My youngest daughter has a 7 y.o., 80 lb. Lab. She and her partner took some vacation time and went camping with Bowzer for 5 days in Big Sur. They returned home with a very sick dog! He was vomiting, drooling excessively, dehydrated, lethargic, restless in the middle of the night, unable to stand, etc. This was last Monday and the symptoms have gotten worse over this last few days. My daughter was behind at work because of vacation and she was distraught with worry and inability to give Bowzer the care he needed. So she sent Popi and Momi and Ricky (who live about 2 hours distant) an SOS. Bowzer has bonded with Popi over the years as a strong male "leader." The three of us arrived Thursday evening and daughter took Friday off from work to get this situation addressed immediately. Popi could see Bowzer was definitely very sick.
During last week Bowzer had visited two different Vets with a lot of tests, bloodwork, urinalysis, etc. with no resolution of his problem. Yesterday, daughter and Popi took Bowzer to a canine hospital with the latest, state of the art, medical equipment to see an emergency room canine Vet and a canine Radiologist for further tests. Bowzer was in the hospital undergoing a thorough battery of tests, MRI, sonogram, etc. Four hours and $2600 later, the verdict was in...........,.a MILD
case of Pancreatitis! He had a very irritated stomach lining, elevated liver enzymes level, and abnormal white blood cell count. The E.R. Vet sat down with daughter and Popi and asked her what Bowzer has been eating the last two weeks. Daughter said they had been camping so
Bowzer had "little bit" of bacon and sausage for breakfast, cheese and peanut butter for snacks, hamburger patty for supper, "those kinds of camping foods." The Vet was not pleased! The Vet asked what was Bowzer's normal diet. Daughter said Taste of the Wild grain-free kibble. The Vet was not pleased!
The Vet was understanding but firm.....NO MORE HIGH FAT PEOPLE FOOD for Bowzer EVER AGAIN. She said this was a mild case of Pancreatitis, a moderate or severe case could be lethal. The Vet said no more "grain free" diet for Bowzer. She said there was nothing wrong with Taste of the Wild kibble WITH GRAIN but any diet that is "grain free" is a very bad idea. She said there is recent medical research that shows a potential correlation between grain free diets and increased risk of heart disease in some canines. She said that a diet that is primarily grain used as a filler is not good, but all canines are "foragers" by nature and a well balanced diet including some grain is necessary for good health.
This is the third
Vet that has told Popi in the last two months that the current fad for grain free diets is not good for canines unless specifically prescribed by their Vet. I will leave it at that.
Regarding people food, moderate
amounts of people food like fruits and vegetables (*****some specific fruit and vegetable species can be lethal to canines) and lean poultry, fish, wild game, and meat are good in a well balanced diet.
Bowzer was sent home with us with medications and specific instructions for rehabilitating his G.I. system. The Vet said he should show much improvement in a couple of days and be fully recovered in a week.
All's well that ends well subject to a very expensive lesson learned!