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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20608
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog was diagnosed with pancreatitis 2 months ago and is

Customer Question

My dog was diagnosed with pancreatitis 2 months ago and is still struggling badly. He is constantly panting/breathing hard. He is on a prescription Diet lots of electrolyte water prednisone and a special pancreatic support pill from the vet. I am so concerned that he is still breathing so fast and hard (even while sleeping). Shouldn't he be drastically better by now?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Now I share your concern here. Your treatment has been spot on for pancreatitis, but if Blue has been on treatment for 2 months already then we really would have wanted to see progress by this stage. So, I'd be concerned that there is more then just a standard pancreatitis here. Therefore, while I do think it'd be worth speaking to his vet about further pain relief (ie Tramadol, Bupenorphine, etc) to help get him more comfortable; I would also say it'd be ideal to consider further diagnostics here. Specifically, if he has only had an xray then an ultrasound (preferable since its less invasive) or even possibly an exploratory surgery needs to be considered. The reason is either will help you know if this is just a pancreatitis or if there is something more (ie pancreatic abscess tumor, another organ crushing the pancreas due to it being enlarged, etc). As well, just since we need to consider not just the pancreas at this stage, it'd be worth having his vet listen +/- xray his lungs (if they did not before). We would just want to make sure that this breathing change is actually related to the pancreatic issue and not a hint of any lung based issues (ie bronchitis, infection, tumors) lurking as well.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Blue. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello!Thank you for your follow up. Blie is doing a little better. I took hom back to the vet about 10 days ago. We had a good discussion and he ran blood work again. He told me that the panting is because the pancreas is so inflamed it is pressing on the diaphragm causing the heavy breathing. He said his heart is fine and there are no signs of a respiratory ailment. I am okay with that because he has never coughed or had any other symptoms of being sick. Only the breathing. Blue was also on 20mg of prednisone which at the time I was giving to him daily. After speaking with the vet, he says the heavy breathing can be a side effect of the prednisone, so I stopped that for the most part. The vet said to givd it to him if he is really bad. He said that was the best thing to do for the pain. I am not convinced of that, but I am not going to argue with him. So, I am halving the pill and giving it to him twice a week just as maintenance. The vet called back and said that his blood work was definitely better. His original bloodwork showed negative for everything (even heartworm) except the pancreatits and low thyroid (which he is taking thyroxine for). Blue has also lost 10 pounds since his initial visit/diagnosis 2 months ago. That makes me very happy as he was 104 pounds. The vet also said that this pancreatits could stem from some weakness/damage from the parvo he survived when he was 4 months old. He says his stomach is just weak. Grrrrr. I have always been concerned about the residual effects of him contracting parvo. Well, that is all fron the vet side. I reduced his food to 1.5 cups in the am and 1 cup in the pm. Smaller portions seems to be helping. I wish I was home during the day to do three small meals every day, but such is life. I spoke with a friend of mine who is a naturopath and purchased some barley powder for him which I mix with his food as well. That also seems to be helping. I am seriously contemplating switching him to a grain free diet...possibly even a raw meat diet. My reading leads me to believd that grains are hard for the doggies to digest. We shall see. There are some very good grain free foods out there. I am open to options as I am extremely concerned for Blue and want him to be healthy and happy. Thank you again for your response and concern. Any additional thoughts you have are welcome and would be greatly appreciated. My doggs are my only children and I love them very much. I hope you have a wonderful evening!