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Recurrent Pancreatitis (Dog)

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  • Recurrent Pancreatitis (Dog)

    I am looking for additional resources. I know the basics, but this is the third bout in less than a year and I'm looking for any/all ideas to help prevent.

    HISTORY:
    6YO Neutered male lab. Good weight. Fit.

    May 08: began having focal seizures which progressed to petite mal, then grand mal clustering. Visited neurologist and had to be in an induced coma to knock out seizures. Has been on phenobarbital since. Very restricted diet. No table scraps. No treats other than carrots.

    Aug 08: neighbors had a garage sale and were selling hot dogs. Gave dog hot dog. Pancreatitis ensued. Reiterated with neighbors that he may only have carrots/potatoes. Nothing else as treats.

    APRIL 09: with no breakthrough seizures and known history of neighbors giving dog treats over the fence, vet and I suspect that perhaps the seizures were caused by a protein or chemical in one of the treats. As such, began weaning him off the Phenobarbital.

    May 09: another mild bout of pancreatits. Was my fault this time. He got into some salmon that was on the counter. Resolved with fasting.

    Last 72 hours
    Suspect that guest of neighbor (jerk that he is) gave my dog some table scraps. He thinks that my rules are "silly". I wasn't home at the time and didn't realize they were having a BBQ or I would've locked doggy door and kept dog inside.

    Sunday PM, vomited dinner.
    Monday AM, not interested in food, vomiting water. No fever, vitals good, still waggy tailed lab.
    Monday PM, not interested in food, more lethargic, vomiting water.

    This a.m., went in to the vet first thing, did radiographs and blood work. Pancreatitis again.

    He's dehydrated and his electorlytes are out of whack so he's on IV's, getting antiemetics and pain meds. Will probably go home with me this evening and if needed, I'll continue the IV fluids.

    QUESTIONS
    Any ideas what ELSE besides food can trigger pancreatitis?

    Any ideas of any supplements that can be given to help "protect" against?

    If you've had your dog on phenobarb (known to increase risk of pancreatitis) did your dog cease having issues after he/she was off of the phenobarb?

    Is there anything I'm missing here?

    I don't have kids. This is my buddy. I really want to do the best I can for him. When I KNOW the neighbors are having company or garage sales now, I take my dog to work. But it seems like all it takes is a hotdog here or some other crap there and boom. Back to pancreatitis again.

    I'm leaving in 30 minutes as I have a job interview and will likely be stopping by the clinic too....so if I don't reply that's why. WIll be online later though.

    TIA.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  • #2
    Jingles for Poochie and your job interview!
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Lex.
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, after doing some quick research, it seems like you might want to take a good look at the environment in your home and the barn. If you are feeding him carrots and such, make sure they are thoroughly washed as certain insecticides can cause his condition and he may need a more regulated diet. You'll also want to look carefully at what the neighbors might be doing to their yards and if they are using sprays and other such things. If you have any sort of freestanding water in your yard or anywhere that the dog can get to, you definitely want to look at that as well to see if it's got contaminants in it.
        Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

        Comment


        • #5
          Wish I could offer more than "good luck" as I have had the Doberman version of your Lab.

          My boy actually wore a muzzle to prevent him from eating anything other than his PD W/D and carrots. If he ate something and was headed for a bout he got Pepto and Zantac and a fast. I could usually head it off by doing so. Thing is, mine would drool puddles when it was coming so I would know when to administer the meds. He was so smart he would come and find me, show me his drooly face and then go and sit by the bathroom door waiting for his pills. Best dog ever (miss you Makinen ).

          Other triggers for Mak were horse $hit and stress.
          "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks guys. Lex, when we had the seizures last year, we tested for a gazillion toxins, parasites, etc....thinking it could be environmental.

            Since moving my horses, he is no longer exposed to horses--ie: horse poop. No standing water, but I do have a pool which is chlorinated. But he's in that several times per day all summer.

            We don't use any chemicals on the yard...for this reason. Neighbors yard doesn't touch mine, their driveway is on my fence line. Think very tight neighborhood.

            We do use lemon oil and murphys oil soap in the house.

            Thank you for the brainstorming!

            Sisu--I'm sorry to hear that you have a similar one at home. PITA, it is!
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

            Comment


            • #7
              Our dog had 4 bouts of pancreatitis -which certainly was a pain. We went to a no human food diet at all, not even carrots or anything else non-fat but still human. She was also on a special dog food you can only buy from a vet - Iams Low Residue - vet explained that it was almost like it was pre-digested food - it was very very easy for dogs to digest so the pancreas doesnt have to work too hard at it. I think stress may have added to the triggers a few times, a few of her bouts where when my husband was traveling for work which she never liked. Our biggest problem was other people - they thought we were over-reacting to the whole no people food thing and figured it was ok for her to have some bites here and there. My FIL was the worst - I finally got him to stop when I told him that if he made her sick he could pay the $1200 vet and then spend 10 days administering all of the pills and medications. Good luck with everything!
              http://community.webshots.com/user/sahara511

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by sahara511 View Post
                Our biggest problem was other people - they thought we were over-reacting to the whole no people food thing and figured it was ok for her to have some bites here and there. My FIL was the worst - I finally got him to stop when I told him that if he made her sick he could pay the $1200 vet and then spend 10 days administering all of the pills and medications. Good luck with everything!
                This is precisely the issue in my case, I believe. My immediate neighbors have finally seen the light when they saw the bill. But it's hard to police EVERYONE all the time.

                I was too upset/pissed this a.m. to call the neighbors and ask specifics....but will later.

                I just called and he's still pretty low key, getting fluids, etc. They're trying to get about 4 liters into him today.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Continued jingles for your dog and your career.
                  Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another Treat

                    My terrier's first episode of Pan... was caused by the Vet's special food for Kidney problems. $5K later we are discussing food for her to eat. I was refusing the fancy Vet food for obvious reasons. The vet kept saying low fat and high fiber. So my dog ended up eating a diet of Cheerios, baby carrots, and fit and Trim dry dog food. She did very well until something would set it off again. Realize, Dee Dee, the bitch from hell, was in her teens when she had the first episode and lived to be 17 even with 3 episodes. We put her to sleep after the last one since she lost her mind and would only go in tight circles in the same until she was exhausted. She was also blind at that point too.

                    The point of the story is to try the Cheerios as a treat as well as the baby carrots.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Binkie, one of my aussies, had pancreatitis when she was under 1 yoa. She was a 3/4 sister to another of my aussies, who had no pancreatic problems.
                      I had to cut out rich food. No butter, no sugars, no very fatty or rich foods. The "milk bones" she ate were the "old mother hubbard" ones from the pet store, not the fat and grease filled ones.
                      She did not have any more problems after I did that, and ate steak and chicken breasts w/o any seasoning or fat (no skin on the chicken breasts and no fat on the steaks) for the rest of her 14 yrs. It is actually cheaper to feed chicken breasts and steak to dogs and cats than to buy expensive canned food, check the prices and volume on the canned food.
                      Your dog should not be anywhere where the neighbors can feed him. This means not letting him run loose. No dog should be running loose in this day and time. I once caught our neighbor trying to throw beef ribs over the fence to my dogs.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                        No dog should be running loose in this day and time. I once caught our neighbor trying to throw beef ribs over the fence to my dogs.
                        I live in a small neighborhood and share fence line w/ three neighbors. My dog isn't ever out "loose"...he's in his/my yard.

                        The reason that I have the dog door so he can go in and out day/night is because of his medication--he has to urinate more frequently. So I'm really not sure how to 100% guarantee that no other human being but me ever sees him/has opportunity than to trap him in the house. He's a lab. Being trapped in the house and only outside to go to the bathroom sounds like a pretty miserable life....

                        'course, maybe equally miserable to being sick like this.

                        Sigh.
                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My Border Collie had a serious bout of pancreatitis last year. We had several younger kittens that got high fat/protein baby food which he would eat from time to time plus we were giving him scraps. We stopped all that and he hasn't had another bout since.....knock on wood!! His little episode cost us $1200 too. Luckily, everyone in our life understands the seriousness of it and doesn't give him human food. He is also allergic to just about everything so there is a double reason to control his diet.

                          No advice just sympathy and jingles!!
                          RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                          May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                          RIP San Lena Peppy
                          May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think you've got a very good handle on the triggers. Continuing your vigilance in regards to what he eats is probably your best bet. You might want to ask about keeping some Metronidazole and Cerenia on had to be able to administer as soon as you know a dietary violation has happened.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Show your neighbors the bills for the vet! And tell them that feeding your dog could not only cause them to have to pay for vet bills, but might kill the dog.
                              I know what you mean, neighbors think dogs can eat anything, but a lot of dogs cannot eat greasy foods.

                              Did the job interview go well? Good luck, hope you get it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Sorry to hear about your dog. Has his blood work been normal between bouts of pancreatitis? Hyperlipidemia can be a risk factor for recurrent pancreatitis, and hypothyroidism (not uncommon in labs) can cause elevated cholesterol and trigycerides. May want to have him checked just in case, as that is easy to treat. Were his liver function tests okay too?
                                "I have been Foolish and Deluded," said he, "and I am a Bear of No Brain at All." - Winnie the Pooh

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Hey all...thanks for your comments.

                                  I brought him home tonight around 7. Vet wanted to continue fluids overnight...but there's no one there from 7pm to 8 am so I took him home. I worked at a clinic for 7 years and the least I can do is an IV.

                                  Unfortunately had to put in a new cath when I got home but got one bag in and have one to go overnight. Going to be a long night. Not to mention the strange looks as I sat over at one neighbor's house on the porch using a vacuum cleaner to hang the bag of fluids! LOL

                                  The "hood" is up in arms over the dude that we all suspect did this. Everyone else knows and respects that my monster only gets carrots as treats. I can't PROVE that the jerkwad did it, but I have reason to suspect that he gave a brat or hot dog to my dog Fri night. Coincidence that we have pancreatitis now? Not so much.

                                  Anyway...we seem to do well when no table foods are given....

                                  Talked more with the vet and we both agree that number one priority is getting off the phenobarb ASAP. That predisposes them to this condition.
                                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Have you talked to the vet about supplementing with digestive enzymes? Prozyme would be a good one to ask about.
                                    ---------------------------
                                    University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2012
                                    Member of the Asthmatic Riders & "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" cliques

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      After my dog suffered a couple episodes of this, I began threatening the family-which-can't-be-bothered-to-not-feed-the-dog-whatever-they're-eating that our very next wee small hours trip to the emergency vet WILL include them. I still have to police them. One thing I have noticed is that her episodes have been seasonal - most have happened in the late fall and early winter, and that frequently they follow a period of unusual warmth for that season. She hates heat, so I think there's some element of heat-related stress in there.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Brio View Post
                                        Have you talked to the vet about supplementing with digestive enzymes? Prozyme would be a good one to ask about.
                                        Thank you. I will look into that.

                                        Regarding the blood work between episodes...seems to be normal. Due to his phenobarb habit, he has been getting a profile done along with his bile acids and blood phbrb level check about every 3-4 mos. That said, he DOES seem to need to be fasted a full 24 hours, not 12 for his fasting tests because the sample is otherwise hyperlipidic. Is that a word? This is a good thing you brought up. I will mention it when we go back at 9.

                                        He's really not doing that much better unfortunately. He ate 1/4 can of I/D at 7:30 pm--was interested for the first time since Sunday. Ate another 1/4 can at 11pm. At 1:30 a.m. when I offered, he refused. Same at 3:30 and 5:30.

                                        I think the pain meds are wearing off. We'll head back to the clinic at 9. For now, I'm going to go curl back up on the "spare" dog bed next to his crate and try to get a few more minutes of rest before we start a new day. It's been a LONG night.

                                        PS: Vacuum cleaners and floor lamps both serve quite well as IV hangers. LOL.
                                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                        Comment

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