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Viagra is a promising treatment for dogs with often fatal eating disorders

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Sildenafil, a generic version of the drug known as Viagra, may be the long-awaited treatment for a group of dogs with a rare disorder called megaesophagus.


This condition includes hypertrophy of the esophagus and loss of motor capacity of the organs. food In the stomach, it keeps food bottled in the lower esophagus. If left untreated, many animals will regurgitate food, suck food into the lungs and cause aspiration pneumonia.

“According to the literature, many people dog Die from illness Aspiration pneumonia Or, he has been humanely euthanized because of poor quality of life within eight months of his diagnosis. “

liquid Sildenafil It has been shown to relax the smooth muscles of the lower esophagus and open to allow food to pass through the stomach. In addition to some rare gastrointestinal inflammation, the doses used in the study have no side effects in dogs.Sildenafil is best known to treat Erectile dysfunctionThis medicine is also used to treat elevated lung blood pressure in dogs and humans.

Studies conducted at WSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine American Journal of Veterinary Research..

“Looking at the literature, there is no drug that can be used to manage megaesophagus. Sildenafil is the first drug to target these mechanisms and reduce regurgitation. It will ultimately kill these dogs. So it’s a big problem, “says Haynes. “Open the lower esophageal sphincter for 20 minutes to an hour. This is very effective for dogs because they only want it to open when they are eating.”

Dr. Susan Mehain and Sarah Guess, WSU Veterinarians, led the study in collaboration with Haynes. Three researchers used video fluoroscopy to monitor the liquid and then blended the moist food as it moved through the esophagus.

Ten dogs with megaesophagus enrolled in the study received either placebo or sildenafil at a time for 2 weeks. After that, the dog went for a week without using either medicine. After that, the placebo and sildenafil groups were switched.

Their owners were tasked with recording regurgitation episodes, but were not informed of which medication their dog was taking.

A 30-minute video fluorescence perspective studying how food was swallowed by a veterinarian using moving x-rays showed no significant difference between placebo and sildenafil. However, the study found that 9 out of 10 owners reported reduced regurgitation during the two weeks of administration of liquid sildenafil.

“In many cases, the owner was able to understand which drug was sildenafil because it worked,” Haynes said.

Enrolled dogs also earned an average of just over £ 2 by the end of the study.

“Medium-affected dogs that regurgitate frequently but not excessively regurgitate seemed to see the most dramatic results,” Haynes said. “I actually prescribed sildenafil to some of those patients after the study, and they still use it today.”

Dogs that showed severe signs of illness did not show positive results. In such cases, researchers have found it difficult to get the drug into the stomach for absorption.

The study is promising, but Haynes said much is still unknown about the drug. She hopes that her future research will investigate the use of sildenafil in veterinary medicine.

“Many veterinarians have contacted and asked questions about this. medicine“I think sildenafil will be life-changing and life-saving for many dogs. This study will help support its use and hopefully encourage more people to use it. . “

Haynes stated that it is important to pay attention to the efforts of the owners in these studies.

“It is always important to recognize the owner’s commitment in these studies, because without the owner, Veterinary medicine It’s just impossible. ”


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For more information:
Susan O. Mehain et al, Randomized crossover study of compounded liquid sildenafil for the treatment of canine systemic megaesophagus, American Journal of Veterinary Research (2022). DOI: 10.2460 / ajvr.21.02.0030

Quote: Viagra (February 21, 2022) is a promising treatment for dogs with often fatal eating disorders https://phys.org/news/2022-02-viagra-treatment-dogs-fatal-disorder. Obtained February 21, 2022 from html

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Viagra is a promising treatment for dogs with often fatal eating disorders

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