Beau the Chow Chow Puppy

February 1, 2016

Beau the 12-week-old Chow Chow had an unlucky start to life in his new home as it was quickly noticed that he was struggling to swallow his food despite being really hungry. Food was getting stuck in the back of his throat and poor Beau was choking on it or sneezing it out. This had resulted in him inhaling food and developing aspiration pneumonia.

In addition to treatment for the pneumonia, Beau required a feeding tube to be placed so that we could provide food directly into the stomach to ensure that he was able to receive all the nutrition required for a puppy to grow.

We carried out investigations including fluoroscopy to watch the movement of food in his mouth and throat to determine where the problem was. This diagnosed cricopharyngeal dysphagia. This is a rare condition where the muscles controlling opening of the oesophagus were not working as they should be, so food was collecting in his pharynx rather than going down the oesophagus into his stomach. No wonder he was so hungry!

Beau had surgery to cut away a portion of the muscle at the top of his oesophagus in order for it to relax and open for food to pass. It was impossible to know if the surgery would work but Beau made a great recovery and started eating and swallowing his food normally by the day after surgery.

Beau went home several days after surgery with medications to continue treating his pneumonia. We’re all so pleased at Southfields that Beau has made such a remarkable recovery so far and fingers crossed he can continue to have a more normal puppy life from now on!