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.

305 Replies to “Megaesophagus & The Bailey Chair”

  1. Good afternoon,

    Our precous Gracie was just diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia and is on a 10-day course of Augmentin. The vet did not come out and say she has Mega-Esophagus but I am wondering if that may be the situation. I would like to order a Bailey Chair just to make sure this doesn’t happen again as I feel it’s better to be safe than sorry. Could you please send me any info I need to order or obtain a chair? Thank you so very much and God bless!

  2. Wonderful Bailey Chair Available for a Thin, Small/Medium Sized Dog

    I have a beautiful pine, black leather-look lined/cushioned w/adjustable, tilted eating tray/bowl holder and decorative dog paw cutout Bailey Chair. This Quality, G-dsend Bailey Chair was created by generous, kind and supportive, angelic Susan Sanchez at baileychairs4dogs@gmail.com. We are so thankful to Angelic, Susan for all she has, and graciously continues to do for dogs affected with Megaesophagus (ME) and/or similar health issues.

    This gently used, great looking and functioning, Bailey Chair is suitable for a small/medium dog who would comfortably fit within the following dimensional parameters: Interior: 7 1/4” wide by 6 1/2” deep. Exterior Height at highest point: back 21”, sides 15” and currently positioned eating tray 11 1/4”. Parker no longer will use his lovely Bailey Chair. He now prefers a less confining, 18” high by 19” wide laundry basket purchased at Target.

    Parker is now almost 5 yrs. old. He was rescued (he rescued us as well) at 1 1/2 yrs. old. He is now almost 5. Not surprisingly, after significant heart ship and expenses of time, efforts, research, trial and error, money and of course Vet bills, Parker was wrongly diagnosed with Megaesophagus by four, alleged Vet “Experts/Specialists” in Florida.

    Please know that we are sharing our experience details and results, based on Parker’s specific journey—in hopes it perhaps mitigates you and your fur baby’s experiences in the future. In our quest, we learned that the prescription foods prescribed by these “Vet Experts” is horrendous for the health of our beloved pets. Parker continued to throw up several times a day on both Hills and Royal Canon food. It was literally heart wrenching to watch, and have Parker experience. We were blessed when our fifth Vet’s Assistant whispered to us the words, “Go Healthy Pets”. Mary Jo is the owner of this delightful pet shop Go Healthy Pets in Broward County Florida. Their website is GoHealthyPets.com. She has been our second, true canine-minded Angel for Parker.

    We shared Parker’s history and current needs upon meeting Mary Jo. That first visit, Mary Jo sent us home with wonderful, easy to swallow and keep down…human grade, grain free food for Parker. Without asking, Mary Jo (MJ) generously conducted her own research around Parker’s health issues. We were so happily and gratefully surprised to hear from her regarding our beloved fur baby. Mary Jo has made the most remarkable contribution to the betterment of Parker’s health and well-being. She is a blessing with her continuing support and guidance. For his pancreatic needs, she procured appropriate enzymes and Tripe. For his low weight, she chose specific food supplements and treats. Parker barely ever throws up now and his daily waste eliminations are regular–Yippee. Another convenience is that Mary Jo delivers around her store area and ships across the country. Thank you so much Mary Jo. You have been and continue to be our “pet whisperer”!

    FYI, Parker has fluctuated between 12 1/2 lbs. when we first became family and his current weight of 14 1/2 lbs. Although, his perfect weight would be around twice his life’s weight to date, 25 lbs.; he is now doing incredibly well. He is very happy and quite healthy! The reason for his low weight is due to his poor breathing and pancreas, NOT MegaE.

    You aren’t alone in your journey with your “best friend”. Hopefully, something in the above help’s you and your’s. If you are interested in our Bailey Chair, please write “Parker-Bailey Chair” in the subject section of your email to us. Happy New Year!

  3. I am looking for a Bailey’s chair for my cat – originally 12 lbs when I adopted him a year ago, now down to 5 lb. Diagnosed with ME.
    I live in Fredericksburg VA. Any help? I love him and hate to see my sweet boy Tommy wasting away.

    Nina J.
    jonesnina1@gmail.com

  4. Anyone located is Los Angeles/Orange County or Riverside county of Southern California? I have a bailey chair i would like to donate.
    The shelf is adjustable and will accommodate a growing dog.
    My dog is a 55-58 pound German Shepherd.

  5. Message to Debra…I am devastated that my 52 lb golden retriever with seizures just got diagnosed with megaesophagus. I really need a Bailey chair and saw you comment. I live in Riverside County, a town named Hemet Ca 92543. Pls send me an email about the Bailey chair you have for sale. I have been searching for days and saw your msg. Thank you so much.

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