Megaesophagus. A Widespread Disease in Senior German Shepherds.

Updated: Mar 10

Megaesophagus (ME) is a widespread and potentially fatal disease that affects German Shepherds of all ages, and seniors are no exception. The disease is caused by a genetic defect that interferes with the dog's ability to move food down its esophagus and into its stomach. Without treatment, the dog will slowly lose weight and eventually die of malnutrition and starvation, or aspiration pneumonia. There are several ways to treat megaesophagus, and most dogs can lead a relatively normal life with proper care and lots of dedication from their doggie parents. If you suspect your senior German Shepherd has megaesophagus, it is vital to get him diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.


In this #LifeWithOldDogs® blog post and podcast, we talk with Donna Challender from the nonprofit organization The Upright Canine Brigade (UCB). The UCB started a decade ago as a grassroots effort to foster awareness of Megaesopahgus within the general pet community and also as a learning tool for veterinarians on how to manage ME.