Megaesophagus. That’s a huge word. Most folks familiar with it, or loving dogs who have it – simply refer to it as “MegaE.”
June is Megaesophagus month, but all year long a woman in Upstate NY does all she can for dogs with MegaE.
Megaesophagus was a foreign word to me until the latter part of 2013 –
Megaesophagus is a condition in which the muscles of the esophagus do not do their job correctly. In a normal esophagus, the muscles push anything that is ingested to the stomach. When a dog has MegaE, the muscles are damaged or did not properly form. They become like a latex balloon that has been blown up and had the air let out of it several times (soggy). Therefore, they create pockets along the esophagus that traps food and water. The muscles aren’t strong enough to push it down to the stomach. Because the food gets stuck in these pockets, it often causes a dog with MegaE to regurgitate nearly every time something is ingested. The regurgitation often leads to Aspiration Pneumonia, which if not caught and treated properly can cause death. Some forms of MegaE can be treated with medication, some by elevating their bowls, some require feeding tubes, and some require special diets. Others utilize a combination of some or all of the above!
Those are the words of a pet parent named Kate who loves and lives with three Goldendoodles diagnosed with MegaE.
Kate is a young military spouse and a mother of two, who I met through social media. She is a huge inspiration.
I initiated contact when I saw a photograph of her doodle sitting patiently in a highchair. Adorable as can be – but I didn’t understand.
She told me it was a “Bailey Chair” used to feed two of her doodles because they live with MegaE.
MEET STETSON & WILLIE…
Kate first heard of the Bailey Chair through an amazing support group who directed her to the creative minds behind this miracle highchair. Willie’s first chair was built by her husband under the guidance of the chairs inventor.
We kept in touch, talking “Doodle” and by the beginning of 2014, I’d learned even more about MegaE and Kate’s quest to find ways to raise money for more chairs. I wanted to help. I wanted to help raise awareness, so I wrote a blog post about her.
You see, the Bailey Chairs are not cheap to build. It’s actually easier to purchase material and make two at a time. Therefore, all buyers are informed when they place their order that the cost automatically provides another chair to a family in need.
Used chairs are often given to other families because dogs outgrow the first one. #passiton
The chair literally saved Willie’s life. Kate was so grateful – she was desperate to help others.
She leaned on her craft and started selling hand made collars, leashes, bracelets, and keychains using paracord. Money from the sales went directly towards more chairs…
By spring of 2014 – I wanted to do more. Harley and Leo were in the midst of planning their “Spring-Fling Doodle Romp” at Olde Towne Pet Resort, when the light bulb came on.
Use this opportunity to highlight MegaE –
- Kate was all for it 🙂
- The Pet Resort have MegaE clients
- Doodle Doc agreed to facilitate the difficult veterinary questions
- Kate would speak from a hands on perspective
The unexpected ice and snow storm made it difficult for all who RSVP‘d to come, but it was a great group to be around. Kate brought Willie’s chair and a few items from her Paracord collection.
The Virginia Maryland Dog Magazine heard about the romp, read my post, and asked me #sohonored to write the special featured article in their Summer Issue 2014 (pgs 14-17)…
It’s been a year, and since June IS Megaesophagus month, I wanted to give you an update on Kate, her mission, and her doodles…
- Stetson is now 5 yrs old and is able to eat out of an elevated bowl
- Willie is 2 yrs old and has been out of his Bailey Chair since January of this year and is doing just fine. #doodletastic
- Bristol (Kate’s “forever Foster“) is a year old now and a miracle! Kate rescued her after everyone said euthanize because of MegaE combined with other health issues. She’s thriving! Eating a raw food diet of turkey with the dehydrated Honest Kitchen mix, gaining weight and loving life…
Dixie is 3 yrs old and does not have MegaE
In addition, Kate has assisted in the rescue and placement of six “other” Doodles – ALL of them with MegaE.
If you would like to read more about:
- The Bailey Chair
- Kate Singleton
Here are a few links for you to click –
Be kind to someone and as always, thank you for sharing me with your friends!