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Feeding the post-pancreatitis dog

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  • Feeding the post-pancreatitis dog

    My (at least) 12yo Boxer mutt gave us a pretty good scare this week...24 hours in the hospital with pancreatitis and ileus.

    He's home now and doing great on the bland diet, but we don't know what caused the attack -- as far as we know, he ingested nothing other than the Blue Buffalo chicken and rice kibble he's been doing fine on for the last year-plus. Vet says okay to transition him back onto his normal food, I am wondering/researching whether maybe it would be better to transition him onto something else instead.

    Any thoughts/experiences much appreciated!

    "The present tense of regret is indecision."
    - Welcome to Night Vale

  • #2
    usually they can't figure out WHAT triggers off a pancreatitis attack.
    Blue buffalo chicken and rice is quite low in fat- only 14%. One active theory about pancreatitis in dogs is that dogs who normally eat low/moderate fat diets become hyper-sensitive to fat, and if they then get hold of anything fatty whoops.
    So one line of thinking is if you normally feed your dog a normal (18 to 22%) fat diet or even a high-fat diet (in general dogs do very well on very high-fat diets, and dogs in endurance sports do best on diets with whopping amounts of fat) it becomes sort of "protective" against pancreatitis.
    I don't know how that might work after a bout of pancreatitis. Certainly you wouldn't want to suddenly increase the fat content of the diet.


    • #3
      Our dog had a very bad (and expensive) episode a couple years ago. The vets suspicion was that he was helping himself to some of our kittens high fat food but there is really no way to know. The only thing that our dog gets now is his Avoderm Beef dog food. He NEVER gets human food or cat food anymore. He has not had another episode thankfully
      RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
      May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
      RIP San Lena Peppy
      May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


      • #4
        Espresso, our now 13.5 year old yellow lab who is my wonder girl had an episode a few years ago. We put her on Diamond low fat kibble and her hair coat looked horrible after a while and she took to eating dirt when ever she could.

        Now she is on TOTW either other the two lower fat which I think are salmon and lamb.

        she is doing great. and her coat rocks.
        A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


        • #5
          Ouch, scary to go through that with an older dog. Glad he's better now. Mine has had a couple bad bouts of stomach issue - pancreatitis, HGE, etc. - over the years. Last winter she had another flareup, and was switched to Science Diet i/d bland diet. So far, so good. I'd swear there's a seasonal aspect to it in her case, though - always, always happens in the dead of winter, January/February.


          • #6
            Maybe not drinking enough water is the seasonal aspect?
            For my cat I switched her to high quality no grain dry food and high quality wet (along with some raw food). I got pretty good at spotting her stomach aches and gave her tagament. Tagament was in her original prescription from the vet, but I gave it to her whenever she got "grumpy". Mixed it with tums sometimes. Did the vet prescribe flaginol (or something sounding like that?)


            • #7
              Often "nothing" causes pancreatitis. It happens, and its random. Some dogs are more prone, some dogs develop pancreatitis with a high fat diet - some is a result of another disease state.

              I wouldnt worry about switching back to the blue buffalo...if hes eaten that for a long time, it likely wasnt the "cause".


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chall View Post
                Maybe not drinking enough water is the seasonal aspect?
                For my cat I switched her to high quality no grain dry food and high quality wet (along with some raw food). I got pretty good at spotting her stomach aches and gave her tagament. Tagament was in her original prescription from the vet, but I gave it to her whenever she got "grumpy". Mixed it with tums sometimes. Did the vet prescribe flaginol (or something sounding like that?)
                What are you feeding your cat exactly? Raw food as in raw meat, I hope! Cats are CARNIVORES, not omnivores!
                I love cats, I love every single cat....
                So anyway I am a cat lover
                And I love to run.


                • #9
                  My favorite dog died of pancreatitis a couple of years ago -- and it was in February. Interesting if there is in fact a seasonal aspect to this.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                    My favorite dog died of pancreatitis a couple of years ago -- and it was in February. Interesting if there is in fact a seasonal aspect to this.
                    My cat went into bouts on New Year's Day and the 4th of July. The only pattern is that he prefers holidays! He is now on prednisolene every other day, so I am hopeful that this will not become an every 6-month occurrence. He is also eating low-fat food (formerly EVO, now Innova low-fat.)

                    Thankfully my vet's office is only closed three days per year, so they are generally there for those holidays! I am grateful to still have my boy and owe it to the fact that they are always there for their clients. And I guess if he has to get sick it's best to do it on MY day off so I can rush him in.

                    I have read that in dogs, diet can play a role, especially the introduction of a new protein. If you've been feeding the same food for a long time, though, that seems sort of unlikely for your particular case. If you're considering changing his diet, I would call your vet first to discuss options.


                    • Original Poster

                      So sorry about your pup, SMF11. And thanks to all for the input (and happier outcomes!). My guy is having some pancreatitis-typical stool as of yesterday afternoon...vet wanted to do a fecal, so we're waiting for the results on that, but looks like he'll be sticking with the bland diet for a while longer...

                      Dog is happy, hungry, and bouncy -- aside from the stools, he looks fantastic. I feel sick.

                      "The present tense of regret is indecision."
                      - Welcome to Night Vale


                      • #12
                        I think it is seasonal - actually, I think it happend on holidays when regular clinics are closed LOL.


                        • #13
                          Yeah, over the years I think we've made a complete round of every federal, Christian and Jewish holiday. In my dog's case, I think the seasonal aspect is related to heat. In the dead of winter, with the heat on and the house getting overheated/stuffy overnight, she seems very prone to getting a stomach upset and then having it get out of control. In the past, one of the symptoms of a bout of stomach problems becoming more serious is that she'll demanded to go outside in the middle of the night, then lie down on the frozen ground as if she needed to cool off. Nothing like having your dog lie down in the snow at 2am to completely freak you out...


                          • #14
                            Years ago we had a couple of dogs who had pancreatitis attacks.

                            At the time, there was a powder that was added to their food. I can't remember what the powder was, but it was an everyday thing for the rest of their lives, IIRC. Or maybe just for many months until the pancreas got over the attack.

                            Anyone remember what I'm talking about, and whether that treatment is passe?
                            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                            Thread killer Extraordinaire


                            • #15
                              It's not yet passe, at least for my dog. But she has IPD not just a bout of pacreatitis. And she is on the powder for life, or until we can find another way to keep her this stable.

                              Couple names for the powder:

                              PacreaPowder Plus
                              Pancreazyme (what I use)
                              And Pacreved (have used their tablets as well)

                              They do work, and they are expensive.

                              800petmeds did price match a sales price on my order so that was good. I still paid $140 or so for 12 oz.

                              "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries