Research and Studies

Randomized Controlled trial on 21 puppies using Sildenafil suggests the drug reduces the LES tone and facilitating the emptying of the esophagus, could represent a useful drug for the clinical management of Congenital Idiopathic Megaesophagus in Dogs. Veterinary Record (2017) F. Quintavalla, A. Menozzi, C. Pozzoli, E. Poli, P. Donati, D.K. Wyler, P. Serventi, S. Bertini

>>>Full Story Here<<<


The Veterinary Health Center (VHC) at the University of Missouri's College of Veterinary Medicine have identified an"LES-achalasia-like syndrome" in some dogs with idiopathic megaesophagus and have come up with a treatment plan: 


YOU and YOUR DOG can help make Megaesophagus HISTORY!


International Canine Megaesophagus Awareness



Join us in celebrating the growing awareness of Canine Megaesophagus around the world!  

Pet parents and vets alike are sharing their knowledge, treatment tips, stories, and support every day!  

Thank you! Thank you!  

Let's keep going!!

Leave no dog behind!!  

Megaesophagus is NOT a death sentence!!




University of California -San Diego
looking for samples for genetic study of canine Myasthenia Gravis
Study of Megaesophagus in Great Danes - Clemson University
Contact Leigh Anne Clark, Ph.D.
Mississippi State Veterinary School is conducting a study on the effects of Upright Feeding and dogs with idiopathic Megaesophagus.
Please contact Alison Khoo, Small Animal Internal Medicine/Surgery Intern at: to participate in this program.

Washington State University is offering Individualized esophageal motility imaging.

Please contact Jillian Haines DVM at to schedule an appointment.

Washington State University


ME Crisis in Latvia

There has been an unusually high number of megaesophagus cases reported in Latvia. Click here to learn more about the study currently being conducted.

This is the survey that veterinary clinics and hospitals are asked to complete to aid in the study findings

Hunger Pains
 Swallowing Disorders in Dogs (Dysphagia) An extremely well done video from UC Davis and Dr. Stanley Marks,BVS.c, Ph.D


Video Fluoroscopy
Minature Dachshund with megaesophagus, Minette, undergoing video fluoroscopy at Mississippi State University.


This is Kyla undergoing Video Fluoroscopy while eating in her bailey chair. Study done at Washington State University Veterinary School by Dr. Jillian Haines

43 thoughts on “Research and Studies

  1. my pup has a vascular ring , scheduled CT scan for tues to see the condition of vessels then possibly surgery, any current info on recovery?

    1. Hi Margaret,
      I did a lot of research of PRAA when I wrote the article. There is a 90% success rate with the operation. We have spoken with a lot of pet parents that have had the surgery. Some have done very well after the surgery, eventually moving to regular eating from a bowl on the floor or slightly elevated. With other dogs the ME remains but is much more manageable. Your pup should be kept at the surgery center for a couple of days until the drain comes out. They can give your pup pain medicine through an IV and keep her hydrated. You will need to keep her quiet at home until she heals. Some say that’s the hardest part. Best of luck!

  2. I have two mega pups. One is a year old and one is five months. Same sire and dam. Yes, I know, stupid me , I did a repeat breeding. I really did not think it was hereditary. The other puppies are stunnng. So any way, I am feeding these two in bailey chairs. The eat raw, I’ve always fed raw. They are doing great. No AP yet. Keep your fingers crossed..I have the site and dam, ( both fixed now). I wanted to know if there’s a study needing DNA from all four?

    1. Hi Leslie,
      Yes there is strong evidence that this disease is hereditary. Right now Dr. Clark from Clemson University is studying Great Danes for the purpose of isolating and identifying the gene. Thank you for wanting to be part of the solution. Here is an article detailing the study. You can find Dr. Clark’s email in the center of the article FYI your other puppies in the litter should also be neutered. This is thought to be a recessive gene. Thank you for your comment!

  3. What would be the best place to contact to find out if any research is being done on a certain antibiotic being. A possible cause of Megaesophagus?

  4. Hello, I am fostering a puppy that was diagnosed with ME a few weeks ago. She has been doing great since her diagnosis with eating on the floor and then sitting in her backpack with zero regurgitation for a month. The last two days however she has regurgitated several times especially in the evenings. Should i keep her vertical longer in the evenings? I am not sure why this is happening since her other two meals she does not regurgitate at all and for a month she was completely okay.

    1. Hi Shannon,
      Sometimes things that have worked for awhile, stop working and you have to switch it up. I would definitely keep her vertical longer in the evenings to see if that helps. Some dogs do better if you feed before 7pm at night. Also, be sure to have her head elevated at night by using either a neck hug or pro collar. Keep a journal of what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes you can notice a pattern. Best of luck Shannon!

  5. I want to echo the use of neck hugs at night. We use the neck hug for our lab with ME and it has been a miracle in supporting his head up to prevent vomiting at night.

  6. Ho all, my boy has got a some lumps right under his jaw, I don’t believe they are pockets, because they never go away, however they seem to be constricting his breathing, and now when he eats, he has a hard time breathing, any advice? I will be seeing the vet this week😊 thanks

  7. Is there anyway to relieve the symptoms of heaving during the course of day? The continuous heaving is ruining his quality of life.

    1. Hi Rick,
      Is it vomiting or regurgitation? If it is regurgitation you can try some different management techniques like keeping your dog upright longer after meals. Trying a difference food consistency. Doing throat massage and burping your dog after meals. (catch some video’s of this on our recipe file) If your dog is regurging foamy white or slimey stuff you can add an antacid with your vets guidance. You may want to ask him about a pro-motility drug to help move the food our of the stomach faster.
      If your dog is vomiting, it may point to something more serious. Your vet may want to run diagnostic test on him to rule out other diseases like pancreatitis or gastroenteritis. He may want to do a Complete Blood Count (CBC). So speak with your vet right away if he is vomiting.

  8. Our 12-year-old lab has MG idiopathic. He does great all day with upright feeding, small bites of can food 3 times daily. He takes metachlorpromide with each meal and Pepcid 10 mg in the AM. With the hot days, he does not do well at night. He starts to get wheezy in the evenings (especially when he gets excited), then he will start coughing at about 3 am and vomit a small amount of liquid (not food). We try and feed him dinner early most nights at 5 pm. Have others run into this? I have ordered the neck hugs to hope this will help with night time occurrence of vomiting fluid. Any help for the wheezing that occurs on those hot nights, or when he gets over excited?

  9. I have a black lab, diagnosed with ME at about 6 weeks – now she is 11 months. We tried dry food (royal canine) with water, 5-6 times a day but as she got older, she did not seem to be gaining weight as she should. We changed to Royal Canine high (prescription) which is a pate type food, mixing with water, feeding her 1 can, 4 times a day. She eats upright on my husbands work bench and does well. She is skinny, but VERY active and healthy. The cost of this food is killing us though as we are spending $130 for 2 cases 3 times a month. I am looking for a canned food that you all would recommend that is a pate type canned food, high calorie, that wouldn’t cost $65 a case. Any suggestions.

    1. Hi Gina – I asked the question to our group and these are some of the responses:

      -Grain Free Holistic Select – 500 calories per can. $28 dollars a case. 12 cans to a case. Available on Amazon.
      -Tractor Supply 4 Health Grain Free – .99 cents a can.
      -Someone else said she swapped from hills I/D high calorie prescription diet to hill science plan. 95% identical, all ingredients the same just a bit of difference between the protein etc. Not a huge savings but it is cheaper.
      -The Honest Kitchen (Force) 10 lb box last her a month. Cost is $84.00 makes 40lbs of food.
      -Natural balance limited ingredient canned food (sweet potato and fish). She auto ships from and each case of 12 is around $19.
      -Purina One Smartblend with organic cold pressed coconut oil a couple times a day (and slippery elm).
      -Someone else said she uses royal canin as well, but the dry food is more economical. A large bag lasts my large dog a month. (you can blend it in a blender)
      -BLue Buffalo Wilderness wet, It has over 500 calories per can.
      -Look into Cocolicious also by Party Animal. It is a little pricey too but I’ve heard good things about it. Coconut oil already in there and the ME dogs do well with it.

      Hope that helps! Please join our facebook group for more great suggestions and ideas!!! Best of Luck!

      1. Thank you Donna… I will look in to these foods. I’ve joined your sites and love what y’all are doing for all of the ME family.

  10. Hi all,
    So happy to find this site! Our 11 year old border collie was just diagnosed with ME and probably has MG. I followed all the directions I found on-line about sitting up for 15 minutes, making meatballs, etc. For 4 days he did absolutely great! The food went down, he spit up a little mucus here and there, but overall did fine. Tonight for the first time he regurgitated half his dinner. He did eat more than usual, and a little more quickly. Is this common? Is this just trial and error as far as how much to eat, how fast, how long to sit up? I think I got overconfident when he did so well the first 4 days. Any advice welcome!
    Thanks from a newbie!

    1. Hi Amy,
      I think I spoke with you on facebook! Glad to connect and happy that you found the website useful! Yes it is all trial and error. What works best for most are smaller more frequent meals, a little at a time. Some people have used a “slow bowl feeder”, that seems to slow them down while they eat. Definitely try to get him to sit for at least 20-30 minutes. Some dogs needs more time, some need less time in the chair after feeding. You can pat his sides to encourage him to “burp”. Just like a baby that gets rid of the air bubbles and helps the food drop down into the stomach. If you feel there is food hung up in his esophagus, try throat massage. Gently rub the throat in a downward motion to help the food down the esophagus. MG diagnosis can be a blessing in disguise! Many do go into remission unlike humans with the same condition! I will look for your post on facebook! Best of luck!

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