Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Megaesophagus

Synonym(s): Megaoesophagus; ME

Contributor(s): Ken Harkin, James Simpson, Laurent Garosi

Introduction

  • Generalized and diffuse dilation of esophagus and loss of peristalsis preventing normal forward propulsion of ingesta.
  • Cause: primary congenital, secondary acquired.
  • Signs: regurgitation, repeated swallowing attempts, poor body condition + coughing/nasal discharge with secondary aspiration pneumonia.
  • Diagnosis: plain radiography.
  • Treatment: dependent on cause.
  • Prognosis: guarded.
Print off the owner factsheet Megaoesophagus Megaoesophagus to give to your client.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Specific

Pathophysiology

  • For both congenital and acquired idiopathic forms a selective vagal afferent dysfunction seems to play a major role.
  • Failure of sensory perception of food bolus in esophagus, therefore no peristaltic contraction.
  • Ingesta pools in esophagus.
  • Regurgitation of food follows.
  • Aspiration pneumonia common.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Mace S, Shelton G D, Eddlestone S (2012) Megaoesophagus. Compend Contin Educ Vet 34 (2), E1 PubMed.
  • Fracassi F, Tamborini A (2011) Reversible megaoesphagus associated with primary hypothyroidism. Vet Rec 168 (12), 329b PubMed.
  • McBrearty A R, Ramsey I K, Courcier E A, Mellor D J, Bell R (2011) Clinical factors associated with death before discharge and overall survival time in dogs with generalized megaoesophagus. JAVMA 238 (12), 1622-1628 PubMed.
  • Wray J D, Sparkes A H (2006) Use of radiographic measurements in distinguishing myasthenia gravis from other causes of canine megaoesphagus. JSAP 47 (5), 256-263 PubMed.
  • Gaynor A R, Shofer F S & Washabau R J (1997) Risk factors for acquired megaesophagus in dogs. JAVMA 211 (11), 1406-1412 PubMed.
  • Mears E A & Jenkins C C (1997) Canine and feline megaesophagus. Comp Cont Ed Prac Vet 19 (3), 313-326 VetMedResource.
  • Yam P S, Shelton G D and Simpson J W (1996) Megaesophagus secondary to acquired myasthesia gravis. JSAP 37 (4), 179-183 PubMed.
  • Simpson J W (1994 ) Management of megaesophagus in the dog. In Practice 16, 14-16 InPractice.

Other sources of information

  • Willard M D (1992) Dysphagia and swallowing disorders.In: Current Veterinary Therapy X. W B Saunders, Philadelphia. 572-580.
  • Guilford W G (1990) Megaesophagus in the dog and cat.Seminars in Vet Med and Surg5, 37-45.


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