PDA

View Full Version : Meats That Digest Well for Cavaliers (possible pancreatitis)



Jerry
22nd May 2012, 12:16 AM
My 7 month old Cavalier had an episode of vomiting repeatedly and it was just foam at the end. I took him immediately to the Vet and she said that there was a lot of fat (and some hair from toys - a mistake that has been corrected).

We feed Bailey some 5 Star dry kibble and supplement it with fresh salmon (cooked) or rotisserie chicken (I pick the meat off and feed him only the meat; no skin or fat), and sometimes pieces of steak (no bone).

She said the blood work showed that his pancreas might be slightly compromised and that the cells in the lining of his stomach that produces mucous might have been compromised as well.

So she gave us a slurry that would aid stomach normalization and some nexium (for dogs) to reduce acid.

I personally think I overfed him for two days and that this event was due to his stomach being overloaded and couldn't handle the digestion.

Do Cavalier's generally have a problem with modest levels of fat - as in fatty fish, the miniscule of fat in a rotisserie chicken and the fat in a lean piece of beef?

What do you think?

Karlin
22nd May 2012, 10:14 AM
Hi and welcome. :)

I think you have had a serious warning and are fortunate to have had a fairly safe 'red flag' incident like this to alert you. as the breed has a higher rate of pancreatitis than most other breeds and pancreatitis can be fatal. Fat or even 'regular' food can trigger an episode -- rottiserie chicken even though less fatty than fried, would I suspect have more fat absorbed into it by comparison to a skinless breast that has been steamed or baked without fat. Salmon is extremely fatty. So both of these could definitely have triggered the episode and if there are already signs of pancreatic affects -- you def need to have your vet look into the problem in the breed and I think most likely you will need to carefully watch what you feed and perhaps move to a special diet.

There are many here who have had dogs have either a single episode (nearly fatal in a few cases) or who have this as an ongoing lifelong management issue and am sure they will come in with particular and far more informed advice. But I'd stop giving the meat immediately. Some foods also just seem to trigger problems -- chicken can be one, and someone here I recall had a dog who would get episodes just from the *smell* of foods but this is rare. Some dogs just have a single episode and never again but need to have their food monitored carefully.

Pancreatitis by the way often occurs around big holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas when people and visitors give their dog trimmings off the meal and very fatty items like turkey skin or the beef roast fat trimmings.

I've just edited the heading on your post so that others who know about pancreas issues will be sure to see it and offer their perspective. :thmbsup:

Kate H
22nd May 2012, 12:24 PM
Fortunately I have never had a Cavalier with pancreatitis, but would simply add to what Karlin said, if you are feeding a good dry food designed for puppies it contains all the protein and nutrients your puppy needs and you don't need to supplement it with meat anyway. A little bit of lean chicken chopped on top as an occasional treat, fresh vegetables, a little drop of gravy if you happen to have some in the fridge - but a good amount of meat or fish simply isn't necessary. Plain biscuits look very boring to us, but they aren't to dogs!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Nicki
22nd May 2012, 02:00 PM
Sorry to hear about Bailey's scare, but thank goodness this was only a minor episode.


There is some good info on pancreatitis on the board, if you have a search eg

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?36810-6-yr-old-cavalier-with-pancreatitis

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?39144-Severe-Pancreatitis



There is a lot of information about pancreatitis in cavaliers at

http://cavalierhealth.org/pancreatitis.htm

Jerry
22nd May 2012, 02:17 PM
Hi and welcome. :)

I think you have had a serious warning and are fortunate to have had a fairly safe 'red flag' incident like this to alert you. as the breed has a higher rate of pancreatitis than most other breeds and pancreatitis can be fatal. Fat or even 'regular' food can trigger an episode -- rottiserie chicken even though less fatty than fried, would more fat absorbed into it by comparison to a skinless breast that has been steamed or baked without fat. Salmon is extremely fatty. So both of these could definitely have triggered the episode and if there are already signs of pancreatic affects -- you def need to have your vet look into the problem in the breed and I think most likely you will need to carefully watch what you feed and perhaps move to a special diet.

There are many here who have had dogs have either a single episode (nearly fatal in a few cases) or who have this as an ongoing lifelong management issue and am sure they will come in with particular and far more informed advice. But I'd stop giving the meat immediately. Some foods also just seem to trigger problems -- chicken can be one, and someone here I recall had a dog who would get episodes just from the *snmell* of foods but this is rare.

Pancreatitis by the way often occurs around big holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas when people and visitors give their dog trimmings off the meal and very fatty items like turkey skin or the beef roast fat trimmings.

I've just edited the heading on your post so that others who know about pancreas issues will be sure to see it and offer their perspective. :thmbsup:

Thank you all for your help. I will definitely reduce the amount of meat we feed bailey. He does have Orijen kibble and it is rated 5 star. There is a great debate and a lot of conflicting information about what dogs should be fed and many of the "authorities" say that home cooked meals are much better than commercial.

I do boil chicken breast for him and I will reduce the amount considerably. I think I need to up the vegetable/fruit contents of his diet as well. Thanks again for your help.

Karlin
22nd May 2012, 02:47 PM
Hi Jerry:

I actually think you probably need to do more than that -- to have a talk with your vet or another very familiar with pancreatitis about the way to proceed, now that you have had an initial episode. The brand of kibble isn't as important in the case of this condition as the content -- eg as you'll see from other links dogs that have had a bout of pancreatitis generally need a low fat diet. Most commercial kibbles would be too high. Sometimes some meats need to be totally avoided as well -- I had one rescue cavalier who had these kinds of episodes if she ate any chicken.

There are some good links in the thread to lots more information but cannot stress enough that you generally do need to carefully manage the diet of a dog with pancreatitis or a propensity towards it -- a bad episode can easily be fatal.

Rod has some good info at his www.cavalierhealth.org linked to in some of the threads Nicki suggested reading.

Hope this is just a once off but think you will need to take an active approach and go for a low fat diet and watch treat content etc.

Jerry
22nd May 2012, 05:20 PM
Hi Jerry:

I actually think you probably need to do more than that -- to have a talk with your vet or another very familiar with pancreatitis about the way to proceed, now that you have had an initial episode. The brand of kibble isn't as important in the case of this condition as the content -- eg as you'll see from other links dogs that have had a bout of pancreatitis generally need a low fat diet. Most commercial kibbles would be too high. Sometimes some meats need to be totally avoided as well -- I had one rescue cavalier who had these kinds of episodes if she ate any chicken.

There are some good links in the thread to lots more information but cannot stress enough that you generally do need to carefully manage the diet of a dog with pancreatitis or a propensity towards it -- a bad episode can easily be fatal.

Rod has some good info at his www.cavalierhealth.org (http://www.cavalierhealth.org) linked to in some of the threads Nicki suggested reading.

Hope this is just a once off but think you will need to take an active approach and go for a low fat diet and watch treat content etc.

I have been feeding him this kibble http://www.orijen.ca/orijen/products/puppy.aspx which is about 17% fat and 38% protein. It is highly rated and well reviewed. I am interested in what % of fat is considered "low fat" in a low-fat diet. He is now eating only some chicken with white rice. He is highly active and playful. He sleeps a lot early in the day and is a terror at night.

I'm taking him back to the vet in a few minutes to make sure she thoroughly evaluates him for pancreatitis.

Margaret C
22nd May 2012, 10:21 PM
My eleven year old Tommy has been diagnosed with pancreatitis by a specialist researcher. His attack was brought on by a change to a high fat diet when a blood test showed kidney problems.

I have been told he should be fed a diet and treats that have no more than 10% fat content.

When calculating this you have to take off the moisture content and then calculate the fat content as a percentage of the solid ingredients left. For instance a tin of food showing 5% fat and 80% moisture ( therefore 20% solids ) does in fact have a fat percentage of 25%.

Karlin
22nd May 2012, 10:37 PM
As this is a medical condition, it's important to work with your vet or one familiar with pancreatitis and preventing further damage. While we are all making suggestions and offering some perspective from experience, it is important to see what you need to do in your individual case. I know if I were seeing an initial case that had caused some damage to the pancreas at a young age, I'd want a vet who really understands the condition and knows there seems to be an especially high incidence in this breed -- and that therefore it may be a chronic case and not a once off and therefore need dietary management.

Here's info from your vet from the link I suggested at Cavalierhealth.org:


The cavalier King Charles spaniel is one of two breeds believed to be predisposed* for chronic pancreatitis. In a 2005 report by UK researchers, they found:

"There are strong breed-associations in CKCS and JRT, suggesting a possible genetic basis to the disease in these breeds."
* The other breed is the Jack Russell terrier (Parson Russell terrier in AKC). See 2011 study report.

This breed association has been confirmed in a 2007 UK report.

There are links to those reports, which your vet may wish to read.

Rod notes on his site:


Mild cases with vomiting and dehydration may require oral or intravenous fluids and pancreatic rest, meaning no solid food, followed by a change to a more appropriate diet. Hospitalization may be required to assure proper treatment and rest.

...

A long-term low fat diet, along with supplementary enzymes, likely will be recommended.



Your vet should have discussed this with you at the time, but if she didn't, I'd ring and ask to get further advice, or perhaps see a different vet?

On the other hand -- perhaps she didn't feel this was pancreatitis? This kind of vomiting isn't necessarily unusual but tests seem to indicate more is going on and for that reason I'd want to understand better what is going on, what she thinks, etc. :)

Jerry
23rd May 2012, 04:06 PM
I took Bailey back to the vet for further discussion; the Spec cPL test was extremely weak for Pancreatic Lipase so it may have just been a case where I fed Bailey too much food in a 48 hours period. I talked to my breeder, who has been breeding Cavalier for 17 years and she has never had one of her pups that had pancreatitis.

Of course I overreact and think that overreaction is generally a good thing rather than being slow to react. I am now feeding bailey less (he is currently on small amounts of boiled chicken and rice - with some kibble - and he is doing fine. I deeply appreciate the careful consideration and information sharing of everyone on this site. I think Cavalier owners are special people, and if they are not when they get one they soon become special because a Cavalier will bring that out in you.

Kate H
23rd May 2012, 04:13 PM
Jerry wrote that the present kibble is 'about 17% fat and 38% protein'. This seems incredibly high to me. I feed Burns (which I don't think is available in the US), which is a very well-regarded brand of good quality dry food. Their puppy food is 21% protein and 11% oil (not animal fat); their adult food is 18.5% protein and 7.5% oil, which is about average for most good adult foods in the UK. My two thrive on this level of protein. Burns' highest level of protein (24%) is in their food for pregnant and nursing bitches. Even if your youngster hasn't got pancreatitis, the levels of fat and protein she seems to have been getting just in the kibble might well upset her tummy - if you had to eat a plate-size steak fried in fat with added salmon or chicken three times a day every day, and not much else, you might end up feeling a bit queasy too! :) (Unless of course you're an athlete who exercises enough to burn it off - but a 7-month-old Cavalier isn't!)

Kate, Oliver and Aled

ladybug11
26th May 2012, 10:32 PM
Scary, but I'm glad he's doing better. I was feeding Lady Orijin, I know the puppy food has salmon in it, and to be honest she was not doing well on it. Just because it's five stars doesn't mean it's going to work for every dog or every kind of dog. It definitely upset her tummy - she also can't eat chicken. Turkey is ok, because it is a little bit leaner, but I give that to her as a rare treat (ie when we work on recall or loose leash walking). She seems to like peanut butter and that sits well with her, but I give that to her even more rarely than turkey. I switched her to a lamb and brown rice puppy food and she's SO much better...so while it's great that you're cutting down on the amount of meat you're giving her, I do agree with Karlin that you definitely don't need to be feeding it to him very much/at all. You can get dry-freeze treats which are lower in calories and fat. Sounds like you're going to be keeping a good eye on him now though, so good luck and I hope he doesn't have any more of these spells! No fun for anyone

mommytoClaire
27th May 2012, 06:10 AM
Sorry I'm late to this thread! I was the person that Karln mentioned that had a dog that actually had pancreatitis attacks at one time due to smells.

Keep in mind, this wasn't a Cavalier, it was my Cocker Spaniel. He developed chronic pancreatitis, and actually ended up diabetic. He was 9 at the time, and was on a low fat food (senior food), and the same premium kibble for quite a bit of time before that first attack We don't know if he had gotten a hold of something outdoors, that brought on that first attack, as he was closely supervised, but we do live in a wooded area (think lots of critters).

Pancreatitis can be managed, but as others have mentioned it can be very dangerous.

From what I know, Orijen is a good premium food, with a great reputation. I think more than likely it's the extra's you've been feeding your pup that have contributed to the sensitive tummy issue you experienced.

I'm glad to hear that all the testing showed normal levels, as pancreatitis as this young of an age would be scary. Of course, there is acute (one off) and chronic. My Nash had chronic. We probably dealt with at least 4 episodes in the first couple years of his diabetes. One time, he had an episode just from smelling cooking. Apparently, the increased salvia activity triggers the attack. So we had to keep him in our Master Bedroom and Bath far away from the kitchen when cooking, for almost 2 weeks till we were sure he was on the mends completely. I would have liked to use his pancreatitis as an excuse to not cook, but hubby was having none of that, lol.

Depending on the severity of pancreatitis, and whether it's caught early, many times a bland diet of boiled white boneless skinless chicken and white rice with water mushed into it, will suffice for a meal. But severe cases may require absence of food and water for 24-48 hours to rest the pancreas. My Nash responded well to Science Diets Prescription food, canned I/D. And we kept several cans on hand when we felt he was acting a bit uncomfortable. Of course, all of the above supervised by a Vet.

Hopefully you never have to think back on any of this information, and that your dogs digestive health is perfect. But I agree, best to be cautious!

Now go have fun now with your pup, they are such wonderful dogs.

Karlin
28th May 2012, 05:47 PM
Thanks for the personal detail! :) I realised from one of Nicki's links on this thread that it was your cocker who would even react to smells.


Orijen is a good premium food, with a great reputation.

This is true but the food's reputation isn't the issue :) -- for the normal, well dog, it can be a great option (like many other kibbles, for those who feed kibble) but it IS a very high protein food (and there is much debate on giving dogs such high levels of protein -- the average for most foods would be more like 20-ish%, as a proportion). And 17% fat would be very high for a dog with pancreatitis that needs a low fat diet -- such high fat levels could definitely trigger a serious episode. I'd always be cautious with this sometimes fatal condition, and would really be wary of continuing on this kibble til I knew more about what I was dealing with. The kibble alone I would guess could have triggered an episode in a dog with pancreatitis because the fat levels are high.

That's why I think it is important to have a thorough discussion with a knowledgeable vet on proper diet and whether there's an indication this is indeed pancreatitis. It should be possible to test further and get some answers. I wouldn't risk losing my dog to this condition by not being sure whether the dog should be on a special diet -- and would want to be sure my vet knew there is a high incidence of this condition in the breed. For a really young dog to have had an episode would seem worrying, and bear further, proper exploration.