Read as many of the pages here that relate to your situation.
Try not to panic and think it’s the end. We celebrated 6 successful months today with our 9 y.o. German Shepherd Sonnig and plan on doing whatever it takes to continue her quality of life. It may take time for you to find the right combination of food, consistency to feed, teaching Libby to eat in vertical and be held vertical afterwards, etc., but you can do this if you love her so much.
Breath deeply and dive into this with all the love you can give. Your dog can do this and so can you and you’ll hopefully have success and a full lifetime as planned…just different in some ways until you get your routine down.
No, you do NOT want anything to “stick” to the esophagus!! You want whatever it is to leave the esophageal walls clean and get to the stomach, then empty down the track quickly. Anything “sticking” to the esophageal walls is going to result in regurgitation unless it empties into the stomach. Thick it is for dogs or humans who do not handle thinner solutions or water very well. I think all of this would make a lot of sense to you if you study a bit on the dog’s anatomy. The entrance that is in question that needs to be bypassed is at the throat. When they (or we) swallow, a little “trap door” called the epiglottis closes off the airway so that what is swallowed stays en route through the esophagus and isn’t diverted to the trachea, which leads to the lungs. Dogs with megaesophagus often have this epiglottis working ineffectively, or inconsistently, but the biggest problem is when they are regurgitating a lot. Something will come back up, and the epiglottis somehow doesn’t keep it all out. The dog is trying to get it all out of the mouth, and trying to breathe. Sometimes the mechanism doesn’t time itself correctly, or doesn’t function at 100%. THAT is how stuff gets into the bronchioles or further into the lungs. Some just tolerate different consistencies better than others.
ME is not in general an immune system disorder, the exceptions being if it is caused by an immune system disorder, like MG.
Idiopathic ME is not an immune system problem (unless there is an undetected underlying immune system problem causing it), in which case giving vaccinations should not be a problem, at least no more than it is for normal animals.