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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi-This is my 1st post on this list. On Friday, July 1, 2005, we lost our beloved almost 11 y.o. Lily to a rapidly growing tumor in her esophagus as well as a mass pressing on her lungs. Initially, in March, 2005, Lily was diagnosed with megaesophagus, a condition in which the esophagus loses its tone and becomes flaccid & thus makes the passage of food thru the esophagus very difficult. Lily had to be switched to very soft, almost soupy food and her every mouthful had to be monitored to make sure she swallowed it OK and didn't gag on it.
Another point to mention is her food bowls had to be elevated, a point w/which I have become obsessed lately. I mention that to anyone w/a dog who will stop and listen to me long enough!!
I am still stunned that she developed the esophagus problem. She seemed so healthy. I can barely process the fact that she is gone. Am sick w/o her.
Is anyone familiar with an esophagus problem in Bassets?
Thanks,
Arlene in RI
 

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I am so very sorry in the loss of your baby. I know the heartbreaking feeling of being without a dear friend. I wish I could answer more of your other concerns but have not read much about this condition in a basset. I do know other breeds though that are affected. Just wanted to let you know you are being thought of in your loss. Many prayers-
 

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Arlene, it sounds like you had a very rough few months with Lily. I also have no experience or knowledge of this particular problem, but it sounds pretty distressing for you. Was the megaesophagus caused by the tumor then?

Deepest sympathies on your loss. I'm sure your baby is now living at the bridge, free from the pain she must have gone through, and is watching you from above.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. We had a Basset with megasophagus also, and it is certainly difficult for the dog and hard to manage. It sounds as if your dog had serious health problems that led to it (ours did, too), and that you did the very best for her that you could.
Sharon Hall
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Addy & Sharon-Thanks very much for your replies.
The megaesophagus just seemed to come out of nowhere in January. I'm sure it took some time to develop. The tumor in the esophagus was diagnosed later this spring. It all was hard to manage but we're so glad we were able to do that because, as a result, we had that much more time with Lily. The tough part for Lily was the big change in her diet. All of her food had to be soft so that cut out all her treats, especially the pizza crusts that she loved so much!
Arlene in RI
 
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I too am sorry about your loss. I adopted a basset Christmas of 2003. She too was an older gal. She developed megaesophagus. We treated her with Carafate and I bought human supplements like Ensure and thicked it with rice cereal. Our vet calculated the calories she would need a day and we were able to supplement her. She did recover but about 3 months later developed liver CA and we lost her after only 6 months. Our hearts go out to you yvonne
 

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I've known several dogs with megaesophagus and all were Great Danes. These dogs had primary megaesophagus, meaning it's not caused by some other condition. Primary megaesophagus usually shows up when they're pups.

Secondary megaesophagus can be caused by a number of things including, hypothyroidism, myasthenia gravis, addison's disease, and scarring in the esophagus. Also a tumor pressing on the esophagus can cause symptoms of megaesophagus.

So chances are if a basset acquires megaesophagus later in life it's the secondary type. I haven't heard of any pups with this condition but that doesn't mean it doesn't occur, though I've not seen any reference stating primary megaesophagus is common in basset hounds. However addison's disease and hypothyroidism are listed for basset hounds in the Guide to Congenital and Heritable Disorders in Dogs so bassets may be more at risk for secondary megaesophagus.

For anyone who might like additional information on megaesophagus:
Megaesophagus
Megaesophagus in Dogs
Canine Idiopathic Megaesophagus: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapy

Sorry to hear about these two girls. :(

[ August 01, 2005, 09:16 AM: Message edited by: Barbara Winters ]
 
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