Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The diagnosis from the specialist and the radiologist is that Falcon has a weak esophagus (not megaesophagus). Unfortunately, a weak esophagus can't be fixed with surgery, so he will need to be fed a soft food mixture for the rest of his life. The good news is that now that we know what the problem is and how to manage it, his prognosis is very good.
The study showed that he can't handle kibble at all, the muscles of his esophagus are too weak to move kibble down to his stomach. Once food gets to his stomach it stays there, which is very good.
The study showed that he does best with soft food that's a gruel consistency (like cream of wheat) which we found out through trial and error. He will never be able to eat normally from a bowl, he will always have to be hand fed in small scoops one at a time while sitting up.
As long as he gets Prilosec and Metachlopromide every day (both are inexpensive), and is fed as described above, he doesn't regurgitate food, and does much better drinking water.
Water is still a challenge, as is keeping him hydrated. The Knox blox (jello made with unflavored gelatin and chicken broth) are a big help in keeping him hydrated. So is coconut water (all natural, no sweeteners or flavor added) since its a natural source of electrolytes and better for him than sports drinks. We may try a large "hamster bottle" for dogs to see if that works better for him.
If he doesn't get the jello, he tries to drink a lot (at least for him it's a lot) of water at once, and it will come back up. I added coconut water and coconut milk (unsweetened) to his latest batch of jello (coconut milk is a good way to add calories) and he loves it.
He also has to be kept quiet and still for about 15 to 20 minutes after he eats, and he can't drink water right after he eats.
His training should definitely be continued by whoever adopts him since some day he may need to stand or use a Bailey chair to eat, and it will be much easier to get him to do those things if he's well trained.
So he's definitely special needs, and will need an adopter who is able and willing to manage his condition. Now that he's been wormed and I've found some recipes that work for him, he should start to gain some weight.