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! 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 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.  


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

Your dog CAN live a long and healthy life!

328 thoughts on “Canine Megaesophagus

  1. Our golden retriever is now 12 years old and after taking her to the vet, several times was finally diagnosed with ME. Her hips are weak and I try to get behind her and hold her up in a vertical position but her hind legs weaken and she won’t stay up. Eventually, w/o fail up comes the water and the food, in several piles throughput the house. We are in desperate need of help as our options seem slim. She has gotten worse every day and even vomits hours after she’s gone to sleep. I feel hopeless and frustrated. Please say something guys as we need help . We cannot rely on our vet at all.

    1. Hi George,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your golden. It can be so devastating particular with an older dog. Be sure that your golden has been checked for underlying diseases such as myasthenia gravis, hypothyroidism and addison disease. Also sometimes with older retrievers laryngeal paralysis is the problem. All of these conditions should be tested for. Hind leg weakness occurs both with myasthenia gravis and can occur with laryngeal paralysis. Monitoring and lessening the regurgitation is key. Dogs that regurgitate can aspirate the fluid and food into their lungs causing an infection known as aspiration pneumonia. This can be life threatening. If you suspect that your dog has AP, go to the vet immediately for antibiotics and she may need supportive care. Symptoms of AP are fever, dehydration, coughing, wheezing, secretions from the nose, lethargy and off their food. Some dogs will not present with a fever. When caught in time and treated aggressively, 2 antibiotics for 4-6 weeks with repeated xrays, dogs can recover nicely. After she eats you will want to keep her in that upright position anywhere from 15-20 minutes so that the gravity can do the work the esophagus muscles can’t do anymore. Some need less time, some more time. At night or when she is lying down be sure to put a neck hug on her to help elevate her snout. This will keep her from regurgitating saliva that can pool in the esophagus while she is in that position. This is an essential tool to managing ME. Lastly, if you are not comfortable with your vet, find one that has some experience with ME. Best of luck and be sure to join the groups on facebook. There is so much support there.

        1. I am so sorry George. I’m sure you did the right thing. She is in heaven now, eating and drinking anything she wants. Biggest of hugs to you. <3

  2. Hey guys, we have a home made chair that I built for our beautiful big american bull, Petey. Petey has passed. The chair is rugged but well built and very functional. built for a big strong dog. We would like to donate it or get to someone who might need it.

    1. Hi Patty,
      Sorry to hear about Petey. Thank you for thinking of others. Try posting on facebook to Megaesophagus-Pawing it Forward!

    2. Hi Patty,
      We have just found out that our boxer Frankie has ME. He is 7yrs old and 115lbs. We are new to this and have been reading about chairs that people have built. Do you have a photo of what you built? We are experiencing that it’s not easy to elevate Frankie like he needs because of his size.

    3. If you still have it and live in Michigan. I would be very interested. I have a labador who has ME and is slowing withering away. I’m at a loss. I’m soo sorry for your Petey.

    4. Hi Patty, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Petey. We have a 11 yr old 90 lb Rottie that was diagnosed with ME back in May. After a couple of days in the ER he recovered from the initial incident and we adjusted his feeding. He had another regurg / AP episode yesterday but caught it early. We are looking for a used Bailey Chair and would like to know if you still have this available assuming Petey may have been about the same size. If it has already been put to good use, thank you for helping another manage this devastating condition.

      1. Hi Julie,
        Also check on Megaesophagus-Pawing it Forward on Facebook. Frequently people donate chairs there that they are not using. Best of luck!

  3. ******************************************************************************************My 14 year old dog recently developed primary ME. We found a study using Sildenafil to treat it with. The veterinarians were reluctant to try it. We finally convinced them as it was that or put him down. He has not puked since he started it, 5 days ago, and we have been able to increase the amount of food we are giving him. The link to the study is here:
    The 20 mg tablets come in the generic, which is not too expensive. the 50 mg and 100 mg are only available in the brand name. There is a 50% off coupon available here:
    This medication was originally developed to treat pulmonary hypertension, and apparently relaxes the cardiac sphincter in dogs (the valve between the esophagus and the stomach) so that food can go down. And no, my dog has not had an erection at all.

    1. That’s great news Kathryn! We’ve been hearing lots of good reports from our groups. It relaxing the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) The drug is also used to treat pulmonary hypertension in dogs. I hope your pup continues to do well and flourishes!

    2. How is your dog doing now? We are getting mentally prepared to put our Eddie down but I keep searching for something to try. Thank you for any information you can give us

      1. Hi Heather!
        Have you looked at the Bailey Chairs and how they are built? I adopted a Chihuahua from a Rescue with ME. The Foster father in law built a chair for her. He found online the Blueprints how to build a Bailey Chair. I live in Michigan too, if you need anything! On Upright Canine Brigade, there are pictures of chairs people have made for large dogs. Praying for you and your puppy dog!

    1. Thank you so much for that Christine! We will be featuring your video on “Our Stories” tab. Thank you for taking the time to educate others about this disease and congratulations on your award!

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