Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Traveling with Sidney and his Portable Bailey Chair

 I have loaded the plans at the below link - via the Facebook Canine Megaesophagus Support Group Files Section:
Sidney's Portable Bailey Chair Instructions
This weekend was Sidney's first official trip to Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie. The official name is Put-in-Bay. He did great on the boat and only didn't appear to agree with the large waves we encountered on the way up. But overall, I didn't agree with those waves either. He had his life vest on and didn't seem to mind, which was pretty cool. Plus he got to witness the removal of some drunk idiot's driving of a golf cart into the lake!
Luckily we beat the major storm by 10 minutes. That would not have been fun. Anyways, Sid seemed to do great and had ZERO RG. There was a boat ramp with lake access right next to the boat, so Sid had fun playing in the water and we had even more fun trying to keep him from eating seaweed and for some odd reason, he liked to attack water bubbles.
We brought his travel case with us and we built his Bailey Chair downstairs by an air conditioner vent, which he loved!! His travel bag worked out perfect again. We had his Magic Bullet, Canned and Dry Food, Oatmeal and Eukanuba Puppy Weaning Formula for meals. We used the microwave to heat water for his dry food to help it soften faster. We also brought a bunch of Knox Blox from home and kept them in the fridge. We must love Sidney because that took up a lot of space for beer!! We also had his meds and toys, so it's REALLY nice to know we can travel with Sidney fairly easily. We brought his Pro-Collar to sleep in if it seemed he woke up gurgly or if he regurgitated. But he didn't. He had a few bad days a week or so ago in the middle of the night, but we think he just ate something outside that irritated the esophagus.
So all-in-all, Sidney is officially a boat dog!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Canine Megaesophagus Toys

Poor Sidney only has a limited amount of toys he can really play with. We have to make sure he doesn't get toys where he can eat the stuffing or eat pieces off like Labs like to do. Sidney is a Lab puppy and LOVES to chew (luckily not the furniture). Problem is, we can't let him. He isn't allowed to eat anything without being vertical in his chair.

We found some that are tough nylon types of toys that he likes. Kind of like the Kong Wubba toys (SEE PHOTO). He likes to chase the tennis ball too (if it squeaks). It was/is difficult because he has so much puppy energy that we need to tend to him more than if we could give him a bone to chew on to occupy him. He can't have any bones, treats, rawhides, treats, treats or TREATS (you get the picture, all the stuff dogs LOVE). On all the Lab sites I looked at - everyone gives their dogs Kongs with treats inside, toys with treats inside, etc. I wish Sid liked the Nylabones that are mostly indestructible, but he could care less about them, they're just a tasteless piece of hard plastic. Before his diagnosis, he loved chewing on bones (not real bones but dog bones). That would give us a little down time from our crazy little guy. But he's getting used to playing fetch with the toys he can have.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hydration for Canine Megaesophagus - Knox Blox

Since it's sometimes difficult for Sidney to keep down water, he gets additional hydration from Knox Blox. This is like Jell-O without the branding name. We feed him the Knox Blox in his Bailey Chair after he eats. He also gets water from the food mixture, but when it's hot that just isn't enough. Here's the recipe we use, I've seen that other people also use low sodium chicken broth to replace the 1 Cup of Cold Water, but Sid likes 'em this way and they kind of are treats to him since he LOVES honey.

QTY 1 - Box of 4 Packets of Unflavored Knox Gelatin
QTY 3 - Cups of Boiling Water
QTY 1 - Cup of Regular Tap Water (Cold or Room Temp)
QTY 2 - Tablespoons of Honey

I mix the 4 packets that come in the box into the 1 Cup of Cold water and also then mix in the Honey. Then I add the boiling water and stir. I have a container like a Pyrex dish that I keep it in. I put it in the fridge and when it hardens we cut the Gelatin into ice cube size blocks with a spatula. I generally feed him 2 or 3 of them per meal depending on what he needs. I also give him some after the dog park or when I need to give him his medicine (I hide the pill in the Knox Blox and he eats it that way).

If I just give him the Knox Blox, he is in his chair for about 7 minutes. That seems to work fine for him. I assume more time for other dogs is needed depending on the routine.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some helpful Megaesophagus Web sites

Here are some Web sites that helped us when we were in panic-mode when we received Sidney's diagnosis.

Yahoo ME Support Group (by far the most helpful site with info and support):


Squidoo - Great blog written about a MegaE dog named Tyson with TONS of great info:

Marisvet (a good simple "Lamens terms" explanation of the condition):

Good Site for Success Stories (which means a lot when you think your pup is doomed):

ME NING Community (another support group):

Facebook Group:

YouTube videos of the Bailey Chair and other ME stuff:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Daily Schedule - Megaesophagus Diet and Meds

Since I changed his meds from Metachlopromide to Bethanechol and have been a bit more relaxed on the Sucralfate, I figured I would update his Daily Routine on this post.

Basically, I try and give him the Sucralfate when he is having his regurgitation episodes as opposed to once or twice a day, EVERY DAY.

However, the past few days have been rough for him, he's regurgitated at least once or twice a day, so he's back on the Sucralfate as of now. It's been a pretty substantial amount and my carpet isn't looking too pretty right now. But he didn't RG last night or this morning, so we may be in the clear, although he did somehow grab a fly out of mid-air and ate it yesterday afternoon. He'll eat ANYTHING, which is frustrating, but we do what we can to stop it. Lots of hands in his mouth puling out random stuff.

Here is his current diet and medication/feeding schedule:

AS NEEDED IF HE IS REGURGITATING: Gets a half tab of Sucralfate diluted in 6cc of water (ONLY WATER – NO HONEY) – shake vigorously and give him small bursts so he swallows slowly
• NEEDS it 2 hours after eating or 1 hour before anything else to ensure it coats the esophagus – only needs held up for 30 sec to 1 minute after

MEAL PREPARATION: Blended to Milkshake Consistency
• ½ Cup of Dried Eukanuba Kibble Soaked in ½ cup of HOT water and 1 TBSP of Salmon Fish Oil (Soak it in HOT WATER and the Olive Oil right after he gets his medicine and sometimes you need to add more water – HOT WATER so it softens food)
• ½ Cup of Eukanuba Canned Food – Chicken and Gravy Puppy Food
• 1 TBSP of Oatmeal and 1 TBSP of Eukanuba Puppy Weaning Formula
• ½ - 1 cup of additional water

MORNING MEDICINE (BETHANECHOL – 5mg): Get’s ½ a tablet of Bethanechol – He needs to be in his Bailey Chair for 5 minutes after he gets it – I hide it in a Knox Blox and feed it to him in his chair

MORNING MEAL: Bailey Chair for 30 minutes
• Also give a few Knox Blox for hydration

AFTERNOON MEAL: Bailey Chair for 30 minutes
• Also give a few Knox Blox for hydration

EVENING MEDICINE (BETHANECHOL – 5mg): Get’s ½ a tablet of Bethanechol – He needs to be in his Bailey Chair for 5 minutes after he gets it – I hide it in a Knox Blox and feed it to him in his chair

EVENING MEAL: Bailey Chair for 30 minutes
• 1 tablet of Prilosec with food – I hide it in a Knox Blox like Bethanechol