September 21, 2023 – Pancreatitis

Elsie has been doing a bit better, the nausea seems better. But now she has diarrhea pretty bad.

black labradors

Elsie and her brother Henry.

I left a message for the vet and he called me back this morning with lab results (blood). Turns out she has pancreatitis. He said she has a slightly elevated pancreatic value. Over 200 is considered pancreatitis and she is at 237. So he thinks it is a mild version. Regardless he will treat it the same as if it was a worse case.

What is pancreatitis? Basically, the pancreas is an organ which produces enzymes to assist in food digestion, and hormones like insulin that help regulate glucose metabolism. The digestive enzymes enter into the small intestine, and the hormones enter the bloodstream. If the pancreas is inflamed, then the dog has pancreatitis. It is pretty common in dogs.  There are two types: acute and chronic.  Acute pancreatitis can be mild or more severe. The inflammation allows the enzymes from the pancreas to spill into the abdominal cavity and can result in damage to the liver, bile ducts, gall bladder and intestines. Most dogs recover and have no long lasting damage. Lets hope thats the case with Elsie..

What are the signs of pancreatitis?  The same symptoms that are shared with other illnesses, really. Nausea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, abdominal pain, diarrhea and decreased appetite. Elsie only had nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. There is another sign that vets look for, its when dogs take on a praying position.  They will have their rear up in the air and front legs and head lowered to the floor. Elsie did not do that.  So don’t look at this list as an all or nothing type of list. Your dog can have some of the symptoms/signs and not others.

What’s our plan moving forward? Elsie will finish the nausea meds (2 more days). Add on an anti-diarrheal medicine and we will give a pain medication as needed. She will be on a bland diet for 2 weeks. I am suppose to notify the vet of any changes.

I will try to remember to come back and update this page as days progress and she feels better!