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MEGAESOPHAGUS, A MIRE OF MISINFORMATION

 

What is megaesophagus and is it hereditary or can it be acquired from ongoing-chronic injury? Swallowing problems can be costly for dog owners.

 

August 22, 2022

Nel Liquorman, Investigative Reporter

 

I had email from a lovely woman in Ireland who mentioned that her puppy had megaesophagus. Megaesophagus? I looked it up and found some ingenious feeding solutions.

 

 

Megaesophagus is a disorder in which the esophagus gets enlarged making it harder for the dog to swallow and move food into the stomach. It is hereditary in some breeds but dog trainers say it can be acquired from collar use.

 

It isn’t vomiting, so curious, I began researching “what is megaesophagus in dogs?”

 

Megaesophagus is regurgitating food or water which is different than vomiting. Regurgitation is more spontaneous and usually occurs soon after swallowing and without the characteristics associated with vomiting such as drooling, heaving, and retching.

 

This info below is from pets/webmd.com {Ref #1}. “In cases of acquired megaesophagus, the exact cause of the disorder is unknown. Acquired megaesophagus can often be the result or symptom of another condition entirely, such as:

 

Blockage in the esophagus by scar tissue, tumor, or any other foreign body

Trauma of the spinal cord or brain

Damage to the muscles and nerves of the esophagus

Inflammation in the esophagus

Exposure to toxins

Hormonal diseases

 

My publisher had this to say about megaesophagus. “The term is familiar but I would go on record as stating that it could also be caused by frequent jerking on the collar when the dog is tied up or not properly trained to walk on leash.

 

But wait, the disorder is also said to be from “exposure to toxins.” I have reported on pet food ingredients since 2007, one example being Rosemary Extract {Ref #2} which was used as a preservative.

 

These plant extracts are classified as Nutraceuticals, meaning that they are natural medicines but many are toxic. When a pet can’t keep food down, I believe that the first thing to question is what is in the pet food.

 

There is no reason that any medicine should be in pet food. See G Anywar · 2021 · Cited by 22 — The potential toxicity of traditional herbal medicines can arise from acute or chronic exposure even with extracts of low toxicity. {www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov}

 

While the truth about megaesophagus may be hidden in the mire of non-verifiable publications on the internet, I find much of it questionable. You, the reader must decide what to believe.

 

The remedies, such as an upright carrier to be worn on the owner’s back or a chair to keep the dog in a full upright position while eating, would seem to be solutions in search of a problem, not as medical advice.

 

My research reveals that www.webmd.com is owned by Internet Brands. So, it may not be the reliable source that we used in the past. Shouldn’t what looks like medical info be supplied by people with medical degrees or medical research centers?

 

I want the old webmd back. I have no faith in the one below.

 

From Google: In 2017, Internet Brands, a company owned by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) agreed to purchase WebMD Health Corporation for approximately $2.8 billion.

 

While deciding on what to believe online, beware of misinformation and please use common sense. If you are led astray I hope that you will err on the side in favor of your dog. And do not keep jerking on his collar or letting him pull against his neck. Now you know how repeated damage can affect his esophagus.

 

{1} pets.webmd.com/what-is-megaesophagus-dogs

Related information on possible causes of megaesophagus

{2} Rosemary Is A Neurotoxin

TheDogPress.com EST 2002 © Aug 2022 https://www.thedogpress.com/Columns/megaesophagus-misinformation-ne22L082.asp

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