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Avatar universal

Dog pancreatitis and consipation - can I feed pumpkin?

Our poor baby has been suffering for a month from undiagnosed pancreatitis. She has had recurring bouts for at least 6 years, but our vet always thought it was back pain. It always came on suddenly and she stopped walking upstairs. Anyway, this last blood test, and subsequent special pancreatic blood test showed her level of lipase is at 687. I was told a normal dog is 200 or less.

I am wondering if there is anything else I can do for her. She is on a special pancreatic food from the vet along with 1 omega 3 fatty acid pill and 2 pepcid pills per day. She was on pain killers and Metacam when they were treating her for back problems and the Tramadol has left her constipated. I know that pancreatitis can lead to diabetes and she was given Lactulose laxative for the constipation. She was on that last time when she had this problem and honestly, the Lactulose does not work on her. She was getting 3 doses per day and the vet said we would come home to a mess, but it never happened. I was also giving her canned pumpkin with the Lactulose, and a lot more than the 2 tbsp per day that they recommend, and still nothing. I finally got results by walking her. However, to get her out of the house, she has to go down stairs and then upstairs to get back in and it is very painful for her when we lift her. She is terrified of stairs now because of the pain.

She is eating and has not had vomitting or diarrhea with this. I have been manually removing her stool and even though she is eating, she has very little stool to remove. They are hard small pellets. I need to do soemthing for the contipation and would rather use the pumpkin than the lactulose. Do you think this is okay? Do you have anything else we could be trying for her? She is fairly alert but not her old self and is painful (howls) when we lift her. Thank you.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
It's dogmom120 again. She is also not drinking a lot so I've been mixing her food with water just to keep her hydrated. I had her in at the vet yesterday and she said she was perhaps mildly dehydrated and she gave her subcutaneous fluid, which was absorbed very quickly. I have been trying to squirt water into her mouth as well but she is no longer impressed with this and is starting to fight it. I know an increase in fluid would help her constipation. Thanks again.
Avatar universal
Yes, it could be that the reason why she is constipated is because she is not getting enough water.  Since she is eating, maybe you could feed her with canned food for a while.  Canned food has quite a bit of water in it.  You mention that she is on a special prescription diet, but not if it is dry or canned.  If it is canned, that might be part of the reason why she is not drinking much, but if the subQ fluid soaked in really fast, then that does sound like she is dehydrated.

Some dogs will lick popsicles.  Some dogs will drink pedialyte or gatorade.  Most dogs will drink canned, diluted, beef or chicken broth or a weak broth made from bouillon cubes.  You need to be careful about using these types of broth, because you don't want to give her too much salt and inadvertantly make the dehydration worse.  Maybe just try a splash of the broth in her water bowl.  Use the least amount that is enough to tempt her to drink.

You will have to ask the vet about all of these ideas, as well as about the pumpkin.  Canned pumpkin is a great home remedy, under many circumstances.  I just don't know anything about pancreatitis in particular, and so I don't know if there is anything about pumpkin that could aggravate her condition.  

Unfortunately, the dog sounds very seriously ill, and if she were mine I would be ready to try any type of palliation that the vet did not regard as dangerous.  I'm just loathe to tell you that any of these ideas won't hurt a dog with pancreatitis, because I don't know.  

Maybe one of this site's veterinarian's will respond after while, or maybe you can get a local on-call vet on the phone.  In my area, none of the vets take their own after-hours phone calls.  They defer to the two emergency clinics that are in operation in this county.  But the emergency clinic staff is good about answering short phone questions like this on the weekends or at night.

I'm sorry for the situation.
Avatar universal
When I suggested trying a splash of broth in her water bowl, I meant trying a splash of broth in a bowl of water, not a splash of broth in the empty water bowl.  Again, check it out with your vet to see if he or she thinks your dog can tolerate the salt that is in that type of broth.  Even the reduced-salt canned broth has quite a bit of salt in it.  But if you dilute the broth in water, that cuts the salt way down.    

Also, I didn't mean to suggest changing the food that your vet prescribed, just that if it comes in a canned form, the canned food has more water in it than dry food does.
Avatar universal
My schnauzer has pancreatitis.   She's the second one I've had with pancreatitis.   My first one lived with it for 9 years. The pancreas actually acts as if it's digesting itself.  That causes horrible pain that radiates to the back and down the leg.  A good thing to feed is boiled chicken breast and boiled white rice in the chicken broth water.  Pedialyte  popsicles are good to give them.  I'm also a retired nurse.  My first baby to have it ended up diabetic blind having to remove eyes due to pressure build up from glaucoma making her eyes bleed.  She was first diagnosed at age 3 with chronic pancreatitis.   She lived to age 12.  She was my baby angel.  It is also good to find a good natural product to supplement with that has dehydrated bovine pancreas in it.  Standard process is the best brand.  Chiropractors can order standard process supplements.  If your dog had it 6 years before diagnosed there is probably already damage to the liver and kidneys.  And I would watch for blindness and diabetes.  I had to give my angel insulin shots.  When she lost her eyes I carried her everywhere.   She became incontinent and had to wear diapers.  Now my 5 year old schnauzer had her first attack of pancreatitis.   Standard treatment is to withhold food for 72 hours.  Drink small amounts of water.  Then on day 3 give 1 tablespoon of either special canned diet ID formula or the boiled chicken and rice.  Continue 1 tablespoon a day for 3 days.  Then re check with vet.  Keep on special pancreas diet for life.  No fat foods..no snacks like popcorn etc.  Only dog food that is low in fat.  It can be a long hard road with a dog with pancreatitis.   I know.  I've been there and now going thru it again.  But they depend on us to take care of them so you must be very diligent and dedicated to them.  They love us unconditionally so they deserve our unconditional love and care in return.  Best luck to you on this journey.  It can be a very emotional journey.  God bless your little fur baby and heal him.  
I loved your post....my american eskimo had been diagnosed this august and im having to make a difficult decision...... the care that may be needed in the future is one that I cannot afford and I am not sure about the right way to go about this. I would be heartbroken and so would hey but it sounds like it's a long run and can only get worse and I want the best for him
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