Feeding a cat with Megaesophagus

calleenh1

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i know its been a while but i just came across this site i recently have a kitten that we found out has megaesophagus

i have been trying different foods and going to try the wellness next can you tell me how much you feed and how often

he has been vomiting everyday and im feeling helpless but i know once we get it figured out it will be alright im going to ask vet

he was on the stomach meds but they took him off maybe he should be back on

thanks

calleen
 

deb8181

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To Callheenh1- don't feed your kitten biscuits just feed tinned cat meat, the sloppier the better. I use Applaws and Fancy Feast and then after meals put your kitten over your shoulder for 5-10 minutes so the food can go down. My husband built me an elevated stand that I could put his food and water bowls in so he is feeding from an elevated position. I too found that the medication didn't work and stressed him out more than anything so stopped giving it to him. Good luck with everything.
 

kk745

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Hi. I realize it has been a while since this was posted but I was just wondering how everything came out with your cat. I have a kitten with megaesophagus who is doing fairly well. I have been debating about trying to make the cattery where I bought her take her back. She was obviously born with this condition. The thing is I have gotten attached to her and really don't want to give her up. BUT, I also work and don't really have the time to take care of her like she needs. I know they usually have a short life span but I did read where someone had one that "outgrew" the condition and eventually was like her other cats. What was your situation like? Any suggestions?
 
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runekeeper

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Gosh, I cant believe folks are still reading this topic! I hope you guys are able to find some answers for your own kitties' health issues from what I've written.

As far as my kitty, I was not employed when she was sick, so I had plenty of time to cater to her needs and syringe-feed her. However, in my cat's case, her megaesophagus mostly healed without any form of medical intervention. I still have no idea what caused it. She did have a little trouble eating dry food once I realized she was better, but she took canned food just fine, especially if I mixed in a tiny bit of warm water to thin it out (like not even a teaspoon in a 5.5 ounce can). Not enough to make it watery, but juuuust enough to make it a little smoother.

I realize, though, that her case is a rarity even among the rare kitties who suffer from this condition. Normally, it is not curable, and the balloon catheter dilation surgery suggested to repair it is not only a temporary fix, but it also carries the risk of rupturing the esophagus during surgery, which is fatal to kitty. I don't know how my kitty developed this condition, nor do I know how she recovered from it, but I know she's definitely the exception.

In your case, I'm not entirely sure what I'd do. Yes, cats with megaesophagus do tend to have shorter life spans, but it's still probably going to be a lot of work to feed this little one, especially if you have a job to go to as well. You could always give it a shot and see if your kitten also outgrows her problem. She might be like my cat and just needs her canned food (pate only) thinned out a little. I wish I could help more, but odds are if she goes back to the cattery, she's going to get put to sleep since she's sick with something incurable and no one else will want her. I wish you and your kitten the best of luck; I hope you can find some answers. Unfortunately, I know I can't be of much assistance because my kitty's battle with megaesophagus turned out very abnormally in her favor. There was a point where she couldn't even keep water down and I was advised by her vet to start saying my goodbyes. I waited about 48 hours because I just couldn't bring myself to let her go just yet, but then she just started eating kibbles and keeping them down as if nothing happened.

I'm sorry she couldn't enjoy overcoming the odds longer. She went downhill very, very fast and I had to let her go due to what I think was lung cancer, but the fact that she managed to get through a condition that is incurable, life-shortening and, in her case, idiopathic (no recognizable cause) amazes me to this day.
 

kk745

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THANK YOU FOR COMMENTING. I JUST WANTED SOMEONE ELSE'S THOUGHTS WHO HAD DEALT WITH THIS BEFORE. I HAD READ ANOTHER ARTICLE WHERE A KITTEN GOT BETTER AFTER SHE WAS GROWN AND BECAME A NORMAL CAT. I HAVE DECIDED TO KEEP MY KITTEN. SHE IS ACTUALLY DOING VERY WELL RIGHT NOW. I WILL JUST TAKE THIS ONE DAY AT A TIME. I WILL POST PERIODICALLY ON OUR JOURNEY.
 

caro123

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 Wow-joined this site just to comment on this. But like everything on this site also.

  I had a 5 yr. old Pomeranian dog die from this several years ago Started out of the blue. Never heard of it except it occ. shows up in large breeds (Great Danes etc.) There is a Yahoo site concerning this in dogs that might  help a cat owner. I never thought a cat could have it but after looking it up apparently Bengals can have it.

   Anyhow- you might as another person posted just check to make sure it isn't a form of Myasthenia Gravis. I have this and it can come and go. It is often misdiagnosed in humans. I had aThymectomy done- apparently a leftover gland that usually disappears in adults but can become a tumor usually non-malignant but can be. Luckily mine wasn't. Anyhow, this is definitely liveable. It also is pretty rare in cats.

  With this before I was DX there was swallowing problems and regurgitation- just a thought to have it checked out.
 

kk745

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Yes, as it turns out Siamese cats do have it but it is rare. She is doing very well at this time. I have not seen or heard her throw up at all in several weeks. I am feeding her 6 times a day now using Core Kitten wet food and mixing it with water. I hold her bowl up for her to eat when I am home and I have a feeder with a timer on it to feed her while I am gone. My husband built a box to put it on so it would be elevated. It is a perfect fit! We go back to the Vet in about 3 weeks to see if she has gained any weight and to see if she is physically fit to be spayed. This is the most loving and sweetest kitten I have ever been around and I love her dearly. I will continue to post updates as we continue our journey. Thanks for the comments.
 

chefjudy

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Hello to all -

I too have a tiny kitten with megaesphagus.  I have had cats all my life but never any with this condition.  But that said, I am learning every day not only how to deal with it, but also how to make her more comfortable and keep her from aspirating food into her lungs as well.  She was a two week old foundling with no mother in sight.  At first it was just a matter of feeding her every two hours or so since she had to bottle fed.  Later when I introduced solid foods, I noticed that sometimes she would throw up or regurgitate right after eating.  I attributed it to her impatience with getting something in her tummy.  In a way that was true, but when it happened every time she ate, I knew there was something else going on.  The vet gave me the bad news but I felt there was hope!  One of the vets that I have been taking my cats too pretty much wrote her off immediately and suggested the "E" word.  And in fact in the beginning of this whole ordeal, I, too, felt that maybe that was best for her.  But she and I  bonded way back when she was barely walking and with her eyes just opened.  She is now about 16 weeks old and we have a very nice rapport together.  I have to do several things in order for her to eat: all food must be liquified so that the consistency is just like water; elevation is not necessary but helps immensely; holding her vertical and gently patting her after eating helps release any burps and helps the food go down; and lastly my current vet took an old sock and cut it into a small tubular rolled up piece that she wears for eating only - it seems to keep the windpipe more closed so aspiration is greatly reduced.  We still have days or meals where nothing seems to work, but I keep on as she is slowly gaining weight and size.  (Right now she is the size and weight of an 8-week old kitten).  When she gets to be about 6 pounds, we have discussed a permanent feeding tube.  It is still a ways off, so I must keep on with the current schedule until she is big enough to support the tube.  I suspect that because of all this, when she is fully grown, she will be a small cat.

I would love to find a bailey chair for her as it appears she will have this condition for her life.  If anyone knows where to buy one, I would appreciate the information.

Thanks!
 

canadian1

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Hi, my cat was recently diagnosed with Mega esophagus , I use a 2 step step stool, dishes on the top shelf, his front feet go on the 1st step and hind feet stay on the floor,  He immediately went from vomiting daily or several times a day to every 5 days and it is early days yet,  Would highly recommend you try as it is an inexpensive trial.
 

LLoydE

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Hi there
I just got my mother in laws Cat. she cant take care of him anymore. so my wife and I said we would try and take care of him. we found him in distress 3 weeks ago and almost lost him at the vet. they had to put Ziggy on oxygen. and they ended up doing the whole battery of tests. they are not sure but they did say that it was mega- esophagus. now i am by no means an expert but h ave done alot of reseach over the past week. So i have had some success and some failures. the first thing i did was raise the food bowl. almost 4 inch higher that normal. also Ziggy is now eating a senior cat food that i make into a slurry type of mixture. he is eating 4 times a day. not alot but a little at a time. the one thing ( and this could be just for Ziggy) but dont hug him hard. he is very gassy and he stinks to high heaven.

so raise the food bowl, make a slurry, and feed him small means 4 times a day.. nothing hard. but maybe as a treat 1 or 2 small kibbles
 

ladytimedramon

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If the gas is stinky try a different food or protein. If I give my girls anything with fish, their stools are looser and the smell could kill a horse.
 

LLoydE

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hi there.
got a question for all of you. Ziggy is doing a lot better almost to a point where I think the vet may have Mis -Diagnosed him. We got the boys in different rooms when we feed them. but as usual, the boys are talking and We noticed that both of them will eat HALF their food. then wait to leave the room only to race( that is funny) into the others room. to eat the other bowl. Ziggy eating the hard Royal Canin. and Butters wants the slurry. I have talked with the vet and we have a specialist appointment next week for Ziggy. ( but in Canada the first visit is by phone) I will keep you updated on that one. Now my question is. I don't want Ziggy eating something I need a pair of vice grips to break. But I also want to be able to leave food around for both of them. Is there a soft kibble out there that people have had success with? Ziggy has not vomited in over 3 weeks. no diaharra, no runny nose . also no fever . so I don't know what to say.. when I talked to our Vet.. she just said soft kibble. what does that mean?
btw.. this pic was taken right after their dinner
 

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mrsgreenjeens

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That's great news about Ziggy :) . As far as a "soft kibble", maybe you could ask your Vet if she can recommend one :dunno:. I only know of soft treats, but not soft kibble. And since you are in Canada, that adds another complication to it. But if you are looking for this just to have food around for them 24/7, that's not really necessary. Many cats eat scheduled meals rather than graze. When they graze they are less likely to eat at meal time.
 

ladytimedramon

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To keep Ziggy out of the other cat's food (and conversely) to keep them out of his food, have you considered microchip feeders? I did get the surepet microchip feeder to keep my girls out of each other's food. It allows Fancy to graze and Delilah to eat it all if she wants.

Apparently last night, Delilah decided she didn't want to eat her wet (not in the mood for the flavor). This morning her bowl was still full and still soft like I had just opened it. I also have a timed drop feeder for kibble and the dish was mostly empty, so I'm sure that's what she ate last night.

If the wet wasn't in the microchip feeder, I'm sure Fancy would've eaten it.
 
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