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Canine Megaesophagus

 We are so glad you've found us!  You're probably worried, scared, and feeling slightly hopeless after your dog's diagnosis -- Don't Be Discouraged!  It CAN get better!

CanineMegaesophagusInfo.com is your one-stop destination for:

  • Information (We're all experienced with the condition, so we know how it works!)
  • Management Tips (Chairs, Food, Treats!)
  • Recommended Veterinarians (We know they're good because we use them!)
  • Awareness Events (Let's get ME off the "rare" list!)
  • Support (Who better than ME parents to laugh, and cry with you throughout your journey!?)  

Welcome to our family -- Welcome to our crazy ME world -- Let us help your dog live a long and healthy life with Megaesophagus  ♥

*DISCLAIMER* We are NOT veterinarians, and we are NOT speaking on behalf of any companies or others.  We ARE a community of pet parents with ME/MG dogs.  The information contained on this website is not meant to diagnose, treat, or take the place of advice from your vet.  Utilize this information at your own risk. - Thank you*

Megaesophagus (ME) is basically a "floppy" esophagus.  The esophagus is a tube connecting the mouth to the stomach.  A normal esophagus moves food to the stomach with wave-like contractions called peristalsis.  An ME dog's esophagus loses its muscle tone, becomes enlarged, and can develop pockets where food can become trapped.  Since the esophagus does not function normally, food sits in the esophagus and doesn't make its way to the stomach.  This can cause malnutrition and regurgitation of vast amounts of undigested materials.

ME can be idiopathic (no known cause), or a result of a secondary disease.  The most common secondary diseases causing ME are Persistent Right Aortic Arch (PRAA), which is most commonly seen in puppies and can sometimes be successfully treated with surgery, and Myasthenia Gravis (MG), which is a neuromuscular condition that can be treated with medication.  Please see the links on our homepage for more information about PRAA and MG.

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One of the main symptoms of Megaesophagus is regurgitation.  Regurgitation is different than vomiting.   When a dog regurgitates, it does not usually require much effort from the dog, and the food comes out looking a lot like it went in (undigested), sometimes in a tube shape (like the esophagus).   When a dog vomits, there's a lot of effort involved.  A vomiting dog will exhibit a heaving motion (the ribcage and stomach will rapidly contract multiple times) before partially or totally digested food and/or bile is expelled.   A dog will also lick his lips often prior to vomiting (this is a sign of nausea).   It is important to know whether your dog is regurgitating or vomiting, as it aids in diagnosis.   Often, a vet will not even consider ME if he or she is told that a dog is "vomiting."

When a dog regurgitates, some of the regurgitated material (food, water, saliva) can be inhaled into his lungs.  Inhalation of foreign material into the lungs can cause another, more dangerous, symptom of Megaesophagus, Aspiration Pneumonia (AP).   It is imperative that your dog be seen right away by your vet if you suspect AP.  In some cases, a bout with AP is the trigger for an ME diagnosis.

Common symptoms of aspiration pneumonia in dogs include  trouble breathing (heavy panting without strenuous exercise), shuddering/shaking/shivering,  lack of appetite (not drinking water or eating), lack of activity (not playing), and fever.  Not all of these symptoms may be present at the same time if your dog has AP.  Again, if you suspect your dog has inhaled material into his or her lungs, it is our recommendation that you seek veterinary treatment.

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The most common method of diagnosis for Canine Megaesophagus is an x-ray (radiograph).  Since an enlarged esophagus can be difficult to see on an x-ray, often a Barium Swallow will be done.  In a Barium Swallow, the dog is fed a contrast material that makes the esophagus stand out on an x-ray.  This contrast material is used regularly in humans to provide clearer x-ray results.

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With proper management, ME dogs can live long and healthy lives!

The most important management technique for ME is Vertical Feeding.  Since the esophagus isn't working correctly in an ME dog, gravity is needed to get food to the stomach.

# 1 Feed your Dog Upright - You can use a “Bailey Chair," a high chair, a laundry basket, ANYTHING that keeps your pup vertical!  After each feeding, have your dog remain upright in the chair for at least 10 minutes.  Some dogs may need more time upright than others -- this part is trial and error.

Sunny in Chair tulip in her milkbone containerNiah in Travel Pillows

*Please check out the Bailey Chairs 4 Dogs link on the homepage to purchase a chair, request a chair donation, or even get plans to make your own MegaE chair!*

# 2 Food Consistency- Yet another area that requires some trial and error.  Some dogs do well with a slurry or milkshake consistency.  Some dogs thrive on soaked kibble (water or broth overnight to make into a "mush"), and some dogs do better with food shaped into little meatballs (be sure that they are small enough so that your dog can swallow them--chewing negates the benefits of the meatball shape).

Many ME dogs do not do well with water, so water is added to their food (in addition to the softer easy-to-swallow consistency of softened food, it's a great way to incorporate water into your pup's diet).  Dogs that eat meatballs can get their water with something called Knox Blocks -- basically jigglers for your pup!  *See Recipes under link on homepage* Other dogs may do well with a large hamster style bottle mounted high enough to keep the throat in an elevated position.

There are several recipes you can try to add nutrition and weight to your dog, like “satin balls,” or you can try adding coconut milk or “Ensure” to their food.   Please continue to check the Recipes link for new concoctions!

What works for one dog may not work for another, so keep track of what you try so that you can find what works best!  

# 3 Smaller more frequent meals. Some dogs can eat twice a day while others may tolerate smaller, more frequent meals better.  Say it with us, "this requires trial and error!"

Don't get discouraged and don't give up -- you'll find something that works!

# 4 Try a “Pro Collar” or “Neck Hug”.  These devices help to elevate your dog's head while reclining.  Keeping your dog's head elevated helps keep any food that's still in the esophagus, or saliva (face it, that's always there), from being regurged.  Some dogs take a while to get used to this large fluffy collar -- This elevates your dog’s head off the floor when they are laying down.   You can find inflatable Pro Collars at Petsmart or Petco.  The Neck Hug from Wag Tail Farms is a stuffed elizabethan collar.

Teddy in his neck hug.

Please check out the Wag Tail Farms website via the link on our homepage!

# 5 Try medications - Antacids, like famotidine or omeprazole can to help control stomach acid. Your vet may also prescribe a motility drug.  One more time, "this requires trial and error!"

Each dog is different, so don't be afraid to try new things! Don't give up!

 Bully shows us how it's done! Click Here to see Bully eat!

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Listed here are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs associated with Canine Megaesophagus.
Not all ME dogs take the medications listed below - trial and error (and the advice of your vet) will help you to find what works best. 

Antacids 

The sphincter between the esophagus and stomach in ME dogs does not work properly and often allows acidic stomach fluids to reflux (leak back) in the esophagus. Acid can cause burning and ulcers and lead to esophagitis.  Here are some common antacids that your vet may prescribe:

  • (esomeprazole magnesium)                                                                                                      
  • ( famotidine )
  • (omeprazole)
  • (cimetidine)
  • (ranitidine )

Antibiotics to treat AP (Aspiration Pneumonia)

It is very important to recognize the signs of AP and act on it right away. If your dog shows signs of being lethargic, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, increased respiration rate, fever, off of their food or water, incessant panting it’s best to get them in for x-rays.

Many times a vet cannot tell just by listening on their stethoscope.  Your vet may take two x-rays of the lungs –one with the dog on its stomach or back, and one with the dog lying on its side.

Often, two antibiotics will be prescribed for 2-6 weeks, consisting of  a broad -spectrum antibiotic, like Enrofloxacin, along with one other.  If a dog has chronic or recurring AP, the drugs can be administered through a Nebulizer to avoid taking orally.

*Each of these meds has side effects that may or may not impact your pup.  Clavamox, for example, can cause nausea, loss of appetite, or vomiting.  You will need to monitor your pup while taking this medication for any complications.

  •  (enroflaxacin)
  •  Clavamox
  •  (cephalexin)
  • (azithromycin)

Esophagitis Prevention/Treatment

(sulcralfate)- is an anti-ulcer medication used in the treatment of ulcers of the esophagus, stomach , or small intestines.  Give orally on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after feeding or giving other medications). It is best to crush them and mix with water (can be given with a syringe), so the medication is better absorbed.

(maropitant) - Severe Esophagitis can cause nausea. This is an anti-emetics drug that really works!

(neurontin)Esophagitis can be painful for your pup, causing him to avoid eating. This is a medication that helps manage your pup's pain.

Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm is an herbal treatment prepared from the inner bark of the Slippery or Red Elm Tree. The term “slippery” refers to the remarkable sticky gel that is formed when the powdered bark comes in contact with water.  It is a protector and lubricator for pets with gastrointestinal disease and esophageal diseases.  It is very soothing to the esophagus.

Recipe for Slippery Elm Soup can be found here  http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-soothing-qualities-of-slippery-elm/

 (Tramadol) - Pain medication that is used often for pain management associated with many illnesses/injuries in dogs.

(ondanestron) - anti-emetics for nausea caused by severe Esophagitis

 Pro-Motility Drugs

Pro-motility drugs help open up the sphincter between the stomach and small intestines, allowing stomach contents to more quickly enter the small intestines, so that it is less likely to reflux back up into the esophagus.

(Propulsid )- helps with reflux –give 15-30 minutes to an hour prior to eating

(metoclopromide)- helps empty the stomach – give 15-30 minutes to an hour prior to eating

(Bethanechol)- increases the speed of rhythmic contractions in esophageal muscle

Note:  Again, some dogs do not require drugs to manage ME, though most are on some sort of antacid.  Some have had success with the pro-motility drugs and others have not.  Keep trying until you find what works for your pup!  

*Any and all medications and dosages should be regulated by your veterinarian.*

 
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Reno's Satin Balls Recipe

5lbs ground beef
6.5 cups of a corn flake cereal
7.5 cups of quick oats
5 raw eggs with shell
2 cups organic wheat germ
5 packs of unflavored gelatin
1.5 cups vegetable oil
2/3 cup of molasses
2 tablespoons of elk velvet powder
6 tablespoons of powdered puppy milk
4 tablespoons of cranberry powder 

Mix together raw, and shape into meatballs that are the appropriate size so your dog can swallow without chewing.  Separate meatballs into meal sizes and store in freezer bags. Feed in upright position.   Recipe courtesy of  Reno's Mom, Chrissy Wilson.

 

Reno
Reno

Megaesophagus is NOT a death sentence! 

There is a frustrating lack of information accessible to pet parents given the Megaesophagus diagnosis;  it often seems as if there's no hope.  Our group,  pet parents living with ME dogs (congenital, idiopathic, Myasthenia Gravis - young and old) and a family who have been inspired by an ME story, have decided that it's time to dispel the myth that ME is a death sentence.  

Member Recommended Vets and Specialists

This list is made up of veterinarians and specialists recommended by members of the ME/MG community.  This list is only a starting point - please choose your vet based upon your own criteria.  

There are many knowledgeable vets that are not included in this list... YET!

Please send us your recommendations!

 Click Here For Recommended Vets and Specialists

 

Savannah in Chair

 

 

We've Come a Long Way, Baby!  (Before & After Pics!) 

 

MEatball!  MEatball Before and After

 

 

Foster!  Foster Dog Before and AfterFoster's After!

 

 

 

Shiloh!  Shiloh BeforeShiloh After!

 

Bully! Bully's weight gain

 

Reno! Reno before and after

Kris Long

Mom to ME dog, Shade.

"I've had Shade since she was a puppy. She was fine her first year. The older she got, the worse her regurg got. I had been in and out of the vet for years trying to figure out what was wrong, and they just gave her Pepcid and told me to feed her sensitive stomach food. No X-rays or other tests. I finally got a diagnosis a month and a half ago when I insisted on a better answer- clearly it wasn't just a case of food sensitivity or acid reflux. I has never even heard of ME, so I didn't know to ask about it. It amazes (and irritates) me that it took YEARS for vets to figure out what was wrong [...] It took 4 years to get an accurate diagnosis."

How to give subcutaneous fluids

Carter

 

Click here for Carter's Story

 

Carter's Story ♥

Carter is a Boxer/St. Barnard mix.

We call him a Boxnard.

Until 2013, he was a perfectly healthy 140+ pound lover boy.  Around April 2013, he began regurgitating everything he ate and drank. Our vet started treating him for acid reflux, but nothing seemed to be working.  

We watched as he dropped in weight to just under 100 lbs.  

We were afraid we were going to lose him.

On Memorial Day weekend he developed aspiration pneumonia.  We took him to a pet ER and we were promptly sent to MedVet Animal and Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. 

It was there that he was properly diagnosed with hypothyrodism. 

Once we got him back home it took a bit to get his meds and food regimen squared away, but he just couldn't handle any liquids.  We tried it all: ice chips, esure, thickening agents, gelatin blocks - you name it, we tried it. 

I would even make him an Elvis smoothie.

Anything with even the slightest amount of liquid would be proptly regurgitated.  We would end up in the vet's office 3 times a week getting our boy rehydrated.  

Our vet finally told us we could give him fluids at home.  He instructed us how to do it and my husband does it every evening.

We want to share it so that you can see that it isn't as scary as it sounds.  

We feel very blessed to still have our boy with us.  While he may never achieve his 140+ pre-diagnosis weight, I am happy to say that at his last vet visit he weighed 127lbs.

Since Carter was diagnosed, our vet has been amazing.  He apologized over and over for months of misdiagnosis.  Carter is his first ME patient (he did have a mega-colon cat, though).  Our vet has become our champion. 

*Sweet Carter lost his battle in 2014.  His spirit lives on in his story and video -- helping others manage and thrive with ME.

Your dog CAN live a long and healthy life!

A ME pamphlet to SHARE with your vet and others!

120 thoughts on “Canine Megaesophagus

  1. Love it, Love it, Love it!!!! Such a positive message of hope. If I were newly diagnosed this would be like a breath of fresh air coming here!!! Great Job!!!!!

  2. So glad to see this website! It is a great way to continue to spread awareness and teach people how to manage ME!

  3. Mikhail and Megaesophagus

    My husband and I started our great search for an Australian Shepherd back in 2009. We finally found a place in July 2013 that sold very lovely puppies, had all the right documentations, and recommendations from our local vet. I went out originally looking at a blue meral named Mikhail, how over I bought his black tri brother Nikolai instead. Went home and told Sean and well…he wasn’t too happy about that. So I ended up calling the place again and made an appointment to go back out in introduce Sean to our new puppy. We left the appointment the proud owners of TWO puppies, now we just had to wait for them to grow up. We helped our friends evacuate from a fire and moved out to the equestrian facility that I trained at. We ended up taking our puppies’ home a few weeks early due to the fire. Both pups were happy and healthy. Mikhail was always a little bit of a hick up puppy and would get them often; we figured it was normal along with the obsessive drooling and licking.
    In December we notice that Mikhail was licking the walls, door frames, and floors a lot. He would drool so much that it soaked his bed or sofa that he was laying on.
    January 03.2014 at 5:15 PM, our life with our dog changed forever. Sean and I had just finished dinner and brought the dogs inside. Mikhail goes over to his bed and starts coughing, and coughing. He started puking very violently and foaming at the mouth. I ran over and scooped him up in my arms and ran out the door to drive into the vet clinic that was closing at 5:30. I called the vet office which was run by friends of mine and they waited for us to get there. Mikhail was sedated and given some anti-nausea medication. He was also given an IV drip for fluids; the vets figured he ate something “bad” being a farm dog that was very possible. Mikhail was sent home with a bag of medications and special food. During the night he started to puke again and this time it had blood. I called the vet at home first thing in the morning. Mikhail went back to for another round of test and a set of X-rays. When the vet opened his mouth to look inside it was covered with ulcers! The senior vet thought for sure he had ate a battery and that it was dissolved and now the battery acid was running wild through his GI track. He had several bleeds and passed blood for days, we weren’t sure if he would survive. He came home on anti-biotic, other medications and special food. The X-rays showed no blockage or anything so he didn’t need surgery thankfully!
    Two weeks had pasted and he was doing great we had moved him back on to regular hard food, all was going well. Then he started puking again the first part of February after he ate something from outside. I packed him back up and took him back to the vet and once again his ulcers are back in his mouth and he is miserable. Two sets of full body X-rays one with contrast gave us the answer. Mikhail had Megaesophagus, and a possibility of Persistent Right Aortic Arch (PRAA). The PRAA was later disproven after Washington State University gave a second look at the X-rays. However we were left with the MegaE, and how to treat it. Mikhail at this point was very thin and frail due to the malnutrition. We gave him a shot of B12 and started working out the treatment plan. We changed food to a high quality brand of dog food that we blended with warm water and goat milk for the fat content. His daily medications are 10 MG of Omeprazole, 20 MG famotidine, 1 pro biotic and a joint cookie.
    As of May 2014, he is still doing great on his medications. Still gets food soaked with water but doesn’t need it blended anymore, he eats from a homemade table. He is happy and mostly healthy; this disease can be very devastating but so far so good. We do struggle with his Pika, he eats EVERYTHING!!

    1. Hi There! We will add this to our “story section”. Thank you so much for sharing your Story and continue success with your pup!

  4. I’ve only just got around to looking at this new site. It’s great – full of interest and info in one place. Congratulations to everyone concerned – I imagine it took a lot of hard work and thought – thank you for putting it ‘out there’ for people with ME dogs. I learned a lot on the ME FB page, but it’s so good to have lots of knowledge distilled and easily accessible in one place – very well done to you.

    1. Thank you so much Sarah. We are trying to put everything in one place for information about ME. Sort of the best of the best from the face book pages! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. Thanks for the positive vibes and outlook you offer with this page. Newly diagnosed and feeling good about the outlook of my pups future.

    1. Hi Andy,
      Welcome! Please feel free to post any specific questions you might have. Also I urge you to join the two facebook groups listed on the red ribbon links below. You will find valuable help and support with the members there. The news can feel devastating at first but once you have a routine in place things start to improve. Best of Luck! We’re happy you found us!

    1. Thank you so much Kelly and fam!!! We are so excited that Gus is making such great progress and is in remission from MG! That’s because he has a great Mama!

  6. This website has been a great source of info for me when Lilly was diagnosed I was petrified for her but when I thought about it and with the help of the awesome knowledge and support I got from here and facebook we have grown and now have a routine. Even when Lilly came down with AP the help and caring from the people that are also going through loving and being part of the family helped us get through it.

    Heather Lilly and family

    1. Hi Heather!
      Nice to hear from you! So glad you found us and our facebook family! Isn’t that just how it is. MegaE parents are the most loving, caring people on the face of the earth. Thanks for checking in!

  7. hi, my dog was diagnosed with ME in july, after many trips to the vet, many incorrect diagnosis and a very scary case of pneumonia. he is an older dog, arthritic and blind, but very happy and cuddly. fortunately he does not have myasthenia gravis, it is probably due to his long history of hypo thyroidism.
    lately he has been gagging a lot more. i have asked my vets for diet information and was told he could eat his dry dog food (kibble) as well as rice, but i don’t think so.
    he has always been such a picky eater and i have always prepared food for him to mix in with his food but, he is a big dog 75lbs, and i am not sure what to make him to sustain him and ensure he is receiving all of his nutrients.
    i am positive that these foods are no good:
    dry dog food (kibble)
    chewies
    rice
    any sort of bread or substance that can swell in the esophagus
    what seems to work:
    turkey legs (bones removed of course) cooked with stock
    eggs
    chicken
    ground beef (until recently, now i am not so sure)
    please help, i cannot feed him upright due to his other health problems, so i try to walk him after he eats….i love him so much but when he is up hacking all night, it breaks my heart.
    is there some sort of “treat” i can use? he just loves to eat and i want to give him something little and yummy sometimes.
    is there a meal with lots of protein that i can prepare that is low in fiber for him that can sustain such a big dog and give him all of the nutrients he needs?

    1. Hello Larisa! Sorry to hear about your pups ME diagnosis on top of his other issues. Hypothyroidism can definitely lead to Megaesophagus so I think you are correct. You are absolutely right, dry kibble and rice are not good foods to feed your ME dog. Think soft, like what a baby would eat. You can try blending the foods that you are feeding in a blender. For treats you can try Gerber Puffs (find them in the baby aisle) they melt in their mouth. Lickety stiks. Check our recipe page for more good ideas. Now, getting your arthritic dog upright. It’s going to help if you can position him in an upright position. Some use the side of the couch, propped up with pillows. Some dogs can eat with their bottom feet on the lowest step of the stairway and their front feet elevated. If he is hacking at night it is probably because he is unable to swallow his spit. A dog will sleep with their head in a downward position and since these dogs esophagus muscles are not working they regurgitate or continuously cough at night. This can lead to aspiration pneumonia. If you can keep his head elevated at night with a pillow, or prop up his crate if he sleeps in one, or try a neck hug from wag tail farms (see our link from our homepage), or you can buy a pro collar from petsmart or petco or on line, a Kong cloud pillow from Kong, an airplane pillow or baby boppy pillow works well too! Please join our support groups on facebook as well for more ideas and support! https://www.facebook.com/groups/4329632343/ and upright canine brigade https://www.facebook.com/groups/uprightcaninebrigade/ Thanks for your comment and we sincerely hope your pup feels better soon!

      1. oh thank you so much for getting back to me. yes, i have been putting his head on a pillow at night, it seems to help and it is really cute too. but, he moves around, so i can’t keep it on all night, maybe i will try one of those travel pillows, what a great idea…okay, so when he is choking, i am immediately thinking it is his food, but it can just be saliva…got it. i don’t want any more pneumonia….i worry about that constantly…maybe a little too much. it was so scary last time.
        i am going on vacation for the first time in 7 years, i never leave my dog and now he has ME and i feel so guilty and am trying to prepare everything for the dog sitter, make sure everything is okay….food, treats, happy dog, happy dog sitter….
        i think i have developed a good recipe for him and want to share it but if you find fault with it or have any suggestions, let me know. this is trial and error.
        you probably know this but stock is like jello when put in the refrigerator and like broth when heated.
        i make turkey stock with turkey leg (meat on), carrots celery and garlic
        this cooks for 10 or so hours
        remove bones and celery
        i keep the stock separate but serve together in small portions (i mash the carrots and shred the turkey), heating the stock a bit. i sometimes add a bit of pumpkin to this at time of serving.
        i am also adding a doggie pro-biotic to cottage cheese and waiting for a dog vitamin/mineral thing from nu vet to make it a complete diet…what do you think? i was using a mortar and pestle to crush dog food and mix with the cottage cheese but i am not going to do that anymore, it was only because when i first served my new concoction, he didn’t go to the bathroom for a few days… unusual for him and why i now add the pumpkin to the stock and turkey dish.
        is cottage cheese bad? just trying to get him enough calcium and protein.
        i would join your fb page but am not on fb.
        thanks again, larisa
        happy new year!

        1. Oh that all sounds wonderful Larisa! The only thing about cottage cheese is sometimes dogs are lactate intolerant. But if he handles that okay you might try ensure to boost the calories too. Most dogs like the vanilla ensure it seems. There are other calorie boosters, powders you can find them sometimes in Petsmart, Petco or your local pet store. Also a product called Dyne has also been used. Nutrical is very good too. Find those on Amazon pretty reasonable. NuVet, that you are using, I’ve heard good things about too. Try to introduce one thing at a time though. That way you know what’s working and what’s not. Another good pro-biotic that I use is Fortiflora by Purina. Very good for the gut. Many people have had success with B complex vitamins or B12 shots. All just things you can try later on down the road if you want. Did I mention wagtailfarms.com to you about the neck hug? We highly recommend Wag Tail for their neck hugs. Look into the ones that specifically designed for Megaesophagus. When going away, make sure to leave behind a detailed list or chart of meds and feeding times and protocols. Leave all your contact information and your vets information as well. Go over everything with the care giver before you leave. Maybe go through a feeding with them and explain just how to do it. Have a wonderful vacation and I hope you don’t worry too much! ~ Donna

          1. hi, all has been going well, right before i left we had a pneumonia scare and i did have him take the antibiotics.
            i returned on friday and ollie has been gagging ever since. he is having a really hard time with all food.
            at first i figured it was because the dog sitter had to cook food for him and he shredded the meat really small. the dog sitter told me he was fine until thursday (when ollie started eating the dog sitters food), but on friday when i returned, he was really hacking. so, i re-cooked for him and at first i thought it was working but it is not.
            ollie is hacking more often, vomitting food that hasn’t been digested and i don’t know what to do.
            i have an appointment with the vet, but honestly, all of her advice, as far as diet, has been incorrect.
            i don’t know what to do.
            he is drooling a lot, which i know means he has food stuck in his throat. not sure what to do. any advice?
            he is eating upright, i walk him after he eats, what can i do to keep ollie comfortable? he is 12 now and not a candidate for any surgery and i hate to keep taking him to the vet for xrays as it is traumatic for him. last visit, his esophagus had not gotten bigger.

            thanks in advance for you help and for previous response, larisa
            ps trip was amazing

          2. Hi Larisa!
            Glad you had such a nice trip and sorry to hear that Ollie is not well. Sometimes they do get food stuck in pockets in their esophagus. Throat massage can help it to pass. If you feel their throat sometimes you can actually feel the food stuck in their esophagus. Just gently massage with downward strokes and sometimes this helps. If he is drooling a lot he could have esophagitis. This is like a really bad sore throat from acid coming up from the stomach or from frequent regurgitation of food. The drug that is prescribed to help soothe and coat the esophagus is carafate/sucralfate. You will need to ask your vet for that. You can also try slippery elm. It essentially does the same thing as carafate and is a natural solution. From our recipe page you can pull up the recipe and the how to video. Your pup should be checked for aspiration pneumonia by your vet. I know, as they get older especially, they are wise about going to the vets. Mine doesn’t like it either but it is a necessary evil! Best of luck!

          3. donna, thanks so much. ollie finished the antibiotics and he seems good, his energy is back and he is happy again.
            i did order the special pillow for ME and bought a temporary pillow for the meantime and that is helping so much, so thank you for that advice. also, i started blending his food and that is great.
            i wonder if now that he doesn’t chew his food, do i have concern about tooth decay? i know chewing helps keep teeth clean.
            your advice has been so helpful, far more than the vets and i sincerely appreciate that.
            oh, i meant to tell you that he does take carafate, has been since the diagnosis…the drooling always comes with the hacking, so that is when i know there is a problem.
            honestly, with the pillow and the puree of food, we are almost sleeping through the night, we only wake up if he has to go out and that is because he cannot get out the doggy door with the neck pillow on…again, you honestly helped me so much. i cannot begin to thank you. it certainly has made ollie’s life much better and mine too.
            sincerely, larisa

          4. Larisa that is great to hear! So glad Ollie is doing better. Now for his teeth. You can try a nylabone. You can find them chewy.com. My dog likes to chew on a rope toy. As long as they don’t eat the fibers, that kind of thing works well. There is also a product called Leba III. It is a dental spray for dogs and cats and it removes plaque and tarter from the teeth. So happy you are getting some sleep. Those neck hugs are so great. We hear so many people report that for the first time in a long time they are able to sleep at night! Good to hear from you!

          5. Hi donna, it is larisa again, with my very long emails
            Ollie is full,of energy, for a 12 year old, hungry and all seems fine but he has been hacking a lot lately.

            I now crush all of his medicine and puree his food.
            He wears the wag tail ‘pillow 90 percent of the time. I just take off so he can itch and stuff

            His hacking sounds like the cough of a heavy smoker

            Last night he was sleeping and started coughing and a lot of mucus came out with a bit of pureed food

            Sometimes I can feel fluid, food or water, I am not sure which, sort of sloshing, at the top of his sternum. I always walk him to help it go down.

            It isn’t there all of the time

            Everything you have told me has been so helpful. Thanks, larisa
            P’s wanted to attach a pic of Ollie but couldn’t figure out how. He looks so cute in his wag tail pillow, pink…

          6. Hi Larisa!

            The hacking and coughing sounds are a concern. I would get him for an xray to check for aspiration pneumonia. You may want to look into a nebulizer and doing percussion on Ollie to help bring that stuff up. I would first see your vet though in case he needs antibiotics There are video’s of both how to use a nebulizer and how to do percussion on our website. Also I don’t know if it is beginning to get warm outside where you are but ME pups do have an extra hard time with the heat. Try to keep that in mind when you go for walks. You can send a picture of your cutie to us through email uprightcaninebrigade@gmail.com We would love to show him off!

    2. Try feeding him on the stairs my dog also is ilder and week so had a hard time sitting in a bailey chair and my bet recommend this also try pedisure lots of protien and vitamins my dog drinks it and loves it and keeps most of it down what a diffence in her perkyness and strength. .good luck

      1. Hi Sandra- That method works very well for some ME dogs. Just make sure the peanut butter doesn’t have xylitol in it. Xylitol is poisonous to dogs. It is found in some peanut butters.

        ~ Donna

  8. This is just a wonderful site, and it gives me some hope! My mix breed dog had pups with a neighbours German Shepherd (accidental pregnancy, not planned), and I now have six beautiful 7 week old pups. Since they were still on their mother’s milk, they have been regurgitating constantly (yes, all six of them!). I had them tested for Parvo, they’ve been de-wormed and treated for coccydia, and feces tests have come back negative for any parasites, so all that has been ruled out. While my vets have been trying hard to figure out what the problem is, I was the one who actually found the info on-line about ME, and am now pretty sure that this is what is going on with them. One of them is going for x-rays and possibly a barium test (although this one scares me from the risk involved) in two days, and I am pretty sure ME is what they will find. What scares me is that many of the families who are adopting these pups do not have the time or ability to care for these pups properly, and now I am terrified I will have 5 pups with ME to find good homes for (I am keeping one), and if I cannot, the other option is one I don’t even want to think about! The thing is, the pups are healthy and growing at a normal rate, and acting like every normal pup, although they hesitate to eat, and sometimes I can see they are a little skinnier in the belly than healthy pups usually are. I am so scared right now for these wonderful little babies, and I just don’t know what to do! Any advice and support from people who have been managing this condition would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for providing the information and support here and on Facebook. I have joined those groups now too. Kristina.

    1. Hi Kristina! Welcome to the group. That’s quite a little family you have! Although any dog can be born with ME, GSDs seem to be more prone than most to the disease. Each pup is going to have to be examined and a barium xray should be performed to rule out Persistent Right Aortic Arch or other deformities. A regular xray will show an enlarged esophagus if it’s there, but a barium xray will show more detail. It’s a good thing that they appear healthy and they are growing. It could be the ME is mild and they may actually reach a age where they will have increase motility in the esophagus. For now, you have to try to feed them upright and keep them in that upright position until the food has passed down into the stomach. Burping helps tremendously. You can view the burping video on the recipe page. Feed them soft food, small and more frequent meals works best. I’m glad you joined the facebook groups. There, you will receive a lot of help and support! Take care and I’m sure we will be talking soon!

  9. I am treating a 4 yr. Old giant schnauzer w/myasthenia gravis, w magaesphagus. Its been 2 months. Has a feeding tube. Only about 1/2 of food would pass into stomach while feeding in feedig chair w/30 rest. Blending soaked blue buffalo trout no grain food 5 cups in 4 feedings. Weight gain is slow. Any ideas? Thanks

    1. Hi and thank you for reading and posting your question. A couple of things come to mind. You might ask your vet about a pro-motility drug like metoclopromide. It helps empty the stomach. You would give it 15-30 minutes to an hour prior to eating. The other thing you might try is switching to another food such as Hill ID gastro/intestinal. It can easily be blended and seems to work well with tube feeders. Please check for more information about tube feeding under our Tube Feeding Tab and also we have many tube feeders on our facebook pages as well. You can find those links from our homepage. Best of luck with your pup. I went through MG myself with my dog. It was tough but he is now in remission!

  10. Hi I,m Faye and I have a beautiful rescue GSD, we have had him for a year now and for the whole year he has been having regular spells of vomiting and regurgitating, we have been back to the vets time and time again as knew this was not normal behaviour. The vets kept saying he’s probably got a dodgy stomach being a rescue and gave him Ranitidine, when he was castrated the vet called me as soon as he woke because he was showing signs of anxiety and she felt he’d had a reaction to the senators drugs that she gave him. The second time he was sedated was for X-rays to be done as I was worried about his front knees and hips. Again the vet did not tell us anything about the X-rays and said everything looks normal. I had never heard of MS but deep down I knew there was something wrong with our boy. Two weeks ago I took him to the same vet and asked them to do X-rays on his front knee and do an endoscopy because this vomiting and wrenching and regurgitating was getting worse. She sedated him and called me in looking very flushed in the face, I honestly thought they had killed him, she said that he had a bad reaction under the sedation and that they couldn’t do the X-rays because they had to bring him round ASAP, she told me to take him home and that she will refer him to a specialist. My other local vet checked her notes and agreed that he was misdiagnosed and that she should never of given that particular sedation again!’ I am furious because she could of lost him!, to cut a long story short this Wednesday we took him to see a specialist and took last years yes last years X-rays which clearly shows ME and the whole of his food pipe throughout his tummy has sunk, they also said that it showed a knee dysphasia and by having a feel of his knee they said it is far advanced dysphasia and arthritis. I have read up on ME and I am petrified to say the least, I’m not sure if my boy at his age especially with this front leg issue will b able to sit in a Bailey chair for the recommended periods, I wondered if anyone has any ideas what I can do to help him. He’s had a bad day today and regurgitated all of yesterday’s food. I’ve tried the meatballs but that seems to make him regurgitate more therefore I am now just giving small and regular amounts of wet food in a slurry type consistency and touch wood he hasn’t been sick again. We are waiting for his bloods to come back to check if there is any underlying factors but the specialist said that if he continues to regurgitate this often he will hospitalised and will have a PEG feed put in. I feel desperately sad and I am so glad I’ve found this site. I will be reading everyone’s stories.
    Please help
    Kindest regards
    Faye

    1. Hi Faye,
      Thank you for your comment and thank you for rescuing! I don’t know how old your dog is but if he’s been regurgitating since you got him, chances are he might have been this way all along. He may have been born with it, since congenital ME does run with this breed. It can go undetected if the vet isn’t looking for it on an xray. With congenital ME, it is first recommended that your vet rules out any stricture in the esophagus that they may have been born with, other wise known as PRAA or Persistent Right Aortic Arch. There is a surgery to correct it and even with older dogs, while not usually completely eliminate the ME, it can help in managing it. More on that on our PRAA tab. Dogs with ME have a difficult time in surgery being sedated or intubated during surgery. There are special procedures that the vet should engage in such as tilting the table and keeping the dog upright after surgery so that they do not aspirate. If your dog is older and the regurgitation came on suddenly, underlying causes such as Myasthenia Gravis, Hypothyroidism and Addison’s disease should be checked. In the case of Myasthenia Gravis, it accounts for 25% or more of all ME cases, and it can be treated. Medication for other primary diseases can help with your dogs ME too. Establishing if the ME is primary or secondary is very important. Are you giving your dog any supplements or anti-inflammatory drugs to help with the arthritis and is it helping? I would try the bailey chair first, it is one of the best methods for managing ME. If that doesn’t work you might want to try to get him as upright as possible. Some have had their dogs position themselves on the couch and prop up their upper body with pillows to get them elevated. Making sure your dog stays in that upright position for at least 15-20 minutes (some need less time, some more) is also important. You want to make sure that the food reaches the belly. Throat massage and burping can help with that as well. Try to remain calm and praise your dog for being a great boy. It can be a nice time for you and him! If it comes to a feeding tube, it sounds awful but many have had success with tubes. It might just be temporary also. If you decide to do the tube, don’t wait too long. You want your boy to be healthy and not too underweight. I would encourage you to join the facebook group links from the homepage. There are so many wonderful pet parents there that can give you some first hand advice! Hang in there!

    2. Hi faye, this is such a frustrating disease. I had so much bad advice from multiple vets…

      I don’t know if this will work for you, but I no longer give my dog any kibble and cook his food, then puree it. And I know it is a pain and I work full time and my dog is 75lb, but he is worth it

      I use a whole chicken, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes in a roasting pain, covered with water in the oven for 4 to 6 hours at 250 degrees
      until the meat falls off the bone

      I De bone and remove anything that looks like it will irritate his throat ie cartilage or tendons and puree, using the broth and sometimes adding water so it is like a milk shake. I add nu vet powder for vitamins
      at first my dog wasn’t pooping after I started this, so at that time, I added a spoonful of pureed pumpkin
      I use all organic, and yes, he does eat better than me, quite often
      My dog cannot use a Bailey chair either due to dysplasia and he is blind, so he eats this standing up and it does seem to help a lot. Hope it helps you .

      This website saved my sweet Oliver ‘ s life!

  11. Abigail is a puppy adopted from the pound at 8 weeks old. Abigail has been diagnosed with Megaesophagus. After multiple vet visits and weeks of suffering she was finally diagnosed. We built her this highchair to sit in during and after eating. She is thriving now and loves dinnertime. In this video she is playing an impromptu game of peekaboo. She started this all on her own. She is so cute and we love her with all our hearts! Enjoy!
    https://youtu.be/d9FGK3yHgzQ

  12. Hola….me encantaria que alguien en el grupo hablara español, ya que a mi chihuahua Zack, le acaban de diagnosticar ME ayer, y me siento debastada!!! Estuve leyendo todos sus comentarios, gracias a Dios entiendo bastante el ingles pero desafortunadamente no lo hablo ni lo escribo. Esta misma noche pase un gran susto con Zack….creo que ya le dio pulmonia o neumonia, como creo que es comun en su estado, yo pense que ya estaba agonisando….y de repente volvio a levantarse….no quiere comer…pues cree que le voy a dar medicina, que por cierto ni entre mi esposo y yo logramos darle una esta mañana. El hace 6 meses fue diagnosticado con discal intervertebral no podia caminar bien, pero con el tratamiento y el mantenerlo en jaulita por 6 semanas ( y por supuesto con mi paciencia y cariño) logro recuperarse….pero quedo traumado con tanta medicina….no se como le voy a hacer…no soporto verlo sufrir y no se que hacer….lo que mas me puede es que no tengo los recursos para estar atendiendolo, ayer simplemente pagamos 500 dolares…y hoy que se puso mal en urgencias me cobraban mas de 1000 dlls…..aun asi trato de ser optimista y se que Diosito provera….pues ojala alguien hablara mi idioma para poder tener apoyo, tengo mil preguntas y mucho miedo…pero aun si no….me ayudo escribirles , y me siento mas animada al leer tantos casos similares y con tan buenos resultados…

      1. Estamos muy preocupados por Zack y es muy importante que averigues si tiene AP , son las siglas de la neumonía pulmonar que le da mucho a los perritos que tienen megaesófago.

  13. Querida Alejandra,
    Acerca de tu perrito Zack, me están diciendo que si tiene neumonía aspiracional debe estar en tratamiento antibiótico, y lo debes llevar inmediatamente al veterinario (otra vez, espantoso). También me están preguntando cuántos años tiene Zack. Estamos muy preocupados. Esta enfermedad tiene muchas soluciones y estrategias para que tu perrito esté bien, es cuestión de aprender a aplicar estrategias para que estén mejor. Para un perrito chiquito, no será tan difícil darle de comer en posición vertical, de hecho, muchas personas le dan de comer a sus perritos en un canguro (atado al cuerpo como si fueran bebés) y los cargan 20 minutos ( o más, o menos) después de darles de comer para que se les baje bien la comida. Te pedimos que cuando veas este comentario nos des más información y nos pongas al tanto de cómo está Zack. Saludos, Marisa

    1. Gracias Marisa, ya explique el caso de Zack, pero no te lo hize reply, ojala lo leas. Yo pienso que si tuviera pulmonia hubiera sintomas y no los noto, ya hize caldo de pollo para el y lo licue con zanahoria, arroz y pollo. Comio un poquitito. La comida debe ir totalmente liquida? Agua no ha tomado, me tiene mucha desconfianza. Poco a poco se va acercando y si la pongo en el suelo si la quire, pero la levanto para que no se la tome asi. Y las medicinas es muy traumante pues se supone que el problema de su disco pudiera regresar si no lo cuidamos, el no debe brincar, ni subir a sillones ni nada que le pueda afectar, y le cuidamos el cuello donde se lastimo, pero al tratar de medicarlo es imposible pues se pone como loco….ya intente de todo, hoy lo envolvi en una toalla y solo le deje su cabeza libre, pero igual batalle….esta fuerte y no es muy pequeño….gracias por atenderme…y voy a buscar resetas con uds. Para tratarle…Saludos y nuevamente gracias.

  14. Translation of Alejandra Reyna‘s post at 4:34 am:
    Hello, I would be very happy if someone in the group spoke Spanish, because my chihuahua Zack was just diagnosed with ME yesterday and I am devastated. I am reading all of your comments, because thank God I understand English fairly well although I cannot speak or write it. Tonight I had a terrible scare with Zack…I think he has pneumonía, which is common for this disease, and I thought that he was dying…then, all of a sudden, he got better… he does‘t want to eat…because he thinks that I am going to give him medicine, which by the way neither my husband nor I were able to give him this morning. Six months ago he was diagnosed with an invertebrate disc, he can‘t walk well, but with treatment and keeping him confined to a cage for six weeks (and of course with my patience and affectionate care) he was able to recover… but he has a trauma because of all the medicine…I don‘t know what I am going to do…I can‘t bear to see him suffer and I don‘t know what to do….what really worries me is that I do not have the resources to pay for him, yesterday we just paid 500 dollars…and today when he got sick at the Emergency room it was another 1000 dollars…even so I try to be optimistic and know that God will provide…but I hope that someone knows my language so that I can get some support, I have a thousand questions and a lot of fear… but even if no one knows Spanish… it helps me to write, and I feel better when I read about so many similar cases and positive outcomes.

  15. Gracias por atenderme, pues a Zack que es un perro encantador, de raza chihuahua y que el mes proximo cumple 6 años, en octubre pasado le diagnosticaron itervertebral disk disease, y logro recuperarse del todo, hasta hoy seguimos las recomendaciones del Vet. Pero se hizo demaciado sangron para comer pues aborrecio todo lo que le recordaba a las medicinas, lo cuales batallabamos mucho para darselas….
    El viernes pasado lo note muy raro, chupando toditito lo que hubiera a su paso y me fui a la veterinaria, estaban muy ocupados pero decidi esperar minimo segun dijeron 2 hrs., Empeze a suponer que como acababan de fumigar el departamento donde vivo habia podido ser una reaccion, y como al estar esperando en la veterinaria volvio a estar normal decidi devolverme , y bañarlo. El estuvo normal al siguiente dia, solo que el domingo por la tarde volvio a pasarle lo mismo y aun mas fuerte, lo volvimos a llevar. Le hicieron rayosx y me dijeron de su condicion, habia en sus pulmones algo…pero no tenia pulmonia segun la Vet. Me recetaron antibiotico, metronidazole 50mg/ml, carafate, antiacidos y comida en papilla…ayer yo pense que se moria pues se desbanecio y duro como si agonisara por 30 min. O mas, se hizo popis sobre mi y no respondia su mirada….llego mi esposo y le intente dar el antibiotico, que segun yo no tenia ni caso pues estaba segun yo agonizando, pero al tratar” de darselo volvio en si y se escondio pero como si nada…es casi imposible darle los medicamentos, por no decir imposibles, de hecho no quiere ni comer ni beber nada pues esta asustado y piensa que le ponemos medicina en su comida…entre mi esposo y yo no lo podemos controlar y me preocupo pues no he podido llevar el tratamiento como se debe. Pues anoche lo recoste en la jaula a un lado de mi cama, le puse una almohada pues en su cabeza, como lo lei con uds. Y me acoste…que solo pude dormir como una hora…en toda la noche no lo senti ni moverse, ni hacer ningun ruidito, ni que tuviera nauseas, pues es notorio su ruidito con su lengua, y nada …pense que habia muerto y estaba esperando a que amaneciera para confirmarlo…..mi esposo se levanto y cuando lo checo…..como si nada ….salio, se estiro, y fue derechito a saludarme

  16. Y por cierto en todo el dia a estado muy bien….tengo mi depa un desastre, no me baño en 2 dias y se me van las horas tratando de hacer que coma, y hambre tiene, solo que no lo consigo hacer que coma elevado…hoy si comio muy poco 2 veces, pero bien desconfiado pensando que le voy a dar medicina. Tenemos cita mañana pues queremos ver si por lo menos el antibiotico se lo pueden inyectar…y estoy buscando alguien que me pueda hacer una sillita, solo la caja, pues yo me puedo encargar de forrarla y decorarla para mi Zack, que e no solo es mi mascota, es mi compañero, mi bebe (no tengo hijos) y una bendicion en nuestro hogar….☺️

  17. Hola Alejandra soy Marisa. Estoy en México. Todos estamos preocupados por Zack.
    Queremos que sepas que cada perro es diferente, y el éxito del cuidado de los perritos que amamos tanto puede ser diferente en cada perro. Por ejemplo, la consistencia de la papilla puede variar, los tiempos de la comida pueden variar, hay perros que comen como pequeñas albondigas que se tragan de uno en uno y otros que comen como un atolito. Es bueno que empieces a buscarle para ver qué le resulta bien a Zack.

  18. También, tu idea de conseguir los antibióticos inyectados es muy buena. La neumonía es la peor amenaza para nuestros perros, es muy muy importante que tenga tratamiento si lo tiene, y puede ser rapidísimo, es terrible. Así que le tienes que decir al veterinario que es importante que tenga ese tratamiento en caso de la neumonía.
    También, hay unas donas que caben alrededor del cuello de los perros, se llaman Neck Hugs. Las venden en PetCo o en Wagtail Farms en Internet. Chécalos para que veas la idea. Funcionan muy bien para algunos perros, claro, depende de cada quien.

  19. Alejandra, también, si nos dices en qué ciudad estás, posiblemente haya alguien que viva ahí y te pueda recomendar un veterinario o un hospital o un proveedor de algo. Creo que Zack puede tener maltrado la pancita por tanta medicina, pero si su radiografía está indicando megaesófago, estarás muy bien acompañada aquí porque hay muchas personas que han aprendido a cuidar a sus perros. No mencionas si ha vomitado o “regurgitado“. Regurgitar no es lo mismo que vomitar, porque es alimento que no ha bajado al estómago. La idea es cargar a Zack o mantenerlo vertical después de la comida para que lo que comió baje a la panza por gravedad.
    Espero que Zack esté pasando mejor noche y te deseo mucha suerte hoy y que puedas descansar un poco. Saludos.

    1. Hola, nosotros vivimos en Phoenix Az. La veterinaria que lo atiende dice que en sus 11 años ejerciendo, es su 5to. Caso, y no nos supo decir de los resultados de esos casos….el perro no vomita, ni lo otro….

  20. Our 2 year old Labradoodle Bentley was recently diagnosed with acquired ME with blood work confirming myasthenia gravis. My wife and I have been hit hard with this and are doing all we can with DVM medication, limited water intake, gruel food formula several times a day. After may google searches, nothing is coming up on recommendations for specific dog food brands that seem to be better for adding weight and energy. Right now we are using Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials and a small amount of Hill’s Ideal Balance pureed with chicken broth. Now he seems to be feeling better and wants to eat dry kibble. He hates the Baily Chair I made for him and would rather self sit upright in my leather chair. So any advise on diet and nutrition would be helpful so I make a smooth transition if I feel another type of food may be more appropriate.

    Thanks.

    1. Hello Laramie!

      Welcome. Thank you for reading and for commenting. There are several different foods and supplements you can feed Bentley to help with weight and energy. First let me just caution you about dry kibble at this time. Most pups with ME can not handle dry kibble. It’s a great sign that he is feeling better and wants to eat dry kibble but I wouldn’t do that until you have another set of x-rays to confirm the ME is resolved. The #1 thing to be concerned about with MG is aspiration pneumonia from regurgitation. So try not to rush things along. You can certainly soak the kibble to make it soft. As far as not wanting to sit in the Bailey chair, that’s fine as long as he is in an upright position and remains upright for 15-20 minutes after eating. Some dogs take to it great, others have a difficult time adjusting. The Bailey chair is probably the best method of feeding an ME dog. If you haven’t been at this too long I wouldn’t give up on the idea of the chair just yet. Food: You want something balanced and high in calories. A good place to study dog food is http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com. You can compare dog foods and come up with the best solution. You can also try satin balls to put on weight. There are recipes on our home page and on our recipe tab for satin balls. You can add supplements to your current dog food like Nutri-Cal, Dyne, whey protein powder (be careful not to add too much as too much protein can be bad for their kidneys), Vanilla Ensure (be aware some dogs are lactate intolerant), goats milk, peanut butter in a kong is nice for a treat, coconut oil and coconut milk. These are just suggestions. Always run these nutritional ideas by your vet. As you mentioned, transition slowly otherwise you may have some gastro issues to deal with. The good news about MG, as I’m sure you were told, it generally goes into remission in about 6 months time!!! Many times the ME resolves as well. Try not to rush it though. Take your time weaning off drugs with your vets guidance. Best of Luck! Please join our facebook groups for more support!

  21. Hello everyone! Alejandra Reyna, who has Zack, the Chihuahua, says that they are in Phoenix Arizona and that the vet has only seen five cases of ME in eleven years of practice. Also, that Zack does not vomit or regurge. I am going to translate what she said yesterday a little later.

  22. Hola, quisiera saber si a Zack, mi perrito con ME le tengo que dar la camida totalmente molida como liquida, o si puedo darsela como pure, un poco mas tirando a solida, hasta ahora se la he dado casi liquida, pero se me afigura que no se llena.

  23. Hello,
    My 8 year old pit mix, Trapper, was just diagnosed with Megaesophagus and Myasthenia Gravis one week ago. This was especially difficult for us because just over a year ago Trapper blew a disc in his back that damaged four vertebrae in his back. It paralyzed his back legs, leaving him unable to walk. We have invested so much love, time, energy, and money into surgery and physical therapy over the past year. Against all odds, Trapper finally began to walk again and got to enjoy life again. Then this happened 🙁
    He is currently on two medications he seems to be responding well to them, but they are pretty pricey. I am currently purchasing them from a local grocery store pharmacy. Are there any online options you have found more affordable?
    Thank you for any suggestions!
    Jennifer

    1. Oh my goodness. This is quite a road you have traveled with your pup! If you are taking the tablet form of Pyridostigmine and you didn’t mention the other drug, but I’m guessing CellCept/mycophenolate mofetil or Atopica/Cyclosporine, you might try CostCo. Walgreen also has a good price for Pyridostigmine tablets. Be sure to ask for the generic form of the tablet Pyridostigmine. The most expensive form of the drug is Pyridostigmine/Mestinon in the syrup form. If your vet insist on a liquid form of the drug ask your vet about compounding. We have used for years Diamond Back Drugs in Arizona. They are fast, reasonable and reliable. I hope that helps! Best of luck. There is a lot of hope with MG. In most cases it does go into remission within 6-8 months.

  24. What a blessing. I’m so happy ! This website has given me a total hope for Tyson. My 20 moths old dog has been diagnose with ME 3 days ago and I was devastated. Now everything have change. I love you all and hope you all get the best in live for you and your lovely pets. What a great people and what a great site . Me and Tyson ate extremely grateful for all the information and help. Thank you for exiting,

    1. Welcome Xenia and Tyson! So happy you found us! For even more support, check out those facebook links on the home page! There are 4000 plus members on Canine Megaesophagus Support Group and over 1000 on Upright Canine Brigade! You will find so many ways to manage this disease. You mentioned Tyson is 20 months old. Make sure Tyson is checked for underlying causes of ME like Myasthenia Gravis ( the most common ) hypothryoidism and Addison’s Disease. When a primary disease can be sought out and treated, the ME can be more manageable and in the case of Myasthenia Gravis can resolve completely! Best of luck with your pooch and thank you for the compliment. We are so happy to help!

  25. Thank you so much for this site! My sweet baby dachshund Macintosh has been diagnosed with ME and will be getting a temporary feeding tube today to bring his weight back up. While we wait for the test to see what causes his ME. Since he started losing weight 4 months ago this has been an uphill battle with our vet who believed that because we had seen him regurgitate that it couldn’t be ME (he’s been sneaking off to regurgitate and his brother has been cleaning it up.) all of this came to came to a head last week when Mac spent 3 days in ICU after collapsing into his food. This past week has been terrifying as vets struggle to explain what’s going on. He has never presented with AP. and in the 2 days we had him home did well with vertical feeding. I’m hopeful we can get him up to weight and happy with the feeding tube. The information I have found here has made this long night before his surgery more hopeful. Again thank you.

    1. Welcome Spencer and Macintosh!
      Feeding tube early in the game is a smart move. You want to do that while your pup is still strong and not too sick. It will help to stabilize him, give his esophagus a break and put on weight. It does not have to be permanent. It is a good thing that they are testing for underlying causes as well. Sometimes acquired Myasthenia Gravis comes on suddenly like that. The meds to treat will help your pup be back to normal in no time! We are so happy you found the information here helpful. If you haven’t yet, please feel free to join the facebook groups. There are many pet parents in your exact situation that will share ideas and tips on managing this disease. Best of Luck!

  26. My dog was just diagnosed with ME. He was tested for the top three causes and they all came back negative. So not knowing for sure what the cause is for my dog, my vet said it is now a managing issue. So it has been trial and error for the last few weeks. My dog is 10 yrs old and weighs 40 pounds. Can using a regular neck collar (not a chain) for walking and such, and pulling at times over the years cause this. Just seems coincidental since the problem is in the throat. I am not finding any information linking the two. My vet says no . Does anyone else know anything about this.Thks

    1. Hi Cindy,

      When a dog is diagnosed with Idiopathic Megaesophagus it can be so frustrating. You tend to search for the reason why? While I can’t say your dogs ME was caused by this, I can tell you that most pet parents with ME dogs prefer using a harness rather than a collar so that you don’t put as much pressure on the neck area. Harness types like “the Gentle Leader” have been recommended quite often http://www.petsafe.net/gentleleader. For more suggestions, try posting a question on the face book pages. There are many there with similar questions and lots of help managing the disease. Best of luck!

    2. I have an eleven year old golden retriever/wolf mix. I am trying everything. He is up and down constantly. Had a Bailey chair made and he freaks. Trying luring techniques. Going to get his crate out to get him to sleep in an elevated position l have gotten him to sit for 20 minute feedings and to reach up for his food. He gets sick and regurgitate frequently at night. Twice he got so weak he couldn’t use his rear legs. He then has spontaneous recovery. I built a ramp for the outside porch steps. I have a nice large fenced in yard. I also have a ramp for him to get in the car. His thyroid and m Gravis tests were negative but he has had pneumonia 3x. Luckily l have a vet who adores him and is working with us. I am native American and have been trying some holistic things. Ground up venison in chicken broth has real good results

      1. Hi Sandra! You sound like you are doing a great job with your pup! Sometimes it takes a bit for them to get used to the bailey chair. You know the old saying…teaching an old dog new tricks! You might try feeding in that sitting position beside the chair for awhile so he associates the chair with food. Baby steps! You could also try facing him backwards in the couch with his front paws over the back of a couch or placing him in the corner of the couch in a sitting position. Glad to hear you tested him for underlying causes. Great to hear that you have a great vet! That is so important. More help and suggestions on facebook!

  27. Just need your fb page …we have a 4mt old dane that we are planning to use as a service dog for my husband ..but she has ME just need help with all info from dane owners!! And how to get a chair for her

    1. Hi Rene,

      Here are the links to the face book pages. Canine Megaesophagus Support Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/4329632343/ and Upright Canine Brigade https://www.facebook.com/groups/uprightcaninebrigade/ You can follow the link from our website to Bailey Chairs for Dogs to find out more about Bailey Chairs. They make adjustable chairs that grow with your dog as well. ME pups make great service dogs! The love you give them is returned 10 fold! Best of luck!

  28. Hi there. I have a 19 week old British Bulldog who has been diagnosed with this. He has now been hospitalised 5 times since we got him with aspiration pneumonia. We are at our wits end and have spent over $8000 on vet fees since we have purchased him. In between his sick bouts he’s gaining weight and growing beautifully. Our vets have advised us to choose to euthanize him several times, which obviously leaves me heartbroken. He’s on several medication for the phenumonia and ME. I would love to talk for support and help me through this tough time with our puppy. Hopefully there will be light at the end of the tunnel. We also reside in Australia and I am having trouble finding a Bailey Chair here. Thanks.

  29. Can you please give me information on where to get a chair. I have standard poodle and he has occasional episodes in her love to do this for feeding thank you

  30. When we feed our male German Shepard Jake we put a section of women’s nylons about 15 inches long over his neck to hold his throat tight, along with his bailey chair , he is gaining weight and living a normal life. We also trained him to sit while he drinks to help water go down. Some days he is not hungry so we don’t force him to eat, he makes up for it when he’s ready. He still has regurg days and we just keep a carpet machine handy. He’s a great 90 pound gs dog.

    1. Hi Karen and Bill!
      You sound like you are doing a great job with your GSD! I’ve never heard about the nylons but in theory it would probably work. Many pet owners find a throat massage is very beneficial to help move the food down the esophagus. A squeegee and a dust pan works great for cleaning up those regurges fast! thanks for the tips!

  31. I made my bailey chair for less than 50$ from solid pine. Find a local handyman or school woodshop and show them what you need, I’ll bet you can get a custom chair at a reasonable price.

  32. We recently added a member to our family and his name is Tuukka! He is a Staffordshire Terrior and we got him at 5 weeks old. He just turned 8 weeks and last night we took him to the emergency room because he regurgitated after every meal the last 2 days. His breathing was a bit scary and was not being active. They took an X-ray and noticed his esophagus was enlarged. They gave us the diagnosis of mega esophagus . We are so upset because we waited until our son was 5 years old to get a dog and my son has become so attached in the last 3 weeks! We just want to make sure we are doing everything the right way. We are so happy to come upon this site and any helpful information to start this process will be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Christine!

      We are glad you found us! Your puppy is very young and I would think that he was probably born with this condition. When congenital megaesophagus is diagnosed they also need to rule out Persistent Right Aortic Arch. This is a birth defect that happens when blood vessels fail to deteriorate as the embryo grows. The right aortic arch passes near the esophagus and if it doesn’t dissipate before the fetus is born, the esophagus is trapped between it and the heart. A barium xray will confirm that condition in most cases. It is not as common as congenital megaesophagus and there is an operation to correct PRAA. The earlier it is performed the better the outcome. You can read more about PRAA on our website from the menu.

      Congenital ME can be managed with a couple of essential tools. A bailey chair is very useful. It allows gravity to do the work the esophagus can not longer do. Eating upright is the #1 best thing you can do to help prevent regurgitation and aspiration pneumonia. Keep the puppy upright for 10-20 minutes at least after feeding so that the food has a chance to reach the tummy. Because your puppy is so young you may want to use a clothes hamper, a waist paper basket or just hold him upright for feedings. You can also buy or make adjustable chairs that will grow with your puppy baileychairs4dogs.com makes beautiful chairs. A neck hug or pro collar is very important for the dog to wear when they are laying down or resting. Since a dog sleeps with his head lower than his body, saliva and fluids can pool in the esophagus and make it hard for the dog to swallow it down. They may choke, gag, regurgitate and sometimes aspirate that fluid into their lungs. The neck hug keeps the dogs snout up, and reduces regurgitation. wagtailfarms.com makes wonderful made to order neck hugs. You can also buy a pro collar (inflatable collar) at any petsmart or petco. Some people have found airplane pillows will do in a pinch or elevating one side of the crate if you are crate training.

      Thin liquids are a problem for most ME dogs. They usually can not drink from a bowl. You can add water to your pups food, making a slurry. This usually works well with puppies. You can also make gelatin blocks to help with hydration. Recipes can be found on the recipe tab from our website. You can also try adding a product called “thick-it”. It is found at most drug stores. It is sold to stroke victims with the same problems. It basically thickens the water so it’s not so thin.

      More great suggestions from thousands of other people with dogs with this condition can be found on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/4329632343/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/uprightcaninebrigade/ They are probably the nicest people you will ever run up against! Check that out!

      Best of luck with your Tuukka. Can’t wait to see a picture!

      1. Thank you so much for the information! We have been using a new waste basket with a pillow inside to feed him. I emailed the people that make the Bailey chairs and they suggest to wait until he is more full grown to order one so I don’t have to order another one when he gets bigger. I have requested to join both Facebook pages and am waiting to be accepted. We do have a question about water, we are worried he is going to get dehydrated because he doesn’t drink it anymore and we don’t know how to give it to him. Right now he is eating prescription wet dog food that I make meatballs out of but is there enough water in the food to keep him hydrated? I read some people use a hamster water bottle, is that something we should try? So many questions I know but we want to make sure we are doing everything the right way.

        1. I’m trying to post a picture of Tuukka but I can’t seem to figure out how to do it. We want everyone to see how sweet he is!

  33. Our Doberman was recently diagnosed with Mega esophagus and probable stomach cancer. He has been regurgitating for around 8 months. At first they thought dog food. So we switched. It worked probably 3 months. Then begin again. He would also lick his back two legs and they looked awful. Then they thought it was allergies and was put on meds. and dog food changed again. Probably worked 2 months. When he regurgitates it is clear to white foam and all liquid-no dog food. We changed dog food about 10 times and had labs done. Finally we switched vets who did xrays and barium swallow. She diagnosed the mega esophagus and stomach cancer. We have tried the bailey chair and it seemed to help for a week-also on steroids, antibiotics and metoclopramide. He rarely throws up food but the liquid is sometimes light brown now. We are at the ends of our wits. What I read with the mega esophagus it should be food? We are doing the moist/blended food now too. Any help would be appreciated. He is 7 years old. Always kept inside except to go out briefly for the bathroom. He has always been taken care of and spoiled.

    1. Also forgot to mention that about 1 year ago he had hematuria. Had to take antibiotics about 1 and half months. No problem since then. The new vet also told us he had enlarged prostate, non-tender.

    2. Hi Kathy,

      I’m sorry to hear about your boy. Now that you have started the upright feedings, you should see a big improvement with regurgitation. Try to keep him in the chair afterwards anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Some need less time post feedings, some need up to an hour. They can regurgitate anything that is in their esophagus, anything that does not make it’s way down to the stomach. Sometimes it is saliva mixed with stomach acid or even water. It doesn’t necessarily have to be food. Many dogs with ME are on some form of antacid. I would check first with your vet before giving any over the counter medication, particularly since they believe he may have stomach cancer. There are specifics test they can run to determine whether or not cancer exists. I would see an oncologist DVM right away. One other thought would be to rule out any underlying diseases that can cause megaesophagus such as myasthenia gravis, Addision disease or hypothyroidism. I can tell from your writing how much you love your boy. I wish you well and please join the facebook support groups for further help. Happy New Year!

  34. Hi, my 10 year old Sheltie, Lexi was diagnosed 2 days ago with Megaesophagus with Myasthenia Gravis as the underlying cause. Thank God I found this website. I’m overwhelmed since I just lost her brother 3 months ago to Lymphoma. Lexi has been prescribed Mestinon (1 ml every 8 hours). The dosing instructions do not say anything about giving her 1 ml of Mestinon with an equal amount of water. Lexi’s Vet is out of town for a week at a convention and no one at the office seems to know the answer. She is also taking Sucralfate and metaclopromide. Can anyone please help? Thank you.

    1. Hi Victoria,
      Happy you found our website! I am so sorry to hear about Lexi’s brother. Lymphoma is a difficult cancer. If you are giving Lexi the Mestinon Syrup (raspberry flavored), it tends to be thick and sometimes the syrup flavor is overwhelming for their tummies. If what you are giving Lexi is the compounded suspension formula there is no need to dilute. If she hasn’t any trouble with what you are doing, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Here is some information you can share with your vet that comes from Dr. G. Diane Shelton from the Comparative Neuromuscular Lab University of California, San Diego. Question: What is the treatment of choice…http://vetneuromuscular.ucsd.edu/cases/2010/Feb10.html
      There is a lot of hope with acquired MG. Hang in there!

      1. Hi Donna,
        Thank you, thank you, thank you! it has been so overwhelming with all of the medicines that Lexi has to take. The pharmacists that we’ve been dealing with are unfamiliar with Mestinon for dogs and Lexi’s Doctor wasn’t specific in her instructions. Adding to the challenge is trying to time the Sucralfate, the Metoclopromide, the Mestinon, an antibiotic, probiotic and Pepcid plus her food. I am so very thankful that I found your support group and joined your Facebook group. Today, I was feeling particularly sorry for myself and then I read an inspiring post from the Facebook group. It was just what I needed. Thanks again.

        1. You’re welcome! Please join our Facebook group. You will get a lot of tips on the issues you are facing. Also please join the Canine Megaesophagus Support Group on Facebook as well. We have almost 5 thousand members there! You are definitely not alone!

  35. Hi,
    We have a 9 month old chihuahua that was probably born with ME, since he has been regurgitating since we got him at 5 months. Not a fun couple of months figuring out what the issue was.
    After trying many things (we feed him upright and hold him up for 20 minutes after feeding) we started him on cisapride yesterday which seems to have had good results. So far, no regurge, accept waking up in the morning, which probably isn’t food anyway.
    Anyone else have any experience with cisapride? We are afraid to believe that it will actually work long term. Reglan did not work at all.
    All the best out there. Daniel

    1. Hi Daniel,
      Thank you for commenting! Yes, many people have reported that cisapride works very well as a pro-motility drug on their dogs. Wonderful when you find something that works! Since cisapride has to be compounded into a liquid, a good place to order it from is diamondbackdrugs.com They are a great veterinary compound lab with a great reputation for accuracy and reliability. Check them out! Does your pup use a neck hug or pro-collar at night? This really cuts down on regurgitation when you keep the head elevated when they are sleeping or resting. Wagtailfarms.com makes wonderful neck hug specifically designed for megaesophagus and custom fitted. Please feel free to join the facebook groups Canine Megaesophagus Support Group and Upright Canine Brigade for more great suggestions!

      1. Thank you for the pharmacy recommendation. Does anyone know if the cisapride works well enough that we don’t have to hold him up after eating? That would mean we could actually give him treats and things.
        We do have the hug collar and will try to implement it. It hasn’t been easy. He likes to sleep under he covers.
        Thanks again.
        Daniel

        1. Hi Daniel,
          It is all trial and error I’m afraid. You will most likely have to see if it helps with holding him up after eating. It should help with moving the food through the esophagus and stomach much faster. As far as treats are concerned, I would give him soft treats for now. See our recipe file here. Gerber puffs and other treats found in your baby aisle work very well with these pups. Watermelon, peanut butter, honey, cheese wiz, lickety sticks, Leanlix dog treats also work well. Try to keep that hug collar on. It really does help! My best ~ Donna

  36. Hello, my 11 1/2 Rotty “Guinness” was recently diagnosed with ME, sitting upright for 10-15 minutes after eating and drinking has ended the regurgitation. I feed her twice a day and also give her water with her feeding. I work away from home during the day, so I have removed all her water and separated her from access to my cats food and water. Is is safe to rig up some kind of above her head water bottle for her to drink from while I am not home? I feel like I am depriving her of water, but am scared to leave the water without me being there to make her sit upright after drinking it. Her esophagus is about 3 times the size of normal and before her diagnosis she was only reguritating about once a week or so.
    Thanks for your wonderful website!!

  37. Hello,

    This truly is a wonderful site. I was wondering if there were any online support groups for parents of dogs with MG and ME that you would recommend? Our girl was a rescue we adopted about a year after my first dog love passed away. About a year later, here we are…I can’t believe it. Our girl towards the end of last summer started having a very strange, runny nose. I asked our former Vet about it, and he said it was most likely allergies. No other symptoms, so we let it go. early November, after a short work trip, I returned to my beloved pup making a strange groan when she would lay down. The following days I noticed she was drooling a lot, then vomited twice. We called the Vet and made an appointment, but the next day had to rush her there and suddenly her back legs weren’t working. He took x-rays and “found” that she had a disc problem (I was already doubting him). He put her on strong NSAIDs and began to speak of surgery. After a few days, while her back legs were better she began vomiting more, and strangely. I thought it might be the NSAID…long story short, got in a fight with former Vet, found new Vet, loved him and his honesty that her was perplexed and recommended a hospital near us. This was the best move made, and longer story short, our girl was treated for her AP, ME identified, and after about a month more she was diagnosed with MG. at that point having looked it up, I was pretty sure that was going to be the case.

    We are completely dedicated to this amazing dog, and have been more then willing to spend the time and money for her care. But it’s been months and hasn’t gone into remission, and last night we had to take her back to the hospital again…and I’m just completely heart broken. Still dedicated, but heartbroken.

    I have some questions, and would also love some support. I’m not sure where the best place would be…here or if you can point me in the right direction. Sorry if this message isn’t very articulate, I’m running on little sleep. Thank you.

    1. Hi!,
      I’m afraid to say your story is a very familiar one. Thank goodness for your persistence in finding the right vet and the right answers! If you read my dog Kodi’s story from the story section you will see some similarities, although Kodi never really presented with megaesophagus. We too were told it was a orthopedic problem the first time around and were given pain killers and sent away. To their credit they did get it right the second night so we were lucky. It will get better! Hang in there. The disease often times takes some twist and turns but one day, it just goes away and you have your old dog back! The wonderful support groups on Facebook have tons of MG parents that are going through the same thing. There is a lot of helpful suggestions. Please look into Canine Megaesophagus Support Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/4329632343/ and also our facebook group Upright Canine Brigade https://www.facebook.com/groups/uprightcaninebrigade/ Thank you for reaching out and I wish you the very best!

    1. Great Len! Also I would suggest they join the support groups on facebook. Canine Megaesophagus Support Group and Upright Canine Brigade. There are hundreds of people talking there 24/7 about how to help their ME dogs. Thank you for reading!

  38. My boxer Legzie has muscular dystrophy in her head and neck so she already eats mushy or slurried food and Knox blocks for water. She is consistently on nausea and anti acid medication and antibiotics for aspiration pneumonia. She has now seemingly developed ME. We started feeding her upright n she sits for 30 mins after to digest. She is still regurgitating at least every other day multiple times a day sometimes. Even while seated upright she hacks. We use a pillow when she is laying down. Any other suggestions?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Sorry to hear about Legzie. Another type of drugs that are frequently used with ME dogs are pro motility drugs. These drugs help move the food out of the tummy faster. Drugs that have been used for this purpose are Metoclopramide (Reglan), Propulsid (Cisapride) and Urecholine (Bethanechol). Another thing that helps ME dogs is throat massage. Gently massage the food that may be stuck in pockets in the esophagus down to the stomach. And the other trick is “burping”. While your pup is in the chair pat on the sides to bring a burp up. This releases any air bubbles and helps the food to drop down into the tummy. (Just like a baby) There is a video on the recipe section. Hope those suggestions help. Best of luck with your pup!

      1. Thank you so much for the feedback. The burping seems to be helping some. We will look into the medications too.

  39. Hi, I have a ME dog who has been hacking up bile more at night than he ever has. I want to start giving an antacid. I’ve been reading so much info and just don’t know which one to start with. And some pages say give 2 hours before eating, 2 hours before bed time, some say give with the meal, some not. I just need some info on what exactly when I should be giving the antacid and how many times a day. Any info on this would be so appreciated!

    – Molli

    1. Hi Molli,
      Thank you for your comment. The two things that seem to work well for those urps in the middle of the night are a neck hug or pro-collar to keep the head elevated and sometimes they benefit from an antacid as well. We always used omeprazole (prilosec) with our dog. We gave it to him 20-30 minutes before breakfast and it lasted a full 24 hours. Now some people have used the prilosec in the morning and then before bedtime a pepcid ac (Famotidine). I would recommend that you speak with your vet before trying any over the counter meds. They know what’s best for your dog. If he isn’t sleeping with his head elevated right now, you might want to try that first to see if it resolves the issue. Best of luck!

  40. Candace had to be put down 2 days short of her 14 th birthday. My hart aches for her. Thanks of all of your posts.. They made looking after Candace easier.

    1. I am so sorry Kathy. We just lost our 12.5 year old Kodi as well to cancer. I understand your heart ache. Peace be with you.

  41. Amazing job on the website, my Leah is about to turn 3 yrs (diagnosed at 3months old) and that’s thanks to all my mega-E family who has giving so much advice and support ! .. Thank you again !! Blessings 💖

  42. Three months ago I acquired a Lancashire Heeler (8 lbs) from a Rescue Group. I kind of diagnosed the problem myself (online) then to the Vet we went – sure enough he agreed with me but was not too much help…so here I am because I already love her so much – she is about 3 years old. I hope to find support and ideas to make Frankie’s life easier and mine. Thank you very much…

    1. Hi there Mary!
      Thank you for rescuing! We are all here to help you and Frankie through this. Please be sure to join the Face Book groups Canine Megaesophagus Support Group and Upright Canine Brigade. Since you may not know about her history, I would suggest you look for underlying causes of the ME. Please have them check for Myasthenia Gravis, Addison Disease and hypothyroidism. Those are the three big ones. Upright feeding and elevation of the head at night and when laying down are really the game changes. Best of of luck with your baby!

      1. Thank you Donna – Yes, you correct about what you said above but my vet just told me ME could be caused by these things and went no further…VAC. I am not very savvy with a computer and I don’t see where I am suppose to join these groups – am I already in ME Support Group? and Canine Brigade is an arm of ME Support Group? A little confused…but Thank you – this dog loves me so much and I love her too…she is mine forever now!!!

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