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Buck the Labrador saved from starvation thanks to specially made high chair

A young dog who was in danger of starving to death has had his life changed, thanks to a specially made high chair.

17-month-old Buck the labrador was unable to swallow enough food to keep him alive, because of a rare condition called mega-oesophagus.

He was just half the recommended weight for his age and the experts caring for him feared he would not live to see his 2nd birthday.

Buck was dangerously overweight due to a rare condition Credit: Team Edward Labrador Rescue

After his story was shared on social media, vet Emma Drinkall and her fiancé Nick Rowan - an expert in engineering - came together to create a custom-built feeding chair.

The chair took just a day to make and the couple will continue to adapt it as Buck gains weight.

Luckily Nick and I have the combined expertise and experience to build the chair quickly.

There is currently no surgery available for dogs with this condition, and as Buck is already receiving the medications that can help, the one other thing that could help him keep his food down is gravity itself.

Being upright while feeding will help the food drip through the sphincter that controls access to his stomach.

– Emma Drinkall, Veterinary Medicine and Science expert, University of Nottingham

The vets caring for Buck say since he started using the chair a few days ago he has kept all of his food down.

Vets say Buck has been able to keep his food down since using the high chair Credit: Emma Drinkall

I am actually surprised that Buck has lived as long as he has with this condition. His oesophagus is abnormal in that it’s enlarged and has lost its tube-like state that pushes food through to the stomach.

It means little of the food he eats actually makes it into his stomach for digestion, most gets stuck in pouches in the oesophagus or is regurgitated again.

– Laura Pearce, Lawrence Veterinary Centre

Dogs with mega-oesophagus are at risk of developing chest infections which can prove fatal, because they can accidentally breathe in food particles when they regurgitate their food.

Vets say Buck has not regurgitated since using the chair and his carers have put him on a high calorie puppy food diet to help him put on weight and gain strength.