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Megaesophagus

General Information

Megaesophagus is a condition is which the esophagus is enlarged and cannot prop-erly propel food from the throat down to the stomach. Megaesophagus occurs less frequently in cats than dogs. Pneumonia caused by inhaling pieces of food is a common complication of megaesophagus. While the condition can appear suddenly in mature animals, it is most common in young animals shortly after weaning. It is inherited in Wire-haired Fox Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers and possibly others.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Barium x-ray studies are often necessary to diagnose this condition. Both surgical and medical therapy may be used in treatment of megaesophagus, but cures are uncommon. The doctor will discuss the prognosis for your pet.

2. Give all medication as directed. Call the doctor if you cannot give the medication.

3. Feeding: Place food and water dishes at the pet's eye level or higher to allow gravity to help food and water to pass into the stomach. Force your pet to remain in a sitting position for at least 5 minutes after eating to encourage food to pass from the esophagus.

4. Diet: Prepare food as follows: ___________________________________________________

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5. Instructions for surgical patients: ________________________________________________

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Notify the Doctor if Any of the Following Occur:

* Your pet continues to regurgitate its food and/or water.

* Your pet's overall health worsens.

* Your pet coughs or has difficult or noisy breathing