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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 29958
Experience:  UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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dog: last week..X-rays show his esophagus is swollen.

Resolved Question:

My dog is wheezing. I took him to the vet last week. X-rays show his esophagus is swollen. Scope showed no signs of any debri. He has been on anti-biotics and steriods for 4 days. He is no better. His appetite is regular as is his activity, for the most part. The noise is made when he breathes out, I think. We have tried benedryl, covering his nose and making him breathe through his mouth for a bit, hoping to fix his breathing. The vet says she doesn't know what it could be. Suggestions or next step?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 7 years ago.
I am sorry to hear about your pets problems.
Well, next step would be to have a specialist review the x-rays or to take the x-rays to a specialist. We need to confirm if this "swollen" esophagus is real. I'm not sure what swollen may mean other than a condition called megaesophagus, which can have quite a few causes with different treatments.
Here some info about megaesophagus:

As you can see from the link, a list of possible causes, and a list of possible next diagnostic steps.

Now, I also don't know if your pet could be suffering from either a collapsing trachea or reverse sneeze. So, I'll give some info about both below and some youtube videos so you can inform your vet if this is also occurring:

Reverse Sneezing

Collapsing Trachea:

If at anytime you pet is panting very heavily for an extended length of time, has difficulty breathing, or excessive coughing, please contact your primary veterinarian immediately.

Hope all that helps
Good Luck
I wish the best for both you and your pet. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
I truly appreciate positive feedback if my advice has been helpful or informative.
Dr. Andy
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I took him back to the vet today. This was my first time using "just answer". I hadn't heard back and it had been a couple of hours. The x-ray shows swollen esoph and larger lymph nodes. He is now sneezing a little and having difficulty when sniffing or exhaling through his nose. He is panting quite a bit, but I think it's easier for him to breathe through his mouth. The vet took 2 additional views of his lungs and from all angles they are clear. She has sent me home to try nose drops and if there is no improvement by morning, she wants to put him out again and scope his nose. His trach is not collapsed, it's not reverse sneezing and he is not vomiting so she says the megaesophagus is not the problem. She's not sure what the problem is. We even did blood work for hear worm to be sure, although he is given medication monthly. Could there be anything else, maybe outside the box? I really don't want to put him under again. Our vet bills this week are over $300 without an answer. What do you think maybe going on that we haven't thought about?
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 7 years ago.
The larger lymph nodes is of concern. The megaesophagus is definitely of concern, and the nasal congestion is of concern. I can't say if it is allergic in nature. Outside the box would be to consider rhinitis secondayr to a fungal infection (there are a few types), or nasal mites.
At this point, I truly believe this case is beyond the quality of care your general practice can offer. I agree, I would not want you dog scoped again until you receive a referral to an internist. Definitely, at least get a consultation with a specialist before moving any further.
Dr. Andy
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