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My 12 year old boxer has chronic pancreatitis. This is confirmed. I have no doubt that it is because of the different treats she was given which included French fries, pizza crusts, and small pieces of whatever she begged for.

She can go for about a week to two weeks feeling great, and then she has an "attack" where she vomits and/or her stomach gurgles. She puts her ears back and it is obvious she is in pain. She will not eat.

The vet said her kidneys were fine, her sugar levels were fine, but her pancreas and liver enzymes were abnormal. She was put on an antibiotic plus a bland diet. We either give her rice mixed with chicken or scrambled eggs. Also, the vet said to give her prescription Hills ID food.

After two weeks, her levels were still abnormal. Today she had an attack. It is the first in a week. She has been on the bland diet. She is done with the antibiotics. I started giving her a probiotic supplement with her food.

Yesterday she ate really great. She had three servings of rice, chicken and scrambled eggs, plus one of her Hills food and scrambled eggs mixed in.

I added the skin cancer in the title because she has a spot which has "scattered" melanoma cells. It is about the size of a nickel and is in an area of hairless skin with a small sore in the middle. The vet said it should probably come off, but she was going to get a second opinion. I think I will add a separate post for the skin cancer for some additional advice.

Questions....

1. What should I be feeding my boxer? Is what she is getting good or not?
2. How can I prevent the attacks?
3. Is there a supplement for her pain/nausea?
4. Will I be able to "cure" her of this?
5. And being 12 years old and with pancreatitis, would you recommend having the surgery? (More details in the other post).
 

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I commented on one of your previous posts, so forgive me for posting twice! But from my limited knowledge she should be on digestive enzymes and a low fat/fiber diet. the website epi4dogs.com lists brands of foods and enzymes such as "Enzyme-Diane Enzymes" and as far as food goes the have a whole list under EPI>DIET>DOG FOOD OPTIONS. They have so many brands and then list which formulas in that brand fit into the low fiber/fat diet.
 

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Thanks again. Yes, I commented on your other post. Additional question though is for you or anyone...

I bought a large bag of the Hills ID. Is that "good enough" to use for preventing additional attacks?

My vet said to call if my boxer had any more attacks. I am guessing she will recommend another antibiotic. I have not called her yet as I am hoping to handle this with food.

I will check out the foods there. I also wonder if I should simply feed her rice and chicken/scrambled eggs.

Are eggs okay to feed her? Should I limit the amount?

And BTW, if there is any threads on here that have alot of this info, feel fre to direct me to it.

All help is appreciated. I know she is old, but being that I think she may have another breed in her lineage, my hope is that she will be able to make it longer than the "average" boxer.
 

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Do you give her digestive enzymes? from what i understand its ESSENTIAL for helping with digestive problems and pancreas problems. Hills i/d is pretty crappy, i feed half a bag to my guy who has irritable bowel disease and it didnt help (not to mention the price is high just because its "prescription") people are actually suing Hills and royal canine because there is nothing that makes them prescription. I know some people have success with their food, but its not the best you can feed especially for the price. I give my guy digestive enzymes to help him digest and absorb more nutrients. I think that if you gave the enzymes a try (assuming you arent now) you could see some improvement. have you been referred to a specialist for her chronic pancreatitis?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
By digestive enzymes, do you mean probiotics? I did start them just a couple of days ago.

I still need to check out the link you gave for some food choices. I did buy the Hills ID, but I probably would mix them along with giving her rice and eggs.
 

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This article is worth reading about pancreatitis. Dogaware also has a great article on low-fat diets. Mary Straus really did her research when writing these.

DogAware.com Articles: Pancreatitis in Dogs

My personal experience with pancreatitis was that my Boxer needed a novel protein, low-fat diet to stop the flares. Any foods with chicken, or chicken fat set things off. The enzymes they use for EPI come from pork. He was allergic to that also. There were no commercial diets that were low enough in fat. His internist recommended Hill's z/d (hydrolyzed chicken) which worked really well. The regular vet didn't treat pancreatitis enough so she referred us to a Internal Medicine specialist. The pain can be horrible, so we used Tramadol. He'd get injections for the nausea, and would be put on IV if he was too dehydrated. We ha a board-certified radiologist do an ultrasound to rule out any pancreatic cysts or tumors. Cancer is rare, but would have been so painful, we would have helped him join the angels. Hope this helps. It's an awful disease.
 

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Digestive enzymes and probiotics are different, i give both. the enzymes i use are plant based, and im sure they arent the kind needed for pancreatitis but i just add them to help my guy break down his food.
 

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HenryVan. I wouldn't want to give medical advise as I'm not qualified to do so. Pancreatitis is serious and you really need to stay in touch with your dogs vet to find what is suitable for him. I'm sorry your having to deal with this. We had a shih tzu with this years ago.
 

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My boxer has the same thing I did some research on what the best dog to give her and I found out they said a low fat dog for so I found blue Buffalo Life protection formula healthy weight chicken and brown rice recipe
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice.

I am in contact with my vet. The vet said to contact the office is she had flare ups. She had one last week, but I am convinced that it was caused by me giving her two eggs with her prescription food each time. My vet said that adding a little scrambled eggs was fine, but I added two per serving. And she had three servings which was...six eggs.

So, I think I caused it.

Since then I have purchased actual digestive enzymes. They are cubes. She should have three a day. I also am adding egg whites to her food. This adds some protein plus she enjoys them. I think the bland Prescription diet is..well, bland.

She has had three great days so far, but since she often has one attack a week, we are not out of the woods yet even though I think I know what her triggers were. Unless it is something in her, we are controlling every bite that goes in her.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If I may add a link to show what type of enzymes I am giving her....
https://www.chewy.com/naturvet-advanced-probiotics-enzymes/dp/128172?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=hg&utm_content=NaturVet&utm_term=&gclid=CNXghqua99ICFca3wAod-0IDiQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

The question is: is this enough if she has EPI? Is this good for chronic pancreatitis?

Is there a way for the non-vet to tell the difference between chronic pancreatitis and EPI?

I am debating as to whether I should ask the vet if she has EPI or see how she progresses. Two things that caught my attention about EPI is that:

1. She does have firm yellower stools. I noticed this a couple of months ago. But could that be related to chronic pancreatitis too?

2. She is not fat by any means. She always has been slimmer and smaller for a boxer (which was not bad at all according to the vet who said she looked fine). Her normal weight is 55#. When she was at 59# four years ago, the vet said I should get her weight down based on her size. The last two times at the vet she weighted in a 53#. Most dogs with CP are overweight.

Yet looking back, it is really easy to see how she could have gotten CP. she has been "spoiled" with table scraps.

So, should I call the vet to check for EPI yet, or wait a couple of weeks? Months?

Her last test showed that the pancreas and liver enzymes were abnormal. Is that more of a sign of CP when both are abnormal or can that be for both?

Thanks.
 

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From what I have read, chronic pancreatitis can sometimes lead to EPI., but in EPI,the yellow stool or clay colored stool is not firm but loose. It can be managed with supplements and vitamins. I thought this site explained it pretty well Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (Maldigestion Disorder) in Dogs
but again I'm not medically educated.
this link says that these enzymes help
The major digestive enzymes are protein molecules that are produced and stored in the pancreas. They include trypsin, chymotrypsin, amylase, and lipase. The trypsin and chymotrypsin break down protein molecules, the amylase breaks down starches, and lipase does the same to fats and triglycerides.
It looks like what you are giving does contain the amylase and lipase. So in my "uneducated brain" it looks to me that possible this can help some.
I can only speak for me but I'd watch my dog carefully, keep her diet strict, (as your doing). and give it time to work. Keep a record by date/stool any pertinent info in a small binder, and if she has a flare up, you can correlate it and then speak to your vet.
Again I say I'm not medically inclined but this is just me and what I would do.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks. I will read the info at the link you gave.

I did weigh my dog last night and while she looks skinnier to me, she isn't by much at all, and the difference could be explainable. Four weeks ago, I weighed her and she was 53.4#. Yesterday, she was 52.7#, so less than a pound in a month. And being that the vet had her at 52.9 three weeks ago (assuming their scale is similar), then the change is not much.

She has been eagerly eating three cups of Hills ID with one egg white mixed in with it. All other hand outs have been stopped except maybe a piece of egg or allowing her to clean an already clean bowl/plate. She has been acting happy and normal overall since last Thursday when I really clamped down on her food.

Time will tell.
 

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What is your vet giving her for her liver? There's a drug called Denamarin that works well. Is your vet using the Spec-cPL test, and is it repeated a couple weeks after she improves? It's not perfect, but the best diagnostic test around so far. It would be really elevated when my dog got sick, but when he recovered and started eating again the vet would repeat it. The pancreatic enzymes would have gone back into the normal range. If it would still be high, with no symptoms, that told us the inflammation was still smouldering. Inflammation destroys the cells of the pancreas, and after awhile there is not enough left to aid in digestion.

Sweet potato chews, and small pieces of plain bagels worked out for treats.
 
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