Medical or Behavior Challenge Notes: Mega Esophagus
Dog ID: 21-051 | 1 Year old Male | Medium-High Energy
June 28, 2022:
I just wanted to touch base that Apollo is doing well! He is settling in and is just his happy self! We have truly enjoyed having Apollo join our family! He still isn’t sure what to think of the cats…they hiss at him when he gets too close. Apollo isn’t sure if that is an invitation or not so it usually results in Apollo licking the cat’s face which isn’t winning him any favors! They will all get there!
We are really enjoying him!
March 21, 2022:
Apollo recently celebrated his first birthday with his best friends. He got to wear a party hat, got 3 hours of muddy play time, and several gerber puff treats. Less exciting was the very lengthy bath to get all the mud out of his fur / paws.
Apollo recovered nicely from getting neutered and hasn’t exhibited any more humping. He is in good health, just trying to make sure he gains enough weight. He loves meeting new dogs, people, and going on new adventures. He gets very excited for walks and wants to meet everyone. Parks are his favorite because there are usually families or kids playing ball and ball is life. He has been able to consistently keep two balls or a ball and one squeaky toy in his mouth. He likes to fall asleep with a ball in his mouth. He knows his routines and is able to jump up onto the tray of his Bailey chair and walk backwards into the chair for mealtimes. We haven’t had many incidents with regurgitation, now that he can get to the grass he tries to eat it and may regurgitate if he gets too many chunks. We make sure he’s supervised in the backyard.
Apollo does a good job of reading the other dog’s play style and adjusting accordingly. He is at the point where he knows his food / drink routine and that the chair is where he goes to get these things so we’ve been able to be more relaxed about our dog’s water availability. Apollo sleeps in his crate at night and is baby gated during the day with our dog in the living room / laundry area so he gets to look out the window at the neighborhood and backyard. He gets very excited when there are squirrels in the back. He’s a sweetheart who doesn’t quite understand how big he is so it is a little awkward as he tries to sit in your lap. He is an extremely sweet dog who does get a little mouthy but typically just because he wants things in his mouth, giving him a toy or ball quickly deflects the behavior. He is gentle and likes to be around his people. He can entertain himself for many hours with toys, nylabones, balls but if you leave the main floor he’ll be right with you. His preference is to be in the same room with his foster mom.
December 26, 2021: Apollo just seems to be doing well since his antibiotic treatment. He does really well with his soaked meatballs (dry dog food soaked in water and molded into more swallowable balls). Water is harder, he does pretty well with the thickened water but sometimes I can tell he has some slight burping / gagging after laying for a while. We try to keep pillows around so he can keep his head propped above his body. First attempt at knox blocks was a hilarious failure. He found a way to reject them even if I tried to sneak them in with meatballs. I don’t think he appreciated the consistency or taste. I’ll try again with some no salt added broth to see if he does better with this than the thickened water.
He is still a ball fanatic. We have gone through several balls between losing them to destruction, mud, or over the fence. He really enjoys putting balls under furniture and getting it back out. He keeps himself very busy with this. He found a creative way to get under our bed but hasn’t quite been able to get himself out (see picture). He is learning his voice and is sticking up for himself with our more senior dog who doesn’t love to play the same games as Apollo. He is a happy boy and likes to be around his people. You’ll find him on my feet as I form meatballs or cook in the kitchen.
December 22nd is his scheduled radiograph to ensure that any signs of aspiration pneumonia are cleared up.
November 11, 2021:
Apollo just finished up his antibiotic treatment. The radiograph showed a bit of AP condensed larger than the last time so he was put on a 2 week antibiotic treatment. We were able to get him his pills 2x a day with his dog food meatballs. He seems to have cleared up any cough he had right after his endoscopy.
He has learned the art of fetch and is very, very playful and his obsession with balls only increases. On walks we go through a park which typically has younger kids playing basketball or baseball or football and he will take any type of ball to be on the team! He enjoys his walks and has even learned how to sit! He can ALMOST get into the bailey chair himself He will go to it when he wants water or is hungry and he’ll back up but he hasn’t quite figured backing all the way in.
He is a cuddle bug but gets a little mouthy when he doesn’t have a toy in his mouth. We try to make sure there is something within reach to deflect immediately. He learned how to go up the stairs which was good because his endoscopy was on the second floor of the vet! He’s a smart dog that really just wants affection and attention but has learned how to self entertain at times with toys. Apollo celebrated his first Halloween and got to watch kids trick or treating come and grab a bag outside, he did so well!
A blanket was sent to Apollo that a 96 year old woman made him and he laid right on it! See the picture.
October 1, 2021:
Apollo is still doing well. Since we haven’t had any regurgitation issues we were able to slowly change his food from the humane society brands as well as ramp his food intake to help put some weight on. He has been responding well to the thick-it in water to ensure he stays hydrated. He looks like he is filling out in the hip area!
He is still a snuggle bug who has a tennis ball in his mouth as often as he can which makes fetch interesting when he won’t drop the ball to pick up the toy or ball being thrown. He seems to be gaining more and more confidence. At first he was very timid and would tuck his tail / hips down when he would run outside and got spooked by his own sneeze when it was dark outside.
He seems to respond well to watching our dog do things first and then he feels more confident to jump up into the house or down out of the car from his vet appointments. We have gone on three walks together, he gets squirmy and wants to pull our dogs leash and roll around in the tall prairie grasses!
We finished up his 5 day ointment treatment for his yeast ear infections and he was microchipped.
September 20, 2021:
Mega esophagus is a condition in dogs characterized by a distension of the esophagus, the vital tube that moves food from the mouth into the stomach. In this condition, the associated nerves or muscles do not function properly, so that the esophagus cannot constrict and relax to propel the food into the stomach after swallowing. As a result, the food accumulates in the esophagus, and is regurgitated at some point.
Apollo is doing well; the Bailey chair is a game changer! He’s a little squirmy in it but so far so good. He is a love bug who is very into toys and the backyard! So far we have been doing well on a routine of three times a day feedings. We use 1 1/2 cups dry food soaked in 1 1/2 cups water, a tbsp of olive oil, then add in a half can of wet puppy food and a half bag of moist and meaty. We mix that all up and form meatballs and he gets those through the three feedings. He gets offered water at that tome as well. No regurgitation issues so far but we can tell he struggles more with water than food. He gets a gurgle sound while drinking and he will stop after a few seconds. We’ll be getting the thickener which we think may help. He’s a very loving dog that we think will be such a fun addition to someone’s family! We’re working on potty training, We did read we could try the Gerber puffs as a treat for training because they dissolve so we may try that for crate and potty training!
September 14, 2021:
Apollo, a golden doodle, is new in foster care. He rides very nice in the car and loves to play in our backyard.