Toffee is a female Staffy X, approx. 10 years old, owned by one of our vet nurse’s family members. Toffee’s owner rang to have a chat to his sister, as Toffee has been vomiting for a day & a night. She was very bright and alert, but couldn’t keep any food down. Toffee was on once a day feeding, normally having a big plate of the family left overs for her dinner. Luckily enough, our vet nurse recognized the symptoms and brought her into work to be checked over.
Though still very bright and happy to run around, Toffee had a very sore stomach, and couldn’t keep any food down. She was sitting at a healthy weight and very active, but we still had our suspicions. A blood test was taken, showing that she had raised Amylase and Lipase enzymes, which are found in the Pancreas, and was suffering from a case of Acute Pancreatitis. Toffee was still able to drink and had a good appetite, she just wasn’t able to keep it down in large quantities. Due to Toffees pancreatitis being not too severe, she was left for most of the day with only small amounts of water at a time, giving her stomach a chance to settle down. We started with small amounts of a very bland, low fat, easily digested food, a tablespoon at a time. It took 3 days of her on bland food, feeding 4 times a day, before we started her back on plain dog biscuits. It took a further 3 days before we dropped her down to bigger meals, twice a day.
Toffee has been happily living on dog biscuits now. And though she still occasionally sneaks food from the kids, she hasn’t had another episode. Toffees owners are very good at maintaining a good weight, but after swapping her onto dog biscuits, her coat and shape has greatly improved. She is also a lot happier in herself. Due to being caught quickly, her bill was ‘cheap’ at $250, but could easily have been triple that.
Three Easy Rules to Help Avoid Pancreatitis
- Maintain your pet at a healthy weight; regular weight checks will help.
- Avoid high fat diets, unless your dog requires the extra energy (e.g. working dogs, puppies)
- Avoid large, one off, fatty meals. Human food can be very rich and high in fats, making dog biscuits the better option.