MegaE is generally seen in puppies as congenital, Puppies may also be born with a persistent right aortic arch, (PRAA) meaning an anomaly around the aorta of the heart that causes the Mega Esophagus.
MegaEsophagus may develop later in life due to many underlying diseases such as myasthenia gravis, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenocorticism, neuromuscular disease, toxicities, or infectious disease as well.
The esophagus may have slow to zero motility. The only way for the food to reach the stomach is by gravity which is why a Bailey chair is used during meal times to assist with that process. A times barium study aids us in knowing how long the puppy needs to be maintained in an upright position post meals. During this study the barium is given to pup and we hold pup up for ten minutes and take follow up X-ray at the time to allow us to see if the barium has reached the stomach in that time frame. We continue with new X-ray in another ten minutes if the first X-ray revealed unsuccessful of barium reaching stomach. We do follow up at six months and one year of age because we have seen with early and proper diagnosis, treatment, and care cases can be very successful. We have had 14 cases of Mega E within our rescue with 6 resolving with no signs of Mega E today.
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