Since the last few months, Junior was throwing up bile. There was no consistent pattern to it and he would randomly throw the same at any odd hour. After a series of tests, the Vet finally figured out that he had Pancreatitis.
When the Vet informed me that he has a doubt that Junior is suffering from Pancreatitis, the first thought that came into my mind was that Junior’s pancreas are damaged or not functioning properly and he has got diabetes and will be put on insulin. My heart sank and being a “google doctor” only worsened the anxiety!
What is Pancreatitis? How did Junior get it? What were his symptoms? Let me explain you everything here.
Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas get inflated. That’s an organ near the stomach that helps digest food, and, control blood sugar. Experts aren’t quite sure what causes pancreatitis but in Junior’s case, we assume it was a sudden change of food. Although, we too aren’t 100% sure as Junior had showed symptoms from a few months before and it escalated when I changed his food.
The first time Junior threw up bile was when I started his treatment for Staph disease; that was in April 2020. But that time, we assumed it was due to the acidity caused by the antibiotics. Ever since, every two weeks Junior would throw up bile. And each time we assumed something or the other like hot weather, eating too fast, heavy rains, heart problem, arthritis, etc. Junior’s vomits soon increased from once in two weeks to once every week.
We got his blood tests done in July to rule out any major illness as this was one of the symptoms that Casper had displayed when he was suffering from Liver Cirrhosis. You know how it feels when you have already lost one dog at an early age, all the bad memories come flashing back when your other dog is suffering too. I was beyond paranoid and anxious as Junior would not stop throwing up bile no matter whatever treatment the Vet gave him.
There was one day when I took him to the Vet for a checkup, and Junior barely made it home because he was heavily palpitating and his temperature was not coming under control. That day I literally thought I had lost him. Junior’s blood reports came back and they were all normal (by God’s grace). That day, the Vet suggested we do his heart checkup and referred me to a heart specialist for Animals. I got an appointment and got the checkup done. Fortunately, his heart too was absolutely fine. Now we were confused as to what could be the problem since all this reports were normal. Then we took the traditional route and did some lifestyle changes for Junior like change of walk time, change in his meal time, the portion of his meals, the duration of his walks, etc.
But despite all our efforts, Junior kept throwing up. I was sad and heartbroken seeing my child suffering from months and somewhere I was failing to get him cured. Then I was talking to a friend of mine who’s dog suffered from similar symptoms. She told me that it could be due to Bravecto. Bravecto is a chewy that kills ticks and prevents fleas’ infestation in dogs. I have given Junior Bravecto twice before and so did my friend. Her dog was vomiting and was put on saline and she doubted that we had fed our dogs with pesticide which is poison because if a chewy can kill ticks, then how harmful will it be to the dogs too as we feed them that. Somewhere, I too agree with her and will never be feeding Junior Bravecto again.
I went to the Vet again after Junior’s next episode of vomiting. Before I could ask him anything, he suggested I try changing Junior’s food brand and contents. I did so and he was fine for a week, but all hell broke loose the next when Junior threw up 9 times in 24 hours. That was the first time in his life that he had thrown up so much. Junior was given injections, put on saline as he had dehydrated, given medicines, but nothing worked.
That was the time the Vet said that he thinks Junior may be suffering from Pancreatitis. Let me tell you, there are several reasons why dogs vomit, so it is very difficult to find the cause, especially when all the reports are normal. And besides his reports being normal, Junior did not have any loose motions or was never lethargic. So in his case, we took months to know what Junior was actually suffering from.
In September 2020 we did his ultrasound and it confirmed inflammation of Pancreas i.e. Pancreatitis. I was advised to immediately withdraw food and water from Junior for 48 hours. The first 24 hours was zero food and water, and the next 24 hours he was given ice cubes and little vanilla ice cream. Junior started responding and stopped vomiting. After 48 hours, the vet started a Pancreatitis medication course and put him on a Veterinary diet food. He also warned me that since we are starting food again, Junior may vomit once or twice, so not to panic. Since I was already in panic mode, the vet assured me that Junior was not critical, and if I followed the instructions well, he will make a slow but full recovery.
I followed all the instructions of the Vet to the dot and Junior kept improving every day. Today, Junior is off all medications, has not thrown up in more than a month and his daily routine is back to usual. The only thing that continues is the special diet which I have to give him for 3 months before we start his regular food. The vet informed me that Pancreatitis is not an illness but a lifestyle condition which can be managed with proper care and knowledge. I am glad that Junior is on the path of recovery before it was too late and as we doubt, I will never suddenly change his food and always follow the vet’s guidance.
Junior’s symptoms were:
- Bile Vomit
- X Ray
- Blood Work
- Withhold Food and Water for 24-48 hours
- Pancreatitis Medicines
- Low Fat Gastrointestinal Food
All of the above may vary from dog to dog and case to case. Pancreatitis doesn’t mean your dog has diabetes. Please do not use any home remedies and it is always advisable to consult a Vet at the earliest.