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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Pancreatitis or IMH Anemia or Liver

    My 4 yo Pyrenees is very sick this week, gradual onset of lethargy , decreased appetite for his dry dog food, and 'orange poop'. The vet was suspicious of hemolytic Anemia or liver problem but the tests said although he is anemic it is not auto-immune.

    However the amylase and especially the lipase values are elevated sky high. So then it is maybe pancreatitis? Although his symptoms dont match the pattern of pancreatitis, no vomiting, still eating lots if I give him chicken and rice.

    He spent the day at the vet for IV fluids 'to flush his system' and also received an anti-biotic, tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same. Really, they don't know what it is possibly pancreat itis, pancreas abcess or cancer are the ideas floating around as maybe's. They are very unsure, which does not inspire much confidence in their treatment ideas. It's kind of a shotgun approach with some wishful thinking, Does anyone have any ideas or sound familiar?

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Lilac, so very sorry to have to read this incident as your first post on the forum...however...it sounds like you & your vet
    are doing everything possible for your boy.
    If you are not satisfied with what the vet is doing, well, maybe looking into another vet or a vet school in your area might help.
    One thing I have learned through the time I have had dogs in my life, is that vet's are human...they don't always have the answers, as frustrating as that may be.

    I have honestly not had a dog with these symptoms, I have has a dog with osteosarcoma, which was diagnosed via a radiograph.

    Please keep us up to date on how your boy is doing...

    Healing thoughts for your boy til then....

    Nancy & Rudy

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    I am very sorry that your baby is not feeling well at all. I am also sorry to say that it is not unusual for vets to appear to be just guessing at treatment options. Elevated amylase and lipase could be pancreatitis or it could be other issues. Have radiographs been done, if not I'd start with that. If that is inconclusive, I'd go with ultrasound. The orange poop if it's not because you've changed food recently, then it would suggest liver disease. Liver disease could have different causes, including cancer. There are blood tests that could indicate cancer but it has to be sent to specific labs that test for that. Ultrasound can give clues of presence of tumors but it isn't always conclusive. The next option is CT scan which is usually very expensive.

    I think your vet is proceeding in a way that is fairly common. If you want to know more, you will have to consider the other diagnostic tests, you didn't mention those so I am assuming they haven't been done. But even where all diagnostic tests are done and an owner offering detailed information, diagnosis can nevertheless be elusive. Nearly 2 years ago I took my Bijou to the vet because I thought she was "kinda off." We started with blood tests, all negative. Radiographs showed a shadow. Ultrasound was inclusive. Exploratory surgery followed which uncovered massive inflammation and abnormality of the small intestine such that the vet closed her up without going any further for fear of killing her. Massive doses of steroid was administered to reduce inflammation and a second ultrasound done later was still inconclusive. We were referred to the internist specialists but Bijou never made it there. We had to say goodbye to Bijou 5 weeks after when I took her in because she was "kinda off." Her vet opened her up after her death without us requesting it because it bothered him that he could not pinpoint the cause. He found her liver completely obliterated and he believed the cause to be cancer that originated in the mesentery that metastasized into the liver.

    I hope that your boy's condition is not too serious and that he will improve with the support treatment that he is being provided.

  4. #4
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you, it is very nice to have your well wishes. No we have not gone yet to US or X-ray or CT. I agree though, after scouring the internet, I think they are doing what is a normal solution aside from ASAP CT scan and surgery. From what I read US can be quite inconclusive too in that if they see something they are still not sure what it is, so then its surgery. Today I picked him up after IV fluids and antibiotics, and they told me he was perkier each time they took him out to pee. Also he was trying to climb into any and everybody's car ( to get away!) so he was showing a bit of spunk. Fever from this AM was down, and retest of enzymes etc tomorrow morn will determine the next step. Right now he is happy to be in his backyard again.

    I know from your stories, and others, I am not alone in going through really serious health struggles ...Jewel, and Nick's Spriit, I appreciate your insights and concern.

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Yes, ultrasound is not very detailed so while it can suggest abnormality, it may not provide enough details. I've not ever done a CT scan because of the cost, which is many times the price of the US. In our case, the discussion was if we did the CT scan, and it comes back with more details which leads to surgery anyway, I've have had to pay the very expensive CT scan to end up having to do surgery anyway. In our case the exploratory surgery ended up cheaper than a CT scan. To do the CT scan they have to be put the dog under as completely as they do for surgery to ensure complete stillness. So that's another concern if the dog ends up needing surgery anyway. It's a lot of anesthesia to put on a dog that is already weakened with illness.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Lilac, I hope your boy continues to get stronger & spunkier...

    but I do hope they find the source of this problem...

    please keep us informed!

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    I am so sorry to hear about your pups health concerns. I hope he continues to improve. The only thing I have to offer to the wanting to find out what is happening is to ask if you are feeding him a food that comes from China? I know that Beneful had a lot of problems, and it was very hard to diagnose what was going on. I would look to feeding him an organic grain free food and see if that helps any at all. I wish I could offer more insight on this, but it is nothing I have ever dealt with before.

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)

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    He has been eating Natural Balance Sweet Potato Venison for 3 years. We settled on this as he finally stopped having itchy skin and hot spots. It is grain free but not organic.

    As for an update, he has been home for 3 days now, the first day he slept and barely moved at all, but each day he is a bit better. He drinks well, and is going for walks and is still on antibiotics, and now I am trying to figure out what he will eat as he gets better. Turned down the classic chicken and rice! Today he had scrambled eggs and sweet potatoes.

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