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Why this German Shepherd needs a special high chair to eat

In October 2019, one vet identified that the problem was actually with her swallowing, and diagnosed her with megaesophagus.

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By Harrison Moore via SWNS

An owner built a special high chair for her German Shepherd to keep her alive - as a rare diagnosis means she is unable to swallow food.

Alicia Motmans, 24, refused to give up on her beloved Ash, four, after the pooch was diagnosed with megaesophagus - an enlarged esophagus.

Several vets suggested Ash be put down because of the condition.

But Alicia, from Hoeselt, Belgium, said no - and decided to explore other options instead.

She eventually hit upon using a special high chair, which allows Ash to spend 25 minutes after each meal in the vertical position so her food has time to digest.

Teacher Alicia said: "Since I built her this chair she's been so much better, and, without it, she wouldn't be with us today."

Ash was just a puppy when she started vomiting constantly after meal times.

Worried Alicia was back and forth from a total of ten different vets over the space of a year, most of whom put her illness down to stomach problems or allergies.

But, in October 2019, one vet identified that the problem was actually with her swallowing, and diagnosed her with megaesophagus.

At first, it was suggested Alicia put her down, but she refused and worked with the vet to explore other options - one of which was using a special high chair.

But ordering one of these special chairs would take too long, so Alicia decided to build it herself by following instructions she found online.

It took time for Ash to get used to eating vertically, although Alicia says she adjusted to the high chair quicker than expected.

Three years later she is a happy, healthy pup who is rarely ever sick.

Alicia said: "When we first got her, we knew something was up because of all the vomiting - but her breeder assured us nothing was wrong.

"The diagnosis was tough to hear, and it was suggested we put her down - but for us that was never an option.

"So instead, we explored ways to help her condition and one of them was this chair.

"We make it super comfortable for her with pillows etcetera because she spends about an hour a day in there when you include the digestion period.

"She also takes viagra weirdly enough because it helps her stomach open up so her food can digest more easily.

"Ash is so special to us and every day with her is a blessing."

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