Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is a medical disorder characterized by an abnormal large esophageal pocket (distention).

This abnormal distended esophageal pocket collects the recent meal and in doing so prevents it from reaching its normal destination, your bulldog stomach. This food is often “hacked up” whole as undigested food medically described as regurgitation.

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs ASPIRATION:

In the brachycephalic breeds like a French bulldog, American Bulldog, and English Bulldogs, this regurgitated whole undigested food often ends up slipping down the wrong pipe (Trachea) landing in your bulldog lungs. That inhaled material triggers inflammation and often infection of the lower airway known by the medical term “Aspiration Pneumonia”.

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs CAUSE:

Although the cause of megaesophagus in pets is often unknown, there are several different potential disease processes in dogs and cats that may lead to it:

  • Esophageal obstructions due to a foreign body
  • Esophageal obstructions due to stricture or mass
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Infectious diseases
  • Immune system abnormalities
  • Hormonal disorders, and toxins.

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is most commonly due to inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis).

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DIAGNOSIS:

There are many tests that should be considered but the most important ones in bulldogs and French bulldogs are:

  1. SOFT PALATE: evaluation of the soft palate and larynx
  2. RADIOGRAPHS:  chest and abdominal x-rays including barium contrast swallowing

Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French TREATMENT:

Managing megaesophagus in bulldog and French bulldogs puppies requires multiple steps

  1. FEEDING: try feeding smaller meals in a gruel consistency.
  2. UPRIGHT: The feeding should be done in an elevated position using gravity to move the meal downward toward the stomach, at the time a customer chair that set your bulldog in an upright position is required
  3. BCS: Bulldog Elongated Palate or/and Bulldog Stenotic Nares are some of the most common reasons for megaesophagus in bulldog and French bulldog, thus they should be repaired by an experienced bulldog surgeon as soon as possible.
  4. RX: various Rx might be required to help reduce vomiting and gastric reflux
  5. SUPPLEMENTS: for chronic vomiting or/and RX usages consider supplementing with pre and probiotics like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Probiotics Formula to help balance the gut microbiome.

Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs RULE OF THUMB:

Bulldogs and French bulldogs puppies are rarely born with a Megaesophagus, the majority of megaesophagus in bulldogs and French bulldogs are acquired mostly due to esophagitis which is the inflammation of the esophageal mucosa lining. In bulldogs.

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux due to chronic gastric reflux disease) is mostly due to bulldog brachycephalic airway syndrome.

Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS 

Tip #1 WHOLE VS DIGESTED:  The content expelled after regurgitation due to bulldog megaesophagus is usually whole (i.e. undigested) and is expelled soon after your dog ate. In contrast, vomiting is unwhole and usually is usually partially or fully digested, it often also mixed with yellow bile.

Tip #2 RADIOGRAPHS: Chest and Abdominal radiographs combined with barium dye contrast material are recommended when attempting to diagnose Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs,

Tip #3 UPRIGHT CHAIR: For serious cases of bulldog megaesophagus I recommend a special chair that forces your bulldog puppy to eat in an upright near-vertical position. Try to keep your bulldog puppy at that elevated position for an additional 10 min after feeding (see our “Kelly Chair” Video)

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs radiographs

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs radiographs . Note the contrast filling of the dilated esophagus

Tip #4 FOOD CONSISTENCY: For Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs I recommend a blend prescription smooth watered-down gruel puree-like diet.

Tip #5 RX: you can also add a daily promotility medication such as anti-vomit (Reglan, Cerenia) and anti-reflux / anti-acid medication (Prilosec, Cispridie).

Warning #1 PNEUMONIA: Due to their undeveloped immune system bulldog and French Bulldog puppies are especially vulnerable to a life-threatening compilation from aspiration pneumonia Bulldog aspiration pneumonia due to megaesophagus should be treated aggressively with antibiotics. All of those cases should be considered serious and potentially life-threatening.

Warning #2 BCS: Bulldogs and French Bulldog puppies suffering from Brachycephalic syndrome, like elongated palate, stenotic nares and hypoplastic trachea are at a higher risk of incurring megaesophagus

Warning BLENDED FOOD #3: large dry lumpy food, is more likely to get trapped in the dilated pocket of the megaesophagus, the food should be smooth and have even consistency. You can blend it in a food processor or soak in water.

“An Ounce of PREVENTION is Worth a Pound of CURE”

Megaesophagus in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs puppies PREVENTION IS CURE

*This guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer, a “must-read” manual for any current or future bully owners

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