To determine whether delivery of compounded liquid sildenafil directly to the stomach of dogs with megaesophagus (ME) would affect esophageal clearance, regurgitation frequency, body weight, or quality of life.
10 client-owned otherwise healthy dogs with stable ME.
A randomized crossover study was performed. Dogs received either sildenafil (1 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) or a placebo for 14 days, followed by a 7-day washout period, then the opposite treatment for 14 days. Esophageal clearance time was assessed by means of videofluoroscopy prior to treatment and on day 1 of each treatment period. Owners maintained logs of regurgitation episodes and quality of life.
Compounded liquid sildenafil moved into the stomach during 21 of 30 (70%) videofluoroscopy sessions. Sildenafil resulted in a significant reduction in the number of regurgitation episodes (median, 3.5 episodes/wk; range, 0 to 14.5 episodes/wk), compared with baseline (median, 6.5 episodes/wk; range, 1.5 to 19.5 episodes/wk) and the placebo (median, 4 episodes/wk; range, 0 to 28 episodes/wk), and a significant increase in body weight (median, 22.05 kg; range, 6 to 26.3 kg), compared with baseline (median, 21.55 kg; range, 5.1 to 26.2 kg) and the placebo (median, 22.9 kg; range, 5.8 to 25.9 kg). There were no differences in esophageal clearance times or quality-of life-scores between sildenafil and placebo.
Although significant differences with placebo administration were identified, clinically relevant improvements were not seen with the use of compounded liquid sildenafil in dogs with ME.