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I am not an expert, and can only share what my personal experience has been.
What are the special foods exactly? Best in this case is to give very very small meals and those meals, in my non-vet opinon, should be easily digested homecooked and extremely low fat. For example, chicken breast and very well cooked white rice (cooked with much extra water and cooked to a mush). Give more rice than chicken to begin with and keep super super small meals, but more frequent for the dog that can keep the food/water down.
For the other dog, dehydration is the big thing to worry about. My two now have chronic pancreatitis, but I remember the weekend it hit both of them. My boy couldn't keep any water down. I tried giving just a tablespoon (he is 40+ lbs) once an hour, and by the second hour, he would throw it back up. When I took him in, his gums were still moist, but the vet said he was more dehydrated than that because throwing up makes the gums more moist.
If he can't keep the nausea med down, or any liquids, then I think you shoud take him to another vet to get a nausea shot (don't know if they did that yesterday at your vet or not). They might also have to give him subq fluids (if they do this, please ask them to take their time getting the fluids in and not to rush it). Doing this might be enough that you can bring him back home tonight. They will likely suggest keeping him overnight to keep him on the fluids, but that is gonig to be based on how bad he is. I wouldn't let him stay anywhere unless someone was there at all times keeping a watch on thiings. I was able to bring my boy back home that night. (I came home after work and found that he had spent the day with diarrhea from one wall to the other of my large living room. Then the vomitting started).
Resting the gut is very important,so don't stress so much about the food right now, but dehydration is what you need to watch. At this point in the game, this is likely the most serious issue. It can turn bad and ugle very fast -- do not take the dehydration issue lightly. It is very serious. If he isn't keeping any water down at all (even very small amounts), then I wouldn't wait too long b/c dehydration can happen fast, especially in smaller dogs. If they are drinking, then you might want to limit the amount at any one moment (don't want them drinking so much they will vomit it back up). Just getting the vet to put sub-q's in will go a long way in keeping him hydrated. In fact, it can take a day for the body to absorb all of that water. I would not let the vet give my boy the anti-nausea shot they wanted to (Cernia) because he has seizure issues and that drug does pass thru the blood brain barrier. So the vet put a shot of pepcid into the subcuteneous fluid, and he got his nasuea med this way. He paced the floor, extremely uncomfortable for about an hour (that was hard on us both), but then he rested. I don't know if the pacing was from the pepcid in the fluids, or the fluids themselves. Either way, there are options for nasuea meds if he cant' keep anythiig down.
. Doing this shouldn't cost tooo much, and necessary if no fluids are being kept down.
Don't worry now about long term issues.....it may or may not happen.....just deal with today and then tomorrow and then the next day. You might want to plan on not working Monday and maybe Tuesday, depending on how they are. Even if they are fine, you will not be able to go back to a normal feeding schedule for awhile. Also, don't be cooking in the house right now if you can help it -- no food odors. Make a sandwhich and go to another part of the house to eat --- do not let them even smell food at this point b/c the smell can trigger the pancreas to try and produce enzymes and this is what you need to rest b/c it is inflammed right now. So plan on no food odors in the house till they are considerably better. Ok, I now you need to cook them food.....so if you have a camping stove, that would be ideal or maybe a friend can do this. If not, then cook their food, while keeping them in another part of the house and air out that room as much as you can without making the house too cold. The food odors is not something you will run across doing a search, but I was told that by someone very smart on a specialty health forum and it makes sense to me to take this extra step if you can.
I'll check back in after church and hope for a good update that there has been no more vomitting or diarrhea and some amount of small water has been kept down.
Last edited by Chasza; 02-14-2010 at 08:45 AM.