University of Missouri ME LES Study:
The University of Missouri was this years recipient of the 2017 Calendar for Research fund. We raised 2,170.00 from the sale! The University of Missouri announced last fall the ground breaking news of a new Study of Canine Congenital Idiopathic Megaesophagus. Many of our members, have gone through the program since then. The dogs are held upright and fed in a special holding chamber. A video fluoroscopic swallow study in then performed while eating in that upright position. This then determines whether or not the dog as a lower esophageal sphincter (LES) achalasia like syndrome. The client can then elect for another procedure where as they would use endoscopy to inject Botox to relax the sphincter, allowing food to easily pass through to the stomach. If the Botox proves to be successful, the dog maybe eligible for a surgery that could be curable of the disease. Furthermore the University is also studying genealogy as it relates to megaesophagus and Irish Wolf Hounds. We are so grateful to the University for taking up this research. Together we can find a cure!

Veterinary Highlights: Botox – New Treatment for Canine Megaesophagus (LES-Achalasia-like Syndrome)
When the esophagus, the tube through which water and food travel from the mouth to the stomach, is enlarged and not functioning properly, it is referred to as megaesophagus. That doesn’t sound like a much of a deal but it is. Ingested food is unable to make its way to the stomach, instead, it comes back out (regurgitation). This leads to malnutrition and can cause aspiration pneumonia.

Megaesophagus can be secondary to other conditions such as neuromuscular disease, tumors, foreign bodies, toxins, parasites or inflammation. The goal of therapy is addressing the underlying cause. Dogs suffering from congenital form of the disease or where the underlying cause cannot be determined have very poor prognosis. The Veterinary Health Center (VHC) at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, they have a new approach to treating one type of canine megaesophagus.

Botox to the rescue:
A potential cause of megaesophagus is a defect of the lower esophageal sphincter. This is a bundle of muscles where the esophagus meets the stomach which prevents stomach contents from traveling back out. In some dogs, this sphincter actually remains closed and doesn’t allow food or water enter the stomach at all. Botox paralyzes these muscles, allowing passage of food into the stomach. This could be a real help to dogs suffering from this type of megaesophagus.

The Missouri team encourages veterinarians, pet owners and breeders to contact the VHC for information about the new diagnostic and treatment. To have a pet evaluated, contact the Small Animal Hospital at 573-882-7821.