How to treat MegaEsophagus

LLoydE

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HI Everybody
I found this site 3 weeks ago and got great advice from a lot of people. So I thought I would stop in here. and see what extra help I can get
now. a month ago. I had to check in on my Mother in law cat Ziggy. he is a 12-year-old dsh. and was basically taking care of HER. that right the Cat was making sure she was getting up and doing something. MIL has severe demtia. and roughly 6 weeks ago broke a hip and was hospitalized. My wife and I were going over every 2 days to do litter and give him wet food. 3 weeks ago on a visit, he was having trouble breathing. and collapsed. we rushed him to the vet. when there we were informed his lips had gone blue. and was on oxygen. they did X-rays and blue tests and came back with an enlarged esophagus. and did we notice anything? well, we couldn't. so he was put on steroids to help him breathe and put on a slurry for an older cat. no hard food. being the dumb ass I am. I dove into anything I could read on the subject.
now since we took him. we had to introduce him to our cat Butters( which was a rescue from an abuser male) and Butters is 8. ( also come a very long way but sometimes still skittish) we got that covered now.. both are almost glued together.

the problem I got now and I can't figure it out. If Ziggy need the slurry?, and Butters won't touch it. which is good. Butters needs a hard dental kernal food. that Ziggy should not have. Right now, Butters will eat ,IF we trap Ziggy in her room. Ziggy for the past 5 years was always eating the hard kernal food as his main diet. but Ziggy has not eaten much in the Past 2 days. ( has has barely finished off 1 small 85 gram can. should I be worried or is this just a Cat thing?
 

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FeebysOwner

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Hi. Ziggy is probably not eating as well because his food has been changed and he either isn't crazy about it, or it will just take some time for him to adapt. 85 grams isn't horrible, but it is less than he likely needs to stay healthy - so, hopefully he will start to pick up his pace. Are you using his dry food that he liked to make his slurry? If not, you might try that - at least the flavor would be something he is used to. You could also crunch up some of the dry to use as a topper to his slurry.

I don't know if it will be helpful, but it might be worth looking at some of the previous TCS posts about megaesophagus in case you can glean any info/tips from them.
Search Results for Query: megaesophagus | TheCatSite
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Was he diagnosed with Mega-E by the Vet? Did he have asperation pneumonia, is that why he needed oxygen, etc? Is he now on a course of antibiotics? Are you adding them to that slurry? Did the Vet say he needed to be on the slurry? You said in your original post that you stopped by your MIL's house to feed him his wet food, is that the same food you are making the slurry out of? You can absolutely use his normal food to make the slurry out of. Just soak it for several hours first then stick it in a blender. Many Mega-E "parents" do that. My son has a Mega-E dog and does it, also adding in lots of other homemade food to it. He also uses a Bailey chair which keeps the dog upright after eating, which decreased the amount of regurgitation to a minimum. Did they discuss that with you...trying to keep the cat upright at least while eating? Some people use a stepladder and put to food on one of the wrungs so the animal is in an outstretched position to eat. Also, it's better to feed smaller meals, more often with Mega-E. But it's most important that they eat.

Of course, all of this not eating could simply be stress at being in a strange house with a strange cat. It takes time to introduce cats to each other. They are typically solitary animals.
 
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LLoydE

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Was he diagnosed with Mega-E by the Vet? Did he have asperation pneumonia, is that why he needed oxygen, etc? Is he now on a course of antibiotics? Are you adding them to that slurry? Did the Vet say he needed to be on the slurry? You said in your original post that you stopped by your MIL's house to feed him his wet food, is that the same food you are making the slurry out of? You can absolutely use his normal food to make the slurry out of. Just soak it for several hours first then stick it in a blender. Many Mega-E "parents" do that. My son has a Mega-E dog and does it, also adding in lots of other homemade food to it. He also uses a Bailey chair which keeps the dog upright after eating, which decreased the amount of regurgitation to a minimum. Did they discuss that with you...trying to keep the cat upright at least while eating? Some people use a stepladder and put to food on one of the wrungs so the animal is in an outstretched position to eat. Also, it's better to feed smaller meals, more often with Mega-E. But it's most important that they eat.

Of course, all of this not eating could simply be stress at being in a strange house with a strange cat. It takes time to introduce cats to each other. They are typically solitary animals.
The Vet was the one who said Ziggy had Mega-E. from where I sat he was having issues with eating and breathing. but I am not an expert so I have to listen to what the vet said. as for his food. our MIL had been feeding him hard for 4 years. and from what I saw he had no trouble with it. it was the (royal canin Dental food). Now he is on Purina senior diet ( the slurry) for the past 4 weeks. From where I sit. it could be as simple as he has gotten tired of it. I was worried that he was not hungry but I put down a few kernal of the kibble and he almost inhale them. He is not breathing them in. but he is eating them like he is straving. I talked with the vet today and she suggested a different food. I was thinking of getting a "Pate type" food. maybe something with a high calorie count.

I have gotten His food bowl up almost 4 inch. so he has to reach alitte bit. but I am willing to try anything. as for stress. the 2 boys are almost best friends. it was funny last night to come down stairs to see the two of them sitting at the window watching the snow.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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OK, so probably no stress. Here are a couple of pictures of how Mega-E cats should eat. Not only have the bowl raised, but their front feed should be raised too. These are the same cat. 1st pic is a professional set up. Bottom pix was a makeshift deal that still got his little legs up to form a diagonal line so food slides down to the tummy easier. You just have to set the bowl back far enough that he has to put his feet up to reach it. Trying another food is fine. Just blend it into a slurry. Again, using anything he likes will work as long as it's a slurry.

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LLoydE

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those are really great ideas. I am into 3d printing. So after seeing what you guys were talking about. I took the dive and went searching.
MegaEsophagus Feeder For Small Cat by shaynathemaker

I am not sure about the price yet. but should be worth around $20 to print this. I am a little worried that this design Ziggy might be able to topple, or might think it is too tough to get to? there were others there. but with this. you could adjust the height. also for those cat lovers out there that have this problem. I got the solution to having your Cat eat. Ziggy loves his kibble. BUT he needs the slurry. So I figured that 1 or 2 kernels were not going to do too much harm. I put the kernels right below his slurry dish. and the last 2 days, his slurry has completely gone. I think it is a mind thing with him.. he does not like slurry. but the kernel is a good thing. so I am hoping I can get him to associate the slurry dish with a good thing, not a bad thing.

btw . that Pic was last night. we got a fight going on.. after all, IT IS MY BED. lol. i know.. losing fight
 

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mrsgreenjeens

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Is there any way you can weight the bottom of that design down? If it's hollow, then perhaps you can fill it up with something to make it heavy? books or something? I would worry about it toppling also if it's too lightweight, although perhaps because if the design it simply wouldn't :dunno: ? Glad he's eating up his slurry now. Whatever it takes, right!
 
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