Investigation into diseases and diet in pet dogs

Veterinary staff at the University of Melbourne’s U-Vet Hospital have been caring for dogs and trying to understand the basis of the recent rise of megaesophagus cases in Australia.

There are currently over 100 cases of Australian dogs diagnosed with megaesophagus that have also been fed Advance Dermocare petfood in the recent past.


Image: Confirmed cases of megaesophagus as of April 2018 (one point represents the postcode of a referring veterinarian).

Megaesophagus is an enlargement of the oesophagus, the muscular tube connecting the throat to the stomach. A ‘megaesophagus’ is like a deflated balloon where the muscles of the oesophagus can’t propel food or water into the stomach. As a result the dog regurgitates frequently and has difficulty in getting enough nutrition.

U-Vet staff are undertaking independent studies on behalf of family pets into the basis of recent megaesophagus cases, in addition to those studies being conducted by Mars Petfood.

Independent research funds are very limited in the field of veterinary science, so we are seeking your support to understand the potential association of food with megaesophagus, and to develop a range of advanced tests for these and other diet-related studies.

There is currently no specific treatment for cases of megaesophagus with no known cause (called idiopathic), apart from managing the condition and changing the way food is eaten by the dog.

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Watch the 7.30 Report: "More than 70 dogs sick as popular dog food is investigated" (30 April, 2018).


Image: Dr Caroline Mansfield, Head of U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital on the 7.30 Report.

For further information, contact us

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