My dog Jagger is now about 15 months old. For the past 3 months, we have been dealing with recurrent pancreatitis. We have made a significant number of dietary changes. I'm hoping that by reaching out, someone might be able to provide some helpful advice.
History: I really prided myself on rotating his proteins pretty frequently. He'd get a 1/2 cup of kibble (changed about every month; a different protein each time); 1/2 cup of wet food (changed whenever he'd run out usually about every 3-4 days; I always aimed for 'human looking food'); and a fair number of treats since we were training him (pretty good quality stuff).
We went out of the country and family members watched him. He went through a bout of separation anxiety and really wouldn't eat or drink for 3-4 days but slowly got better. He had his 1st birthday and was given a good slab of steak. When we returned, I started him on Orijen Five Fish. I really wasn't looking into the fat content of these diets; and overall thought, "Fish? What could be better?" (FYI, it's like 30% fat)
In July, he was hospitalized overnight for pancreatitis, amylase and lipase were through the roof. IV fluids, buprenoprhine (for pain), Pepcid, Cirenia (antiemetic). Started on wet foods the next day and we were sent home without complications.
My mischeivous boy ate a slab of solid body moisturizer made of cocoa butter and shea butter and other lovely oils about 7-10 days later. I didn't murder him, but I was close. We were just getting better! FYI, even though it's oil from the cacao seed; it's not toxic like chocolate, at least per my vet!
Since then, he's had these bouts of hacking cough that I've equated to dry heaving and bouts of vomiting. Each time it happens, I back him down to broth and rice, and slowly advance him. I just brought him to the vet today with food refusal (better now), 2 bouts of vomiting, the loudest bowel sounds you've ever heard, and hacking/dry heaving every 10 minutes since 6am! After labwork (results pending), Pepcid injection (he vomited his dose this afternoon), and nothing looking critical enough to warrant another hospitalization, I'm doing a lot of nursing at home. The vet has proposed possible IBD setting off pancreatitis, but awaiting lab results before discussing further.
My goal diet:
1/4 cup wet food (Weruva Chicken Soup or Jammin Salmon) + 1/4 cup dry food (Annamaet Grain Free Lean) in AM. Same ratios in PM.
Weruva only has 1.4% fat and is chicken and pumpkin (link http://www.weruva.com/dog-cuisine-funky-chunky.php). Annamaet is chicken, duck and herring with 30% protein, 7-9% fat (the lowest I could find without sacrificing protein or having an unidentifiable protein source which seems to be the case with the prescription diets; link http://annamaet.com/products/dogs/grain-free-for-dogs/44-lean-formula).
-Probiotics (Trader Joe's 1/2 tablet each day)
-Omega 3: Nordic Naturals fish oil 1 capsule a day (helps with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins especially with a low fat diet; helps with joint pain prevention which we experienced with our previous corgi; and maybe some cardiovascular benefits too)
-A new player is InClover OptaGest: contains inulin, protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase; I thought overall to help with digestion and maybe ease up on stimulating his pancreas so much.
-I purchased Animals Apawthecary with ginger and mint to help with nausea/upset stomach.
-Pepcid 25 mg daily.
-Hydroxyzine 10 mg daily.
-A new player is carafate slurry. 1/2 tab mixed with water.
Sigh... Any thoughts? I'm very open. And appreciative. Thanks in advance, all!
(Jagger also says, "Thanks guys!")
I realize Noodles is much older than Jagger (Noodles is 9), but he had issues at the beginning of this year and I don't know what triggered it. He had bloody diarrhea for over a week and this was with me switching him to a bland diet. After that time & he wasn't getting better, I took him to the vet. They did x-rays & bloodwork and everything came back fine. He was sent home with wet food, probiotic, Pepcid and medicine to stop the diarrhea. After the 2 weeks on all that and the slow transition back to his regular dry food, he went back to having the same issue. I took him off the dry food & gave him 2 more cans of the wet food from the vet and he was fine. His dry food hadn't changed, but apparently something in his intestinal track sure did because to me, it's like he can't handle the dry food anymore. He is permanently on that wet food which is mixed with a little bit of dry (the wet is Purina Veterinary Diets EN) and he gets a probiotic sprinkled on his food each morning as well. We haven't had any troubles since making that switch.
Gosh! Sorry to hear about all those trials and tribs...it sounds awful.
For my two cents: avoid switching dog foods. Get him on one reasonably high-quality dog food and stay on it. In my experience, every time you switch a commercial dog food, it gives the dog diarrhea. Doesn't seem to matter what breed of dog, size of dog, age of dog, overall health of dog, habits of dog: changing from one commercial dog food to another commercial dog food = gastritis.
Our doberman had reoccurring colitis until I put her on Hills I/. I know it is prescription and not rated very high but she lived the rest of her life without problems.