Case 6


Baby, a female, black Chow-Chow puppy, first presented on May 11th. She had a hard time keeping milk down.


Workup results were as follows:

  • Physical exam
    • Lungs sounded harsh and crackly. We could also hear "fluid" moving in her nasal area.
    • Eyes, ears, and nose - normal.
    • Abdomen palpation - normal.
    • Temperature - 102 degrees - normal.
  • Internal parasite check - negative.
  • X-ray - showed conslatation in the lung field around the heart.


We diagnosed Baby with pneumonia.


Baby was placed on antibiotics and a bronchi dialator. We scheduled a recheck for one week later.


On May 16th, Baby came back for her recheck. The owner reported that she got better but seemed to be congested again. The recheck workup results were:

  • Physical exam
    • Lungs - sounded harsh.
    • Eyes, ears, and nose - normal.
    • Abdomen - normal.
    • Temperature - 102.2 degrees - normal.
  • We performed an X-ray and radio-opaque iodine series. The iodine is given orally to observe the flow through the esophagus. The results showed the esophagus extended with iodine in the craenal lung field.

Diagnosis - megaesophagus with 2 degree aspiration pneumonia.

Treatment - Unfortunately, this type of megaesophagus is not curable. There are certain things that can be done to help prevent aspiration pneumonia, but most puppies with this diagnosis are euthanized or die on their own.

We continued the antibiotic treatment and educated the owner on how to feed the puppy at a 45 degree angle. This allows gravity to move food through the esophagus.

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