Another update from Bailey's Mom -
Bailey came home on Thursday night. She is doing SO much better. Is eating, running around with that spring back in her step, rolling in the grass (yes...we have NO snow) and finally went number two after almost a week. Her diet has been changed to Hills i/d ... for now and we both would like to hear if anyone has any other low-fat food or recipes to share with us.
I also wanted to write a bit about Pancreatitis for those (like myself) never have had a dog go through something like this. Bailey's was diagnosised as acute pancreatitis so this is the information I am supplying.
Most of you know that the pancreas is a gland in the abdominal cavity near the stomach and liver that produces enzymes which aid in the digestion of food. The gland also secrete insulin, a hormone that helps to regulate the blood sugar levels. A lack of adequae insulin results in diabetes, although most pets with pancreatitis do not develop diabetes. When the pancreas becomes diseased it will often release its digestive enzymes into itself rather than into the intestine where they normally go. The resultant tissue destruction is because the gland is inadvertently digesting itself.
Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas. It is a serious condition that occurs most frequently in overweight, middle-aged, female dogs but it may occur in any individual. The disorder causes pain, vomiting, depression and occasionally shock and death.
Symptoms for acute pancreatitis are:
Pain/reluctance to walk or move
There are many different causes of pancreatitis. Excessive levels of fat or cholesterol in the blood can contribute to the problem. Ovesity (overweight condition) and also predisposes the dog or pet to pancreas disorders. Infectious diseases can be teh cause of the problem. Ingestion fo rich or fatty foods is the most common cause of pancreatitis in pet animals. When pets are fed from the table (leftovers, etc.), get into the garbage, or are given numerous foods by well emaning house guest pancreatitis may be the result. Bailey was never fed table scraps...BUT she did get beef soup bones that were boiled once a week that sometimes did have beef with some fat on it and there were times we would put bread out for the birds if we had a loaf of bread left over and she would always find her way over to that. Our vet does not think these were her causes and she is not an overweight dog...so we do not have any answers as to why it happened to her.
I must say ... now looking back, I had noticed she did seem to strain when going to the bathroom. I had thought she was a little constipated and had noticed a couple of dark stools but we...as humans also have these problems and she never once showed signs of feeling ill. She had gotten sick a few times, but she had eaten some grass and we all know that dogs do this on occasion so we weren't that alarmed with that either.
Your vet will make a diagnosis of pancreatitis based on the following: Presence of the above symptoms, blood tests, radiographs (x-rays) of the abdomen and possibly exploratory surgery for sever or chronic cases). Bailey had to have blood drawn for a CBC and they also did a CPL (serum) test that needed to be sent out to confirm that she had pancreatitis. Our vet told us that anything over 400 was an indication that she had pancratitis and hers were over 1,000. Her liver and white blood counts were also both very high.
Because anything going into the mouth (including water) is going directly to the pancreas, Bailey immediatly had to be hooked up to IV's for three days to keep her hydrated while she was given antibiotics and nothing by mouth so everything could settle down and heal itself. After 32 hours, she was finally given a small helping of food to make sure she could keep it down. She had another light lunch later that evening and then again on the morning she was to come home. She was able to keep everything down and so our vet gave her the okay to come home.
It has been so wonderful to see Bailey feeling back to her old self again...but she will have to remain on a new diet for the rest of her life. Many sibe owners that I have conversed with have said they, too have had pancreatitis...some went on to never have another episode, while others are dealing with it reoccuring again....and again. We are crossing our fingers that she is one of the lucky ones to only have to go through this once.
We would like to say thank you to all of our siberian husky friends online for the advice and well-wishes you all sent to Bailey and us during this time. I was very upset reading some of the things I had read online doing research on this...but you all made me feel better by telling me your stories and giving me positive information!
Bailey's Mom - Lisa