Megaesophagus awareness, tips, and information

Kato’s Story

“Bugger!! He threw up again, keep an eye on him, make sure he is okay” This is the start of a journey of frustration and learning.
Kato is now a two year old GSD male who was diagnosed with Megaesophagus back in June 2015.It began with the odd bout of throwing up that would last maybe a day, Then he would be fine again. This went on for a while. We checked the yard high and low for anything that might cause his vomiting. He seemed his usual, happy mischievous self most of the time, but over time we noticed he was losing weight. Feed him more!! We increased his diet, not realising we were compounding the problem. It all came to a head when he had a bout of vomiting (now we know it was regurgitating). We put him outside for a toilet break and when he came back in he seemed to be swollen in the belly, but it was all to one side of his ribcage. he was restless, his heart rate was very rapid. He didn’t look good at all. Bloat was our first thought, we rushed him to the local vet thinking we would lose him.

The vet did xrays. Luckily for us, although she had never seen a case of ME in 20 years of practice, she knew what it was. We were referred to a specialist vet in town that had the facilities, and more knowledge of the condition, for treatment.

Megaesophagus! Never heard of it! But so common. He spent the first night in the hospital where bloods were taken for various tests and they tried to unblock the oesophagus, no luck. They induced vomiting and reported that approx 1kg of food came up, but there was still that much in there!! To cut a long story short, the rest of the food eventually passed through to his stomach and after a two day stay he came home. All bloods were negative. We were armed with a lot of information on how to feed him and some meds (metoclopramide x 6 per day, now down to 2 per day) Smile

Two years of teaching our boy not to jump up on counters, now he eats his blended mix of divetelact and kibble standing at the kitchen counter. Cuddle time is 15 minutes of holding him upright after eating. Luckily, he seems to tolerate water well. He will eventually be using a Baileys chair. Although he has regained some weight, he is still on the slender side. We have had little setbacks, a little bout of AP, but luckily, we caught it early.

Thanks to support groups on FB we learned a lot about ME and how to manage it. Definitely not a death sentence, as some people (who were quickly put in their place) suggested. He is still the naughty Kato we know and love. Hopefully he will continue to be a pest to the household cats for many years to come!

-Katt Timmings

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