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Thread: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

  1. #1
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    Feb 2020
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    Default Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    Hi everyone. Remy’s Mom here. Not ‘Cushings” but I am hoping some of you have experience or advice with pancreatitis since this is one disease I have not had to deal with until now. Angel, our 15 year old toy poodle appears to have it or at least that’s what they’re going with for the time being. Brought her home from the hospital this morning and she seemed much better. They felt she was more likely to eat at home and she finally did eat some GI diet. Ran out to the store for a bit, came home and she had vomited up bile. First time I’ve seen her do this. She’s not one to vomit or regurgitate. She seems hungry but wants no part of anymore of the low fat GI diet stuff, spits it out. Ate a little chicken breast finally. Trying to keep her hydrated. I’m afraid without the IV fluids for support she may start to go downhill again and we will be rushing back to the ER. The plan is to contact Internal Medicine at Louisiana State University Monday morning and try to get her in to that service for a full work up. Angel has a history of elevated liver enzymes but no clinical symptoms until now. We had an extensive work up done two years ago but it was determined that absent clinical symptoms there wasn’t much more we could do. Angel has been under treatment for transitional cell carcinoma (bladder cancer) and she’s done very well. I’m so frustrated to think that after 15 months of surviving TCC she might have pancreatitis which I know can be very serious. The present situation with Covid-19 also complicates things as the Vet school is short staffed, clients aren’t allowed inside with their pets, etc. Guess I am feeling very frustrated, frightened and pancreatitis is new territory for me. So if anyone has any advice or suggestions I would greatly appreciate it!! Thanks so much!! Claire

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    Hi Claire, I’m so sorry little Angel is having such a rough time right now; I surely understand why you’re feeling so upset and worried about her. I am definitely no expert on pancreatitis, but I did have a bit of personal experience some years ago with my non-Cushing’s Lab girl, Peg. At age 6, Peg started having grand mal seizures of unknown origin. We started successful treatment of her seizures with phenobarbital, but after a couple of months, she also suffered from an episode of acute pancreatitis. Whether or not it was related to the medication, I do not know. But it was definitely a very stressful time for me, because it did take a couple of months to get her GI issues under consistently good control again. In her case, she suffered from both vomiting and diarrhea at various points in time. She was never so acutely ill nor dehydrated to require hospitalization, but worrying about her at home was quite stressful. The initial acute episode kind of morphed into a chronic issue. She would seemingly get settled on a diet of very bland homemade food, but then would relapse again with the GI distress when we tried to advance to commercial food. However, finally she did normalize after a couple of months, and never did experience another acute episode. As a precaution, though, I did maintain her on a lower fat diet for the remainder of her life.

    I’m going to give you a link to an article that was very helpful to me at the time. I especially appreciated the dietary information. By all means, I don’t mean this as a substitute for your vet’s guidance. But you may find some additional tips here that may be helpful to you, as well. The article was first written back in 2008, but the author has continued to update it, I believe most recently in 2018.

    There were some times during her illness when Peg was inappetant, which was very unusual for her. I was usually quite lucky in that, like most Labs, she was happy to eat anything in her bowl. When she was experiencing GI distress, I followed the advice in this article and offered her multiple very small meals a day of cooked chicken breast and overcooked plain white rice. By “overcooked” I mean cooking the rice in a *lot* of water until it turned into kind of a starchy white porridge. As for the chicken, I found the easiest thing to use was ground chicken breast as it is so lean and so easy to quickly cook up in a skillet using only a bit of spray to keep it from sticking. It was then very easy to crumble up in the rice mixture. I know that many dogs are pickier about their food, and the article has additional tips in that regard. But since Peg would happily eat it, that bland low-fat mixture worked well for us.

    My one worry about trying to feed Angel solid food is if she’s still vomiting, because you don’t want to keep reactivating the nausea. As I recall, we were given some oral anti-nausea medication that did help settle Peg’s stomach. But that would be one wild card for me right now — if Angel is still vomiting, you probably best check back in with the vet for more guidance. But in the meantime, here’s that link. Hopefully it may provide some helpful info, and please do keep updating us, OK?

    http://dogaware.com/articles/wdjpancreatitis.html

    Marianne

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    As for keeping her hydrated, ask her vet(s) about home subQ fluids. It is easy to do and does keep them hydrated when they are not drinking enough on their own.
    "May you know that absence is full of tender presence and that nothing is ever lost or forgotten." John O'Donahue, "Eternal Echoes"

    Death is not a changing of worlds as most imagine, as much as the walls of this world infinitely expanding.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    That would be my first thought and I’ve done SubQ before many times. The problem is she’s good at the vet but for me she’s terrible. She will snap if I just try to clean her ears or so anything she doesn’t like. She gets rather large, fluid filled blisters and its a simple matter to poke with a sterile needle and they will drain. HA! Good way for me to lose my hand. So I can’t imagine her tolerating me sticking a needle in her neck. If she would it would be much easier to maintain hydration. What I don’t want is for our relationship to change where she starts to hate me. I think she does figures she can get away with anything around me so I get the “Diva” like behavior whereas she is cooperative for the vet. May have to run her to the ER for some fluids today to keep her going.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    Claire, how is Angel doing today in terms of the eating/vomiting? As I wrote earlier, it helped us to have an oral anti-nausea medication on hand to give to Peg while she was recovering at home. I’m sure you would have thought of this on your own, but if you do take her in today, perhaps they can give you some medication to have on hand at home, too.

    Marianne

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    I've also gotten boneless chicken thighs or chicken tenders and just boiled them up and shredded the chicken and added that and some of the liquid to the rice. Doree loved it for a while when she was having terrible diarrhea issues, until she got tired of it. I like the ground chicken idea, though.
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2020
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    Baton Rouge, LA
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    Hi Marianne, Angel was given Cerenia IV at the hospital for nausea and she is on it orally at home. She isn’t really vomiting it’s regurgitating. She also gets famatodine for reflux along with all her other medications. The thing is with the regurgitation I don’t know how much of the medication is staying down. She seems most likely to regurgitate with motion, like while she’s walking or moving in some way. Unfortunately I don’t think she will tolerate sub Q fluids from me. I’m trying to offer some additional water via syringe if she doesn’t seem to be drinking enough. She wants no part of food this morning.��

  8. #8
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    Baton Rouge, LA
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    Hi Joan I know you have a soft spot for little poodles too. �� I’m going to see if they have some ground chicken breast. You never know what the store will have since the virus thing started. I think that with the rice might be more palatable to her but right now she doesn’t even want the deli turkey she usually loves. Thought I’d try a bite just to see but she doesn’t want it. I just gave her pain medication so perhaps she’s uncomfortable and once that kicks in she will feel better. I’m feeling so frazzled and over emotional this morning. The cancer was enough to handle and was going so well and now this! I love you all for the support you provide when I feel like I’m one step from falling apart!!❤️

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    I totally understand the frazzle!! I couldn’t begin to count the tears I shed during that first summer after Peg had the seizures and pancreatitis. And for me, lack of appetite just makes me crazy because all three of my dogs have been Labs and most Labs have to be *really* sick not to want to eat :-(((

    It’s just a coincidence, but Peg also suffered from regurgitation issues for most of her later life. Most often, when it happened, the food would just come right back up shortly after she had eaten. But position did seem to play a role. I started elevating her food and water bowls after I read about “megaesophagus” (and no, you don’t need to add to your worries by going there yourself!). In Angel’s case, it’s undoubtedly related to her current digestive irritation. But if she’s still not eating by tomorrow, it’s probably best to see what the vets want to recommend. Strictly from a nutritional standpoint, dogs can actually go for quite awhile without eating. But according to that article, when treating pancreatitis, you typically don’t want to deprive the intestinal system of food in one form or another for a lengthy time.

    Hang in there, Claire, and keep writing back whenever you want!

  10. #10
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    Feb 2020
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    Default Re: Angel Pancreatitis Help Please

    Back in the day we had a lab who went to work with us. Charlie would steal the guy’s brown bag lunches off the loading dock if they weren’t careful. LOL! That dog would eat anything and everything so I know what you’re saying!! Inappetence probably makes me crazier than anything else. Especially when you have a senior dog with an ongoing issue like kidney failure or heart disease and you’re trying to keep weight on them. She hasn’t vomited any food other than a few tiny particles, it’s all fluid, like water with a little bile. She’ll jump down off her chair and spit up.Much as I hate to I think I may take her back to LSU thru the ER and get her readmitted. That way Internal Medicine can get involved tomorrow instead of trying to get an appointment with them. Having the vet school short staffed with the virus (and they just graduated the senior class) its the worst time for this!

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