Megaesophagus & The Bailey Chair

I get so many visitors to the site looking for information on Megaesophagus & Bailey Chairs, I’m updating the post. If your dog has just been diagnosed, I want you to know there are lots of people out there who are dealing with the same thing and want to share what they’ve learned.

I recommend joining the Yahoo megaesophagus group—they’re active, responsive, & helpful.  Look under “Files” for years worth of invaluable information on everything to do with megaeshophagus.  There is now a Facebook support group for megaesophagus which is also active & growing.

Megaesophagus is a condition in which a dog’s esophagus is enlarged to the point that food remains in the esophagus and never makes it down to the stomach and is instead regurgitated. The muscle contraction and relaxation that normally takes place to move food down to the stomach doesn’t work. Megaesophagus can be present since birth or can develop in adult dogs. If left untreated, it can cause a range of problems, including starvation and aspiration pneumonia.

  • The Mar Vista Vet site has a crash course on megaesophagus, including:
    • how regurgitation differs from vomiting
    • x-rays comparing a normal esophagus to a megaesophagus
    • interactive videos demonstrating megaesophagus
    • plus information on cause, diagnosis, & treatment

The Bailey Chair was designed by, Donna & Joe Koch, the owners of a dog (Bailey) diagnosed with megaesophagus. The dog sits in a “begging” position to eat, drink, or take medication and gravity does the work to bring what’s ingested to the stomach. There are a few ways you can acquire a Bailey Chair:

  • The creators will send you a DVD or video of instructions for building your own Bailey Chair for $6.00 to cover costs. Send email to Matthew1@earthlink.net to inquire about the address.  (Find out more in the Yahoo Megaesophagus Group.)

This “highchair” for dogs can be made of different materials and in different sizes to accommodate small and large dogs.
smallbaileychair.jpg largebaileychair.jpg

With proper eating position, diet, and medication, these dogs can have almost normal lives. Like Roxie, Rocket, Jasmine, Mattie, Diyoji, and in particular Tobin, whose caretakers’ describe their trials, errors, and successes in ongoing journal entries.

271 thoughts on “Megaesophagus & The Bailey Chair

  1. I have a rat terrier just diagnosed with mega E and a collapsing Trachea. I need a Bailey chair for about 13 pound dog if anyone has one reasonable or donation!
    772-932-7532 in Florida.

  2. My dog is 11 years old and he was diagnosed with megaesophagus. We have four kids and 2 dogs including my oldie that has been sick for the past month and my husband is the only one working. He even had surgery because the doctor thought that he had cancer or a tumor. But now we know that he has this condition and we do not have money to buy him a Bailey chair. He is a golden retriever and he weights 72 pounds, he has lost 12 pounds in the past 3 weeks. 🙁
    Please help us.
    Thank you
    Maria

  3. My 8 week old German Shepherd puppy was diagnosed with a mega esophagus. Im looking for a baileys chair. If anyone has one they are not using it would be wonderful. If you have any good advice please send it my way. Thanks so much

  4. My German Shepherd puppy was diagnosed with a mega esophagus. My family and vet is new to all of this. Im looking for a baileys chair for ms ella. If you have one tou are not using please let me know. Any advice you can give me im open to it. Thanks so much! My email address is lovingpaws01@gmail.com

  5. I have a Hungarian Vizsla 8 months old diagnosed with Megaesophagus. I came to know only yesterday, with a terrible shock. He is very skinny, and I desperately looking for a specially designed chair. Can someone help me please? My email is pandkassociates@aol.com, Tel 07916134976. I really appreciate your help.

  6. I have a bailey chair that will accommodate a large dog.
    I’m in IL. near I80 & I 39 laSalle/Peru. Yours if u pick it up.

  7. I have a bailey chair which will accommodate a large dog.
    Yours to pick up. Near I 80 & I 39 in LaSalle/Peru area.

  8. We are a shelter, The Buddy Foundation, we have a small rat terrier diagnosed with ME. Can someone help me find someone that builds them for a reasonable cost or someone that can donate to the shelter. Flaherty is about 10 pounds.
    Thanks,
    Janet
    Buddy Foundation
    Dog Coordinator

  9. Hi guys,
    I have a toy poodle named Coco Moco who was just diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis and Mega esophagus. He is a very sick boy, he is having lots of convulsions and muscle weakness, he is emaciated and having great difficulty eating or drinking. A Bailey Chair would make a world of difference. The vet bills have added up quickly leaving me pretty much broke and very worried. Any help either getting one built or donating one would be a godsend at this point.
    Thank you,
    Teresa
    Fair Oaks, CA

  10. Hi. My little 8.12 pound little girl Pasha ( Yorkie) has just been diagnosed with severe mega esophagus . I rescued her from a puppy mill and have other animals in my home. I have Mulltiple sclerosis and live alone and have no one to make me a chair and I cannot hold her while she is eating or for 30 minutes after she eats. I am devastated lost my Bella a rescue Yorker on Valentines last year. And my Dad passed and I took his cat Tinker bell she was just diagnosed with end stage mast cell cancer. So I am having horrible time here. Not sure what I can do or should do. I just want my little ray of sunshine to live. She is at vet now being tested for all the other diseases that cause this condition as her X-Ray was fine in 2014 she is only 6. I honestly am trying to get a home equity loan to pay for my vet bills. Not trying to get anything for free but need advice and help as soon as possible. Thank you so much.

  11. Just Teresa again, coco passed away..I never was able to get a real chair, just one from cardboard I taped together…it didnt work..he passed away today..R.I.P. coco moco, you were the best dog ever.

  12. Hello everyone. We have set up a page on Facebook called ‘Bailey Chairs For Dogs UK’. We can make personalised Bailey chairs, dog beds, huts/dens/cage modifications for your beloved pets. Any design/colour/size available at competitive prices. Please like our page for photographs and further information.

  13. My Chocolate lab Jesse was diagnosed with ME in July 2014. He passed away March 4, 2016 from complications involving degenerative myelopathy. The ME never got him. Jesse was 14 years 7 months 2 days God bless each of you in your journey. Our fur babies are worth everything we can give them.

  14. My chocolate lab was diagnosed with megasophogas and praa in Feb, she had major surgery for the praa, which has helped considerably.
    Holly was a 9 week old puppy when I rehomed her, she had been left to die in an alleyway, presumably because of her condition, she had a shaved patch on her front poor from a drip. How can people be so heartless. She is now 51/2 months and very precious

  15. My friends Goldendoodle has just been diagnosed with this. He is a massive 40lb dog who stands at over 5ft tall on back legs!

    Does anyone know anyone in the UK who makes these chairs please?

  16. I made this chair using plywood/foam that comes in big sheets from Joann Fabrics /vinyl from the same store that was on sale –color didn’t matter…hinges and corner pieces from the hardware store it isn’t beautiful but functional..it is on the bailey site how to measure and make one..even if you can’t you probably can find someone who can help…any questions please feel free to contact me

  17. Any updates on a Bailey chair for cats? I don’t want to lose my precious pet to this condition.

  18. My Rottweiler Kai was just diagnosed with ME last month after having a pacemaker put in. He just turned 8 on July 29. He has been totally healthy until a few months ago when we were told he needed a pacemaker after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Then a couple weeks after surgery, they diagnosed him with his ME. I am still trying to understand how he went from being so healthy to his condition now. December of last year, he weighed 146 and now he is down to 120. I have been looking at different sites with videos and pictures of the Bailey chairs. I have not found any that were made for dogs as big as Kai, so it has been hard for his daddy to build the chair to suit his needs. If anyone has any suggestions or advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

  19. Hello, my friend’s dog just received the diagnosis of mega esophagus yesterday. Her dog Cupcake is a pug jackmrussell mix and is sweet as her name. She needs help in getting a chair for her as like all,of us on a fixed income it is tough after all the vet bills. Is there a used chair that I could help her get or a chair no one is using. It would be greatly appreciated.

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