Here at Dog Tag Art we try to pay attention to what our customers are telling us. Recently, we noticed an uptick in the number of tags being created and ordered that let people know that the dog wearing the tag suffers from megaesophagus. What the heck is that you might ask, we wondered the same thing. Megaesophagus is an enlargement of the esophagus, the tube connecting the throat to the stomach. In dogs with megaesophagus, the muscles of the esophagus, either through genetic defect or aging, are unable to affect peristalsis. The result is that dogs with this affliction regurgitate their food and are at risk for aspiration pneumonia if food or liquid enters the lungs.
To cope with megaesophagus some dogs need to feed upright and remain that way for a short period of time after their meal so that gravity can move the food into their stomachs. Many of our customers have uploaded pictures of their dogs in special chairs designed to keep them upright during and just after their meals.
Dog Tag Art contacted several local veterinarians to find out how frequently they encounter cases of megaesophagus. A veterinary technician from Pet Vet on Patton let us know that on the whole it is rather uncommon. However, they do see a case every 3-4 months. We also spoke with the Regional Emergency Animal Care Hospital and they reported that they do not see very many cases at all, possibly 2 a year. And generally, when they do see a case of megaesophagus it is in geriatric animals, because with age peristalsis becomes more difficult, as muscles become weaker throughout the body.
While it is reassuring to know that megaesophagus is rare in occurrence, Dog Tag Art has created a medical alert tag for the disorder to help keep your best friends safe and healthy.