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  Megaesophagus

 

Common names or abbreviations:

bulletMegaesophagus

Description or definition:

bulletThe esophagus is the tube connecting the throat to the stomach.  When food enters the esophagus, reflex causes muscle contraction and relaxation that transport the food into the stomach. Other reflexes prevent breathing during this swallowing process to prevent the food from entering the lungs.

When these reflexes are interrupted such as by disease in the esophageal tissue or nerve disease, the esophagus loses its ability to transport food.  Instead the esophagus loses all tone and dilates.  Food (or water) remain in the esophagus until the dog tips his head down, and out it comes.  Also, the reflex protecting the lung is disrupted and pneumonia commonly follows.

Mesophagus is a condition where the esophagus is stretched far beyond its normal collapsed state and is unable to move food toward the stomach or empty itself of the food and liquid that have already entered it.

Most cases involve young puppies (Great Danes, Irish setters, German Shepherds are genetically predisposed).  In these cases the condition is believed congenital though it often does not show up until the pup begins to try to eat solid food. Congenital megaesophagus is believed to occur due to incomplete nerve development in the esophagus. The good news is that nerve development may improve as the pet matures.  Prognosis is thus better for congenital megaesophagus than it is for megaesophagus acquired during adulthood.

Links to sites about this disease:

bullethttp://www.marvistavet.com/html/megaesophagus.html
bullethttp://www.dog.com/vet/gastro/01.html
bullethttp://petplace.netscape.com/netscape/nsArtPrinterFriendly.asp?conID=14056
bullethttp://www.videxgsd.com/gastrointestinal.htm
bullethttp://www.tollerhealth.com/Megaesophagus.html
bullethttp://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB/Proceedings/PR05000/PR00133.htm
bullethttp://www.petplace.com/articles/artShow.asp?artID=219

This summary provided by:

bulletDebbie Knatz
bulletShepherd's Ridge

 

 

Dedicated to improving the health of ISSR Shiloh Shepherds.

 


Copyright © 1998 - 2009. Shiloh Shepherd Dog™ Club of America.
All rights reserved. Revised: January 2008

The information on this website was written by ISSR breeders and other concerned individuals, however we are are NOT veterinarians. This information is being provided as a general overview, from information we were able to find about each disease through our own research. These summaries are not intended to be relied upon as medical or veterinary advice, nor do we consider ourselves experts in the veterinary field or in any of these conditions. While we do our best to provide the most up to date information, new research is constantly being done on these diseases. We recommend that you do further study and talk to your veterinarian on any topics you see here, as we cannot guarantee that the information posted here is the most current information available.  This site was originally designed and maintained by Debbie Knatz.