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Apollo just turned 1 year old on March 16th. He is a Goldendoodle who is the sweetest little knucklehead. He does have a primary diagnosis of megaesophagus (ME). ME simply means that the tube carrying food from mouth to stomach is too big, and doesn’t work properly. A normal esophagus has muscles that move the food into the stomach and help keep it there. A Megaesophagus is floppy, often with folds and pouches that can trap and hold food and liquid. Apollo has congenital ME, which means that he was born with an esophagus that doesn’t work properly.
As far as ME dogs go, Apollo is on the “easy scale! He is not on any daily medication and seems to do great. He knows his routines and is able to walk backwards into a special chair called a “Bailey Chair” for mealtimes. Sitting in his Bailey chair for 15 minutes or so after eating allows time for gravity to pull the food down into the stomach.
Care – Overall his care is very minimal. He does require eating and drinking his Bailey chair but only needs about 15 minutes after eating for things to settle down to his stomach. He needs upright feeding in his Chair and drinking with thickened water and kibble soaked in water formed into meatballs. His current schedule is a feeding of 10 food balls (dry food mixed with water or broth and formed into meat balls) 3 times a day. The main thing is to just feed him in his special chair and making sure he doesn’t get into too much water (toilets, puddles, other dog or cat’s water dish). His food balls are probably the biggest challenge but it’s not difficult if you have a routine down and you can also make food balls ahead of time and freeze them. He can have Gerber puffs and yogurt melts as training treats.
Apollo is a very outgoing dog that loves to play. He does well with other dogs, balls are his life, and loves to play fetch in the backyard. He currently lives in a foster home with a dog that does not enjoy playing and Apollo has found ways to self-play by sticking balls under pieces of furniture and fishing them back out. He loves walks but pulls a bit on the leash, a work in progress because he just gets so excited. Especially when he spots kids playing …BALL! He does well just baby gated in the living room during the day. At night, he is crated mostly for his safety just in case he were to swallow something. However, in the morning he likes to get out of his crate and snuggle in bed with his people for a while.
He has been in foster care for about 6 months now but we are now looking for Apollo’s forever home. Part of that length of time was waiting to get him into the appropriate specialists for his diagnosis, because COVID caused several months wait times. He just got neutered and is doing great!
Overall, he’s an incredible pup! A bit of an awkward knucklehead but the sweetest! He is an easy-going dog that can adapt. He loves a fenced in yard so he can run and play fetch but he also likes walks so a fence is not a must. He does really like other dogs but he can play and entertain himself. He loves looking out the window, meeting new people and dogs, and balls are his life! Any type of ball but tennis are his favorite.