Tink is a silver Labrador Retriever suffering from a genetic condition known as megaesophagus. Basically, the tube that delivers food from her mouth to her stomach is enlarged, and the muscular contractions are inefficient, meaning food gets stuck and can be regurgitated. In order to give Tink the most normal life possible, her devoted pawrents feed her four times a day using a special doggy highchair called a Bailey Chair.
According to owner Tom Sullivan, outside of mealtimes, Tink is just your average Labrador. She loves to run, swim, fetch and shower her friends and family with dog kisses. Her sweet, happy-go-lucky nature made the diagnosis of megaesophagus – which she was given when she was just 9-weeks-old – all the more difficult for the Sullivan family.
The condition requires regular veterinary visits, a special diet, medications, and of course, the Bailey Chair – all of which call for a good deal of extra time and attention, and add up financially.
“What ends up happening is the animal might be euthanized because the owners can’t handle or can’t dedicate the time and effort it takes, or they suffer from malnutrition,” Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Jeremy Hutchinson of Weisner Innis & Schoen told WXMI.
But the couple just could not see putting Tink down. She is just too joyful and full of life. Instead, the Sullivans have settled into a routine of upright feedings in the Bailey Chair, alongside Tink’s toddler-age brother. Afterwards, they prop her upright on the couch, “burp” her like a baby, and massage her throat to help the food travel into her stomach.
According to Mercola Healthy Pets:
“Managing a dog with megaesophagus is obviously time-consuming. But with the proper care, many pets live relatively normal lives with a disorder that used to be fatal in most cases.”
Some of the breeds predisposed to megaesophagus include the Fox Terrier, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Schnauzer, the Newfoundland, and the Shar-pei.
H/T and Featured Image via WXMI