Following several recently confirmed cases of megaoesophagus in dogs, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is advising dog owners with concerns about their dog’s health to seek veterinary advice.
AVA president Dr Paula Parker said that megaoesophagus is a syndrome that affects the normal function of an animal’s oesophagus.
The oesophagus is a muscular tube that carries food from the mouth through the chest into the stomach. When an animal has megaoesophagus, the tube becomes distended and food doesn’t move normally towards the stomach.
“Animals with megaoesophagus can regurgitate their food and can have difficulty or show reluctance to eat,” Dr Parker explained.
“Animals with megaoesophagus are more likely to aspirate or breathe in food or fluid into their lungs and so some animals may present with coughing or other changes to their breathing pattern.”
Megaoesophagus in animals is a complex syndrome that occurs due to trauma to the oesophagus or dysfunction of the nerve and muscle that controls movement of the oesophagus. Its treatment depends on the underlying cause of the dysfunction so thorough investigation of this syndrome is important.
The AVA has reached out to its members to report any suspected cases of food-related illness through the PetFAST system. This allows any trends related to food-associated illness in pets to be tracked and traced so that further action can be taken.
Based on a media release sourced from the AVA website.