Last November, our 10 year old lab, Gabby, went to the vet for a routine dental cleaning. She came home that night with an entirely new diet and parents in disbelief.
On Thanksgiving Day, Gabby had thrown up, however, this was not unusual. Since being a puppy, Gabby was a vacuum when it came to meal time. She often threw up once or twice every few months immediately after eating her dinner. When this happened her food would come out whole, so we assumed she had simply inhaled her food, which in turn made her throw up. Logical conclusion, right?! In an effort to slow her eating down, we purchased slow feed bowls and even tried feeding her on a cookie sheet. Never in a million years did we think this was anything beyond her eating too fast.
So, the day after Thanksgiving arrives and it is time for Gabby’s teeth cleaning. Upon arrival at the vet, Gabby threw up and the Veterinary Doctor suspected the cause might be Pancreatitis - given it was the day after the most indulgent day of the year and all. The Vet called us to let us know he wanted to run a blood test to determine what was going on. When he called back to report that she had tested positive for Pancreatitis we were shocked.
Pancreatitis in dogs is an inflammation of the Pancreas. According to the American Kennel Club, “The pancreas is responsible for releasing enzymes that aid in digestion. When the organ is working normally, the enzymes become active only when they reach the small intestine. In a dog with pancreatitis, however, the enzymes activate when they’re released, inflaming and causing damage to the pancreas and its surrounding tissue and other organs.”[I]
Bottom line - your dog's Pancreas becomes inflamed after eating high-fat foods and this can be deadly.
The symptoms of Pancreatitis include vomiting, bloating, lack of appetite, dehydration, hunched back, fever and lameness. For Gabby, vomiting was the only symptom that fit.
From here, the Vet prescribed a prescription food for Gabby, forbid table scrapes and sent us on our way. We had purchased the prescribed food, however, Gabby didn’t love it, so we decided to consult our local pet food store. The great staff were very familiar with Pancreatitis. Not only did they describe the symptoms, but they actually informed us of another symptom not previously mentioned. The staff asked if Gabby had any stomach growling. My husband and I looked at each other a bit shocked that she brought that up because in recent months Gabby’s stomach growling had woken us up in the middle of the night. We had thought maybe she was hungry when this happened, but never thought anything nefarious of it. This was just one more "random" symptom we would never had attributed to a bigger problem.
The staff recommended Annamaet Lean. We initially purchased a small bag and after realizing she truly enjoyed it, decided to switch both Gabby and Mazie to the same diet for health and consistency purposes. We also had to switch treats, too. Now, we look for any treats that are under 5% fat.
Since the diagnosis and food swap, we have not had any issues with Gabby throwing up after she eats or growling stomach. Our girl is doing great and we couldn’t be more thankful that she was finally diagnosed with something we didn’t even know was a problem!
If your dog is having independent symptoms of any type be sure to bring them to the attention of your Vet as they may be part of a bigger problem!
See you on the wild side,
[I] Pancreatitis in Dogs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments; ?AKC Staff; December 17, 2015; https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/common-conditions/pancreatitis-in-dogs/