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This morning, we woke up to find Duke lethargic and VERY uncomfortable.  He looked like his tummy hurt, and he wouldn't sit or lie down.  He was just standing there pathetically, with his head hanging down almost to the ground, and his tummy/back end hunched up.   :cry:  He was also nauseous, but didn't vomit this morning (he had vomitted some yellow bile once on Wednesday, but seemed fine otherwise).  We called the vet, who told us to bring him right in.  We did just that, and the vet examined him, finding no signs of bloat, then ran blood tests, finding nothing wrong except a very slight elevation in an indicator for pancreatitis (I can't remember the exact indicator-sorry).  The actual test for pancreatitis was negative.  She then x-rayed his abdominal area and rear end and still found nothing alarming.  She did say that he still had fecal matter in his intestine (his stomach was empty), and that he might be severely constipated.  I told her that he'd been off his feed a little for the past two days, only eating about 1/2 of it each night.  He had also tried to poop this morining before we called the vet, but not much came out.  She said that Duke might have gotten a little dehydrated due to not getting enough moisture from his food.  Duke had NOT eaten anything he shouldn't have, as far as we know-we're really careful what we feed him, after reading about boxer's digestive issues.

We decided to let the vet keep Duke until Monday, so that she could give him fluids, nausea medicine, and possibly an enema (she said she doesn't really like to give large dogs enemas, but Duke might need one to give him some relief), as well as being able to monitor him, in case he gets worse.  Poor guy, he looked SO miserable.  I guess we'll have to add broth or a little canned food to his kibble (Royal Canin Boxer) to make sure he's getting enough moisture.  He is given plenty of fresh water daily.  Has anyone else had this happen?  :?:
 

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I've never had this issue with any of my boxers, but I sure hope Duke will be ok and feeling better real soon.
 

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Get better soon Duke.  Sending healthy vibes your way from:
 

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I hope that Duke feels better and can come home soon.
 

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Oh my goodness, poor guy...Hoping he gets better..It has to be very lonely around your house without him there....I may be wrong on this, but I wouldn't think that the lack of moisture in his food wouldn't cause that, especially if he has been drinking plenty of water...You can add some broth, make sure you use low sodium and I water it down even further when i use it, about 1/2 & 1/2..just pour a wee bit over the food..
 

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I feed Odin RC boxer formula and I've never had that problem. I'm so sorry to hear about Duke though! Like Willow said... I bet it's awfully lonely ad quiet at home...  :cry:  :cry: Hopefully they'll get him all fixed up!
 

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So sorry to hear...that is interesting I would agree with Willow. That doesn't seem like a reason to make him dehydrated...but hey i am no vet! Britney is on large puppy RC and she never has any constipation unless she ate some newspaper!  8O  But I chuck that up to some added fiber in her diet.  

Also, everything I have read it should be fed dry because of the bloat issues in boxers.

Please give us an update after you know more.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies and concern.
 

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Did the vets run a Spec-cPL test?  These are probably the most reliable for diagnosing pancreatitis.  The bloodwork is sent to IDEXX, or there is a snap test a vet can do right in the office.  The snap just indicates positive or negative though, not the actual number.  Amylase and Lipase can be elevated sometimes for other reasons.  I don't know the fat level in RC-Boxer, but if pancreatitis is suspected you might try a diet with moderate protein, and very low fat.  Sometimes ultrasound is recommended, but the pancreas is a little more difficult to visualize by ultrasound because it's tucked up under that big ribcage in the breed.

I hope Duke is feeling his old self soon.  It is scary stuff, but we were able to manage IBD, and secondary pancreatitis for years with the proper diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
[quote="owenowlsnest\";p=\"86696":20rvh5jz]Did the vets run a Spec-cPL test?
 

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His former mom admitted to me that she emptied out her refrigerator and gave all of the leftovers to Duke at once when she was moving!  :roll:
WOW... that would do a dog some damage!! POOR BABY!!! Hope you get to bring him home and he's back to his old self VERY SOON!!
 

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Hope Duke is feeling better soon.....In general a lack of water "within the food" will not cause constipation, but it also depends on if other things are being given as well (snacks/table food).  Drinking water of course keeps them hydrated and if they slack off on water at all they have the chance of being dehydrated and also constipated.  They dehydrate much faster then we would. A dog that sticks with kibble and then gets table food or a fatty snack has a stomach ache.  That is the easy way to explain it.  If your dog just has an issue with constipation then a small amount of mineral oil in the food a couple times a week will help with that! :)

If the pancreatitis test were negative then you could be dealing with nothing more then a bad stomach ache, or a bacterial infection in the intestine's....Some fluids and Metronidazole and your good to go....:)

Wait and see how things go before you worry about changing foods, it is hard to find a food that agree's with the boxer belly.  RC is a good food, but it is high in fat. I think about 20%. If you have a dog with a bout of pancreatitis you want that number to be down around 16-17%.  There are many good foods and you do not have to go to an RX diet from the vets office, most lamb and rice are lower in fat too....
 

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Hope he is feeling better soon.  Poor guy!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
[quote="sharonL\";p=\"86748":qecbbuf9]Hope Duke is feeling better soon.....In general a lack of water "within the food" will not cause constipation, but it also depends on if other things are being given as well (snacks/table food).
 

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I'll try to do some research on foods lower in fat.  The Euk Fish & Potato, and IVD Light Duck & Potato vet foods didn't work out well for us, and I ended up home-cooking.  RC makes a low fat kibble, but those diets can be costly.  Pinnacle makes a trout and sweet ptoato that lists 10% fat. VeRUS 11% fat,, Hund-N-Flocken 10% fat, and California Natural Chicken Meal and Rice is 11% fat.

The energy provided by fat in the diet should not be over 18%.  To figure out the real amount of fat in the kibble subtract the moisture percentage on the label from 100.  If the moisture says 10%, you have 90.  Divide that by the fat% listed on the label.  That gives you the dry matter fat level.

You may just be dealing with gastritis, or some kind of bug.  Sounds like you and your vet are on top of it.  Some dogs can have pancreatitis without enzyme elevations.  Even a mild case can cause a lot of gas, and that can be painful in itself.  Give Duke a hug.
 

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Duke came home today!  The vet asked me to come and visit Duke after I got off work, so I did.  The vet said that they got him to eat a little bit yesterday (Sunday), but couldn't get him to eat anything today.  She wanted to see if it was because he was still sick or because he was depressed about being there.  When Duke saw me, he went into his wiggle-butt routine, and boy, did he look better than he did on Saturday!  The vet fed him some Royal Canin low fat prescription canned food with me there, but he was too distracted to eat it.  She still let me bring him home, with the understanding that I keep a really close eye on his input and output.  She sent me home with 3 cans of the prescription RC low fat canned food, and he managed to eat almost 1/2 can a few minutes ago.  I guess that's pretty good, considering how lousy he felt this weekend.  The vet said that if he were to eat normally, he'd need 3 cans/day, and that I should feed him a little bit at a time, a 2-3 times a day, until he's back to normal-no dry food today or tomorrow.

So far, so good.  Keep your fingers crossed.  There was no definitive diagnosis, other than possible pancreatitis, despite the negative test results (it was the cPL Snap Test that Duke was given on Saturday, in addition to the blood work).  

I'm definitely thinking about changing Duke's food away from RC (it has a 20% fat content-higher than most brands). I've thought about  trying one of the following:

Canidae Lamb and Rice (12.5% fat; only drawback: I have to drive 45 minutes to another town to get it)
Blue Natural Lamb and Brown Rice  (12% fat).  
RC Labrador  (13% fat and my other dog is already eating it).
RC Bulldog (also lower in fat - 14%, with no corn or wheat).

Opinions?  :?:  

Question:  why does RC put so much fat into their boxer food, when digestive issues are common complaints in the breed?  It makes no sense to me.  I also noticed that the boxer formula has wheat gluten in it, which I've read on this and other sites can cause digestive upset.
 
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