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This is a type of Congenital Heart Defect. When the dog is a fetus, there is a structure near the heart called an aortic arch. This should deteriorate as the dog grows, but instead wraps itself around the esophagus.  This will cause an anomaly of the vascular rings of the esophagus called Megaesophagus.  This doesn’t allow the food to pass down the esophagus properly.  Certain breeds are more prone to this: Boston Terrier, German Shepherd, and Irish Setter.  Symptoms can include:

  • Regurgitation
  • Malnourishment
  • Passive Reflux
  • Aspiration Pneumonia