dog toothpaste & make brushing his teeth a part of your daily routine. There is also a product called Petzlife that comes in a spray or gel that (they claim) doesnít need to be brushed on as long as you can get it in their mouth.

Jersey will be 9 years old in a week and although her teeth arenít perfect white, they look pretty good for a dog that has spent her lifetime eating slurry type food and canít have the treats & chews that the average dog can have.

Kudos for you for thinking of the long term when dealing with a mega E dog!!!!

Andrea (in Ontario, Canada)
& Jersey 8 1/2, almost 9 year old GSD with ME (congenital)
& Diva 5 1/2 year old GSD with ME (congenital)

PolarPup 04-05-2014 08:11 PM

Thanks so much for the input. It's nice to hear from someone else who understands the issues with ME! I guess it's antlers and Nylabones from here on out, though I wish there were more options out there.

I do plan to introduce daily tooth brushing (putting it off until he has a bit more self control and focus... lol procrastinator here!), though I've always believed that natural chewing is the best option for keeping teeth healthy. I've heard of all the sprays and gels, but in my experience, they unfortunately don't seem to work well.

I'm glad your older girl is still doing well! I'm finding it's hard to balance importance of long term health and daily maintenance with this condition, and even though Polar has a great team of vets, their experiences with congenital megaesophagus dogs have all been short term and not very positive. It's nice to hear there are senior ME dogs out there that still do well. :)

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