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Mild Pancreatitis / Diet Switch


Guest maliavale
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Guest maliavale

Hi, all -- I'm a new forum member, though I've read dozens of posts over the past several months searching on topics for our grey, Senna. What a great community -- and thank you! : )

 

My question is kind of a blend of food and diet discussion, and health and medical, but I figured I'd start here.

 

Senna is 2.5 and has had off and on (mostly on) GI issues since we got her in December. Three to four months ago, she was diagnosed with mild pancreatitis, which the vet believes is a result of irritable bowels due to a food allergy. (She's had any number of fecal samples, diarrhea panels, etc., all of which turned up nothing as far as bacteria and worms go.) Since we've had her, she's been on several foods, including two hypoallergenic foods, one of which she eventually refused to eat (Royal Canin sweet potato and venison) and one she did not do well on (HA, with constant, kind of scary diarrhea). The vet's last option was to put her on a high-fiber, low-fat veterinary diet, and she's been on Prescription Diet w/d for the past three months. Surprisingly, and happily, she seems to be doing really well with it -- solid stools, good appetite, good energy, nice coat. But it isn't a long-term solution for us (it's too low-calorie for a greyhound who needs to put on a few pounds, and prohibitively expensive), and we're now looking for one. Next week, I have a vet appointment to discuss transitioning Senna to a new diet, one that can hopefully work long term. The vet has said we'll exhaust all options (w/d was the last) before having to do a colonoscopy, but of course no one wants that. But if Senna backslides with a transition, I fear it's going to come up. If the vet says we must do a colonoscopy, we'll likely get a second opinion. I also am planning to do more bloodwork next week and see about the pancreatitis levels, which could help guide us. Given all that, my questions are these:
1. Do you have any recommendations for a high-fiber, low-fat, high-quality dog food that isn't prescription? I think limited ingredients will also be key.
2. What can we do to help Senna transition to a new food, trying to avoid a relapse into diarrhea? Pumpkin, yogurt, probiotics and Fresh Factors seem to make only very middling differences, if any, with her.
3. Are there any other considerations with mild pancreatitis and diet in general that we should know about?
Thank you for any advice! We're keeping our fingers crossed at finding a good food she transitions well to.
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Have you tried oatmeal at all - it's high fiber and is usually in dog foods that are for sensitive stomachs. All three of my dogs get it each morning mixed with a bit of rice and hamburg. Only one of mine has severe food allergies in addition to slight kidney issues.

 

I might suggest moving to a home-cooked diet. You can start with one ingredient, maybe rice or potatoes and see if you can add that to the food without having issues. If that works, you can add a protein like beef or fish or pork. Personally, I would stay away from chicken, it has too many antibiotics that plays havoc with the GI tract. If Senna can tolerate the the carbo and protein, then add some veggies like green beans, carrots (cooked) but, it's best if they are like mush.

 

The problem with any dog food that you end up using is that they can change their formula and then you are back to square 1. With homemade, you control the ingredients. There are veterinary nutritionists that will put together a diet for you that will also include vitamin supplements and calcium.

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Have you considered having a food sensitivity test run? I'm in kind of the same boat you are. My grey Nadir's inability to hold his urine for the last 4 years have been tied to certain food items he has developed an intolerance to. If I eliminate that particular item he does alright. The problem is as time has gone by he's developed more sensitivities to the point I have literally tried everything. I even tried 2 different prescription hypoallergenic diets. Both he ate once then refused to eat anymore, which was then followed by a week of diarrhea. The problem I also have is that the internal medicine specialists I'm taking him to refuse to consider this as a cause for his inability to hold his urine. I'm thinking about having the Nutriscan food sensitivity test run if nothing more for my own piece of mind and at least prove to them that he does have food sensitivities.

 

The problem with any dog food that you end up using is that they can change their formula and then you are back to square 1. With homemade, you control the ingredients. There are veterinary nutritionists that will put together a diet for you that will also include vitamin supplements and calcium.

Once you find out what she can and can't eat, this would probably be your best course of action.

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After a near-brush with pancreatitis we put Beth on Hill's I/D and she's done so fabulously on it in every way I've never wanted to change (she's been on it 2+ years now). It's low fat/moderate protein but not a weight loss food. All of the poop problems she used to have are gone. Of course I get that you don't want the $$$ of prescription food. She maintains her weight easily and everyone comments on her silky coat.

 

There are also a couple of hounds on this forum who have IBD issues and can ONLY eat I/D -- but on it they are stable. I don't love paying for it and I don't know what the secret it, but I'm a believer.

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest sirsmom

You could try Natural Balance LID (limited ingredients) I know people who have good results. A grocery store food that may or may not be ideal if you need limited ingredients might be Iams Lamb and Rice (red bag). Your vet may have a better suggestion.

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UPS was on Precise Light. I had to order it online but bonus to that was it came right to my door :) I don't know how it rates on fiber content but it worked great as a low fat, higher protein food for her. My vet recommends Precise food in general and he is very particular of animal foods and products and he favors less chemicals and a more holistic approach.

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Guest maliavale

Thanks, all, for these great suggestions. I'm going to bring them all to the vet so we can check out the options.

I'm thinking about having the Nutriscan food sensitivity test run if nothing more for my own piece of mind and at least prove to them that he does have food sensitivities.

 

Regarding a food sensitivity test, how does this work? It is known to be fairly accurate?

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1. Do you have any recommendations for a high-fiber, low-fat, high-quality dog food that isn't prescription? I think limited ingredients will also be key.

 

Before you jump through all kinds of hoops and spend a ton of money on "premium" or "limited ingredient" foods, give IAMS green bag a try. Your case reminds me of another dog on here, Brady (user name: AngelPup). She spent thousands of dollars doing testing, two different vets, had the dog on bland diet constantly. As soon as she switched to green bag, his poops became normal for the first time. Lots of people on this forum try it as a last resort, but really, it's a great, high-fiber (5%) food that seems to work for many greyhounds. After failing miserably on Natural Balance, Science Diet, Taste of the Wild, and Diamond Naturals, I threw my hands in the air and bought a bag of green bag for my grey, Henry. It's been almost two years, and I've never looked back.

Edited by a_daerr
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