UC Davis Veterinary Clinical Trials

Assessing and managing megaesophagus in dogs

Help us find better ways of treating dogs with megaesophagus!

Megaesophagus literally means large or giant esophagus and refers to a syndrome in which the muscles of the esophagus lose their tone and are no longer able to propel food and water from the mouth into the stomach. This disease is common in large-breed dogs in particular and can occur at any age. While some other diseases can cause megaesophagus, in over 50% of dogs no underlying or treatable cause is identified (known as idiopathic-acquired megaesophagus). As such, no targeted therapy can be implemented. Few advancements have been made in recommendations for disease management with current suggestions documented to be inadequate. We are assessing esophageal and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) function to optimize management of megaesophagus (ME) using novel medical therapies.

Assessing a surgical treatment for dogs with hiatal hernia and/or gastroesophageal reflux

Help us learn more about this surgery to treat dogs with hiatal hernias and gastroesophageal reflux!

We believe that brachycephalic dogs have a tendency to develop hiatal herniation (HH) with greater frequency than non-brachycephalic dogs. Dogs with relative obstruction of the upper airways may generate a decreased pressure in their chest during inspiration (breathing in) that results in the upper part of the stomach being sucked into the chest (HH). This can lead to clinical signs including regurgitation, esophageal stricture formation and aspiration pneumonia if severe. We hypothesize that, if the upper airway obstruction in these dogs can be alleviated, improvement in their respiratory compromise might be seen as well as a reduction in the severity of their HH.

Device / Surgical Technique
Any, age None specified