|09-12-2013 12:50 PM|
Maggie really helped me psychologically when my boy first got diagnosed.
The barium suggestion is not needed and is a potential danger if it gets into the lungs.
Mega E shows up on a normal xray. The barium may be used if they feel its being caused by something that can be fixable.
THE DIAGNOSTIC PLAN
First, the megaesophagus must be diagnosed. This is done radiographically. If megaesophagus is not obvious on plain films, it is better not to use contrast (Barium) studies if possible. This is because megaesophagus patients have the tendency to inhale or "aspirate" food contents that back up in their throats. This is dangerous enough when the material is simply food but if barium is present and becomes inhaled, the body has great difficulty removing it from the lungs. Still, sometimes this is the only way to see the megaesophagus.
The next step is to determine whether or not the animal has "aspiration pneumonia" from inhaling regurgitated food material. The same radiographs used to diagnose the megaesophagus can be used to determine if an aspiration pneumonia is present though just because the chest is clean at one point does not mean aspiration will not occur in the future. The owner of the megaesophagus dog must be vigilant for cough and listlessness.
Chest radiographs in combination with a history of cough, nasal discharge, and the presence of fever usually indicate pneumonia. Usually the chest radiographs will show disease in the areas of the chest that are lowest in the standing animal as this is where gravity draws inhaled material. The presence of aspiration pneumonia makes the case much more serious as pneumonia can be a life-threatening condition.
|09-12-2013 11:33 AM|
I've raised TWO mega dog to adulthood and they were just fine! The way to know for sure is with a simple barium test at the vet. No pain and easy for the dog, they just eat barium covered food and then get an x-ray while they are still wide awake. If food is NOT all in the stomach but still in the esophagus, then they have mega.
DO NOT PANIC!
The other puppy in the litter had the mega that has that poor prognosis, sickly when still nursing.
Any puppy that continues to thrive and grow normally in comparison with it's littermates should BE FINE and may even grow out of the condition when they are an adult.
What I do is a bit of managment using raised feeders. Just so they are standing with a raised head (not with the bowl on the ground) seem fine for them. Also being aware of aspiration pneumonia so IF they get sick (and mine never had) I would go to the vet much earlier than otherwise realizing it may be more serious.
This is GloryB, and she had (has? haven't rebariumed her as an adult) mega. She's now 4 1/2 yrs old and a BEAST! Can you tell the difference between her and her NON mega 'sister' Bretta?
More importantly (cause I think your puppy will be fine) is WHAT IS YOUR BREEDER DOING!?????? This is an entirely GENETIC condition and since clearly it's in her lines, and the fatal extreme type (littermate that is dead) I'm hoping they told you they will be either not breeding again or at the least not a repeat breeding with that bitch/sire. Otherwise they are NOT responsible breeders and you know to avoid them in the future. Plus (I'm sure you know this) to spay your bitch around a year.
|09-12-2013 07:53 AM|
My friend has a GSD with Mega E.
She wrote this paper which may be helpful to you: http://www.piekasplace.com/wp-conten...-Esophagus.pdf
Best of luck,
|09-12-2013 01:17 AM|
(Post edited down to closer to 1000 words per http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...uncements.html )
Megaesophagus fact sheet:
This is a fairly long information sheet, but, it covers a lot of information that will be helpful.
Megaesophagus fact sheet:
1) What is megaesophagus?
A NORMAL esophagus squeezes the food from the back of the throat, through the
chest, and into the stomach (see video at Home, go to Library
and search for megaesophagus). With megaesophagus, part (focal) or all
(generalized) of the esophagus is paralyzed. It ends up being a flaccid tube
that just allows the food/liquid to sit within the esophagus, and not empty
into the stomach. These dogs usually have to be fed and maintained for 15-45
minutes in a VERTICAL position to take advantage of GRAVITY, to allow the food
and fluid to "fall" into the stomach. See the information on the Bailey chair
that you will receive upon joining. Also, look through the photos to see other
methods of feeding vertically (baby jumper, baby care seat, bucket stuffed w/
towels, Snugli, etc.). Most of these dogs require being held VERTICALLY
whenever drinking or eating anything, and then for 14-30 minutes after. Many
dogs fall asleep in the Bailey chair after having been fed. Most dogs do best
when being fed gruel or liquid food. Some can be fed food in a meatball form.
We want food to "slide down" the esophagus; nothing that can stick in the nooks
and crannies of the paralyzed esophagus.
Megaesophagus can also be recognized after an anesthetic procedure. If the
particular dog has GERD, a hiatal hernia, or an "opened" lower esophageal
sphincter, when they are anesthetized, some of the acid can reflux back into
the esophagus causing a sort of "burn." If the inflammation is not recognized
soon enough, a stricture can occur, which can then result in megaesophagus.
Most of the dogs on this board have idiopathic megae, or megae due to another
Dogs can be born with it as "juvenile megaesophagus, " or have it due to a
malformation of blood vessels from the heart (they require surgery). The usual
"workup" for an adult dog who develops megae is to test for Myasthenia Gravis
(MG), Addison's and hypothyroidism, and, on occasion, lead toxicity. If no
causes are found, it is called "idiopathic" (cause unknown) megaesophagus.
2) There can also be a variety of co-existing conditions that can be associated
a) the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach
in megae dogs may be "lazy" and allow acidic stomach
fluids to reflux (leak back) into the esophagus. Acid
is NOT a friend to the esophagus, causing burns or ulcers.
If the stomach fluids can be made LESS acidic, it is less
likely to burn the inside of the esophagus (esophagitis).
In general, most dogs need to be tried on one of a
variety of "antacids." The most successful seems to be
Prilosec, Pepcid ADand Nexium. In people, these acid-meutralizers
are recommended to be given once daily. Twice daily seems to work
best in dogs. Chronic decreased acid, however, can cause a
Vitamin b12 and/or folic acid deficiency, so supplementation
w/ injectable b12 and/or b complex is suggested. Most owners
are taught to administer the injections.
b) Gastric motility may also be decreased. There is no
known treatment for this; however, minimizing the amount
of fat in the food, which stays in even a normal stomach,
for a longer time, may be helpful. Ie. stay away from
fatty foods, A/D, Maximum Calorie, etc. Metoclopromide,
cisapride or low dose erythromycin may help the stomach
empty more quickly. Bethenachol has also been used w/ some
c) IBD - some of these dogs seem to have episodes of
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disorder), or, perhaps H. pylori,
which can only be diagnosed w/ endoscopy. However,
treatment w/ amoxicillin or metronidazole (or, other
antibiotic combos appropriate for these disorders) may
be considered, without endoscopy. This "syndrome" should
probably be called ANTIBIOTIC RESPONSIVE GASTRITIS/
ENTEROPATHY, as there is quite a bit of controversy about
the true involvement of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori.
- some of these dogs may also have dietary intolerances
and may be best served by being fed a hypoallergenic
diet. The most common ingredients (but, not the only ones
for dogs to be "allergic/intolerant of" are eggs, milk,
beef, chicken, soy, wheat and corn. There are few OTC
dog food that is free of all of those. Most dogs require
presciption diets; and, those are more balanced than homemade
d) dysphagia/pharyngeal or cricopharyngeal
achalasia - Can cause difficulty/impossible swallowing of food/
fluids. If the throat is affected, some of these dogs have
a hard time swallowing fluids. Thickening agents such as
"Thicks It," or "Thick'n'Easy can be added to water, or liquid.
e) GERD - GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease and/or hiatal hernia
can be present. These dogs, in fact all megae dogs, probably
benefit from sleeping or laying slanted w/ their heads above
the bodies. A Pro-collar, which is sort of a like a human
cervical collar, which will hold the pets head more elevated,
which we believe minimizes the reflux of the acid into the
back of the throat, can be helpful.
f) Aspiration pneumonia - because of the potential for
reflux of stomach contents back up into the esophagus,
megae dogs can aspirate those fluids/acids into the
trachea and down into the lungs, resulting in aspiration
pneumonia (AP). The use of a nebulizer w/ albuterol and/or
saline is helpful for AP. Some owners feel, for those dogs
who are very prone to AP, or who have frequent attacks,
that daily nebulizer w/ albuterol treatments seem to minimize attacks.
This is not a "standard" use of nebulizer treatments, and
many dvm's, including specialists, seem to have a problem
accepting this modality. Go to Template
and view the "nebulizer" information sheet.
g) esophageal stricture or esophagitis - Megaesophagus can occur after
an anesthetic procedure. If the particular dog has GERD,
a hiatal hernia, or an "opened" lower esophageal sphincter,
when they are anesthetized, some of the acid can reflux
back into the esophagus causing a sort of "burn." If the
inflammation is not recognized soon enough, a stricture
can occur, which can then result in megaesophagus. Strictures
may be treated w/ bougenage (stretching of the esophagus
under anesthesia) and placement of a temporary or permanent
feeding tube. Esophagitis is treated w/ carafate liquid and acid-
|09-12-2013 01:06 AM|
|gagsd||Feeding upright will help keep pockets from forming in the esophagus. Yes.... it can get better as they grow, but no guarantees.|
|09-12-2013 01:06 AM|
You have to really learn about this and not trust a vet unless they specialize in this. My vet is pretty good now thanks to me educating him.
Get an xray, it could be caused by a few things and maybe fixed.
You need to limit water and only give a few ounces at a time. This will be your big challenge. Dehydration is deadly. You are going to need some coaching. Yes it can get better over time. I wouldn't count on it. it doesn't get worse if you manage it.
The more water you give, the more it sits in the esophagus and will stretch it more. Managing the disease is very doable. You need to feed smaller meals at least 3 or more a day.
Feeding upright as well is important
I seriously doubt the dog has never regurged while at the breeders. You cannot give any bones or anything that will splinter and sit in the neck. That will cause a gage reflect than vomit.
You got the dog two days ago I hope you got all your money back. You will have to learn a lot and you know may have a special needs dog. If your not prepared for this you may want to give the pup back before you get to attached.
|09-12-2013 12:42 AM|
|nellie555||Thanks for your help! Yes I can make the noise when I massage her neck, and it is the loudest after she drinks. Im just in awe she can keep it all down, because the sounds are so loud. Was your dog just making sounds too? Did he or she eventually start regurgitating over time? The vet told me she has never seen megaesophagus get better that it will only get worse. Do you think my pup will eventually start regurgitating?|
|09-11-2013 05:22 PM|
Yes it is Mega E that sound is food or water in the esophagus. Get an Xray and you do not need barium. You need to take precautions and feed up right be careful with giving water, you need to monitor that. Get GasX you will need it as well. Gas is another factor with Mega E. If you massage the dog in the throat area by the chest you will be able to make that noise happen.
That noise is the way we found out our dog had Mega E. Its not a death sentence it can be managed.
|09-11-2013 04:32 PM|
Is it Mega E????
We got a 9 week old puppy from a breeder 2 days ago and she is showing some signs of mega E. The pup had a sibling in the litter that had mega E pretty bad at its 2 week check up and had to be put down. But this little girl has been growing healthy and strong, she eats, drinks, poops, plays and is totally normal (other than being the runt and a little lean). Her only symptoms are her gurgling noises in her throat - the sound of water sloshing around. Plus her hick-ups after she eats and seems like she swallows big every so often. The breeder said she doesn't ever regurgitate (or vomit) after eating except once after eating the cat food. So far NO regurgitation whatsoever for us either. she acts totally normal except the gurgle throat sounds. The vet today said it could be but she wasn't sure and to just keep an eye on her. Thought I'd get some ideas and opinions from other GSD owners out there with any experience on the matter!! thanks!