SlimDoggy Health Check: Pancreatitis Part 2

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Last week Jack got diagnosed with Pancreatitis. He’s been on anti-nausea medicine and a bland diet since then and is doing much better. We wrote about Jack and some initial information about pancreatitis and today we want to follow up with more details on the causes, treatment and prevention.
SlimDoggy Health Check_pancreatitis pt2

Pancreatitis is a serious ailment, even life-threatening if treatment isn’t given in a timely fashion. We weren’t able to pinpoint any specific cause of Jack’s bout. Typical causes are:

  • Obesity
  • High-fat diet
  • Certain medications such as some antibiotics or cancer drugs
  • Genetics
  • Corticosteroids
  • hypothyroidism

Jack doesn’t really fit any of those scenarios, although he does eat a diet heavy with salmon and salmon is a fatty fish, so maybe his IBS combined with too much salmon lead to the pancreatitis. Or maybe he just ate something disgusting that I don’t know about. Either way, I’m not really sure of the cause.
We’ve treated Jack conservatively. First the vet gave him an IV of fluids to counter the fluid loss from his vomiting. Then he gave him an injection of Famotidin, an anti-nausea drug. Finally, we withheld food for almost 24 hours other then a tiny bit of rice and then fed him only rice, cottage cheese and ground turkey for several days. We also gave him Cerenia, an anti-nausea medication and Pepcid to keep his stomach calm. Jack didn’t appear to be in pain, but pain killers may be appropriate to alleviate any pain your dog may have.
Pancreatitis may come as an acute attack or it may be chronic and as I said, potentially life-threatening. You should see your vet immediately for treatment. Their focus will be on stabilizing your pet and keeping their internal organs from being damaged by the pancreatic enzymes. There is no medication to neutralize these enzymes so the goal is to support your dog’s circulatory and homeostatic systems.

Now, just a week later Jack seems pretty much back to normal. He had a normal poop the last few days (always a good sign) and he’s got a bit more life to his eyes. He was really lethargic and woozy for several days. We’ve also rested him. No walks at all for a few days and then slowly building up to a short 15 minute walk this morning. I think we’re well on the road to recovery.
Given Jack’s history of stomach problems and now pancreatitis, we will have to be more vigilant about what he puts in his mouth. Hard to do with a dog who’s favorite meal is a toss up between road kill and coyote poop.
Typical preventative measures would include reducing the fat in your dog’s diet, losing weight if they are obese and regular checks of their triglyceride levels (measures the fat in the blood). Pancreatitis may occur only once or may become chronic and dogs may even develop diabetes or a pancreatic insufficiency. We’re certainly hoping Jack’s was just an isolated incident, but we will be keeping a close eye on him.
Additional Readings

Pancreatitis (Inflammation) in Dogs
Pancreatitis In Your Dog

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  1. So glad to hear he is doing better. Katie has always been the one to eat the gross stuff she finds on walks. Luckily, these days she rarely is in a position to find anything nasty to eat, which is a bonus of being old I guess. Hope Jack continues to improve and it was just a one time thing and not chronic.
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  2. Very happy for you that Jack is doing better. And what is it with doggy fascination with other animal poopy?!! I have the same problem with Cash here on the farm!

  3. So glad to hear “Jack is back” and doing well. Continued health and happiness with your handsome sweet boy.

  4. Glad to hear Jack is back on his paws. Nice to have extra-vigilant parents by his side.

  5. I’m so glad to hear he is feeling better!
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  6. We’re so glad to hear that Jack is doing better. One of my friend’s dogs had this as well – he was a fussy eater and she could only get him to eat cheap food which might have been his problem (he was a bit overweight too). I think he only had the one episode though and then he was doing fine after recovering (he has since died of an unrelated issue). Hopefully this was a one time thing for Jack as well.
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  7. So glad to hear Jack is on the mend.

    It goes to show that no matter how excellently you take care of a pup, sometimes things just go wrong.
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  8. It is great that Jack is doing so much better. How scary! What kind of salmon do you feed him? Is it fresh or canned? I’d like for the boys to have some type of fish but I’m afraid of bones. Salmon seems a good choice. (Just not too much ☺)
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    • It’s canned – Evanger’s usually, but sometimes we buy different brands. His kibble is also fish based – Orijen. We’re off the salmon now, onto less fatty ‘cool’ proteins.
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  9. It’s great news to hear that Jack seems to be doing better! It’s always such a bummer to witness our pups being sick/lethargic.

  10. So glad to hear he is doing better. Crossing our paws for continued progress!
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  11. I’m so glad that Jack is doing better. I’m hoping that it was a one-time thing for him!
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