How To Treat Pancreatitis In Dogs

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Dogs sick on bedPancreatitis, or inflammation and swelling of the pancreas, is a painful and seldom-understood affliction that affects dogs worldwide. While spontaneous canine pancreatitis is not particularly well understood, veterinarians do have an idea of the causes that contribute to this condition, its related conditions and symptoms and treatment methods to lessen symptoms.

What Is Pancreatitis In Dogs?

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The pancreas is responsible for producing specific enzymes that promote digestion and enable the body to absorb fats in food. Without the pancreas, dogs would have no way to absorb nutrients from food.

The term pancreatitis refers to the general condition of inflammation and swelling of the pancreas. There are two variations of pancreatitis: acute and chronic.

Acute pancreatitis occurs with a sudden onset of symptoms with no previous signs of the condition. Chronic pancreatitis symptoms present more slowly over time. When the condition occurs suddenly in a dog, it takes many owners by surprise, and the acute form can also cause a considerable amount of pain for the affected dog.

What Is Fatal Pancreatitis?

The term “fatal pancreatitis” is used to refer to when the condition causes fatal complications to develop that eventually take the life of the dog. If pancreatitis becomes extremely severe or if a dog suffers repeated occurrences they can develop many other conditions that can lead to death including maldigestion syndrome and diabetes mellitus. Both of these conditions are treatable; however, when left untreated they will almost certainly lead to a fatal outcome.

Symptoms

There are two degrees of pancreatitis in dogs recognized by the veterinary community: mild and severe.

Mild Pancreatitis

  • Distention or pain in the abdomen
  • General discomfort or inability to find a comfortable place to lie down
  • Flinching or whining when you touch their abdomen (also a symptom of Canine Bloat, a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention)
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Appearing hunched over when standing or walking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea that’s greasy and yellow in color
  • Fever

Severe Pancreatitis

Dogs that are experiencing more severe cases of pancreatitis may display the symptoms listed above; however, it’s more likely that they’ll exhibit more serious symptoms that, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can be life-threatening. Some of these more serious symptoms include:

  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (a condition in which multiple hemorrhages can take place resulting in possible death)
  • Heart arrhythmia (or irregular heartbeat)
  • Sepsis (a body-wide infection that occurs when toxins are released into the blood)
  • Difficulty breathing

In the most extreme cases, pancreatic enzymes can digest the pancreas and surrounding organs. Once organs become partially digested, the damage is irreversible.

What To Do If You Suspect Pancreatitis In Your Dog

The first thing you should do is call your vet or an emergency vet if it’s after hours. If your dog is stable, your vet may ask you to bring your dog in immediately. If your dog is not stable, your vet may come to you or make another suggestion.

It’s crucial that you act quickly if you suspect that your dog has pancreatitis. This condition can deteriorate quickly, leading to severe pain and even death.

How Will My Vet Diagnose?

Many important factors play into an accurate diagnosis, including your dog’s medical history, a physical examination and laboratory testing.

My Dog’s Medical History

A dog’s medical history is important because dogs that have experienced a bout of pancreatitis once are more likely to experience it again during their lifetime. The age of your dog can also play a part in the risk of concern, as older dogs are more susceptible. Lastly, any current medical conditions may also play a role in your dog’s diagnosis.

A Physical Examination

If you’ve noticed abdominal swelling or any of the other “tell-tale” signs of this condition, your vet will confirm this with a thorough physical examination.

The physical exam will consist of visually examining your dog’s stomach area in addition to palpating it gently to check for bloating and tenderness. Your vet will also check your dog’s gums, take your dog’s temperature, listen to his heart and look into his eyes and ears to check for any other signs of illness.

Laboratory Testing

Laboratory testing involves drawing blood and testing it for the presence of pancreatic enzymes. An increased white blood cell count and elevated lipase and amylase (pancreatic enzymes) can lead to a diagnosis. Vets may also test for liver enzyme levels and perform x-rays and ultrasounds.

Treatment

  • Pain relievers
  • Antibiotics
  • 24-hours without food and water to rest the pancreas, then slowly introduce food and water
  • Bland, prescription dog food
  • Hydration through an IV drip or subcutaneous injection
  • Surgery in rare cases (e.g., if bleeding or other intestinal complications arise)

Avoid Do-It-Yourself Treatments

While many pets benefit from holistic medicine and natural treatments, there are times when a vet should evaluate some conditions. If you prefer to treat illnesses through a holistic route, there are plenty of certified holistic vets available that can help immediately treat your dog’s pancreatitis.

It’s crucial that you never attempt do-it-yourself treatments such as tips read on the internet or “cures” that work for people; dogs and humans are not the same, and they do not respond similarly to certain foods and chemical substances. While you may think that you’re administering a “calming herb” to your dog, you may actually be worsening their condition or even poisoning them. This is a serious condition and should always be assessed by a trained professional.

How To Prevent The Recurrence Of Pancreatitis

If your dog has ever suffered from a bout of it, there’s an extreme likelihood that they will experience a recurrence. Recurring episodes can be mild or severe regardless of the severity of the original occurrence. Below are some tips that vets offer to help reduce the chance of recurrence.

  • Reduce food intake and increase the exercise level of an overweight dog. Make sure not to underfeed or over-exert your dog during this type of approach, though. Weight loss should be slow and steady.
  • If your dog experienced a severe episode that left his pancreas damaged, provide any necessary medications to supplement pancreatic function.
  • Avoid feeding any human foods to dogs. Many human foods, particularly table scraps, are high in fat content which can prompt an episode.
  • Feed multiple, small meals during the day rather than feeding one large meal. This not only reduces the strain put on the pancreas during digestion, but it also lessens the likelihood for certain breeds to develop canine bloat.
  • If your veterinarian suggests keeping your dog on a low-fat diet, ensure that you comply to maintain healthy lipid levels in your dog’s body. High lipid levels can result in aggravation of the pancreas.

Watch the video below for further tips on how to prevent pancreatitis in your dog.

Causes

While no one knows exactly what starts pancreatic symptoms, there are some suspect elements that your vet will be familiar with. It may be as “simple” as a medication your dog is taking.

In other instances, you may have to go through many questions and answers before you have any idea what started the symptoms. It’s important to try to narrow it down so you can reduce the risk of another episode. You may find that the food you’ve chosen to feed your dog is simply too high in fat or that it was table scraps that caused the trouble.

There are some things that the veterinary community believes contribute to the development of this condition.

Dogs who are:

  • Overweight
  • Female

Dogs suffering from:

Pancreatitis In Dogs Infographic

Pancreatitis In Dogs Infographic

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Pet Insurance Can Help Cover Vet Expenses

It can quickly become expensive for all of the testing and vet care your dog may require if diagnosed with pancreatitis. Pet insurance can help protect your wallet, so you can focus on nursing your dog back to health. Find out whether you should consider pet insurance for you and your pet.

Have you ever treated a dog for pancreatitis?

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.

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Tobie Dollosso
My dog also has pancreas problems,I knew nothing about the pancreas.So I did what my vet said and started getting as much info on caring for dogs pancreas problems.Everything I’ve learned by reading and talking to people says get her off the kibble,my vet prescribed hills science id so I did.I ended up switching her to justfoodfordogs right before the hills science id recall.My vet and I forgot to mention I’ve seen 3 vets and all 3 keep pushing the kibble. When I mention all the problems I’ve learned about feeding dry kibble and bring in info to show I’m told they aren’t nutritionist it’s what they were taught. I’ve spent over 5thousand in vet bills and only being told to feed her dry kibble. Is it just me or does anyone else question what vets are pushing any ideas I would love to hear
Tiffany
Thank you all very kindly for your posts on pancreatitis in dogs. After a lovely walk with his furry friends, our good boy Teddy (about 12yrs, spoodle cross, rescue at about 5 yrs) suddenly became very sedentary & had bouts of panting & protruding his tongue. Symptoms in no way characterised his usual behaviour. He has been on Hills z/d since we got him due to chronic ear infections & of course no beef or chicken as protein. He ate & drank normally but then later in the evening threw up what I can only describe as his entire stomach contents. No digestion evident & in a watery clear mix. He then brightened up & went to bed as usual on the end of my daughter’s bed. At about 2am he had a late bout of greasy, dark & liquid bowel movement. Very unlike Teddy to have an acccident inside. He looked bright & so I put him in the tiled area with the other dog. In the morning he looked ok but was lacking energy & not wanting to walk around but also not showing any signs of pain. He went to sleep in my office as per usual. About mid morning he woke & was panting intermittently & had an irregular heartbeat & could not get up. Rushed him to the vet hospital & by this time he was unresponsive & couldn’t lift his head. They diagnosed a heart murmur & did ultrasound via specialist to see if there was an intestinal blockage. Imaging showed nodules over the entire liver, pancreatitis & peritonitis. They did a fine needle aspirate at multiple sites for the liver nodules suspecting liver cancer. He had raised neutrophils but otherwise unremarkable peripheral blood cytology. His liver enzymes were 10 times the upper limit of normal. We were given the option of euthanasia or IV fluids, intensive monitoring & pain management via methadone derivative whilst awaiting the cytology.
We choose the latter & glad we did as the liver cytology showed normal hepatocytes but inflammatory infiltrate ie no hepatocellular carcinoma. He was kept in hospital for 2 nights on Iv fluids, pain relief & started on antibiotics.
He came home yesterday & while still exhausted he looks to be on the improve. We were also prescribed tablets to support the liver enzymes (Denamarin). Just monitoring now & feeding Hills low fat can food mixed with water & praying for a full recovery.
Pancreatitis is fast in onset, your dog may not show outward signs of pain but look out for sudden panting, lack of energy & hiding or not responding/ interacting as usual. Hope this helps & best wishes for your “good boy or girl”.
Barb
Had a female Golden Retriever that ate dog food (Pro Plan), table scraps and treats for 12 years. Suddenly she was vomiting and refused food not knowing what contributed to this. Symptoms not even for 24 hours and took her to vet. She was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Obviously the vet did not think it was too bad because he did not hospitalize her. Gave her an injection of antibiotics and something to keep her hydrated and sent her home. She died a few hours later. Not sure why our vet did not do more to support such an old dog but maybe he knew she was done but did not communicate that to us. We sure miss our girl!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss, Barb. You are in my thoughts.
Beverly WILLIAMS
Kaylee, my 8 yr. old chi mix(rescue dog, so est. of age) was diagnosed last Jan. with Pancreatitis. Vet prescribed HILLS ID Low Fat. I give her the chicken stew with rice & veggies, a.m. & p.m. 1/4 cup each. She has done great & lost 3-4 lbs. Keeping paws crossed her blood test & exam is perfect. She has had no other episodes since the first one. I also give her one Hills Treat a day at lunch and about 10 to 12 pieces of Fat Dog by Natural Balance Low Calorie dried kibble before bedtime. Hoping all of your loved pets respond to the vets treatments.
Tobie Dollosso
My dog was on same food it was just recalled its killing dogs left and right. It’s a huge deal right now,Hills is paying for dogs to get checked out by vets.
Patty
My 9 year old beagle mix has pancreatitis and diabetes, newly diagnosed. She was a vet hospital for 4 days. They gave her iv’s, antibiotics, pain meds, and insulin. She refuses to eat. She will drink drink but very little food. What is causing her to not eat? She will die if she can’t eat. Any ideas?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Have you called your vet and asked?
Monica
My yorkie has acute pancreatitis and I’ve learned to feed him less protein than before. I use to give him bone broth and chicken and pieces of steak before, in addition to dry dog food and bones but I have removed steak entirely and no bone broth. I find he gets episodes of bloating/hurting when he has had too much protein. I keep protein in his diet to a minimum now. He still has boiled chicken but I will add celery, carrots and he loves sweet potato. He won’t eat any of this from a can, I must always boil/bake it from fresh veggies. He’s usually in the clear and his stomach loves the fresh veggies!! I have also become good at noticing right away if he’s getting another bloating/Pancreatitis attack. He gets very uncomfortable and runs to us and sits on our lap and licks his lips profusely. Sometimes he tries to hide if it gets really bad. We immediately give him a quarter dose of Pepcid (Famotidine) and this always works wonders with him!!!! I recommend discussing with your vet because this gives my yorkie such good and fast relief!! Now, he hardly gets so bad that he has to hide from us, we have it down now when he gets bad stomach to give him Pepcid. My yorkie is about to be 14 years old and was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis last year. It’s completely controllable via his diet in my opinion and Pepcid has been a savior for him!
Beth
Thank u i had my yorkie on raw and he is a mess im doing halo now and stomach acid pill and no more overfeeding and over meat
NICHOLE DEASON
Tonight I just had to make the choice to put my baby to sleep. I took him to the vet 2 weeks ago and he was diagnosed w a blockage. I picked him up the next day and he was back to his old self, running around and jumping like always. He was fine for about a week. Then he all of a sudden, wouldn’t eat, or play, just layed around. The vet said his pancreas was more inflammed, and discolored than he had ever seen in an animal, especially not a 14 mo dog. His organs were shutting down and his pancreas was shot. I prayed he was wrong and he’d be waiting for me with his happy face to pick him up and bring him home. He wasn’t he was on a table. I held his paw and told him how much I love him and how much he means to me. The Dr came in and gave him the shot. I had my hand on his heart and talked to him until it was over so he wouldn’t be afraid.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry, Nichole. You may find this article helpful, including the comment section. You are in my thoughts.
Carolyn
I am so sorry.I tried to put myself in your place and I say enough how my heart is breaking for you.
Amy Barber
I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. I visited this site bc my 12 year old dog passed away suddenly in our hotel room, showing signs of stomach upset and lethargy. Then she went into a stupor, steadily breathing but not responsive. When I picked her to take her to the urgent care vet, she died in my arms. She had diabetes and was on a steroid so I’m guessing these factors contributed to her death. I’ll never know fully. Anyway, I’m sorry about your loss as well. We keep the memories with us, that gives me a little comfort.
Anna Clanton
My dog Luke just had his 2nd bought with pancreatitis in a month. First time, he had 3 days of IV fluids, this time 5 days. The vet sent him home with pain, nausea & antibiotics but also a sedative. He was doing great 2 weeks after his first attack but he chased his ball & ate a large meal and the next day had the 2nd attack. So, does that mean that a dog prone to pancreatitis should not run & play? I have now read they should eat small meals but I don’t know about not being able to play. Any help appreciated.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I suggest giving your vet a call and asking what activity level is ok for your dog as well as amounts of food to give him. They know your dog’s health situation best and will be able to give you the best advice. Best of luck! Hope he gets to feeling better soon!!
Naomi Russell
My 8 year old Shihtzu x Chihuahua is on his 2nd bout of pancreatitis (believed to have been triggered by firework stress) we’ve been to the vets every other day for 2 weeks, he’s had anti nausea and pain relief injections aswell as antibiotics, omeprezole and probiotics, I’ve just ordered Royal Canin’s GI dry food which he was previously on so it should be okay with plain chicken – the “key” to his (very slow) recovery has been time & patience; walks, food & medication little and often. The only thing that seriously concerns me now is how to prevent it happening again
Christine Sanders
Another snack my girls love is rice cakes. I buy the unsalted, 100% whole grain brown rice, no spices or flavors. They are easy for them to eat with their teeth and they love them. All I have to do is mention “wanta cake” and they come running, Now if I could just convince myself they are as good as cake, I would be a lot healthier and possibly thinner.lol
Christine Sanders
My yorkie was diagnosed several years ago with pancreatitis. We watch everything she eats. She has a chicken allergy so we feed here a mix of scrambled ground round (drained and washed), mashed sweet potatoes, a can of carrots and a can of green beans. She has done very well with this. Her snack are carrots, sugar snap peas, dehydrated apples and pineapple (some). Her favorite by far is her cookies though. I found this recipe on line and it has really helped. The recipe called for 5 cups oat flour however I use oatmeal ground in my blender as it is much cheaper. recipe is as follows:
5 cups oat flour (could do 1/2 brown rice flour if you choose)
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 can pumpkin (100% natural with no spices-can be found in most groceries stores).
Mix all up and spoon onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
I cook about 40 minutes or so on 325 degrees.
As my girls (yorkie sisters) are 13 and have lost many of their teeth, I watch the cookies closely and take out when they are fairly firm but not hard. Recipe makes a bunch and I just store in refrigerator. They do keep for quite some time. From the time I start mixing them until they are cool enough to eat, my two girls sit in kitchen waiting.
Jersey, my girl with the pancreatitis has been losing weight though even though she eats well so I still worry. Vet keeps telling me she is very healthy considering and she definitely is not in any pain so we just keep loving her.
Rita
Our dog had pancreatitis 3 years ago, was put on a Hills I/d diet. low cal. Denamarin for weight of the dog, (liver)and Ursodial to help the kidneys. He has done well but now is experiencing problems with the back legs, although he has taken glucosamine and other of the same for several years. We are going to look into the Hemp oil, we can’t give him pain meds every day. We have had many dogs and never heard of pancreatitis till now with our little guy. It is from diet I believe, he had a lot of treats, Not Good.
Jan
Our soon to be 9year old Cairn Terrier Auntie Em has just been diagnosed with Pancreatitis yesterday. She had been drinking and peeing a lot in the past few days, but started getting sick the night before we took her to our vet. She has spent two nights at the vets office and is still on iv fluids, pain meds, an anti-nausea med and an antibiotic. We left her a shirt both nights that I had worn but not washed so she could curl up on it and feel comforted as much as possible. We visited with her twice yesterday and although she was still lethargic both times, she managed to wag her tail showing how happy she was to see us again. After reading all of the comments on this page, it sounds like this could be a long recovery process. I appreciate all of the tips for food, such as the Hills lD, Royal Canin and Honest Kitchen foods, the chicken, turkey, rice, eggs, cottage cheese, pumpkin, white fish and rice and baby food / lamb suggestions. We will hopefully get Emmy back home soon and this will hopefully give us the help we need to help her feel better and get past this diagnosis. Her birthday is October 4th and we hope that she is starting to feel better by then.. Thanks again for the help and tips! Best wishes for all of your furbabies as well!
Denise
I had to take my yorkie-poo (Bently) to the vet last night due to a bout with pancreitis. He also has kidney disease. But he is a real trooper. He stayed at the vet overnight. They pushed fluids in him, pain meds, antinausea meds. No antibiotics because his white blood cells were normal. They said that he was doing better and eating. But time will tell after we get him home. Hopefully with a new diet he won’t be in pain from either disease. Just taking it one day at a time for right now.
Deniseocorkill@gmail.com
My 9 yr Australian terrior suffered a bout with pancreitis. He is recuperating at home. He has antibiotics that he will finish in a couple of days. I have been trying to feed him but he is not interested in food. I give him tiny portions of prescribed food but wonder when he will be back to his normal demeanor. The antibiotic is causing loose poop. Also started him on CBD oil drops last night.
Dee
Oil sounds counter productive since pancreatitis means you need to pay close attention to not given your furry friend anything greasy, oily, fatty period. I have learned this the hard way. I now feed my guy Hills I/D low fat which he loves and it’s certainly cheaper then vet bills and seeing him I’m pain or not eating. I would talk to my vet about this oil you are giving.
Naomi
Hello all 🙂
My 9 year old dachshund has been diagnosed with EPI, pancreatitis. My vet gives me liquid b12 shots to give him every other day and digestive enzymes in a pill form to crush and put over his food. He was eating regular but then he stopped for a few days and became gaunt. My vet gave him and IV drip, which helped. He started drinking a lot more, and just the last few days he’s been eating once a day, which is very exciting, but he is so thin and turns up his nose to a lot of food.
I can get him to eat boiled chicken but then he stopped wanting it. And now he’s liking pork, but I’m wondering what else y’all have had success feeding yalls dogs with? He must gain weight, but it must be healthy spiceless food. Any suggestions? I can still see most his bones but I feel like he is gaining strength I just need some ideas on what else to feed him to nourish his weight.
Thanks you guys, anything helps 🙂
-appreciate it
Naomi
Maryanne
Naomi our vet prescribed Hills ID I get the chicken stew one. My 13 yr old chihuahua mix just left the vet today after a diagnosis of pancreatitis. This is second bout in 2 years. He became gaunt too very quickly. Scared me to death! The nausea drug cerena really helped also. He received an injection of cerena before he left. He still shakes though. Hope that stops soon as he gets better.
Jody
Hi, my 10 yr old Chihuahua was diagnosed with pancreatitis last year while doing a routine bloodwork for dental cleaning. He levels are very high- Her belly is so hard and round , Lately she has been crawling up into my neck I can tell she is hurting she has tears in her eyes she doesn’t even look like my dog anymore. I have her on prescription dog food low in fat I feed her plain chicken in the morning for breakfast , she eats her dog food at night during the day she’ll go all day without drinking any water I sometimes use a syringe and force water down her. She doesn’t have diarrhea or vomiting. Because I’ve had spinal surgeries I’m laid up in bed and cannot walk her so she doesn’t get any exercise except playing with the stuffed animal once in a while. I’m taking her back to the vet next week I just feel so awful we live in the mountains i’ve tried to get a Pet Walker there is no one up here . I do have her on a anti-inflammatory medication the doctor gave me to keep at home. I also have noticed over the past year she does not like her back and touched at all even when they try to take her temperature she will try and fight the vet she used to never be like that .
Simone
Hi. Just wondering if anyone has a dog with cushings disease who has had a random severe pancreatitis attack?

Now that I know a little about cushings I think my girls had it for years.

She’s a 12 yr old Jack Russell. She’s had a hard last 6 months and I’m really worried I’m going to lose her.

I lost my 14yr old 6 months ago and chick (my jack) has just gone downhill since.

This Monday is 2 weeks since she ruptured her cruciate ligament. … A cpl of days after that she was diagnosed with cushings (the pituitary) them meds should arrive early next week. And on Monday she was really sick. (Vomiting)
Ive taken her to the vets straight away. Pancreatitis. Not a lot of information was given by the vet (which I’m fuming about) lots of money happily taken. She stayed overnight on an iv drip. Tuesday, she’s made a massive improvement (they fed her a little bit of chicken) and they were semi happy for me to take her home. So I thought she’d be good to go home (in 12 years she’s never not eaten but back to eating, again I thought she was fine). Nope. Not fine. She was so weak when we got home I just let her sleep. She’d been pumped full of medication, spent a night away from me (which she’s not used to at all) anyway I almost took her back in but I thought she’ll be ok. She’ll eat a little bit later. Nope. (I must add, before I left the vets they gave her an anti nausea injection – and something to increase her appetite) but she wasn’t interested in food. No food. Had a few sips of water when I’d put the bowl up to her but nope.

Wed morning, we go back in. She’s back on the drip. She stayed wed night and Thursday night (I’ve visited her twice each day – morning and night) she’s looked better and then she’s looked bad. It’s really messing with her and I can tell because I’m her mother and she’s showing me.
I’m about to go in soon to see her. I spoke with one of the vet nurses this morning and today she looks great and is “comfortable” but she’s not interested in food so they were going to give her some different meds to see if she’ll eat. So pretty much – they want her to stay in again overnight if she hasn’t eaten by this afternoon.

It’s cost me 500 per night, plus ultrasounds and X-rays and every consultation fee and meds left right and centre and I’m starting to go broke. I’m so upset and pissed off with all the mucking around. I just want my girl healthy and home. This Monday will be 2 weeks since she did her knee and I’m worried sick about her recovery from surgery once she can have surgery (God knows when now because of everything else)

She’s 12kgs and a Jack Russell. I’m not a bad mother. She’s just seem to have had every symptom possible of cushings.

I’m devastated. Can anyone shed some light on me?

I’m not giving up on her. She’s my world. I am starting to become broke and I don’t have pet insurance (I tried a few hrs ago but was declined because of age)

Can someone/anyone give me any advice please

Kristine
Please know your dog loves you. I know because you said your her mom and she is showing you her pain. My ten your old miniture eskimo dog Princess died of Pancreatitus. Mine too showed me her pain but her love for me never died not even at her sickest. Just do your best.
Cindy
My Corgi just got diagnosed with pancreatitis. How do you know if your when is in pain?
Brittany
They will show symptoms such as: shaking, twitching, stiffness when walking, laying down often, whimpering, drooping their head, being too weak to go outside to potty, loss of appetite.
These were most of the symptoms my dog who was diagnosed yesterday had. Mainly the shaking means pain.
Jilda Loomis
I wanted to tell our story because in many cases there can be great quality of life for your dog even with pancreatitis. My little chihuahua/terrier is 18 and has had pancreatitis for over10 years, diagnosed about 6 years ago. It is chronic pancreatitis and thankfully I have been able to control most of the symptoms with an extremely low fat, homemade diet. She is so afraid of vets that I rarely take her in anymore. She knows to not eat for a day when she is having an acute episode, she rests her pancreas, and then resumes eating small amounts when she is feeling better. Due to her age, she sleeps a lot anyway, but oddly, when her pancreas hurts, she walks around the house until she can finally lie down in a strange position with her head down and her back end elevated, trying to stay off of her abdomen. I facilitate her with this by propping her up with pillows and blankets. After a good long sleep she is usually ready for some nourishment again. I feed her mostly chicken or turkey breast, a bit of rice and ground up vegetables. Making a very lean, virtually no fat, stew or soup, cooking the chicken bones for hours for the broth before removing them, (also use rabbit occasionally, which she loves) is a great way to get them to drink lots of fluids and get great nutrition. It has meant everything to my dog. Fortunately, she has never been over weight, so I haven’t had that to contend with. Sushi is still a happy dog even with cataracts, deafness, some arthritis, and pancreatitis. She still runs and jumps through the house in anticipation of her meals and loves her comforts.
Jen Schilling
Hello,
My dog was diagnosed with pancreatitis a couple weeks ago and, after a week of being in and out of the vet (IV Fluids, injections, x-rays, and a 3 day stay) the doctor sent us home with Famotidine, clavamox, endosorb, and Advita powder. My little guy was doing ok, after his back and forth vet visits his vomitting and constipation slightly subsided. However, now that his medication is finished, he has gone right back to being very lethargic and literally, cannot keep ANY food or water now. My dog is a 60lb Pitbull and he is now down to 50lbs since he’s been sick. I’m at my wits end and am TERRIFIED to lose him. He just turned 1 year old and is my everything since I have no children. My vet won’t give us more medication, and I can’t afford to do the week long vet visits for another vet. PLEASE HELP!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry your dog is sick Jen. My only recommendation can be to visit another vet. I look at my dogs as my children, if one of them is sick, I take them to the vet. I know it can be expensive and I’m so sorry it is a bill that is difficult for you to afford at this time. If there’s any way you can see another vet and set up a payment plan with them that would be great. Your dog needs veterinary care, this is a life threatening situation for him. Again, I am so sorry you and your dog are facing this and I hope he gets the care he needs soon.
Jen Schilling
Thank you. I made an appointment with another vet after posting this and we go in this morning. Thankfully, my little guy is acting happier, today, and is holding food AND water down and we haven’t even gone yet! Wish us luck!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
That’s so great to hear, Jen! Keep us updated on how everything goes, best of luck!
Jess
Hello, my female pit has just gotten diagnosed with pancreatitis As well. She is only two, and when I noticed she was not acting herself I brought her into the vet right away. They gave her fluids and took her blood. She is now on 4 different medications for 5 days. It has been one day since she has been medicated and she seems to be feeling much better. She is eating and drinking but I’m still worried she will have another attack. I really spent all my money on her first visit to the vet, I’m worried she might get sicker. Is there anything that you did for your dog to relieve the pain and help him get back to normal. I love her and will do anything for her I just want her to feel better.

How is your dog doing? Did anything work for him that I might be able to do for my dog.

Jennylee
Did your baby heal up? I rescued an abused and neglected female pittie who also has pancreatitis. Probably from severe blow at young age. I almost lost her twice and she’s been doing so good but just before I left for work she ate 2 sticks of butter and a chocolate pudding. I freaked out. Couldn’t go to work. Tried peroxide but she knows what it is and fought me til it was too late to give it. Now I’m just waiting.
Ali
I’m so sorry to hear about these poor pups. Hope they are doing better. I also have a pittie/boxer who was just diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. It’s strange – I’ve always connected pancreatitis to little dogs who eat a lot of people food. Her problem is compounded by her paralysis (hit by a car when she was about 4) she is partially incontinent anyway and the constant diarrhea is really wearing me down. We have been to two vets and neither suggested hospitalizing her (probably because she is so difficult to care for!!!) I do feel that beyond the basic meds that have been prescribed (antacid, pred (tapering off that – doesn’t seem to do anything anyway), clavamox, and pain pills(Gabapentin which she takes anyway as needed for her arthritis and paralysis issues) the crucial element is diet. The diet foods that vets provide just don’t inspire a lot of confidence and my dogs won’t eat them. Every day I’m feeding the raccoons with the uneaten dog food. So why is it so hard to find a good scientifically sound home-cooked diet recipe? That is my job today. I want my strong-hearted little girl to reach her 13th birthday.
Jody
I’m in the same boat – so hard to find a sound, low fat diet for my 9 yr. Yorkie poo I had him on Hills for sensitive stomach only to discover fat of 11%. Changed to next food with fat of only 6% but it has cellulose powder which is like feeding your dog wood pulp- fabulous, now he’s back in the Hospital fighting for his life – why can’t SOMEONE give us the right diet? My pet isn’t overweight and is in great shape otherwise – Also, does anyone have their dog on Trifexis? I think that stuff might be too much poison in one dose for my fragile baby. These attacks seem to be 2 weeks after taking Trifexis.
Casper’s mom
I have a 17# chihuahua mix..he rescued himself by picking us!!
Holistic was the life changer!! My dog was allergic to chicken, chicken byproducts!! Who knew!!
We now only buy ground turkey, turkey tenderloin..basmati rice, steamer veggies…green peas, green beans, carrots, cauliflower etc. Less than expensive emergency vet bills!!! Organic Bone Broth…low fat everything!!!
It has been amazing! I use otc meds for nausea if he starts a mini cycle! Hold food for 24 hrs n reinduce food in small incremts. Usually rice n bone broth. Have brought him around and avoided many trips to the vet!! It is a learning process to know your pet n when to make an emergency run to the vet! If I see I’m not bringing him around within 4 hours..I go to reg vet. Lol usually happens on a week end!‍♀️
Now we are down to once a year for an uncontrolled pancreatic attack!! I keep children’s pedialite on hand n give him some by mouth with a syringe.
Amazing control!!
No fats!! Sure they get some via diet but…don’t add it! No peanut butter no added oils etc! I make my own dog treats out of baby foods, mom fat yougurt, bananas, apples, cinnamon. This disease became my personal challenge for the well being of my dog n finances!! I take a day…cook, crock pot, steamer bags etc. then divide it up into ziplock bags and always have his meals prepared!
Good luck! We have been managing his pancreatitis n what I call Irritable bowel symptoms for 6 years!! Our new Vet was amazed! We just retired to Florida n had to find a Vet I trusted…just in case!
susan
what over the counter meds do you use?
Eve bayford
Hi can anyone help me
My boy Leo who is a King Charles cavalier who will be ten next march
He has chronic pancreaitas he is under a vets
He is on gastrointestinal low fat dry food
His problem is he has constantly got runny poos
I have been back to the vets so many times the last time his poo was really loose watery he was given steroids and metrobactin within three days his poo was worse I phoned vets and was told to stop melds
I feed him three times a day so it’s not so hard for him to digest
It’s getting to the point I can’t take him out because of his runny poo it goes all down his legs
Apart from all the above he is healthy do gets excited when I give him his food
He does not have anything else
I am at my wits end now have made another appt for sat to see vets
Any advice would be appreciated
Dawn
Have you tried pumpkin? NOT WHAT WE USE FOR PIES, there is products for dogs available. I was told it’d be fine for my dog with some of these issues
Terry
My dog was just diagnosed with pancreatitis. He has chronic diarrhea for a long time. I give him 3 tablespoons of pure pumpkin 2x day with his food.it fixed his diarrhea and anal gland pain.he is 15lb dog. He is on low fat prescription diet ma 7%fat. No treats except carrots.it has helped a lot. Good luck.
Deb
Do you cook the carrots? Im reading that they should not be on a raw diet. My 6 year old mini doxie is in the vet hospital today with pancreatitis. I’m so worried.
Y pedersen
We have a cavalier and she is 6 yrs old and having first episode of pancreatitis. She was given by vet Metronidinazole 250 mg and Cerenia and IV fluid in neck two days since we did not leave her in hospital. she is all better after non stop throw up and number two for two days every 30 min dry heaving and bile. She had xrays and sonogram of uterus and intestines, blood tests,then full body sonogram we decided to do. Blood was great, inflammation i intestines and lymph nodes. Take note we noticed after first shot of metronidazole and cerenia she was not the same. she came home lying flat on floor and was looking around like could not see. I looked at side affects of the antibiotic says blindness and i noticed her eyes were more cloudy. and her eyes popping out more like pressure behind eyes. We need to look at the medications and antibiotics that can cure inflammation/ nausea and bacteria but does not give chance to creating brain issues and blindness as the side effects say. I will say our dog is slowly getting back to herself and eating now after 4 days no food but her eyes have changed and are not clear. I will take her to eye doctor next week to see if any changes since last time.

In addition I have realized that so many dogs are getting urinary tract infections and from owning numerous dogs and cats my latest knowledge is the following:

– Diet-
-Hooded Vulva animals have more issues
-Letting your pet lay on dirty floors or not washed and wiped .
-Bottled water is good and changing every day
-Shampoos that dont Irritate.

I have had in my lifetime 4 cats 6 dogs who I treat as I treat myself. I will tell you all of them had urinary tract issues and finally on my latest dog we have done the following and the urinary issue is working better:

-Paul Newmans Organic Pet foods
-Royal Canine Urinary SO
-Paul Newmans Dried Cranberries Organic
-Bottle Water everyday Multiple bowls around house 2 as she drinks much more. More drinking less problems.
-Fresh cooked Organic chicken, organic broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, organic rice, blueberries
-Wipe the private area DOUXO CHlorhexidine 3% percent pads once a day.
-She lays on small towel or mini blanket if she goes out on walk and sits outside of restaurant on street when we dine. Never allow her privates on sidewalk or street. (can get a cloth daiper with velcro) put on after the dog goes to bathrooom and then lays on street. We do on occasion.

Shampoos no irritation after we tried many:

Burts Bees shampoo & conditioner
We bathe our dog every 3 days either (butt bathe and paws) or (full bath). Get a sprayer for shower or tub and don’t fill bathtub as dirty paw water goes in to private area

Walks & Wee pads

Dogs should not just have access to walk they should (must) have wee wee pads allocated to one part of house/bathroom. A dog goes not once but maybe 10 times a day and needs to drink water. Dogs limit their water intake because of this and not natural to hold pee as its not normal for humans.

Teeth:

Teeth should be brush every few days (everyday would be great) with paper towel ripped into small pieces dipped in PETZ LIFE oral care peppermint spray and gel. Spray on paper towel 3 small pieces and run around and rub teeth and gums bottom and top . every week once we dip a small touch of Listerine not enough to get one drop out of it and wipe teeth and gums. Also we do Hydrogen peroxide not even one drop can drip from the paper towel and rub all around teeth. Our dog now is 6 yrs old and the dentist (she went once since we believe its too dangerous to put a brachyatic dog under) told use he has never seen a dog come in at this age and not have one cavity. Most dogs have to pull 5 teeth out by this age. So its working well!!

Ears:

Dogs like a beagle , Cavalier get ear issues often because moisture gets trapped in. So do not wash ears often. Dogs get yeast (itchy) infection in outer area around ear canal and infection in canal so important to clean ears a few times a week. Vet has a ear cleaning solution to put in ear (get from VET) and then on outside of ear u can use 50/50 water cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide damp wipe (very small dab) Never in ear ! also dog itchy ears if there is clump of hair under the ear or oily patch under ear. This patch should be shaved out every few weeks and wiped to make sure not oily or washed.

Mental Health

Dogs should never be left along more then 3-4 hours at a time. Also they need mental stimulation or will get depressed or not well socialized. access to look out windows, pet walks, televisions, music. Our dog watches all dog movies, Benji, Beethoven Beverly Hills Chihuahua, etc and has playdates with other dogs from early age.

Hair Trim

Every couple weeks yourself and hairdrying with cool air important to prevent hot spots. (itchy spots). Nails clipped once a month, Anal gland cleaned by vet every few months. Trim around private area to keep clean and paws and ears.

Care
Check Paws occasionally for glass/ thorns sticks. Ticks and rub eucalyptus citron/lemon oil diluted with water all over neck body and under ears. We dont use tick meds as we believe gives tumors and health issues cancer. Our dog never gets ticks maybe one in her lifetime and she goes to country and stays out of grass.

Eyes

Clean with eye wipes for dogs every day under eye and pluck by hand any hair pricking eye. If something get in eye get eye saline solution from Vet and drop with liguid dropper water in eye to cleanse out.

Allergies & Breathing

House should be dust free and vacuum with hepa filter vacuum that has filters cleaned out or blowing dust all around house. No chemical cleaners just water and soap is best, meyers. Zyrtec or clariton half a pill or quarter pill depending on weight helps allergies and humidifiers and fresh air circulating, low heat. Couches carpets should be steam cleaned couple times a year. Clean floors with no chemicals just steam clean it with water and $70 dollars on amazon Bissell floor steam cleaner. Air Vents should be cleaned, Furnace filters cleaned, Window sills outside (weekly)so when u open window does not blow in dirt and dust.

Cheryl Kennedy
As they do have bouts of diahrrea, I would scissor down his rear end and legs so it is easy to rinse him off or not catch in the hair at all. I give a vet recommended pre and probiotic that I can get from Chewys and give as treats every night. That helps a lot. Otherwise he stays very swollen, hard, gassy, and runny stools. I can tell if I forget to give the pre and probiotic. My jadghund terrier is almost 14. It is gradually getting worse, but with age, I expect that somewhat. He has access to senior low fat Merrick chicken and veggie foods to eat as he needs to. They also get a small amount of Freshpet in the evening, which is low fat. Any changes trigger him. Gave him turkey over the last several days, very littl.j e but additional without skin or fat, and it triggered severe vomiting last 24 hours. Pedialyte added to his water as he drinks large quantities of water. Luckily we are retired so he can go out every several hours.
Sherri
Saturday everything was completely normal but Sunday (yesterday) my wiener/beagle mix, Dunkin started acting lethargic. At first I thought he was just tired, but immediately knew something was wrong when he vomited. Since I had to work early this morning, my boyfriend took him to the vet as soon as they opened and I just received a message that he’s been diagnosed with pancreatitis and is currently on an IV and catheter.

The vet also told my boyfriend that he expects it to be a very long surgery. Just curious as to how many others have had to go down the surgery road? It was my understanding that surgery, while a possibility, is actually somewhat rare for treatment. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on and waiting for a call back from the vet. Any tips will be greatly appreciated!!

Kim
Hi Sherri,
I’m not sure if my last comment posted or not. How is your dog? Surgery is very rare. But if your dog had any intestinal bleeding they may have needed to do surgery to stop the bleeding . In some instances it can cause sepsis. Did they mention anything to you about that? I think that would be the only reason surgery would be necessary. My dog also has pancreatitis. It is so horrible to see them hurting. She had it really bad three months ago, and now again but levels are not as high as they were. I hope your dog is feeling better. You too!!
Jodi
Hi Kim, my yorkie was diagnosed with pancreatitis on July 22. She recovered quickly and I have been extra careful with stuff, and has been doing well. I came home tonight she was bouncing and acting fine, now acting a little like she was that day of her diagnosis. How soon was it in between your dog got sick again?
Shona Allan
Hi Sherri I’m currently going through the same thing with my little dog at the moment she’s still not drinking water and she wasn’t eating for days she’s managing to eat white fish and rice at the moment been at the vets from Saturday and she had been getting fluids twice and she’s been getting injections for pain relief and the vets sent me home with some medication Nutramed they’re called.
Tracy Yeary
my pomerian develop pancreatitis suddenly.active then one day no energy lifeless took him to the emergency room ivs for a couple days he still not eat visited him encourge him to eat he would refuse. with the ivs he got some strength back. brought him home he still refuse to eat took some water at times. he just laid in bed. with no strength to move he manage to raise up and growl when someone came into the bedroom. he was going to guard our space. had to put him down he was in pain. has been a couple of months now and constantly think of him. he was a great companion. always wanted to go for a ride and be by my side. when didnt take him he was joyful to see me and wanted to be pet and run to my arms to be held he was nine i miss him so much
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss Tracy. I recommend you read this thread for help on moving forward after the loss of a pet. My thoughts are with you, thank you for sharing your story with us.
Rita
Our eleven-year-old Pom developed pancreatitis abruptly last Thursday. Vomited water, wouldn’t eat, the abdominal area hard and distended. Took her in Thursday night to urgent care. They placed her on IV so as to keep her hydrated and administer pain medication and anti-nausea medication. We had to move her to a 24-hour hospital the next afternoon because the clinic was closing due to Hurricane Florence. She ended up in an oxygen containment kennel because she developed fluid buildup around the outside of her lungs. The oxygen was what got her through because she literally wasn’t able to breathe. It’s Tuesday and we just were able to bring her home this afternoon. She is on a chicken and rice diet, and three medications. One is to encourage her to eat; one is an antibiotic and the third one is anti-nausea.
Tris
Hi. My dog, a 7.4 pound Pekingese, was recently on an antibiotic prescription for a tooth/gum infection. She is otherwise healthy and lean. She stopped eating on Friday. When she continued to not eat on Saturday I then, that evening bought her her favorite food, McDonald’s hamburger. She ate half of it (meat only) but then stopped and threw up. At 7 a.m on Sunday I was at the Vet. He attributed her not eating to her mouth/gum infection. He gave her some new antibiotics. She still would not eat. Monday morning at 7 a.m. I was at my regular Vet. He diagnosed her with pancreatitis and started an IV for fluids. He said she needed nutritional support and referred me to a 24 hour specialty center here in LA. It’s now Wed and I just got off the phone with the Vet. My dog now weighs under 5.4 pounds! I asked what they were doing for her nutritional support, assuming she had been given enteral or parenteral nutritional support. She says “we’ve been trying to feed her chicken.” My dog, since she was a puppy had a heart murmur. Now I’m really concerned that her anorexic condition could kill her by adversely impacting her heart. Shouldn’t she be getting nutritional support other than just trying to feed her chicken?