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Newsletter - April 2014

We made it! Despite what seemed like a never ending winter, spring is finally here. Snow has melted, and we've had rain, so backyards are quite muddy. Tori gets her paws washed nearly every time she comes back into the house, but you have to catch her first. She leaves patterns of wet dirt on the hardwood floor as she twirls, scampers, and walks backward to get away. The hardwood is the least of my concerns because it washes easily. The carpets....not so much. To keep her on hardwood would be easy enough if she obeyed the "stay" command, and she's good at that - until she knows she's going to have her paws washed yet again. You might say that she's not well trained, and you're probably right, but we prefer to think of her as an independent spirit. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Seminar Reminder

This is your last chance to sign up for my seminar in Toronto being hosted by Speaking Of Dogs on April 13th, 2104. Registration is here. It's going to be a great day, full of information that will help you to help your dog from puppyhood to old age. I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Is it Pancreatitis?

Typically, dogs with pancreatitis vomit profusely, may have diarrhea, lose weight, refuse food, and are in pain. But not every dog fits this profile. Some, like our Tori, bounce around happily, eat with gusto and keep the food down every single day. It's only because I've worked with so many of these cases that I wondered about pancreatitis when Tori had awful stool (a mushy mess with mucus) for a few weeks. Given that her GI tract has always been robust, and her diet hadn't changed, it seemed to me that if she didn't have parasites (we dewormed her), or a bacterial overgrowth (the prescription for Tylan did nothing to help her even after four weeks), pancreatitis was a possibility. In Tori's case, it could very well be related to the medications she takes for IMHA, but regardless of the cause, a blood test seemed reasonable.

The chemistry profile revealed that amylase and lipase (two enzymes that are sometimes elevated when pancreatitis is present) were normal. Based on this alone, it would be easy to suggest that she didn't have pancreaitits, so I'm glad that we ran the cPL test as well. It's based on this far more acurate test that she was diagnosed.

The diet of a dog with pancreatitis must be low in fat. Dietary fat prompts the pancreas to produce the greatest number of enzymes when the goal is to rest the pancreas instead. I changed Tori's diet to rabbit and potato, and her response was faster than expected. Stool was suddenly shaped and almost without visible mucus. It's been a couple of weeks now, and she seems to be doing really well. Another cPL test will follow, of course. Just as my experience with dogs over the years has helped me to think about pancreatitis in Tori's case, I hope you'll remember Tori's experience if your own dog seems to have mysterious stool trouble without a diagnosis from the start.


"Life is short. Play with your dog" ~ author unknown



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