Astrid, a chocolate Labrador has to eat standing on her hind legs due to a rare congenital condition.
The family from Frankston South in Australia got Astrid as a puppy. The chocolate Labrador’s wagging tail and happy demeanor landed her a spot in their hearts and home.
Danielle Amer said they noticed Astrid had difficulty eating and swallowing shortly after her arrival. A veterinary visit revealed a congenital condition called mesoesophagus.
According to Karingal Veterinary Clinic, “Megaesophagus is a disorder which prevents the muscle layer of the oesophagus from functioning normally and pushing food towards the stomach. This results in food and water pooling within the oesophagus and later being regurgitated back up. This condition can be managed by correct feeding techniques (elevated feeding).”
According to veterinarian Jaqui Hall what this means in layman’s terms is that Astrid has an abnormal or malformed esophagus that does not allow her to swallow food properly – her food fills in the esophagus “like a balloon”.
Surgery is not an option, but luckily, there is an easy solution to the problem – a custom-made chair that helps Astrid eat while standing on her hind legs.
“The food (eaten via the chair) will fall straight down the esophagus and into the stomach,” the vet said. “All her food has to be eaten standing up in the chair. She must be fed upright at all times. Being a Labrador puppy she does not know anything else. This is how she will eat for her entire life.”
Danielle said Astrid immediately adjusted to the chair and loves having snacks using it.
Now nine months old, Astrid has almost outgrown her first chair and they have ordered a larger model from the US.
Source: Herald Sun