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.

199 thoughts on “Megaesophagus & The Bailey Chair

  1. Is there anywhere I can order a Bailey Chair? I have a 50lb Standard Poodle with ME. I live in Phoenix, Az.

  2. I have a brand new Bailey chair that I made for an 85 lb Golden Retriever that I would be very happy to donate to a needy family. If your dog is similar in size, contact me. If you have a FedEx or UPS account, it would make it easier for me.
    bryanf7177@gmail.com
    Or you can post your phone # on this site and I will call you and send you pictures.
    This is a very nice chair, never used and can easily be broken down for travel.
    If you don’t hear back from me, that only means that some other needy dog has received it first. I’m sure it will go fast, so don’t be upset if you don’t hear back from me.
    Good luck to all of you dog lovers!

  3. Hello, I just found out my 7 month old Rottweiler/Newfoundland mix has M/E yesterday she is being treated for aspirated pneumonia, and seeing if Valley Fever could have caused this. She has lost 4 pounds in the last week and really need a Bailey’s Chair, if anyone could give me a good way of making one or where i could get one made near Tucson, AZ, that would be amazing. My baby girl really needs it. Email me at Stephaniejoyb10@aol.com Thanks! I really appreciate it.

  4. Hey how’s it going my Shepard just got diagnosed with mega, I would be interested in bailey chair, he is two years old and i am grateful it is mega , instead of cancer, I live in Long Island New York, look forward to speaking to you, take care Brendan

  5. For all the people unable to obtain a bailey chair quickly the alternative is to hand feed your dog whilst it is in the sitting position – I have been doing this for my Lab Penny who was originally diagnosed in April 2012, the difficulity now is her back legs are no longer strong enough to support her due to other medical conditions she has(shes almost 14). But I hope this info helps as opposed to just elevating the food dishes.

  6. I really need to see who builds the Baily’s Dog Chair. They are called different names but they do the same thing and that is help a dog with Magaesohagus. I am adopting a small 11 Lb Terrier Mix who is 4 years and has been mistreated for along time. I want to give her a forever home. Does anyone build them to sell or know where you can buy one?

  7. Hi,
    I am new on the site as my golden retriever was just diagnosed with megasophicus we are devastated as they want us to put him down. He is 10 but is full of life and energy. Can anyone please help I dont know much abou the Bailey Chairs but it looks like we could use one as soon as possible. My golden Rex is 100 pounds can anyone please help us as he is having an awful time at nite with the regurgatating. My email is jeffswindell@yahoo.com or my phone is 941-932-5791. Thank You so much we are willing to try everything to keep him. Hope to hear from someone who may have one or can build us one ASAP. Thank-you,.Jeff

  8. Hi. I have a bailey chair for a border collie size dog. Our dog Buddy is a 45 lb mix. We built the bailey chair and have discovered we can manage without it. If you live in the Seattle area, it is yours for free. ddwhite99@yahoo.com.

  9. Hi, Could you help me with the Bailey chair? I need to know how this works, and how much time do I need to put my dog in this position?
    Thank you!

  10. I HAVE A BAILEY CHAIR AND DO NOT USE IT ANYMORE, MY DOG STAR WEIGHED 45-50 LBS. WE WILL BE HAPPY TO DONATE CHAIR TO SOMEONE WHO NEEDS IT IF YOU PAY SHIPPING COSTS.

  11. Hello, am new to site. Live in Tenerife, so there seems to be less info here on M/E. Most people recommend sacrificing dogs. Milly is a 1 yr old cocker mix – was abandoned but rescued and has congenital M/E. I saw Bailey chair online and built a ‘rustic’ version. She has reached her ideal weight, but every day is an adventure! Does anyone know of anyone who makes chairs of a material easy to keep clean?

  12. If you have a small dog you can actually use a mailbox or something similar to this in order to hold your baby upright after eating. simply put something like a roll of toilet paper or paper towel in the bottom depending on the size of your dog. Several clients do this from our vet’s office. Of course if you have a large dog then you need a bailey’s chair or similar. Good luck to all who have a dog with this miserable issue.

  13. I have a german shepherd with mega.My poor guy just when in the hospital for 2 days for aspirated pneumonia. He is also on meds. for seizures. I’m checking out the Bailey Chair n how helpful it will be. He has had aspirated pneumonia a couple of times in the last 2 mos. n I feed n give him water in the upright position. He will b 5 in October.. Anyone know of someone who makes n sells the chair?

  14. My husband and I just got back from the vet today finding out that our rottie mix of 9 years has megaesophagus. She is about 85 lbs and is in need of a bailey chair. If anyone has a size that would fit her that they would like to sell or donate please email me ASAP. Thanks for all the help, this is a tough situation, but we want our dog to continue a happy, healthy life any way we can.
    angelagambino6042@gmail.com

  15. Hi,

    Our GS just got diagnosed with m/e. At first i was very sad and devistated but after reading all about the work arounds I am truly blessed. Looking for a bailey chair for a 75 lb german sheperd.

  16. Hi, my dog is mid size America Eskimo, she 4 yrs. She has been diagnosed mega esophagus past 3 weeks. I am looking for a Bailey chair for her, can need to know where i can get the chair for her. Would someone please help me. please email me at niemtho@yahoo.com. Thank you so much in advance. mimi.

  17. Hi we are in desperate need for a bailey chair in loveland colorado. Our dog is a golden retriever Newfie mix but bless his heart he only weighs 47lbs because of this heartbreaking condition. Can someone help???

  18. I desperately need to Bailey Chair for a big boy. I have a Bernese Mountain Dog who has been in the hospital for three days with a high fever and aspiration. I have to find something immediately. He literally almost died a few days ago but now has a chance with the correct medication and a bailey chair.

  19. We have a new 3 month puppy in our house and just found out she has been diagnosed with this. Even tho the vet advised putting her to sleep we are looking for a Bailey chair instead. It looks like we need measurements but obviously she is going to grow more. Do they make Bailey chairs that grow with the dog?

  20. I have a golden puppy who is 6 months old about 55 lbs.
    He has had this problem since we got him.
    If anyone has a chair for sale I could use one.
    He will be growing for the next year or so and we will need more than one size chair.
    302-381-3980

  21. I have a home-made Bailey chair for an 80 plus dog that I would be willing to donate to anyone in the Florida area that needs on. you can reach me at my email address, mefoucht@yahoo.com. All I ask is for you to pay the UPS freight or come pick it up.

  22. Hello, I have a German Shepherd that was recently diagnosed with
    Myanthia Gravis, which causes megaesophagus. She is a tricky
    case because she also has weakened hind legs. Opinions as to whether
    she would be okay in a bailey chair? If so, I would most appreciate
    if someone is able to pay it forward to my family with a chair. She weighs 65 pounds.
    Thank you! <3 pearlang@aol.com

  23. NEEDED: A Bailey Chair for our 75 lb. golden. We are in the Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati area of Ohio.
    Thanks!

  24. Hi there, just found out my 52-lb golden has megaesophagus and am looking for a Bailey Chair in Tucson, AZ. Please let me know if you know someone who might make them in Southern Arizona. Thank you! kellaroo99@gmail.com.

  25. I have a German Shepard that was recently diagnosed with myathnias gravis with megaesophogus. They are hopeful for the first diagnosis but not so sure of the megaesophogus since he is having such a hard time. Has lost a lot of weight and is now down to 64 lbs. He usually weighed 78-80 lbs in his early years. He is now almost 6 years old. I am wanting to know if someone has a baileys chair that they are no longer in need of for my dog Otto. Please email me with any info. Thank you in advance. Janine

  26. Hi there….. We just found out that our four month old German Shepard has megaesophagus. Although he’s fairly tall, he only weighs 31 pounds due to this condition. Right now we’re still in the process of getting the proper diagnosis, but we believe that it’s congenital given his age. I’m in search of someone who could make me a chair ASAP, or could supply me with some in depth directions on how to make it myself. You can contact me at dmbern@yahoo.com – thank you!

  27. I have a 9yr old Great Dane recently diagnosed with mega E. Any other owners of mature Great Danes out there using a bailey chair?

  28. my beautiful dog sable has been diagnosed with mega esophagus. We’re looking for a bailey chair. If anyone could help us we would extremely happy. Call or email any time 937-450-4667. I’m willing to pay for one. Also if you have any suggestions on what to feed her that would help a lot too.

  29. I have a custom made Bailey Chair that I would like to donate to a family in need. The chair was made for our 4 year old Lab. She weighed 55 lbs. I understand the desperation and need for a chair with a newly diagnosed dog. I would love to take away that feeling to any owner going through what we went through. If you live in the Coral Springs/Ft. Lauderdale area in Florida, please contact me. If the chair fits your needs, it’s yours! Tbrown5505@yahoo.com

  30. Hello, our sweet corgi, has been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis she can not swallow at the present she has facial weakness and her eyes do not blink. She had dental surgery 3 /11 2014 the next day I picked her up she was regurgitation . We carried her in Feb because she was having a little problem and last August she had major neck surgery and we wanted to make sure what if anything to worry about . We were told she probably needed some dental work which now she did not .went to the hospital yesterday and she blinked her eyes a little. The bailey chair’s will they work or is my dog to sick ? She is 7/2 yrs old and was very healthy with no health issues. We hope she will be able to swallow with out salivating that awful white stuff that u have to pull out. She is with Iv ‘s at the present with of course no food or water. She is at the best hospital with a specialist . This is breaking our hearts,. We want to do everything to help her.

  31. Our 10 year old foxhound, Brittany has just been diagnosed today with megaesophagus and we are still awaiting the test results to see if she has a tumor on her pancreas as her glucose levels are dangerously low. I pray that it’s negative and the reason for the low glucose is her vomiting all of her food up. I came upon this website by accident and what a wonderful accident it was. I am totally scared out of my mind regarding the consequences of this condition. Brittany is our baby girl as my husband and I do not have children. We do not have much money for all of the vet bills we will face in the near future but we are however looking for anyone who knows where we could get a Baily Chair for our little girl. She had a rough beginning as she was rescued out of a research laboratory, who knows what they initially did to her and if it could have contributed to her illness. Brittany now weighs about 60 lb. and I fear she will continue to lose weight if she continues to vomit her food and water. We are scared to death of this situation and any help offered for a Baily chair would be greatly appreciated. I will continue to pray for all of our sick pets…May God Bless. We live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and our email address is dhepler1013@aol.com

  32. Hi, my 17 week old lab was just diagnosed with ME today. I read up on these chairs and I am interested in getting one, but we all know dealing with an animal with ME can get pretty pricey. I love my fur baby, and I want to do everything I can to help her. I would love for someone to just give me a few pointers on how to make one myself! Thank you so much and each one of you dealing with an ME baby, is special! Please email me and pointers: armstronglaurenn@gmail.com

  33. I need a bailey’s chair for my 6 lb dox…..I’ve looked everywhere and they want an arm and a leg for it. Please help me. Thanks in Advance….

  34. Hello again….I guess my message didn’t go through. I have a 7 month old minature dox and he is a whole 6 lbs….
    I’m in need of a Bailey’s chair. Wondering where I can find one at a “reasonable” price. Please help!

  35. My Yorkie was just diagnosed with Megaesophagus. She is in the hospital recovering from pneumonia. I need to purchase a Bailey chair as soon as possible as I will need to start feeding her this way as soon as she comes home. Can you tell me where I may purchase one. I would also like some advice on how families handle this disorder when they work away from home. I am gone 10 hours a day and I’m worried about feedings. I can feed before I leave the house and when I return but is that enough? I also don’t know what type of food I should be using. Any advice would be so appreciated. Thank you!

  36. would anyone know where a used baileys could be found have a very close friend who has a rescue pitbull little girl who has jus t been diagnosed w/me and Kathy has had shoulder surgery and it’s been very difficult for her to keep her little girl in an upright position- please help

  37. Hello-I am in need of a bailey chair for a german shepard. Do you build them for a price? If so please contact my e-mail. thank you

  38. My 7 year old hungarian viszla was just diagnosed with polymyositis. This disease in clude megaesophagus. Rupert weighs about 45 to 50 pounds but he continues to lose weight. We have to spoon feed him. I am looking to get a bailey chair for him, but after $4000 in vet bills, the costs are high. Where can I get a chair for Rupert?

  39. I am new to your site I have a pug that is 15 years old and has been diagnosed with mega esophagus we have attempted to give him food and medication and all he does is barf it up. how is my baby going to heal…if he can’t keep his medications down in his tummy? this is so frustrating and upsetting I want my baby to be comfortable in his old years. anyone has a comment or suggestion I would love to hear currently he’s on prilosec he’s on a pill for his thyroid and he has a pill for the coughing we have put it into his food we has fed him is the vet has directed and everything comes right back up again…he is hungry and exhausted

  40. I have a bailey chair for sale made of pine and parts are covered in fuchsia colored vinayl Used one time. Excellent condition. My golden Mattie passed away shortly after the purchase

  41. I have a large bailey chair that i would be willing to donate if someone comes to get it. I am outside of Chicago, IL.

  42. Please, I need a bailey chair for my GSD. He’s about two years old and weight is about 72 lbs. Please email me your price and shipping instructions. Thanks

  43. I am with a non-profit organization and am fostering a great dane puppy diagnosed with me. If anyone has a larger sized or adjustable Bailey chair that is no longer in use and they are willing to doante, it could really help in this baby’s care. It can even be written off your taxes as a donation since we are a 501C3 non- profit. Please contact me if you can help. allaboutthemrescue@yahoo.com Thanks!

  44. I am in need of a Baileys Chair for a 35-40 lb Australian Shepard. Can anyone help me locate one?

  45. free bailey chair, our Golden Buddy just lost his battle with megasophagus. My husband had just built him a bailey chair, it is not fancy but it does the job, we live just above Colorado Springs in Black Forest if anyone around here needs one you can stop by and grab it or email me at jshery987@yahoo.com for a pic.

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