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Hi, our beautiful 'cheeky monkey' Darcy has been poorly since July after eating an unusual pebble and refluxing during the operation to remove it. She has been in and out of Bristol Veterinary hospital for balloon dilation treatment after she developed a stricture.
They have been wonderful vets and are still investigating dysmotility which may be causing Darcy constant problems.
I collected her home today for a week till she returns for another treatment and whilst we are feeding her 'sloppy food' with her paws on the worktop (How we normally try to do to stop them doing this!) have been advised to make a 'Bailey chair'.
This was invented by a couple whose dog had megaoesophagus and you can download instructions to make one, however our woodwork skills are not great and I just wondered if anyone knew where we could purchase one from?
There are some great u tube videos on Bailey chairs and maybe we just need to ask a carpenter, but I thought I'd ask first.
Sue and Nick Britton
Hi Sue and Nick, am so sorry to hear about Darcy......we recently lost one of our boys to megaoesophagus at 5 yrs old, he was a cheeky boy too!! We were also advised to get a Bailey chair to feed him upright and did approach a carpenter, our skills being non exsistent!! In the end though what we did was to get Jack to put his front paws onto a chair while his back legs remained on the ground while we hand fed him his food. so very similar to waht you are doing now.... The difficult part was getting him to stay put afterwards to help the food go down and of course a chair would have helped with this as he would have been fastened in. He got very used to eating that way though and would very often get up on "his" chair to see if anyone would feed him!! I do hope that Darcy's condition improves and wish you all the best xxx
Hi Christine, so sorry you lost your boy so young. You're right it's the having to hold them upright for about 10 mins that's hard when they're so wriggly.
Just uploaded some photos of Darcy's new 'work in progress!' Bailey Chair. My husband has been busy all weekend in the garage and this is the first time we've tried it out. Just need to make some adjustments, but overall it keeps Darcy in the correct position for her oesophagus.Amazed we (my husband!) have managed to make something! Just shows what you can do when it's so important for the benefit of your dog!
wow!! well done, that looks as good as any I've seen!! Darcy seems very comfortable in it as well...hope it helps!!
Congratulations,the chair looks wonderful and Darcy very comfortable.I hope it helps him a great deal.
Hi Sue, will post some more photos when we've tweaked some details. We looked at lots of designs on u tube and then built a style which Darcy wouldn't be able to sit down in or wriggle out of.She is shown her food which she loves and then we encourage her to wiggle backwards in it then hold her paws up. Her paws rest on the table whilst we do the bolt on the door to hold her in position. So far so good, but she's a very chilled out dog and the ten mins she's in it after eating are cuddle time which she enjoys.We also are using a timer so she associates this ping with feeding time over.
oh we used to make it's Jack's special cuddle time too!!! Wish I had thought of the pinger though!! We also used to let him lick spoons with a tiny bit of food on or something with just enough taste to keep him interested!! Ithink you are doing such a good job and Darcy sounds like a beautiful dog, Jack adapted very quickly to his new feeding position as well, almost as if they know it's going to be better for them....he always used to drink lying down which we had thought amusing until the Consultant told us it was the only way he could drink without aspirating and very important that he continued to do so. Does Darcy manage to drink ok?
Thanks for your kind comments. Darcy manages to drink fine. We hope she will get better, but if this is a way of life, that's fine because we love her so much.
oh no problem, I understand exactly where you are coming from and wish you and Darcy all the best for the future xx
There is a video on www.cnn.com today, 27th September - Dog has to eat in special chair.
Great video, thanks Jutta! I will take some more photos of Darcy's chair now we've adapted it a bit. I loved the way the dog was getting a head massage too, as I do this to Darcy. Darcy came home from hospital today and they are going to see if she can put weight on whilst feeding her in the chair we've made. It is so important for Darcy not to regurgitate as this could aggravate her oesophagus, which is why we hurriedly made her a chair.
Just uploaded some photos of Darcy's chair, now painted and with added memory foam cushions and padding for comfort! Darcy is now home again with us with no more operations planned for the moment. We think she may just feed like this and this will enable her to be comfortable and enjoy a normal and fun life. She also wears a baskerville muzzle at home in the garden to stop her putting anything else into her mouth again. We love our cheeky monkey