Pancreatitis - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Pancreatitis

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!

Ricky's Popi
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 10:29 AM
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Poor Bowzer, and your daughter is blessed to have you to come to her assistance! I'm glad that this seems to be an easy to fix scenario for him, and that he is stable and back to normal in the week the vet predicted!

(Goodness, a sick dog is so expensive. Ask me how I know.)
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 12:48 PM
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more on grain free https://www.havaneseforum.com/6-gene...rain-free.html
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 08:52 AM
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Been there, done that... what helped us tremendously in the total restriction of our dog's new diet is the knowledge that in people, pancreatitis is horribly painful... Once we got that thru our heads, we were able to keep our dog on a completely fat-restricted diet. The thought of our inadvertently causing our dog pain was enough to keep us on the straight and narrow, and our dog pancreatitis free for years.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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An update on the Bowowzer: he is feeling MUCH better. He is taking his medications willingly. His prodigious appetite is starting to return. He is more alert and interactive. He is able to eliminate appropriately. He is about 50% back to normal. My daughter is going to take him out for a short walk tonight, the first in a week. She will return to work tomorrow, feeling comfortable leaving him in the care of someone she trusts. I am feeling more comfortable too.
We are making progress.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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One week after taking Bowzer to the emergency room Vet at the canine hospital and he is back to normal - full of life and VERY hungry. He had a follow up at his regular Vet yesterday and she pronounced him fit and released for all activities. It was discovered at the ER X-rays he does have gall stones but this is fairly common in dogs and can be controlled by diet and medications without the need for surgery. No more fatty human food for the Bowowzer!

Please be very careful with what you feed your doggie. We all love our dogs but it is mandatory to resist their begging for what you have on your plate.

Ricky's Popi

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:20 PM
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Wow, so glad everything is ok. How scary for all of you. Thank you for telling us about this and opening all our eyes to how easy it is to do the wrong thing when we think we are being kind.
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