According to many dog related websites, megaesophogus can occur in a variety of canines but is rare in the Dalmatian.
What is Megaesophagus?
Megaesophagus is a condition Dalmations (and many other animals/humans) can get where peristalsis fails to occur properly and the esophagus is larger than normal (aka Mega – Esophogus).
In other words, since the esophagus is larger than normal, food doesn’t get pushed down into the stomach. Dogs with this problem can become malnourished, as the food ends up sitting in the esophagus decaying or ends up regurgitated. Another potential complication is aspiration (food and/or liquid entering the lungs); this can result in pneumonia.
Meet Levi, a Dalmatian with Megaesophagus:
Below is a video of some kind friends of ours who recently adopted this Dalmatian and will assist him with his special need.
In the video below, Levi is using what is refereed to as a Bailey chair. A dog sits in a Bailey chair to eat. The Bailey chair uses gravity to get the food into the dog’s stomach.
After the dog is done with his/her meal, they usually remain in the Bailey chair for 20 – 30 minutes.
Each case of megaesophogus is different and varies from animal to animal.
UPDATE May 30, 2015: Levi has been doing great in his Bailey chair and steadily gaining weight. I will update this post again as he continues to grow.