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Old 10-12-2018, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default Chronic Pancreatitis - Any Tips?

Has anyone had a Yorkie diagnosed with Chronic Pancreatitis?

We took our 9 year old, Chloe, to the vet today for an in-depth dental cleaning. Her pre-op blood work came back showing elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes and so the vet would not put her under anesthesia. She prescribed a round of Amoxicillin and Metronidazole. Then she wants to re-test in 10-14 days. She also recommended a reduced fat diet, which we had already implemented after some initial tests were concerning a few weeks ago.

Chloe weighs about 4.5 pounds and is considered a healthy weight. We feed Wellness Core and never give her people food or even treats, really. She gets a daily glucosamine tablet as her "treat". She does have the random bout of stomach issues every once in a while, but it's rare (not even once a year) and usually in conjunction with a stressful event like a kennel stay and it never lasts more than a couple of days. So other than the blood work, she isn't presenting any other symptoms of pancreatitis.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this issue before. The internet is full of scary worst-case-scenario horror stories...so I may be over reacting, but I can't help being worried about the long term plan. From what I'm reading, this isn't something that ever goes away so I'm not sure I'm comfortable having her put under for a cleaning. I'd be grateful for any insight or experiences you have to share!
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:59 AM   #2
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Aw, poor Chloe . I hope things improve and I do think it's just awesome your Vet is being proactive and very cautious. Sign of a good clinician.

Some dogs have a bout of pancreatitis and never have it again; others are vulnerable their entire lives. Yes, it can be a very dangerous health crisis if not handled promptly and thoroughly. But I think with the right cautionary management, you will manage everything just great.

One thing I would recommend is that you never kennel her again bc of the major stress kennels cause dogs - and you don't want her experiencing that level of stress if she's vulnerable to pancreatitis. Have you ever used Rover before (https://www.rover.com) ...? I'm a Rover sitter and and it's just awesome! And I know there are soooo many great sitters on there -- you can search for someone who is in your area, has great reviews from pet owners, and who only takes little dogs. From there you can do a "meet and greet" at their home and decide if their home feels right to you for Chloe. Oh, and make sure they're not a sitter who takes a bunch of dogs at one time.
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Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 10-17-2018 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:50 AM   #3
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My Cali is a pancreatitis pup. Had one bout about 3-4 years ago. Have you gotten an ultrasound? My pup spent 4 days in ICU and recovered nicely with near perfect lab work after the fact. She is on a prescription dog food for pancreatitis dogs because it is felt by many specialist that they need tomjuatmalwasy staynon that food for life for the quality of life the need.

We feed Royal Canin low fat for regular meals (either kibble of canned) and don’t tell her thiis, but she gets Hills Low Fat kibblemfor treats.

The key is low far and a food processor that has strict quality production. I am a Royal Canin fan personally. I order her food dro Chewys, and you will need to give them thencets name as it is a prescription food. Then your vet should follow,up with blood work to be sure her levels are acceptable.

Inderstand, PANCREATITIS IS PAINFUL, and no dog deserves that kind of life.
My specialty vet told me that once pancreatitis rears it’s ugly head you just treat the pup like they still have it the rest of their life - that is the kindest and safest thing to do.

I will tell you from the human medical prospective dying from pancreatitis is brutal.

Best of luck to you and your pup!
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:05 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for the responses!

I will definitely look into the Rover option. The more I read about pancreatitis, the more I'm wondering if Chloe's reaction after a kennel trip was actually related to the treats she was being fed. The past two times we've left her, I have asked that she not be fed anything other than her own food and she hasn't had an upset stomach either of those times. So I'm wondering if she was being overfed due to treats or fed treats that were higher in fat content than she's accustomed to.

We have not done an ultrasound, and if it wasn't for the bloodwork, we wouldn't even know about the pancreatitis! Chloe doesn't act like she's in a bit of pain and she doesn't react negatively to having her abdomen or stomach gently pressed. She eats and drinks normally, has normal bowel movements, is energetic and playful. We're currently feeding her Wellness Core Reduced Fat food, but I will look into other options with even less fat content.

The vet did mention that Chloe's pancreatitis was "sub-clinical" which I understand to mean she's not presenting symptoms. So maybe we've just caught it early through the blood test and we can head off a serious attack that would result in a stay at the vet and a need for fluids.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:08 AM   #5
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If you are referring to an elevated lipase it does not always mean pancreatitis. I have had many pups with elevated lipase levels that did not have pancreatitis.

It can't hurt to keep her on low fat food....and certainly if a vet recommends waiting on an anesthetic procedure that is great; but, I would still hesitate to diagnose based on one blood test.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ladyjane View Post
If you are referring to an elevated lipase it does not always mean pancreatitis. I have had many pups with elevated lipase levels that did not have pancreatitis.

It can't hurt to keep her on low fat food....and certainly if a vet recommends waiting on an anesthetic procedure that is great; but, I would still hesitate to diagnose based on one blood test.
I really need to get a copy of her actual test results...it's so hard to take in everything you're being told when a doctor is throwing all kinds of weird new words at you and your worried about your dog! She's had two different tests. One was a full "senior panel" (vet called it that) which had to be sent off and the other was an in-house test that just returns a yes/no result.

It's my understanding that the senior panel showed (three, I think?) specific pancreatic enzymes were elevated. The vet called my husband who was at work and overwhelmed by the flood of info, so he had a hard time repeating it all to me later that evening. During that phone conversation, the vet did not seem too concerned with her numbers since she wasn't having any symptoms. He just recommended that we switch her to a reduced fat diet and check the numbers again before doing the dental cleaning.

So then, when they did the in-house test before the cleaning, it came back positive but that test apparently doesn't show specific levels or enzymes. Because it was still elevated, the vet did not want to put her under for fear the stress would cause her to have an acute attack.

For now, we're going to finish up the antibiotics and I've started brushing her teeth daily instead of weekly. I'm hoping that by being more diligent about at-home dental care, we can avoid having to have her put under anesthesia. And for the possible pancreatitis...we will keep her on the reduced fat diet which surely can't hurt anything.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirlonde View Post
I really need to get a copy of her actual test results...it's so hard to take in everything you're being told when a doctor is throwing all kinds of weird new words at you and your worried about your dog! She's had two different tests. One was a full "senior panel" (vet called it that) which had to be sent off and the other was an in-house test that just returns a yes/no result.

It's my understanding that the senior panel showed (three, I think?) specific pancreatic enzymes were elevated. The vet called my husband who was at work and overwhelmed by the flood of info, so he had a hard time repeating it all to me later that evening. During that phone conversation, the vet did not seem too concerned with her numbers since she wasn't having any symptoms. He just recommended that we switch her to a reduced fat diet and check the numbers again before doing the dental cleaning.

So then, when they did the in-house test before the cleaning, it came back positive but that test apparently doesn't show specific levels or enzymes. Because it was still elevated, the vet did not want to put her under for fear the stress would cause her to have an acute attack.

For now, we're going to finish up the antibiotics and I've started brushing her teeth daily instead of weekly. I'm hoping that by being more diligent about at-home dental care, we can avoid having to have her put under anesthesia. And for the possible pancreatitis...we will keep her on the reduced fat diet which surely can't hurt anything.
Yes, those things can be overwhelming. She probably had an elevated amylase and lipase which can be indicative of pancreatitis. As for the in house test, they may be referring to an in house snap cPL which definitely can be a good measure for pancreatitis....but, again, even with that it can be wrong. That said, I would not put a dog under anesthesia with a high risk like that either. Your vet sounds like a very thorough and good vet. As for the teeth brushing..that is great but it will never totally eliminate having to do dental cleanings at the vet....but will reduce frequency.

Last edited by ladyjane; 10-19-2018 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:45 AM   #8
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LadyJane is so right. I brush Cali’s teeth every day and she still definitely needs those darn dentals


I might have missed it, but when Cali has her pancreatic attack the ultrasound of the pancreases was pivotal to the diagnosis and the follow up ultrasound is what let me know she needed the low fat diet and that combined with the rest of her lab work meant we were on the best path for her.

I guess I needed all that to assure me I was doing all I could do for her.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wylie's Mom View Post
Aw, poor Chloe . I hope things improve and I do think it's just awesome your Vet is being proactive and very cautious. Sign of a good clinician.

Some dogs have a bout of pancreatitis and never have it again; others are vulnerable their entire lives. Yes, it can be a very dangerous health crisis if not handled promptly and thoroughly. But I think with the right cautionary management, you will manage everything just great.

One thing I would recommend is that you never kennel her again bc of the major stress kennels cause dogs - and you don't want her experiencing that level of stress if she's vulnerable to pancreatitis. Have you ever used Rover before (https://www.rover.com) ...? I'm a Rover sitter and and it's just awesome! And I know there are soooo many great sitters on there -- you can search for someone who is in your area, has great reviews from pet owners, and who only takes little dogs. From there you can do a "meet and greet" at their home and decide if their home feels right to you for Chloe. Oh, and make sure they're not a sitter who takes a bunch of dogs at one time.
Thanks for the information about Rover. I had never heard of that before.
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:11 PM   #10
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My little Yorkie developed PLE which often mirrors symptoms of pancreatitis.. she was on prednisone.. at first by mouth then since it wasn't that effective thru injection. ple is protein losing enterophathy and it causes gastro distress, fatigue, refusing to eat and problems with moving bowels.. she lived 6 years with it but the drugs have side effects as well and it came and went.. sometimes she would not eat for a few days and I had to takeher to the vet for hydration and then she would bounce back … but it always returned.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:32 PM   #11
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Default Pancreatitis

Hi, yes me and my wife have experience with not just 1 Yorkie having pancreatitis but 2 although not at the same time. We actually had our little baby girl Cassie put to sleep in August ,it devastated me.She had complications with diabetes, pancreatitis,intestinal disease and heart murmur. Her husband Louie also had pancreatitis a couple times, my wife actually makes the dog food of chicken breast and broccoli ,colliflower, green beans,and small amount of carrots ( to much will spike sugar if diabetic). Pancreatitis episodes can not only be very painful for the Yorkie it can be very costly for the owner. As far as finding a commercial dog food that's helpful good luck it's ALL garbage.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:21 PM   #12
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Default pancreatitis or PLE

My little dog had ongoing issues with Protein Losing Enteropathy.. which mimics pancreatitis.. she had to receive steroid (prednisone) for years.. first by pill then thru injection. it would come and go and when she was ill she was really uncomfortable.. she would become lethargic, refuse to eat and had difficulty with her stools. I had her to a terrific vet and she was a tramadol at times for pain... Most dogs can't survive that long but mine was medicated enough to live another 6 years.. ask vet to check for PLE.. it less common.
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