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Mega-Esophagus in Dogs: Bandit’s Ranch Retirement

Inspiring Pet Tails 3 min read
Mega-Esophagus in Dogs: Bandit’s Ranch Retirement

It started with NHV’s giving back campaign #NHVNaturalSelfie

In July we ran a campaign to collect 15,000 pet selfies across social media platforms. Each selfie was to be tagged with #nhvnaturalselfie. If we reached our goal, we would donate $5000 of NHV supplements to pets in need. We did it! We reached our goal! We decided to spread the NHV love across multiple pet rescues, and one rescue was Animal Town Sanctuary. Travis at Animal Town Sanctuary takes in older or special needs pups, usually Huskies, and gives them a loving home to retire to. Travis does not adopt out these dogs but instead gives them the best life and lots of loving care on his 10-acre ranch.


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One such pup is Bandit. Bandit is an Australian Cattle Dog. Just before we were in touch with ATS, Bandit was diagnosed with a mega-esophagus. This condition occurs when the esophagus, the path between the mouth and stomach, becomes weaker. The muscles are not toned and the esophagus becomes wider than usual. The muscles are not able to push the food down to the stomach as they should. This presents a few problems. Food can settle in the esophagus and spontaneously be regurgitated. This often leads to aspiration or inhalation of the food into the lungs. This is obviously not safe, as it can lead to pneumonia. Because efficiently taking in food is troublesome, it can also affect the intake of adequate nutrition.

Bandit was diagnosed with mega-esophagus right before we contacted you. Unfortunately, our vet said this was the very first case they had ever encountered. They didn’t have any experience with his condition, ever. The vet shares the office with 5 other vets and none of them have ever treated a dog with this condition. So it’s rare in our area. Bandit also developed pneumonia because it took so long to diagnose. He had a few really bad weeks. One day, he collapsed and couldn’t get up. He had to be carried to bed until he regained his energy the following day. We had some close calls with him. We are super lucky that he survived pneumonia and lucky that he seems to be living with or healing his mega-esophagus. He is getting a little better each day.

Treating Mega-esophagus

NHV Yucca contains precursors to corticosteroids which help to reduce inflammation. It also soothes the tissues of the upper gastrointestinal system and increases the penetration and absorption of vitamins and minerals. Mega-esophagus can be tough to treat because it is a purely ‘mechanical’ problem. There is usually no disease process, it is simply an enlargement of the esophagus. Our veterinary team discussed which supplements may be helpful for Bandit, and decided that Yucca and Resp-Aid would be best.

NHV Resp-Aid contains herbs that help to soothe the respiratory system and help to prevent infection. There are also herbs that act as anti-inflammatories and expectorants, to help release congestion from the lungs.

bandit 3 animal town sanctuary

A few weeks after Bandit started these supplements, we received a happy update from Travis.

We are happy to tell you that his health has improved quite a bit. He has been able to hold his food and liquids down more often. He has also had more energy and has even been able to run short distances a few times this week. He is a lot better than he was a few weeks ago. Thank you guys very much for helping him!!
bandit animal town sanctuary

Bandit needs to be fed in an upright sitting or standing position, so that gravity can help food fall through the esophagus to the stomach. With this modified feeding technique along with the NHV supplements, Bandit should be able to live a happy, carefree life on the ranch! 😊

If your pet is suffering from a unique condition, contact our Pet Experts. Our veterinary team will be happy to find supplements that can help!

NHV donates its natural supplements worth $5000 to pets in need

NHV Pet Experts

NHV Pet Experts

We have a dedicated group of pet expert professionals, including veterinarians, vet techs, and other pet professionals to guide you through any questions. We’re committed to your pet’s wellness and can offer additional tips, resources, nutritional advice, and more.

Published: October 7, 2018

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