Experiences of getting weight onto a dog with pancreatitis?

(5 Posts)
moosemama Wed 06-May-20 17:13:21

My dog has a complex medical history, resulting most recently in pancreatitis and inflammation right through his digestive tract. When we finally managed to get that settled he had an ischemic brain ‘event’, all of which have been caused by his main conditions and the medication for them.

He’s now doing a bit better, but is absolutely skeletal. Well below the ‘extremely underweight’ shape you see on the charts. He looks horrendous, being a Lurcher, he’s naturally slender anyway, but the combination of hairloss, pigmentation, muscle wasting and fragile skin caused by the meds and now this weight-loss means he looks like the worst possible cruelty cases you see in the papers. We have to keep coats on him 24/7 and have had to put child protection bumpers on lots of our furniture as, being so bony, he injures himself really easily just bumping into things. I’ve also had to buy him a massive white coat to protect him from the sun, as he hyperpigments with very little exposure and has so little fur to protect him and it’s not practical to smother a dog of his size in sun lotion from head to toe.

He used to be on a salmon and rice kibble, which suited him well - usual weight just a touch under 30kg. When he was weighed last week, just before he had the brain event he was 22 and I suspect he lost a bit more over the worst of that period as well. We can’t lift him to weigh him at home now, because it sets off balance issues, similar to vertigo, due to the brain event, so I’m working on the basis of him being about 8/9 kg underweight for his normal.

He’s been on a diet of scrambled egg, poached white fish and quinoa four times a day for a few weeks now, in an attempt to calm his digestive system and it’s certainly working for that, as he’s back to normal poos, no more vomiting and no longer symptomatic for abdo pain.

His appetite is huge - bearing in mind he essentially has iatrogenic cushings caused by long term prednisolone (which we can’t reduce at the moment). So he’ll basically eat anything that’s put in front of him.

My problem is that, having had pancreatitis, his food now has to be low fat and I haven’t a clue how to build his weight back up on a low fat diet.

We’re working on his muscle loss, as I am aware that’s part of the weightloss and also the skeletal look, but he’s still quite weak, so it’s a very very slow process. He’s just in the last couple of days started to trot around the garden when we’re out there and he will walk circuits of the garden with me as well (he’s not allowed out for walks as he’s immune compromised due to the meds he’s on). He’s definitely feeling much better in himself and we’re seeing his personality returning more and more.

Has anyone got any experience of getting weight onto a dog that was only allowed a low-fat diet? I’ve been reading lots about commercial dog foods, been on the allaboutdogfood comparison site and have sent for a sample of the fish version of Millie’s Wolfheart, but am happy to keep cooking for him if that’s the best option.

Any advice/experiences would be appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
jinxpixie Wed 06-May-20 18:08:04

There is a facebook page for canine pancreatitis which may help you.

www.facebook.com/groups/1095512307130280/?hc_location=ufi

I am no medic but in my experience what works for one dog may not work for another. There is a lot of food that is aimed at dogs with pancreatitis.

In my experience although low fat food if the flare ups are controlled then there is a gentle weight gain. It may work to give him the Millies then give him extra eg the poached fish as well.

If the food works for you use it and do not get sidetracked by other peoples views and ideas.

Good luck I hope he feels better soon

moosemama Wed 06-May-20 18:33:00

Thank you. I will look up that FB page.

I’ve read up a lot about the foods aimed specifically at pancreatitis and to be honest I don’t like the look of the ‘science’ type vet diets, as they’re full of fillers and junk.

I’m really hoping Millies is going to be ok for him, then as you suggest, we can supplement the poached fish and eggs as well. I want him to have a good quality food, but can’t risk either high fat or high fibre with him, which makes it so tricky.

It was the specialist vet who suggested the quinoa, as it’s digestible protein with essential amino acids and after trying rice first we found that his digestion improved almost overnight once he was on it.

It is difficult though, as you mentioned, people are so passionate about what they feed their dogs, but what works for one, won’t necessarily for another. I don’t want to try lots of different things and end up upsetting his digestive system again, but he’s not really gaining at all at the moment, even though there’s been a gradual increase in intake to the point where we can’t really increase without overloading him.

OP’s posts: |
Iwantacookie Wed 06-May-20 18:42:41

I'm sure I read in take a break or magazine like that a dog was given cbd and helped. I'm pretty sure it was what you said your dog has.
Hope this helps.

moosemama Wed 06-May-20 19:04:56

iwantacookie funnily enough, the vet we saw recommended cbd, although for his anxiety, rather than his health issues. They said it was off the record and based on them using it for their own dog. I’ve bought some, but haven’t given him any yet, as I wanted him medically stable, first, so it doesn’t cloud the picture in any way. Unfortunately, he then had the ischemic event (basically a small stroke) a week later, so I still haven’t used it on him.

OP’s posts: |

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