View Full Version : Pancreatitis Questions

14th October 2011, 06:41 PM
My just turned 8 year old rescue, has just been diagnosed with pancreatitis. He became sick last Sunday night, with vomiting, had not urinated since noon that day and refused his food. Brought him to the vet Monday morning, and they ran blood work and it showed he was slightly anemic, and his liver enzymes were high. They administerd subcutaneous fluids, and gave him a anti nausea shot, and told me to bring him back in a few days to re-run the blood work, or to bring him back if he worsened. By Tuesday morning, he could not walk or hold his head up. He was then hospitalized for 3 days. An x-ray revealed nothing abnormal with his liver. They were giving him antibiotics, anti nausea meds, and fluids. A repeat of the blood work showed his pancreas enzymes were off the charts, after they had been normal on Monday. He got a little better each day, and yesterday was eating spoonfuls of special food, and 1/4 cup of water at a time. No more vomiting or diarrhea, so they let me take him home last night. He was much better last night, and ate a couple more spoonfuls of food, and a little water. Around 7:00 this morning, I gave him all the meds they sent home with me, and gave him a couple more spoons of food, and 1/4 cup water. He vomited about an hour later, which he had not done since he had been hospitalized. I called the vet and she said to wait until noon, before giving him another couple of spoons of food, and the tiny bit of water. I did this, and so far he has kept that down. Perhaps I gave him the food this morning, before the nausea meds kicked in. The vet is telling me she is cautiously optimistic, because he has improved, but he is not out of the woods, has a long way to go, and could still take a turn for the worse, and not make it. I am worried sick, because he also has MVD. Obviously, I will be devastated if I lose him, especially like this. I always thought it would be the MVD, not something like this, because he has been healthy, aside from his heart.

Has anyone had experience with this? How long before your cav was back to normal? Anything you can tell me about your experience or what to expect will be greatly appreciated.

15th October 2011, 05:17 AM
Hi Sharon,

I don't have a Cav that has pancreatitis, but had another dog that was prone to it after developing it 4 years ago. Unfortunately, I lost my best boy Nash in July, but to cancer.

Nash developed pancreatitis for the first time 4 years ago. Though he didn't have to be hospitalized, he was in pretty rough shape, and the Vet gave me the same verbiage 'cautiously optimistic'. Not quite what we want to hear.

Nash probably developed pancreatitis 3-4 times after that, but in milder cases. As a result of his pancreatitis he developed diabetes from the scarring on the pancreas. When he first developed pancreatitis, hey took him completely off food and water for 48 hours, and just administered sub q's. My boy loved to eat, and so it was hard for him. I know many will cringe when I mention this, but Hills product the I/D canned forumula was the lifesaver for Nash. When the Vet gave us the go ahead, we had purchased 12 cans, and literally made up a 1/4 can with water, and made a mashed up recipe. Nash weighed about 30 lbs when this was all going on, so 1/4 can of food isn't much. We feed him small portions 2 times a day of this, and then eventually increased to 1/3 can and eventually 1/2.

We tried the dry formula, but found the canned worked better. I was a bit paranoid and probably kept him on the I/D longer then necessary, but I was scared and wanted to make sure his pancreas had healed properly.

The big thing is to keep your dog away from cooking smells when they are recovering. Just smelling food can start their salivia glands going, which in turn can start the pancreatitis up again.

We had an incident with Nash where he had a bout, and it was cooking smells that triggered it. We ended up having to put him in our bedroom, which is far away from the kitchen, and turn the fan on in our adjoining bathroom, till we were not only done cooking, but also done eating AND cleaning up.

Eventually we didn't have to do it anymore. But it was probably a year of closely monitoring him.

Some folks have had great luck with boiled chicken and white rice, mashed up and put with water. But for us, we eventually also went with a gluten free food because he kept having a gurgling tummy. Once we changed food, we didn't have a problem.

You might want to keep the water consumption down a bit. You can go in for sub q's if needed.

I don't know if this helped at all. I'm very tired tonight and not thinking the best.

Saying a little prayer for your sweet boy.

15th October 2011, 08:18 PM
Hi Cindy,

Thanks for your reply, and after reading it, I am happy to say, I am pretty much doing everything you mentioned. I am feeding him boiled chicken and rice. He is eating 2 tablespoons about 5 times a day, with a 1/4 cup of water, also about 5 times a day. I put him in the laundry room when we had dinner last night. And fed my other cav out on the deck this morning. It is hard having two dogs. When Lily smells the chicken, and it's time to feed Alfie, the sick guy, she goes crazy wondering why he is getting chicken, and all she had was her kibble. I have given her a couple of bites, just to keep her quiet with the crazy barking. I have to keep the water bowl up, and I'm afraid Lily is not getting enough water.

Alfie seems better this morning, and even flipped a toy in the air, but then left it. Today was the last nausea pill I had. I am holding my breath, because I am not sure he will keep his food down, without it tomorrow, but that is all the vet gave me. As sick as this little guy was, and he was close to death, he is so much better. I am trying not to get too excited, because, as the vet said, he is not out of the woods. As I suspected from all you have said, it is going to be a long road. I think I will call the vet, and see if I can have one more nausea pill for tomorrow, so I don't end up at the ER, in case he can't tolerate any food or water without it. She told me they don't like for them to be on the nausea meds longer than five days, but hopefully she will gibe me just one more for Sunday, when they are closed.

I am so sorry you lost Nash, it is so hard to lose these sweet babies, who are the loves of our life.

24th October 2011, 03:30 AM
Hi Sharon, I was just trying to catch up on your boy? How has he been?

24th October 2011, 01:35 PM
Hi Cindy,

That was one scary experience, and he came back, literally, from the brink of death. But, he is so much better, and he is pretty much back to normal. I transitioned him over to his regular food at the end of last week, after being on a chicken and rice mush for a week, and he seems to be doing pretty well with his regular food. I am giving him pepsid still, because he burps quite a bit after he eats, and the pepsid really helps with that. My only concern now, is that he is urinating much more frequently, and drinking a lot more. I had to stop giving him his fluid pill, which he takes for his heart, because with the pill, he was peeing every hour. I am afraid that this may be a sign that he may now be diabetic, because of the damage to his pancreas. This poor little guy has been through so much, but he is still a fighter.

Thanks do much for following up with us!:thnku:

25th October 2011, 11:09 PM
It does sound like diabetes. Wow, that happened fast. Perhaps he had issues before this.

I would take him in as quickly as you can to the Vet to have his blood sugar checked.

Diabetes is a controllable disorder, and most dogs do well. But, the faster you get it dx'd th better so you don't have to worry about ketoacidosis, which can be very dangerous.

Having had a diabetic for nearly 4 years, I am glad to help walk you through this. But I'm praying that it's not so.

26th October 2011, 12:12 AM
I was thinking the same thing Cindy, that he possibly had an issue before he got sick. About a month before he got sick, he started waking up about 5:00 in the morning and had to go pee. He has always slept through the night, and didn't need to go out until I got up anywhere between 7-8 in the morning. I just chalked it up to him getting older and not being able to hold it as long. He continues to have to get up at least once early in the moring. Last night he went to bed a 9:00 and had to get up at midnight, and then didn't have to go out agian, until around 7:30 this morning. I wonder now if he has diabetes, if that may have caused him to get sick. I don't know enough about it to know which came first. He also used to have very yellow urine, and now it is practically clear, and I don't really see but a tiny bit of urine stain on his tummy, or his front paws now, where as before, he always had a lot of yellowing. When it's raining. I let him go on a pee pad on my screened in deck, and I can't even tell where he went now, where as before, his urine was very yellow. He seems to be hungrier too. But the crazy thing is, he is more full of energy than he has been in a long time. He is very alert, chewing is toys, and tail always wagging. And he even ran at full speed through the yard the other day, which he hasn't done in years.

I know they ran his blood work twice while he was in the hospital once on Monday, and then again on the Thursday I brought him home. Would they have not seen in that blood work if he was diabetic? They ran everything. It was a $200 blood work up. It does seem odd, that it would have happened that fast, and after I brought him home. How soon did your dog become diabetic after the pancreatitis, and do you think Alfie could get it this soon? Are there any other signs I should be seeing if he is diabetic? He seems perfectly fine, except for what I have mentioned.

26th October 2011, 12:18 AM
Nicki and Pat both know a lot about this condition too -- I am sure they will give you some suggestions if they see this thread. What a worry for you -- I hope he keeps improving. :(

I know of vets that have missed diabetes. I don't know much about it myself.

One thing about pancreatitis -- normally you cannot put a dog back onto his regular food or it triggers another episode -- that is what others have experienced, being told to permanently alter diet -- so maybe something to0 double check.

26th October 2011, 01:00 AM
Nicki and Pat both know a lot about this condition too -- I am sure they will give you some suggestions if they see this thread. What a worry for you -- I hope he keeps improving. :(

I know of vets that have missed diabetes. I don't know much about it myself.regualr diet.

One thing about pancreatitis -- normally you cannot put a dog back onto his regular food or it triggers another episode -- that is what others have experienced, being told to permanently alter diet -- so maybe something to0 double check.

Thanks Karlin!

I read that too about altering the diet. I asked the vet about that and she said, for dogs who have recurring bouts, their diets would have to be altered, but they like to try to get them back on their regular diet first, to see if they will tolerate it. If they tolerate it, and have no recurrence, they should be able to stay on the same diet. So far, he is doing great on his regular diet. Even the burping is getting less and less after he eats. I am still giving him pepcid, but will try to ween him off of that in the next week. My biggest concern now is whether he is diabetic. :confused:

26th October 2011, 11:18 AM
I'd call and ask your vet what they think, including if they did blood sugars, etc. If diabetic it would be important to have that verified and addressed -- again through diet, possible injections, and so on.

27th October 2011, 01:24 AM
Sharon, his urine is nearly clear because he is drinking a lot of water.

But, it would be good to get a fasting blood glucose reading. Does he seem hungry? I'd call the Vet in the AM and see if you can get in for a blood glucose reading in the afternoon.

Dogs that are diabetic HAVE to have insulin. They are fed a consistent amount twice a day 12 hours apart and given their insulin following their food. Most folks I know with diabetic pets have meters and track their dogs blood glucose.

My dog had his pancreatitis in August and had developed diabetes by November. He couldn't hold his urine, and was ravenous but was losing weight.

We were also able to put him back on his regular food after his pancreatitis. But it was a Senior food, and low in fat, w
hich is important after pancreatitis. I eventually changed him to a grain free food, as he had rumbling tummy for a long time, and I found the grain free seemed more gentle on his tummy.

Be always mindful of the pancreatitis because it can pop up rather quickly. Some dogs seem to only get it the one time, others, like my boy, seem susceptible to develop it.

I hope it's not diabetes, and it's just Alfie recovering. My Nash was more lethargic before his dx. And of course, losing weight.

30th October 2011, 01:50 AM
Hi Claire,

Just now saw this post, don't know why I didn't get an e-mail, saying there was a new post. I just answered your PM.