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Old 01-29-2018, 09:36 AM
BelleBelle's Mom BelleBelle's Mom is offline
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Default Belle Belle Angel Status 1/30/18

Hello, all. New here.

My baby's name is Bella Grace. She is a 9YO Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, my furry soulmate, and the absolute love of my and her daddy's lives. She has been diagnosed with diabetes for about a year, with not too much success regulating it.

A few months ago, she came down with gastroenteritis, spent 3 days in the hospital, but made it out fine ($4,000 later, of course).

Two weeks ago, she became really sick again with high blood sugar, DKA, and acute pancreatitis. After 3 more days in the hospital and about $3,000 more, she again came home to us despite the "very poor to very guarded" prognosis of the hospital vets. She fought that battle hard and was absolutely determined to come home.

Starting this past Saturday, she began to refuse to eat, became nauseous, and began to become lethargic again. We took her in just to buy a glucometer and have the vet show us how to do it. By the time we left, she was back to her perky self (she absolutely hates it there now). However, Sunday/yesterday was a long, lethargic, not-doing-too hot day for her.

Her ribcage puffed out (she was bloated - I think the vet calls it "distended abdomen"), obviously retaining a lot of fluid, and not having much luck keeping down food. So, we switched her to tiny meals of boiled chicken, small portions of water, and ice chips. We also took her along (re: basically dragged with abundant encouragement) for longer walks to try and get everything moving down there. It seemed to work.

But this morning, she has only had water - is interested in food/boiled chicken, but vomits it back up with copious amounts of water and/or bile. She manages to keep food down for about 6-8 hours only to have it come back up.

She's on Prilosec (for nausea) and an antibiotic from her last hospital visit - the vet kindly extended her prescription. She's also very, very lethargic and clearly doesn't feel well at all. The swelling in her rib cage did go down significantly until Daddy let her drink too much water (she has mastered "The Look").

I am pretty confident it is her pancreatitis coming back to bite us since I've read that it takes about 5 weeks for that to fully resolve. However - here is our predicament. We have already sunk around $8,000 into our baby. We can NOT afford to take her back to the vet even for a visit for at least a month, if not longer.

In order to get her treated this last time we had to take out a payday-type loan and pawn all of my jewelry - including my engagement ring. The vet is aware of our situation and they are doing their best to help us by phone whenever they can - however, obviously they keep repeating that we should bring her in.

It's not that I don't want to take her back - it's that we positively can't. Also, despite her lethargy and general I-don't-feel-good demeanor, I can tell she is still in good spirits and has a good attitude. She still seems to like her walks, definitely wants to eat/drink, and perks up when we talk to her.

That all being said - I found this forum looking up pancreatitis comorbid with diabetes, and I noticed when exploring the forums that several of you have had the same/similar problems.

What is your advice concerning her current situation? Do I just withhold food and water for a couple of days? Do I keep trying to do small meals/portions of water/ice chips? I want her to be comfortable, but I also want her to feel better. She's a little dehydrated - but again, water doesn't seem to stay down (ice cubes do seem to help a bit).

In case it helps, she's on 7 units of Vetsulin twice a day and the glucometer we bought is the AlphaTrak2.

Any advice or similar experiences you have to offer would be amazing. I feel awful for not being able to take her in - but the small efforts I have tried on my own seem to be more-or-less helping in some way.

BelleBelle and I thank you in advance!
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:43 AM
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MikeMurphy MikeMurphy is offline
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Location: Western New York
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

Hi and welcome to the forum.

So sorry BelleBelle is going through this. Pancreatitis is tough to deal with, but you can do it.

Hopefully others will chime in, but my Lily had acute pancreatitis a few years ago and the following quote is what I learned concerning her situation. The most important thing for us was to proceed slowly and not force food on her. This was a one time thing for her. Switching to a low fat diet is a must.

Originally Posted by MikeMurphy View Post
It's been over a week now since Lily's initial bout with pancreatitis. Here's some things that we have learned. Hopefully, they will help others on the forum who might experience this.
  • Recognize the symptoms - Lily was throwing up, wouldn't eat and was crying (she never has done that)
  • Get your dog to the vet ASAP
  • Our vet did the CBC blood test which came back normal and suspecting pancreatitis, did a pancreatic lipase test, which came back abnormal
  • Our vet put her on Cerenia to block vomiting, the antibiotic amoxicillin and tramadol for the pain
  • The vet put her on a bland diet of boiled chicken breast and brown rice, with plenty of water, and told me to proceed slowly, gradually increasing her meals and then switch over to a lower fat diet once things were back to normal.
  • She also recommended giving Lily 100mg of Milk Thistle daily. Milk Thistle helps with liver issues, but can also alleviate symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs.
  • She also advised me to check her BG levels more frequently and adjust her insulin accordingly.
  • The first few days Lily had very little appetite, so I hand fed her whenever she felt like eating
  • Over the weekend Lily was constipated, so the vet said to give her a tablespoon of Mineral Oil with her food. That solved that problem.

Lily is doing fine now. I switched her food over to Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Dry, which has 7% to 11% crude fat.
Lily is a 62 lb English Setter, born 07-27-2007.
Diabetes: Aug 2013 - Hypothyroidism: Dec 2013 - Cataract Surgery: Feb 2014
Insulin: Novolin R/N mix - Meter: ReliOn Prime
Nulo Adult Trim Cod & Lentils, Pumpkin, FortiFlora, Dasuquin, Thyroxine

Last edited by MikeMurphy; 01-29-2018 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:18 PM
BelleBelle's Mom BelleBelle's Mom is offline
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

Thanks for the reply! We started feeding her Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight when she came home from the hospital. I did some research on comparable food to the Royal Canin she was fed at the vet. She LOVED it - which is why we were concerned when she started refusing it Saturday.

Do you think she will be okay on just ice chips for about 24 hours - until her stomach settles down?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:48 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

How's her blood sugar?

She can have some insulin even if she won't eat - are you giving her insulin?

Most dogs can easily manage 1/4 to 1/3 of their usual dose when eating nothing at all.

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Old 01-29-2018, 02:23 PM
BelleBelle's Mom BelleBelle's Mom is offline
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

She's not regulated yet - starts out in the 400-500s every morning (she's about 20 pounds) so we gave her the full dose this morning. I've been monitoring it all day.


Paused to check again - we use an AlphaTrak2 and it just says HI. According to the manual, that means it's over 750 mg/dl. Excuse me while I PANIC!

Help please?!
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:18 PM
Riliey and Mo Riliey and Mo is offline
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

please go to your nearest emergency vet to have Belle checked out
Riliey . aka Ralphy, Alice, Big Boy
20 lb male. 5 1/2 nph insulin. 1/2 cup fromms. black cockapoo, dx Apr 2012 . 5 1\2 yrs diabetic. 2000 to 2017
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:46 PM
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Judi Judi is offline
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

if she is throwing off ketones she could be in trouble. do you have any "r" insulin to bring her down?
Jenny: 6/6/2000 - 11/10/2014 She lived with diabetes and cushings for 3 1/2 years. She was one of a kind and we miss her.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:53 PM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

Hi, sorry you are having these troubles. If you canít get to the vet, you should try to keep her hydrated. Maybe add some chicken broth or tuna water to her drinking water. I used Pedialyte but Maggie usually needed the sugar. They make some without sweetener. She is probably also in significant pain. If you can find a way to alleviate that. Maybe your vet could give her something like tramadol without seeing her. If possible, cerenia would be good for the vomiting if your vet is feeling generous.

Some Novolin R could help in bringing down the blood sugar. It usually only takes a small amount to see a change.

You could also try some baby food, like chicken or turkey. I usually added water to it so it wouldnít be so strong tasting.

Do you have ketone strips? If she has ketones, this canít usually be handled at home.

Hoping she turns a corner for the better - let us know how she is doing.
Maggie - 15 1/2 y/o JRT diagnosed 9/2007, Angel status on 6/20/16. Her mantra was never give up but her body couldn't keep up with her spirit. Someday, baby.......
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:06 AM
BelleBelle's Mom BelleBelle's Mom is offline
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

Hi all,

Thanks so much for the advice and your willingness to help a newcomer.

Unfortunately, yesterday my baby told me that she was tired and done fighting, so we had to help her achieve angel status.

Again, thanks so much for the help.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:27 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: How to Manage CoMorbid Pancreatitis at Home?

you did all you could do for your baby . when they say its enough its time to say goodbye and you recognized that and had the courage to help you baby crossover
Jesse-26 lbs - 15.5 years old - 10 years diabetic - one meal a day homemade and a vitabone snack - 3 shots of Novolin a day sometimes Novolog or r as a correction to higher sugar but that is rare. total insulin for a 24 hour period is between 8 and 10 units of NPH insulin depending on her fasting number
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