We are always afraid life will go away, especially the one of our love ones. For us our pets cou
nt as one. Their time on earth is limited and way shorter than ours, sometimes too short. Because we live in a world with death and disease it is important to keep an eye on your pet. A few weeks ago a message so bittersweet got to me. A schnauzer is fighting on a daily basis against his disease, thankfully he is winning. His condition is also known as megaesophagus.
You may be wondering what is the meaning and threat behind that word. It is a generalized enlargement of the esophagus. This is the muscle where the liquid and food goes through and after ends in the stomach. This condition also includes a decrease to absent mobility of the esophagus. The mobility is required to move the liquids and food to the stomach. Megaesophagus is more common on dogs than cats. Sadly the miniature schnauzer is one of the few breeds that may be born with this problem. This amazing breed is predisposed.
How can you know if your baby has this problem? The hallmark for this disease is the regurgitation. Other common symptoms are:
- Nasal discharge
- Increased respiratory noises
- Weight loss (cachexia)
- Extreme hunger or lack of appetite (anorexia)
- Excessive drooling (ptyalism)
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Poor growth
The cause for this disease is either born with it or acquired later in life. Your dog may get it by:
- Neuromuscular disease (e.g., myasthenia gravis, distemper, myositis)
- Esophageal tumor
- Foreign body in esophagus
- Inflammation of esophagus
- Toxicity (e.g., lead, thallium)
- Parasitic infections
It is extremely important to go to your vet to get a diagnosis and do all the test necessaries.
After explaining all this I would like to tell the story of the little angel that was mentioned before. His mother does an extremely good job taking care of him. It is no easy job to have a dog and a less easy one to take care of a dog with this condition. She explains that his teeth are a huge concern. After his vomiting cleaning his teeth is a most. The lifestyle of this angel is a little different but no less good. He may have some convulsions in the year and may not be able to play around for a long periods of time but he is happy.
When asked for the reason he was born with this disease, she explained that the breeder crossed dogs too closely related and all the puppies now have it. In most cases being careful and asking too much questions to a breeder may seem a little paranoid or overreacting but it is always the best way to go. You don’t want bad breeders in this planet and affecting life for just some green paper.
Now comes the question I been meaning to ask. What would you do? Suppose your dog has it and your vet says to put him or her to sleep. Now what do you do? Some more say it is more humane to give them death. In the end is not an endless sleep is death no matter how much people change the words. Personally I would never put my baby to sleep unless it is under a really extreme case. I went through a similar case with my best friend were all the vets told me to kill her. I was present with the choice. She was hit by a car and they told me she would never walk again. They all were wrong. Within six months she wasn’t walking she was running. Had I put that liquid trough her veins she would have never run again or have another year of happiness. The same applies to this disease. Life may be full of tough and bad moments but the good ones are worth living for.