Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
Re: Is Congenital MegaE genetic?
PRAA and MegaE are not the same thing.
PRAA is caused by the arterial shunt that allows bloodflow around the lungs in utero to fail to atrophy and disappear after birth like it's supposed to. This arterial shunt remaining intact causes constriction of the esophagus near the heart, which in turn can lead to pouching of the esophagus before the constriction, as food backs up due to the bottleneck.
This is very different from an enlarged esophagus caused by MegaE. The esophagus of a PRAA dog is normal sized and functions normally, before and after the constriction. The difference between true MegaE (enlarged esophagus) and PRAA (bottleneck causing a back up) is very obvious on barium x-rays.
MegaE is genetic. PRAA is congenital, but is not considered to be genetic. It is something that happens in all mammals, including humans, though it is more prevalent in some breeds of dogs more than others.
Good news with PRAA is that if it does cause a problem, it can be fixed with surgery. For MegaE there is no fix, only management of the symptoms.
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