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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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We have a small morkie in severe pain. the animal hospital

Customer Question

we have a small morkie in severe pain. the animal hospital suspects pancreatitis but she just keeps getting worse. the hospital is still feeding her low fat dog food. should she be fasting?
how long does a pancreatitis bout last? the puppy (3years old) looks lethargic and has labored breathing. what should we do?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that your Morkie has been so terribly ill. I will do my best to help.

I'm concerned by your description of the signs, mostly because dogs with pancreatitis really should not have any difficulty breathing. To me, if she's got labored breathing there is probably something else going on. Also, pets with pancreatitis usually don't want to eat at all - they tend to feel quite nauseous and do a good bit of vomiting. A bout of pancreatitis usually involves vomiting, not eating, AND abdominal pain - but the first two things are usually much more evident than the last. If she's still eating well and not vomiting but seems in pain, then it might be a bit of pancreatitis but I'd be looking for something else - especially if she's got labored breathing. Labored breathing does not go with pancreatitis. If she's home now and having difficulty breathing, that definitely merits a trip to the emergency veterinarian to assess her breathing. The fact that she continues to get worse also definitely dictates that someone needs to reassess her and potentially change her treatment plan.

I know that there's probably more to her story than you posted initially - please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.

~Dr. Sara

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi, thank you. The puppy is in the hospital now but keeps getting worse. When I asked the doctor she said it may be the pain medication that is making her lethargic and the breathing may be anxiety. I'm really worried that they're missing something. Should she be getting food at all?She never had vomiting or diareah but her blood test showed levels indicative of pancreatitis. They also think she might have a slipped disk, do you think that's the case?
Thanks again
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.

A slipped disc would be a much more likely reason for her to be in pain than pancreatitis if she's still eating and drinking. Dogs with pancreatitis get nauseous and vomit - those are the main signs. So if she's not doing those things, but she's in pain - again, I'd suspect something else. Back pain would definitely be high on my list for sure. So if she's willing to eat and not vomiting, then I would continue to have her eat. If she's not improving after 24-48 hours of supportive care or she's getting worse sooner, the next step is probably going to be to take her to a larger hospital where they can do more advanced testing like an abdominal ultrasound to assess her pancreas and other abdominal organs and/or potentially a CT or MRI scan to assess her spine. Some dogs with spinal issues can have severe pain that is unresponsive to medications - those guys need surgery if medicine isn't helping them. Go with your gut - if it doesn't feel right at your family vet, then the next place I'd head would be to a larger hospital.

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara