Sadly I know from personal experience how deadly pancreatitis in dogs can be.
It can hit fast and furious, so please keep reading to learn what it is, how dogs get it, how to treat it and what you can do to prevent it from happening to your dog.
If your dog has lost interest in food and is vomiting, often it’s just a passing thing. He may have picked something up out of the grass outside, or found something on your kitchen floor that seemed like a good idea at the time, but is now making him ill. On the flip side, it could also mean pancreatitis.
What function does the pancreas serve
The pancreas sits behind the stomach and produces and secretes digestive enzymes, essential for food digestion. It also produces insulin, which helps control metabolism and blood-sugar levels.
What is pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. Digestive enzymes, which usually lie dormant until they reach the small intestine, are activated prematurely in the pancreas, and start digesting it. It can come on suddenly (acute), or keep reappearing (chronic). Basically, chronic pancreatitis is multiple attacks of the acute form.
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting/projectile vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Stomach ache
- Swollen abdomen
- Elevated heart rate
The exact cause of your dog’s pancreatitis may not be known, but there are several known causes that include, but are not limited to:
- a side effect of medication
- result of eating fatty/greasy foods
- high amounts of lipids or calcium in the blood
- Cushing’s Disease
- Trauma to the pancreas
- Older dogs
- Overweight dogs
What is interesting, and what also makes watching what your dog eat even more important is – even if your dog does not ordinarily eat a high fat diet, just eating a large amount of fatty food in one go can cause acute pancreatitis.
Dogs can usually recover from mild cases, but severe cases are more worrisome, and can lead to the death of your dog, as it did to one of mine.
Your vet can get a pretty good indication of whether or not there is a possibility of pancreatitis, based on what you tell him about your dog’s condition, and symptoms.
He will perform blood tests and urinalysis, and other tests such as ultrasound, x rays… are a possibility.
If it is a side effect of medication, your vet will discontinue the medication immediately.
Even if the exact cause is not known, your vet will still:
- Treat dehydration
- Provide pain relief
- Provide anti vomiting medication
- Take him off food to allow the pancreas to rest (how long is up to him – could be 2 or 3 days)
- Withhold water if still vomiting
- IV fluids
- Electrolyte therapy
- Possibility of antibiotics to fight infection
Depending on the severity of the attack, all this can be done in a few hours at your vet’s office, then your dog will be able to go home with some medication/electrolytes… (whatever your vet recommends).
A clinic/hospital stay of 1-3 days is usually in the cards in severe cases.
A low fat, bland diet will be prescribed, the length of time to be determined by your vet, depending on your dog’s condition. It may be just until he recovers, or a permanent move.
If you follow a more natural or holistic diet, and the recommended diet is not, voice your concerns, learn what ingredients should be avoided and why. Bring the packaging of the food you prefer, to see if it’s suitable.
Your vet may want to repeat some of the initial tests, to monitor recovery and progress.
You won’t necessarily be able to prevent pancreatitis from ever happening, but there are precautions you can take to minimize the likelihood:
Keep your dog at a healthy weight
Don’t let anyone give your dog human food or table scraps
Make sure your garbage is out of reach
Be sure your vet is aware of all medications your dog is taking, to ensure none of them could potentially cause another episode
Many cases happen over the holidays, when rich fatty food is in abundance. Be extra vigilant about what your dog is putting in his mouth, and keep an eye on anyone slipping him food. If after repeated warnings no one is listening, put your dog in another room. Better safe than sick.
Pancreatitis can be very unpredictable. I’ve known dogs who have had it most of their lives, but a strict diet kept it pretty much under control.
In my dog Bailey’s case I think his death was caused by a combination of factors that created a perfect storm – my amazing vet was away, not thinking it was pancreatitis at the first sign, too many people involved at the clinic I went to, and a seemingly obsessive desire on the part of one vet to euthanize my dog.
Bailey was finally treated by my vet, but sadly by the time he got to him, it was too late. He was kept comfortable on fluids for 3 days, but he was never going to recover.
Red had a couple of very mild episodes but some fluids and food restrictions and she was fine.
Mild cases, or dogs that had a “one off” episode don’t typically require more than a good diet, and diligence on the part of the family.
Chronic pancreatitis can lead to other more serious issues, so you want to be very strict in following all recommendations made in your dog’s treatment to avoid going down that very slippery slope.
Pancreatitis in dogs – conclusion
Sometimes your dog being sick is just your dog being sick, and other times it is much more serious. If your dog is vomiting, call your vet’s office immediately. Let them know of your concerns, and be sure to mention anything your dog may have eaten. Pancreatitis can attack fast, and attack hard, so the sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of a positive outcome.
What has been your experience with pancreatitis in dogs? Do you know why he got it? What treatment plan was recommended? Has he had other bouts with it? Sharing helps others so please tell your story in the comment section below, or in the case of a senior dog on my Facebook page.
My dog has been diagnosed with pancreatitis the ver kept him for two days giving him fluids through IV. He is now home and is still vomiting at least 10 times a day. He has had no food for almost 2 weeks. Maybe a little (one or two bites) will he starve with out food this long?
Hi Linda, I imagine you’ve spoken to your vet to let him know what’s been going on. I can’t understand why he hasn’t checked your dog again. That’s a seriously dangerous situation you need to be at your vet’s office tomorrow morning when it opens or at an emergency hospital now. I don’t mean to scare you but he needs medical attention urgently.
Annie E Gagnon
My dog is a longhaired, dashound, and cocker spanial mix, he is coming up on eleven in March 2019. At three years old he had an acute sign of pancreatitis, vomited a dozen times, in one 24 hour period! Was taken to the vet and an IV was administered to give him medications, then he went home at night, and returned the next day, the IV was left in his leg, wrapped with something so that he couldn’t get it out! This went on three days, and a lot of money later! Going forward he is ten years old, no other attacks, became diabetic, went blind, and still having two insulin shots per day, suddenly he started to bleed when going number 2, at first I thought it was going to pass, but nope, he lost a pint of blood, and rushed him to the vet, who in turn asked us to bring him to the Emergency Hospital for testing! I did, and it’s been a month, and he hasn’t bled since! I am so glad as it’s my furbaby~ I am just worried about how long he has~
You’re very fortunate the pancreatitis was caught early and treated so successfully. Oh my goodness, how scary that must have been when he started to bleed. Glad to hear it hasn’t happened again, but did they tell you the reason for it happening?
Did they say why the blood occurred mine has just passed blood im trying to get hold of clinic thanks
I’m not sure what you’re talking about when you mention blood. If your dog is peeing blood she might have a bladder infection. I would call the vet right away and explain you need to be seen immediately. Hope everything is okay.
Recently, my 13.5 year old cross Keplie/Fox terrier developed sever acute pancreatitis and deteriaoted rapidly.Withina day and half of first symptoms – she was barely able to walk, wasn’t able to retain any food or water and lost all energy.
The vet advised that treatment was an option but did add that given her age – we need to really weigh it all up. Financially, we were looking at around a $1.5k to $2k vet bill. Treatment at her age would not be a guranteed sucess, considering the severity of her condition and her aging body. In the event of success, she was going to still experience discomfort in the months ahead. At a younger age, treatment would be a no brainer.
With very heavy hearts, we decided to let her go and let her make her way to the rainbow bridge. We miss her everyday and the backyard is not the same without her.:(
I’m so sorry to hear that Tom. I can’t imagine why such a huge vet bill though.
The vet bill is for Emergency Medicine, i.e. IV fluids, pain meds, antiemetics, boarding. I’m currently going through this process with my 14 year old dachsund.
This is what happened to my fourteen year old dachshund, Fletcher. Made several trips to my vet and the emergency clinic in two days. I will never know what caused the pancreatitis. He had his one and only seizure a couple of months prior. He just got so weak and I didn’t want him to suffer. He was the best dog and I miss him so.
My morkle was diagnosed with diabetes two days ago. Had a sc an today and we are told he has panc reatites.His pan read is very swollen and inflamed. He is on anti onflam. Pain meds.,antibiotic and iv. Vet said very guarded on recovery.This came on so fast.He was fine 5 days ago.He is 10 yrs.old.Can we do anything else to help him
Acute pancreatitis comes on extremely quickly and could be a result of something he ate. Fluids help and I assume your vet recommended a low fat diet for him. Depending on how severe the attack is your dog may be on fluids from 1-3 days. Hope he’s feeling better by now.
My 14 y old female cross staffie is having a second time pancreatitis caused by something she ate in the park. This time I was able to recognise the symptoms and take her to the vet straight away . If a dog feels lethargic, has fever, stops eating / drinking or vomiting having diarrhea please check with your vet asap. Last time and during first lockdown, she was severely ill and we almost lost her. It took time for her to show signs of improvement even after two nights in the vet and lots of medication…She’s at the vet, less than a year, again sick from pancreatitis. We’re spending a little fortune again. Hopefully she’ll be alright this time around too.. it’s really devastating, this can kill a dog..
I’m so sorry you and your dog are going through this again but I’m glad you knew the signs and were able to catch it early.
Fluids seem to be making him feel better. Still eating a tiny amount. Pancreas is still enlarged and inflamed. Vet gives him 20 per cent survival. We visited today and took him for car ride.,he seemed to be so happy.Dont know what to expect..I think he rallied when he saw us. Praying
Fluids do help them feel better, but sadly they don’t always lead to the results we would like. It’s good he’s eating and hopefully things will improve but of course he does have to start eating or he will lose too much weight. I had this happen with 2 of my dogs and it’s tough. Prayers.
Thank you for your reply. Duke is doing much better. As a matter of fact he is always hungry. He is on insulin so I don’t know if it has to be adjusted. He is not out of the woods yet, but acting like his old self.
Glad to hear he’s doing better and has an appetite – always a good sign. Surely your vet has recommended you go back to check his dosage is correct?
Yes, his dosage was checked 2 wks ago and we go for testing pancreas in 2 wks. (LAST TEST WAS ALL DAY…TESTED LEVELS EVERY 2 HOURS) THANK YOU FOR REPLY.
Our little Chewbacca went to the ER Hospital for blood work and x-rays. He vomited the previous day but nothing since. He would not eat and only drank a little water. The Pet ER gave an anti-nausea injection and sent us home with meds for pain and something to help with stomach bloat. Pancreatic enzyme was 5800 (normal is around 1000). Our regular vet called this morning and had me bring him in. She advised an ultrasound to see if there was an infection, tumor or blocked duct. He is lethargic, wont eat or drink and struggles to lay down or walk. Chewy is 16 years old and was in perfect health until 2 days ago. The night before he started vomiting we were given a corticosteroid topical spray for his underside rash. We will know the ultrasound results today and then need to make some decisions. One article by VCA Pet hospitals suggest that corticosteroids can trigger pancreatitis. It is so incredibly hard to see our most loyal and loving “buddy” so sick and in pain.
Oh my goodness I had never heard that corticosteroids could trigger pancreatitis, I’m so terribly sorry to hear what’s happening with Chewbacca. Hopefully no food and fluids will help calm things down, and you’ll get some more answers from the ultrasound. Please keep us posted.
Thank you for your compassion. Chewy is now home and happy to be with his humans. After 3 days of fluids and loving care by our long time Vet we are wiser about what we feed him. The ultrasound showed no critical issues so the culprit appears to be what we were allowing him to eat. Older dogs do not do well with high fat foods. Our Vet told us in a nice way that we may have been killing out little dog with kindness. So now he gets boiled chicken, baby food (Chicken & Broth) no fat cottage cheese, white boiled rice and a very expensive dog food ($5.00/can). Each day we have with Chewbacca is a gift. Good luck to everyone else who loves and is loved by our 4 legged friends.
That’s wonderful to hear. It’s incredible how much fluids can help, and you’re so fortunate her pancreatitis was caught in enough time for the fluids to help her. We do have to be so careful with the fat in our dog’s food. The good thing is, adding those other ingredients means you can make each can go further. Hope Chewy continues to thrive on his new diet and thanks for keeping me updated.
I just had my 12 year old Border collie treated for pancreatitus, first at my vet($800.00.)then at the emergency hospital which was $2600.00.She is home now and doing ok i think, to early to tell, but all in all, this will have cost over $3500.00 for three days of treatment. I cannot imagine what people do who do not have the money, i considered putting her down but i just couldnt do it, but at her age(nearly 13) im afraid this is just going to happen again. Every dog Ive had that has died at old age has racked up a huge vet bill then died anyway…i keep saying never again but then it just keeps on happening. I wish vets would just tell you the dog is to old and its kinder to put them down.But they just keep on recommending expensive treatments.
I have to say I’m quite concerned by the amount of money it cost. My dog had chronic pancreatitis and I’ve never seen bills of that amount. I understand an emergency hospital is expensive, but that’s outrageous.
My 14 year old dog developed pancreatitis but the Crappy vets at Banfield didn’t detect anything( he stopped eating, lethargic) and it cost me a week of time. 2 days later: Another vet thought cancer but mild pancreatitis was also listed in ultrasound. Vet treated for cancer and nausea, but no fluids. 3 days later I took him to the ER for 3 nights bc I saw he was getting worse. Sadly We had to put him down as his organs collapsed. I blame the worthless Banfield docs who never really checked his stomach or why he couldn’t eat. We paid 5k between testing / hospital stay.
I’ll never know if he could have made it if detected early when I brought him in immediately and it kills me!! I’d like to sue Banfield for negligence. My sweet little Norwich Nelson is missed tremendously!!
I’m so sorry for your loss
My sweet Maya was diagnosed the day after Thanksgiving at the ER clinic ($450). A week later, she was hospitalized for 35 hours ($1200). I’m disabled and on a very fixed income, so now that she’s sick again in less than a month, I have no choice but to put her down. The cost for that is $270 at home – because of Covid, it’s the only way I can be with her. My heart is breaking.
Thanks for sharing all the insights and I am sorry to hear about your dog, Bailey. My most dearest Kaya was put down recently so I know the trauma and heartache that comes with the passing and loss of a close friend.
Thank you, and I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Kaya. I know how heartbreaking losing a much loved companion can be.
I have a 15 year old dashsund she recently got extremely sick so we went to the vet on Saturday morning and she was diagnosed with pancreatitis and plus her back has been given her a fit. Now the next two weeks she is on medication and a special diet and we have to watch her closely. I could not hold the tears back. She seem so pitiful and with her age we’re not sure what will happen. She has been in our family for 15 years. Hoping for a good outcome.
I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope the fluids and a new diet will help her recover. It’s tough to see them sick and feeling helpless to do anything. Keep me posted and hope she’s feeling better soon.
If a vet diagnosed a 4 yr old pom with pancreatitis 2 yrs ago & the owners of the dog aren’t following the vets orders for a low fat diet, and they continue to give it everything they eat. Can you please explained to them what is probably happing to their dog so I can show them . Because they won’t listen to me. The dog was having trouble breathing. Now it is on LASIK for the rest of its life. And they are still giving it people food & not a low fat dog food. Now it’s vomiting since yesterday.Can you please explained what they are doing to this poor dog.
Have you spoken to these people? Sounds like the dog is having another attack, and pancreatitis can be deadly. I don’t know anything about this situation but if you suspect an animal is being abused or mistreated in some way, there are things you can do to help.
Hi – I really needed to read these posts as I am feeling so much remorse for a decision I made last week regarding euthanazing my beautiful 11 year old rescue labbie Yoli who I homed 3 years 8 months ago. In the time I had Yoli she was on cortisone for her continuing skin and ear issues. Last week she was battling to walk, panting a lot and whimpering – she was still eating and weeing and pooing. As she was a big girl 45 kilos (100 lbs) I couldnt get her in the car and the vet came to fetch her. He told me she had pancreatitis and would need to be in hospital on a drip for a few days. I made the decision to have her put to sleep.
I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I had that feeling with one of my dogs and it affected me for quite some time. Of course I don’t know what was going on with Yoli, but it certainly sounds like you did the right thing for her. It sounds like she was in quite a bit of pain if she was panting and whimpering, especially when walking. I know many people believe that just because a dog is still eating they’re okay, it isn’t always the case. They rely on us to care for them, and it sounds like you did the absolute best thing for her. You were very kind to open your heart and open to an older dog, and I hope you can start to focus on the wonderful life you shared and how lucky you both were to find each other.
I also made the decision to euthanize my 12 yr old chihuahua. She was suffering from pancreatitis. I paid over 500 for testing and they wanted a total of 1600 to keep her there and give her liquids for 3 days. I couldn’t do it because I did not want to spend almost 2 thousand dollars on a dog who might not survive. I loved her very much and I’m dealing with guilt and sadness. I still believe I made the right decision. It was hard.
Hi Hindy – thank you so much for your kind words and re-assurance – really appreciate them. Regards Barb
My 13 year old Cavalier will only lick plain yogurt off my fingers. She was a wild woman until sept 26. Someone gave her too many treats from China. Now she’s in acute pancreatitis since the 26th. I’m determined to make her well, and the vet said it could take a month. But I sure miss hearing my baby bark.
I’m sorry to hear that, hopefully she’ll start feeling better soon. Has the vet recommended a particular food? What about anti-nausea medication?
I wanted to give everyone an update on Chewbacca and his remarkable recovery from pancreatitis. It was a little over a year ago that Chewy got into some fatty rotisserie chicken from COSTCO. We left it out and he ate a lot of it .Chewy was 16 at the time. Once our Vet gave us the diagnosis she also told us that older dogs did not have a great cure rate and we should probably make some hard decisions. For 3 days Chewy was in pain, hunched up and finally put on IV medication and kept at our Vets office. She took him home with her at night and gradually introduced chicken & broth baby food. Chewy got to come home in 5 days after the ultrasound and enzymes indicated he was in recovery. A strict diet for the past 14 months consists of ID brand canned dog food (Chicken stew), low fat cottage cheese, boiled chicken breasts (2 frozen chicken breasts) boiled for 2 hours . Sometimes we make up more in a pressure cooker and freeze some for times we are out of down and have a dog sitter AND a few months ago we got the green light to use Kirklands canned chicken from COSTCO. (Comes in a 6 pack). Dogs like their humans like a variety of healthy foods once in a while. The Kirkland brand is a little spicy so we put in some plug-in air freshners . TODAY- at 17 (almost 18) Chewy is acting like a puppy. He has so much energy, is happy and is such a good companion to my wife and I. He still likes to sleep a lot but is so alert, active and never misses a meal. The Vet tells us that the strict food diet helped but the primary cause of his resurgence is he knows he is loved and he just was not ready to leave us yet. Oh-one last thing. Chewy gets clean, fresh and cold water 3-4 times a day. He drinks a lot which the Vet tells us is so important to get his vital organs flushed out. Best wishes to all dog lovers who have had to endure this horrible pancreatitis.
James & Robin
Thanks for sharing, and yes you’re extremely lucky your dog made it through and is thriving. Pancreatitis is nasty, and not every case has a happy ending. Just curious about something – you say your dog gets water 3-4 times a day. Do you not leave a water bowl down for him?
Hi just reading all the emails from people I know it’s been a long time you posted about chewy but I have a dog 16 just diagnosed and has undergone Iv he is pretty lethargic atm but after reading your version has given me hope thank you. Regards Pauline in Australia
Last week on Thursday my 11 year old Doogie started with severe diarrhea.
Did my thing with rice and boiled chicken. Didn’t get better and would not eating Took him to vet on sat. I’ve fluids blood work, meds and diagnosed with pancreatic. Took back Monday still not eating . More I’ve fluids. Appetite enhancement. And canned food. It is now wed Eve and my baby still hadn’t eaten. I’m emotionally spent. I am taking canned food blending it and syringe a small amount to him. He does drink water. I’m so afraid he’s going to die. How long should I let him go like this before I have to make the decision to let him go. He doesn’t appear to be in pain . I’m so sad go my baby . It’s been a week heard it can be up to a month.
I’m so sorry about Doogie. I’m not a vet but I can tell you from experience, pancreatitis is very painful. You really need to take him back to the vet ASAP. It’s a long time for your dog to not eat and if they’re going to start feeling better he should be responding to treatment after this much time. Again whether it’s time to say goodbye is a discussion you need to have with your vet today, but you know you can’t leave him in this condition. I know how tough this is, and we never want to let go but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is doing what’s right for our animals.
i lost the most wonderful dog and best friend to what turned out to be severe pancreatitus. the week before he vomitted a lot of water and went into a fit .which we rushed him to the vet clinic after some tests they diagnosed him with diabetes but a week later he stopped eating and the next day he stopped drinking we took him to the vet clinic and where they said he had pancreatitus less than 24 hours later we were informed he now has kidney trouble as well as having pancreatitus and the we had to make the hardest decision of our lives. the vet said he was in so much pain he was on the equivalent strength of painkilers as morphine. and he advised us to consider putting him to sleep. in the end we made the har decision. its crazy how quick this actually happened and in such a short space of time. we had 13 wonderful years of him and just completely heartbroken now he’s gone. still so many questions unanswered and feeling of surely we could have done something else and was it the right decision
I’m so sorry to hear, I know how devastating it is to say goodbye. I can relate to the questioning about whether you did the right thing or not, and the unanswered questions. If you’re not careful it can really eat you up inside as it did me. Pancreatitis is definitely a very painful condition and we rely on our vets to advise us because we value their expertise. I don’t know if you’ve gone back to your vet and had a chat about test results, numbers, what the situation was etc… When things happen so quickly it’s a shock and you aren’t able to process what’s going on. Now that you’ve had a bit of time go back and have a chat…that’s what I did. I hope you find the answers you seek and some reassurance.
Susan Thomas Bennett
My 17 year old chihuahua is on his third bout of chronic pancreatitis. His weight, blood work and x-rays are ok but today he had a relapse and is in the hospital. I”m so worried, he’s been on a low fat diet for several years and doing pretty well but this is the second attack this week. He’s been to the vet three times this week so hope he’ll be able to come home soon. He’s my baby.
I’m so sorry. Wishing the best for him.
Maureena Andrews Renner
Our 11 year old Westie has had bouts of vomiting bile for a while but it would pass and we would forget about it. Then he was not eating and developed black tarry stools. We took him to our vet who gave him anti nausea medication, I V fluids and the blood tests showed severe pancreatitis. He asked us to give him boiled chicken for 5 days which we did. We noticed that the last day he was eating less. This morning I offered more of the chicken and he was not interested, If I hand feed him, I can get him to eat some nonfat plain yogurt. My husband said that the vet was sure it is cancer of the pancreas. I do not want to spend huge amounts of money only to lose our baby. We are retired. Our precious doggy still wags his tail and loves us but does not food. How do you know when a doggy is not going to get better? We are so sad. Thank you for being there.
Hi Maureena. I am so sorry for the situation your family is in. I suggest having a frank and honest discussion with your veterinarian since every dog is different. It sounds like your pup’s pancreatitis, if it IS caused my cancer, is not something that can be managed long-term. However, your veterinarian may be able to predict for how long your dog will have a good quality of life without treatment.
It looks like we’re about to loose our second doggie to pancreatitis in a week :(. We left our two 10+ year old dogs with their original owners while we were away, we took over their care when they couldn’t anymore so they stayed in the family. The older doggie got sick, not eating and vomiting water, a few days of their stay and 24 hrs later he was found dead the following morning. The day after his partner was not eating and started to vomit water. We thought it was from depression because the other dog passed away, but after new owner gave her wet food she threw it up and went to the ER. She was kept overnight with IV for dehydration and taken to a Vet the following morning. The Vet kept her for almost 5 days with IV and said that her enzymes were now down to 1,200 so we could take her home and treat her here. She’s been home for 24 hours and hasn’t kept any of the water she drinks down and hasn’t touched her food. The Vet didn’t leave any written discharge instructions besides what he told me over the phone, how much to feed her. When she got home her peed was orange, which I assume was from the meds she was taking, but Dr. Google says it could be from extreme dehydration so now I’m worried that she’s not going to recover and we’ll have to put her down. The cost of treating her has been around $3,000 between ER and Vet office :(.
Hi Jessica. I am not able to check my blog comments often in the summer because we are so busy. So I apologize for the delay. You left this comment a few months ago so you may have make a decision about what to do by now. Whatever that was, I hope you are at peace with it.
WE just had to make the hard decision to let our 14 year old Jack Russell be put to rest because of pancreatitis. For two months he was having problems with throwing up and also bloody stool. Two vets tried IV fluids, antibiotic and anti nausea medicine but he quit eating and drinking water, he was lethargic and we watched him slowly leave us. Our vet bills were over $1000. It was the hardest decision we have ever made. Our hearts are broken. Its hard to believe just 3 short weeks ago he was hiking with us and swimming in the river. We extend are sincere condolences to everyone who have also lost their beloved pets, Our dog Chiefy is now at rest and we miss him tremendously
I’m sorry you had to say goodbye Paulette.
I’m so sorry to hear about so many of your losses. Here’s our story…Cricket is an 18 year old Rat Terrier. She was my mother’s dog and I made a promise to my mother that I would take and keep her dogs. Cricket came to live with us March 2015. She rules the roost even though she is or was 19 pounds now 17 and holding, she constantly puts our two large dogs in their proper place if they are not behaving to her standards. About a month ago Cricket began having diahrea (like water), on occasion she would throw up bile and of course did not want to eat. Vet said labs were good so we had her teeth cleaned and some extractions done. Her appetite improved for a couple weeks but the diahrea has continued. Vet prescribed Endsorb to regulate her GI tract but after a couple days it doesn’t work. More blood work showed that her pancreas blood levels are in the high range. Vet has given us a pill for nausea which has helped and she is eating home cooked chicken or beef with rice. The vet has referred us to a specialist for an ultrasound. Obviously I am perplexed about how to proceed. Cricket still pulls on the leash and enjoys her daily walk and spends the majority of her day sleeping. If we don’t catch her she has had accidents in the house. Although she has signs of dementia she still has a gleam in her eye when she looks at me. I’m not certain that I will proceed with the ultrasound or any other tests. I hate to put her through more stress. I do know that when she shows me that she is in real pain I will say good by and let her join my mother. Am I making the right decision? It’s very difficult to imagine that she could live much longer, even the vet describes Cricket as “ancient” in a positive light.
Thanks for sharing Cricket’s story Linda. We all love our pets so much but when they are also a conduit to past loved ones for us, the thought of their loss can be particularly devastating. It sounds like you are taking very good care of Cricket. My only advice is to be honest with yourself about how Cricket is actually doing. We can tend to put on our rose-colored glasses and ignore some signs if letting go is something we are not ready to face. It sounds like you have a very caring and honest veterinarian that will help guide you through your decision process. Good luck to you.
We just brought our dog home from being hospitalized for three days from acute pancreatitis. We have been trying to figure out what has been going on with her for over a year and have seen three different vets due to diarrhea. She never had vomiting with it at all. She would always want to eat even with diarrhea except this last time. The strange part is that she was not having diarrhea but had no appetite and lethargy. The Internal medicine vet ran a cPLI blood test and her numbers came back elevated.
While in the hospital her blood pressure and temperature spiked which I’m sure was due to pain.
The vet hospital sent her home with five medications!! Antibiotics, Gabapentin for pain, a appetite stimulant, anti nausea med, and blood pressure medication. My heart is heavy watching her feeling so out of it, very sleepy, my poor Heidi.
She is a rescue and we have had her for 10 years. We are not sure of her exact age but approximately 12 or 13 we believe.
I want to do the right thing and ,do not want her to suffer. Please offer any ad vice that you can. If she doesn’t do well at home she will not go back to the vet. I will be calling a hospice/euthanasia vet to come to the house.
Thanks for this great website!
Hi Laura. I’m very sorry your dog is dealing with such a big health issue. My advice is to follow your gut. I commend you for realizing you may be at the end of your journey together and being willing to let her go if needed. You will know the right thing to do when it’s time.
My barely 7 year old Samoyed recently died from pancreatitis…..we are so devastated. It came on acutely, she died about 24 hours after we first noticed symptoms (vomiting, not wanting to eat, little diarrhea). This was 2.5 weeks ago and I still can’t go a day without sobbing and wondering how I could have helped her more or if there were signs earlier that we just missed. She had recently been started on prednisone and a couple of other meds for possible discoid lupus….so I think that’s what caused it.
Hi Krissy. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dog. I’m sure your heart is broken but I’m also sure you did the best you could to care for her with the information you had at the time… and that she knew she was greatly loved.
i can understand you pain. im in tears all the time. My baby fell to what i gather was acute pancreatitis form sunday to passing monday nite. I am beyond sorrow and pain like I’ve never know and its over three weeks now. I am so sorry for your loss i know that doesn’t mean much when you hurt.
i am complete heart broken having lost my adorable 12 yr maltese to pancreatitis- hemorrhage gastroenteritis – i am devastated – this is three weeks ago and i am sick every day that i missed something. she stopped eating and drinking on sunday then later started vomiting. I have the worse quilt that i didn’t rush her immediately to emergency yet first thing monday I took her to her vet. They gave her all kinds of meds and then fluids which they held off beaus of her heart condition. They sent her home i don’t know what they were thinking. She came home with no interest in food or water.More pills moremeds and 11:30 she started bleeding and by 30 minutes or solacer she passed away. I have not been able to come to terms or grasp that she is not here. Of all the things with heart disease and high kidney values but that didn’t or was the case of her passing . I am so heart broken.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I know you are heartbroken but please don’t beat yourself up if you are. It sounds like you did everything you could with what you knew and the inforamtion you were given at the time.