IMPORTANT: I am not a veterinarian nor am I a geneticist and have not done research or studies of what I will place below. However, I have run the rehoming effort the past almost 7 years and the 750 ME dogs we know have affected show a very different number of successes due to us working with so many. Most veterinarians will not see any ME dogs in their lifetime while others may help a few. Therefore, anything you try below MUST be under strict discussion and recommendations of your veterinarian and possibly surgeon pending your specific situation with your ME dog.

Basis what we have seen and are experiencing through the rehoming megaesophagus dogs effort these past almost 7 years, many more ME dogs are going into remission and/or resolving their ME. There are 2 categories that support this:
1.   ME due to Persistent Right Aortic Arch (PRAA)
–   Best chance when diagnosed early and can have the surgery performed by someone with good experience
–   After surgery, must follow proper ME protocol until whatever food and consistency was suggested by the surgeon is going down more easily and staying down
–   After at least 6-8 weeks and if no regurg or issues, can begin to “experiment” with food consistency and possibly brand (depends on what food you were recommended to use)
–   IF the above is working, then you may gradually start taking the time held upright afterwards down as well
–   IF your dog starts to regurg, this means either it isn’t a full success, you started the process too soon, or you were trying to move too quickly to try to see if resolved

2.  ME diagnosed when very young puppies
–   Must be formally diagnosed using at least X-rays (best with barium study if done carefully)
–   Must be immediately managed using proper ME protocol so no pouches or  pockets are able to form
–   This would take similar course to above where you begin to very gradually see puppy being able to take more food, no regurg and less time upright

Stories from ME owner:
“Our Happy was diagnosed ME/MG a year ago (barium swallow) And shown to remain so on his monthly check-ups(non Barium)X-rays. Eight months after his diagnosis (now 4 months ago) he has been given a clear bill of health! It took a lot of prayer, but the ME is resolved and MG in remission. The last X-rays where ordinary X-rays(non Barium) though. This was the reason we were not taking any chances at first and he still ate soaked kibble from an elevated (his Bailey Chair) for a while. For the last two months he now eats and drinks like a normal dog! ”

“Using Mestinon: Speaking strictly from past experience learned….No, but it can prevent the damage from becoming worse. In other words, if mega is diagnosed quickly and the Mestinon is given, chances are the mega will not develop, or will be milder. If the window has passed and the damage is done, nothing can bring the esophagus back. This was explained to me by Dr. Shelton. That is why Mitzie ended up with a feeding tube, as the “window” had passed. Nothing could have brought her esophagus back to normal again.”

“Can older dogs recover from ME? The answer is “yes”, but with a caveat. “Recovery”, meaning return of function (peristalsis) of the esophagus is not so very frequent. And to diagnose properly, (the return of function), you absolutely have to have radiography done with contrast media. That is, you can diagnose
megaesophagus sometimes without contrast media (barium), but you cannot diagnose the absence of megaesophagus with any certainty without it. Now, more about the return of function. To my surprise, I have heard several times over the past 2-3 years of this happening. Good, solid, documented cases, if the owners are to be believed, and I do believe these folks. By documented, I mean diagnosed megaesophagus with x-rays. Not necessarily any follow up radiography many weeks or months later, when I start hearing reports like yours. Do you need to follow up with contrast x-rays to confirm? Not necessarily, unless you really, really want some certainty. If you have the time and flexibility, save your money for when it may be more necessary, (especially if you have other pets!) and watch very carefully. Make the transition back to “normal feeding” slowly and cautiously.”

“Some dogs have only segmental absence of motility, which is probably difficult to diagnose and often missed. They can compensate in some cases. And some are misdiagnosed with mega-e. But we have had a number of documented cases that have cleared up to know it happens. I know of one senior citizen Golden whose mega-e resolved less than a year after diagnosis with contrast x-rays. That is Rosie Lounsbury, who just moved to Northern Calif with her family. We built her the chair you see in the files. She’s a lovely girl and living quite happily ever after!”

“I don’t think dogs with idiopathic ME normally go into remission from the ME. It may happen rarely, possibly in a few puppies with it, I seem to recall, but not sure.”

“If the ME is the result of MG, then the MG remits in most dogs with it, and the ME sometimes seems to remit after remission from MG. I saw a study that said that in dogs with MG, their ME remitted in a large fraction of them (maybe a third to a half, I can’t remember now) after their MG remitted, although it seemed to be many months after the remission from MG that the esophagus slowly shrank back to more or less normal.”