View Full Version : Pancreatitus... son's dog..please help!

03-18-2010, 01:55 PM
My son emailed me and said his 9 yr old chihuahua is in the throes of pancreatitis and is not doing well. She is on an anti inflammatory, anti-diarheal, and pregnezone. She has been in the hospital once to be hydrated. She is still having loose stools, mostly in the evening. The mornings, they seem to be better, she poops and then tries again 4 or 5 times, with very little coming out, and I guess from the straining, starts to bleed alittle...I know that can't be good.... like dry heaves of the butt...

The vet told him to feed her 'Sara Lee' chicken slices and 'Halo'
Spot Stew. Does this sound like the right kind of diet to you all? The dog has lost about 3 lbs. and she was only 9 lbs to start with... Is there anything else you can think of he can do or try? He is self employed and his work is slow right now, so he is home with her most of the time and really trying to take care of her as best he can... any thoughts, opinions, suggestions..? We really want to get this under control... He is in PA. and I am in FL. , so we are just emailing each other and I told him I would try and find out all I could from the forums. Thanks for any replies...

03-18-2010, 02:05 PM
I am going to send this to a friend of mine who just went through this with their dog. I'll pass on what I find out. Also, I don't know where in PA your son is but tell him to keep in mind that Cornell animal hospital is only 2 hours North of Scranton.

03-18-2010, 03:24 PM
My son lives in South Central Pa., in between York and Gettysburg. Pretty far from Scranton, unfortunately...
Thank you so much for your help in this matter. I will check back later to see if you have any news... I REALLY appreciate it...

03-18-2010, 05:04 PM
I know several Pet Talkers have had dogs battle this, most recently Glacier's Earle - see here. (http://petoftheday.com/talk/showthread.php?t=159344) Keeping her hydrated, and lower fat foods ... don't know what else would help. We'll say a prayer for his little one!

03-18-2010, 05:13 PM
Here are some responses to someone else asking about pancreatitis.

When Desi had an acute bout of pancreatitis, I put him on Natural Balance Reduced Calorie. It has a low protein, fat content. It was the lowest commercial I could find at the time (16%, 6% I think?). Anyway, he did fine on it temporarily (went thru a small bag). Then I transitioned him over to Wellness Core Reduced Fat. He has done fine with that ever since. I'm getting ready to try Canine Caviar with the crew, just for variety (I may leave Desi on Core RF...haven't decided yet).

try wellness super5mix healthy weight. i've heard great feedback on that stuff.

Try feeding multiple times a day... not just once.


You are really looking for a low fat diet... so if those foods have a low fat, they should be good. I don't know about the Sara Lee, but I know Halo is a pretty good food.

03-19-2010, 08:19 AM
OK...here's my friends response:

After reading that post, my first thought is DO NOT FEED THE DOG ANY CHICKEN, OR THE STEW THE VET REFERENCED!!!

Bailey and Atley have both had very serious bouts of pancreatitis and the first step in treatment has always been fasting. My understanding (I'm a computer guy, not a medical guy) is that the system needs to be empty so the pancreas can detox, and the blood can clean out.

Once that's happened, food is re-introduced very slowly. Small amounts of food fed multiple times a day... like 4-6 times, not 2.

Also, it's important that the dog stay as hydrated as possible. Both Bailey and Atley were on fluid IVs for over 48 hours. If that's not an option, do what you can to get the dog to drink. I'd also ask the dr. if there's an electrolyte for dogs-type solution available, and if so, would be appropriate in this situation.

We're hypochondriacs, so to this day, our guys get 4 smaller meals a day. Bailey is on Science Diet RD, and Atley was on Royal Canin Digestive Low Fat until recently.

There's a pedigree over the counter food called "Healthy Weight" that has about the same nutritional info as some of the prescription low fat foods, and we tried it for a while. Neither Atley or Bailey got sick while they were on it, but they did become more lethargic, and their coats got dull and they started to shed. It could be an option, but I'd still think one of the prescription dry foods could be a better option.

Also, Tylan powder has helped our guys firm up their stool. Atley is on another powder called Pancrea Powder Plus that helps pre-digest his food, making things easier on his pancreas.

By continuing to feed the dog, they're just masking symptoms, not fixing the root cause. If it were my dog, I'd ask about fasting, with an IV solution so that it still gets nutrients and hydration, and once blood from the bobo stops, re-introducing very low fat food slowly. And i'd pick a food and stick with it... switching in a day/week/month, when the dog may still have a compromised system could trigger another attack.

03-19-2010, 11:59 AM
Dear MoonandBean,
Thank you so much for your help. From what I understand his dog spent a week in the hospital on IV fluids because she was vomiting and having diarrhea, so her pancreas was pretty well rested then. Why would your friend say not to feed her chicken and "Halo" canned food, I wonder? I thought they are supposed to be on a low fat, high protein diet... This is so confusing. The hardest part seems to be exactly what this dog should be eating and it is extremely hard to tell your vet you don't want to feed the dog what he suggests....oh my... do you trust your vet or not? i guess you should tell your vet you want to try this or that food and see if he sees a problem with it??... do you all agree the dog needs high protein? should he look for something like 'pedialyte' for her electrolytes? Wonder why the vet wouldn't suggest something like this?

03-19-2010, 01:19 PM
I think it sounded from your first post that this was an acute attack and that the dog hadn't had any bowel rest yet. So the advice may have been more of what to do from the very beginning. I would trust the vet but feel free to ask questions and see what he recommends. Knowledge is power...educate ourselves, ask questions and then do the best we can...that's all we can do :love:

03-19-2010, 01:19 PM
Where I work they usually don't let the dog eat anything for about 4-7 days (I guess it depends on the severity of the problem). Then the owners are instructed to usually feed either Hills I/D or bland people food.

Bland things usually being plain cooked potatoes, chicken or turkey meat (no salt, sauces, spices, fat, or skin, white meat parts only), plain bread, etc. in very small amounts and very gradually work up to more frequent meals, then gradually re-introducing the regular dog food if the dog is still symptom free.

Dogs will usually lose a fair amount of weight during this time, although most of our patients that have this happen are overweight to start with so it isn't usually a big problem.

The Sara Lee thing has me sort of concerned, as most pre-packaged foods are very high in sodium compared to just baking or boiling your own chicken.

I didn't see anything truely alarming in the Halo stew food for the most part, but I'd think cranberries, and bell peppers wouldn't be a great choice, however they are fairly far down on the list of ingredients so I'm not sure how big of a part those would play in this.

If your son is concerned, he should ask his vet why they reccommended this combination. They should be able to easily and honestly reply to his concerns about sodium and type foods or ingredients, if not then he might want to seek a second opinion, which is his right to do.

I hope the dog pulls through this just fine and has no further reoccurences.

03-19-2010, 01:22 PM

03-19-2010, 01:38 PM
I went looking for a RAW solution, as raw meat is the easiest source of protein for your dog to digest & its the most natural too.


Raw Meat Diet for Dogs With Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a painful and sometimes fatal condition that occurs in dogs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. Veterinarians believe that pancreatitis can be caused by poor diet, trauma, kidney disease, diabetes or a combination of these causes. Dogs with pancreatitis must eat a bland diet high in protein and low in fat. A raw meat diet may help some dogs with pancreatitis. However, a poorly formulated raw diet might do more harm than good.

About Pancreatitis In Dogs
The pancreas is an organ that produces insulin and digestive enzymes necessary for the breakdown of food in the intestines. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. In severe cases, the pancreas can stop producing any digestive enzymes, or its enzymes can start to digest the pancreas itself and surrounding organs.

Pancreatitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute cases consist of a single episode which leaves no lasting damage, but are often severe and may be fatal if not treated. Chronic pancreatitis is often less severe but causes permanent changes and damage to the pancreas and sometimes to other organs.

Pancreatitis is diagnosed through blood tests that monitor the dog's levels of pancreatic enzymes. An abdominal ultrasound may also be required to diagnose or rule out the condition. Symptoms include abdominal pain and tenderness, vomiting, irregular appetite and behavioral changes.

Raw Feeding Dogs with Pancreatitis
Most dogs that suffer acute pancreatitis recover completely from the first episode and do not have another episode if dietary changes are made that include giving a high-quality diet high in protein and low in fat. Moderate fiber may also be beneficial. If your dog has suffered acute pancreatitis, a raw diet may prevent the condition from recurring. Dogs with chronic pancreatitis can also benefit from a raw diet, so long as they also regularly see a veterinarian for monitoring of their pancreatic enzyme levels and are treated for any underlying conditions, such as diabetes.

Focus on lean raw meats and cooked vegetables to provide a moderate amount of fiber for dogs with pancreatitis. Skin and fat should be removed from raw meat before it is fed to dogs with a history of pancreatitis. Raw game meats are particularly healthful for dogs with pancreatitis. Elk, wild boar, deer, quail, wild duck, wild goose and moose are all good sources of lean protein.

If you must give farmed meats to a dog with pancreatitis, try to focus on a wide variety of lean red meats with minimal pork and poultry. Emu, goat, mutton, reindeer, farmed elk and bison are ideal for inclusion in a raw diet for dogs with pancreatitis. Avoid fatty cuts of meat and trim any excess fat before feeding your dog. If it is necessary to feed chicken, pork, turkey and beef, buy lean cuts and look for free-range and grass-fed meats. Organic meat is healthful but is not necessarily better for pets with pancreatitis than free-range meat that is not certified organic.

As for fiber, cooked green beans are a raw feeder's best friend. You can offer a small amount of cooked green beans each day. Cooked pumpkin is also an accessible source of fiber and palatable for most pets. Squash, yams and ancient grains like quinoa are also good sources of fiber for dogs with pancreatitis.

Always consult your veterinarian before making any medical decision for your pet, including feeding a diet intended to treat or manage any medical condition.

03-19-2010, 09:56 PM
I agree that raw is the best approach... cooked next to that!

03-25-2010, 11:25 PM
I want to thank everyone for all your replies and help with this. I REALLY appreciate it! :love:.... I haven't heard this week how the dog is doing, but on Mon. he was cautiously optimistic because her stools were more solid. I will email him tonight or tomorrow and see what is going on lately... again, thank you all so much for your help....:)

03-26-2010, 07:00 AM
I hope everything is alright. Just remember, it's okay to tell your vet no. They receive hardly any nutritional training in vet school, and what they do receive is from companies like Hills >.> So your vets... unless they have a certification in it, do not know much about nutrition. It's just like hooman doctors... we have nutritionists and so do dogs. If the pancreatitis still persists, I would look into finding an animal nutritionist to speak to.

03-26-2010, 10:52 PM
Where do you find an 'animal nutritionist'??

03-26-2010, 11:09 PM
Call a local vet school, they can probably refer you to a good nutritionist!

03-26-2010, 11:13 PM
Let me see what I can find out for you...