Pancreatitis

Animal: Dog
Breed: Crossbreed

Pet Symptoms: My 12 year old crossbreed dog presented with symptoms of rumbling stomach and looking generally unwell, periodically, usually in the evenings. She was not actually vomiting but you could tell from her demeanour that she was unhappy and in some discomfort. She has always had a sensitive stomach and had an operation about 3 years ago because she was being sick and the vet thought she might have swallowed a foreign body. The diagnosis afterwards was that there was no foreign body, however she had had acute gastroenteritis. She has been largely well since then up until about 3 months ago when she started periodically looking in pain. The vet told me to bring her in for a blood test immediately upon presenting symptoms, so that she could be tested for pancreatitis. She brought up some bile early one evening and I took her for the blood test. When the results came back the vet seemed to be in a hurry when she spoke to me and simply said that it was negative for pancreatitis but that the test did show levels which were higher than she would like. She suggested a low fat diet and smaller meals and sold me some veterinary diet in canned form to get started. That was about 3 weeks ago and there has been no real change. She has brought up bile a couple of times but mostly appears fine. What I don’t understand is that she has never had diarrohea and is only sick hours after eating, when she only brings up bile. I want to understand how her symptoms fit with the diagnosis and don’t feel I can ask my vet as she always seems to want to get you off the phone. Also I am unhappy feeding my dog on a food which, apart from its cost, is 74% water and contains a lot of non-specific animal by-products, as I have always fed my animals on foods with a high percentage of specified ingredients, such as Applaws and Orijen, as well as eggs, chicken, sardines etc. I have looked at the recommended feeding amounts on a number of brands and worked out the fat content of a day’s food for each one and actually the veterinary diet means she is now eating more fat per day than on her previous food. The lowest fat content per day comes from Burns Chicken and Rice kibble which I was thinking of introducing her to? I really would appreciate some help.

Our Advice: CPLI the test for pancreatitis is not 100 % reliable. If there is suspicion for pancreatitis ultrasound on the pancreas is recommended to rule this out. Chronic gastroenteritis could be a symptom for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency Inflammatory bowel disease or food intolerance as well. If I was your general practitioner I would advise ultrasound scan on the pancreas bloods for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (TLI B12 and folates) full haematology and biochemistry and bloods for food intolerance. I would not advise you to change the diet at this stage. If Tess have pancreatitis or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency she will have to stay on bland diet low fat Hills I/d or sensitivity control Royal canine. If there is food intolerance the diet have to be changed accordingly depending on the results. The diagnosis for Inflammatory bowel disease is after biopsy of intestine and stomach and the treatment is low fat diet and steroids.