JUNE IS MEGAESOPHAGUS MONTH

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…

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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…

Screen-Shot-2015-06-25-at-3.40.27-PM

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)…

Article

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…

family

  • 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…

Bristol-and-Willie

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:

  • Megaesophagus
  • The Bailey Chair
  • Kate Singleton

Here are a few links for you to click –

www.baileychairs4dogs.com

http://rehomingmegaesophagusdogs.com/

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-enlarged-esophagus-megaesophagus

http://www.caninemegaesophagus.org/

 

Be kind to someone and as always, thank you for sharing me with your friends!

 

 

14 Comments
  • Emma
    June 26, 2015

    That is amazing. What a kind a patient person. We are all thankful we don’t have issues such as that, but it good to know there is help out there.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 26, 2015

      Emma, Kate Singleton is a very special angel to many dogs with MegaE. You, your sisters and my boys are blessed with good health! Have a great weekend.

  • Nichole
    June 26, 2015

    Thank you for highlighting mega-e! Zeus was diagnosed in Sept 2013… sadly we lost him earlier this year.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 26, 2015

      Oh Nicole I am so sorry 🙁 Losing a pet is the worst thing ever – I know first hand. One year ago today in fact, Leo passed suddenly at the tender age of 4. My heart aches with you…

  • DZ Dogs
    June 26, 2015

    I have never heard of mega-e I’m so glad she got her pups all figured out! What a cute bunch! <3 <3

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 26, 2015

      I didn’t know either (before) apparently from what I’ve learned – it affects more dogs and cats than we think.

  • Jan K
    June 26, 2015

    I had seen something about this once, but did not know what it was called. How wonderful to see that these dogs can be helped and do so well. It was so great of you to help Kate out with her cause too – what an adorable crew she has!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 26, 2015

      Kate is making a difference – one dog at a time. I am so proud of her efforts and the dogs that come in contact with her are blessed.

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    June 27, 2015

    That is a nasty condition that needs a lot of work. Bless Kate for doing what she is doing!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 28, 2015

      I agree with you – and I second the motion about Kate. She is incredible and her dedication is a rare and beautiful thing to know.

  • Jen
    June 27, 2015

    That is amazing and awesome Cathy! I’ve actually heard of the Bailey chair and it was probably through you! I didn’t know that dogs with ME could go from the chair to an elevated feeder! I thought they always had to eat in the Bailey chair so thank for explaining that!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 28, 2015

      Jen, neither did I until I started writing this blog post! Willie eats with a little elevation and small meals, but he’s doing so well now. Congrats again on Leroy’s health also – you’ve done a remarkable job!

  • Monika
    June 28, 2015

    Love this story. Thank you for sharing and for helping this cause out. Well done on both fronts! <3

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 28, 2015

      Thanks Monika! It’s a cause that Kate introduced me to – one that has become near and dear to my heart, for all dogs!!!

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