Bailey Chairs for dogs with megaesophagus
This dog looks pretty happy for a dog with megaesophagus. That's because his condition is being treated, and one of those treatments is the chair he is sitting in: his Bailey Chair.
There are few disabilities more dangerous to a dog than megaesophagus and the condition can arise at any time in a dog's life.
Canine digestive system (image)
The esophagus is a muscular, tube-like structure that directs food into the stomach from the mouth. In megaesophagus the muscles of the esophagus do not work well enough to pass food or liquid into the stomach. The cause may be congenital, or the result of exposure to toxins, or it could be secondary to another disorder such as a neuromuscular disease. It could result from a tumor, foreign body, or inflammation of the esophagus, or even a parasitic infection. Sometimes the primary cause of megaesophagus can't even be found.
The result of megaesophagus is that food stays in the esophagus like a lump in an un-inflated balloon. It causes dogs to regurgitate food and water undigested. This is dangerous to your dog for many reasons, not the least of which is that magaesophagus can cause malnutrition, and worse, aspiration pneumonia. If your dog (or cat, or other pet) shows any signs of esophageal issues, it is time to see a veterinarian - right away!
Providing food and water to a pet with megaesophagus is do-able but it's not easy. Ideally, you need to keep your dog erect at a 90 degree angle to the floor so that he can take advantage of gravity to help draw the food into the stomach That's tough to to do, but Bailey Chairs make it much easier for some dogs and their parents to get that food and water down. These chairs are literally life savers!
If you have a dog that has megaesophagus, which you would have diagnosed by a veterinarian, of course, you will need to ask your vet if your dog can benefit from a Bailey Chair, as not all dogs with megaesophagus disease can benefit from the chair. Bailey Chairs will likely not build a chair for your dog unless you have that recommendation from your dog's vet.
Bailey Chairs is a family operation that makes customized chairs for dogs with megaesophagus. Five years and 4,000 chairs under its belt, the company sports its happy dogs and their custom chairs on its website. From the tiniest to the tallest, every chair is unique - not only in size, but in personality. You can imagine from each of the "dog-in-a-Bailey Chair" photos how happy the dogs and their parents are!
And dogs learn to get into the Bailey Chair quickly! Watch Pigeon:
The website, BaileyChairsforDogs, provides video instructions on how to measure your dog for a Bailey Chair and how to order. It is also a source of information about megaesophagus in dogs, including feeding tips and recipes and support groups for owners.
Thank you to Susan at Bailey Chairs for sharing important information contained in this post and for permission to use Bailey Chairs images.