Friday, November 4, 2016

Veterinary Highlights: Botox - New Treatment for Canine Megaesophagus (LES-Achalasia-like Syndrome)?

When the esophagus, the tube through which water and food travel from the mouth to the stomach, is enlarged and not functioning properly, it is referred to as megaesophagus. That doesn't sound like a much of a deal but it is. Ingested food is unable to make its way to the stomach, instead, it comes back out (regurgitation). This leads to malnutrition and can cause aspiration pneumonia.

Megaesophagus can be secondary to other conditions such as neuromuscular disease, tumors, foreign bodies, toxins, parasites or inflammation. The goal of therapy is addressing the underlying cause.

Dogs suffering from congenital form of the disease or where the underlying cause cannot be determined have very poor prognosis.

The Veterinary Health Center (VHC) at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, they have a new approach to treating one type of canine megaesophagus.

Botox to the rescue?

A potential cause of megaesophagus is a defect of the lower esophageal sphincter. This is a bundle of muscles where the esophagus meets the stomach which prevents stomach contents from traveling back out. In some dogs, this sphincter actually remains closed and doesn't allow food or water enter the stomach at all.

Botox paralyzes these muscles, allowing passage of food into the stomach. This could be a real help to dogs suffering from this type of megaesophagus.

The Missouri team encourages veterinarians, pet owners and breeders to contact the VHC for information about the new diagnostic and treatment. To have a pet evaluated, contact the Small Animal Hospital at 573-882-7821.

Source article:
Megaesophagus in dogs

Further reading:
Collaboration between College of Veterinary Medicine and the School Of Medicine Develops Revolutionary Treatment for Canine Megaesophagus

Diagnosis and management of megaesophagus in dogs 
Megaesophagus in Dogs

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Regurgitation

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