This is LilBit. She is a sweet Great Dane, but in her case the Great in Great Dane doesn’t describe her size. She was born January 9th, 2014 and was the smallest but prettiest black puppy out of nine. We noticed that she wasn’t gaining weight like the other pups, and seemed to have an eating problem. The vet x-ray’d her and confirmed that she had Megaesophagus… I’d never heard of it! But, it is just what it sounds like. Her esophagus doesn’t push the food to her stomach, but rather stretches to accommodate what she eats. Then the food just sits there, and… there is no cure. The good news is there is a work around! What we learned is that gravity can pull the food to her stomach if she is standing on her hind legs with her front legs up on a stool. It doesn’t happen instantly though, so she has to stay standing up and leaning on the stool for at least 20 minutes after we feed her. Now that she has done it for a while, she looks comfortable, like she is sidled up to a bar. Also, her food needs to be canned food and scooped into medium meatballs. I think it is the mass of the food and the smooth texture that helps get it to her stomach because we also have to make jello out of chicken stock so that she gets enough liquid. Apparently, water doesn’t weigh enough. So far, so good. She is still skinny at seven months, because all her nutrition seems to be going into making her taller. Her condition was diagnosed as being a severe case of Megaesophagus, so if you have a dog with this condition, you may be able to figure out a work around too. We feed her three times a day and she doesn’t eat anything in between if we can help it.
Our other dog Ribsy is also in the photo, and she is awesome. She was a stray and skinny at the time where you could see her ribs, hence the name. Everyone loves Ribsy, and I was actually offered $200 for her, but she’s a good dog, a great friend to LilBit and, in my eyes – priceless.