I'm trying to keep a lot of this off of facebook (and I hear there is a resurgence of ODO) so I figured, I'd touch base with my friends here. Some of you probably know, I have 4 dogs now. My newest is Colt. He's a 2.5 year old border collie from the same breeder and lines as Shasta. He's rightfully earned the nickname, Evel Knieval and has had a rough childhood because he's a wild boy dog and oh so my heart dog - I've never been so bonded to a dog before. I digress.
I 'think' he has chronic pancreatitis. Here are the chain of events...
1) Nov 2017 - vomiting, refusal of food, lethargy, pain I took him to my vet for observation and he doesn't do any diagnostics but with observation and physical symptoms diagnoses mild pancreatitis. He was on Fromm Gold at the time and his coat was looking dull. I gave him a small (like really small) amount of coconut oil in three meals and then he got sick. So we think that was the culprit.
2) June 2018 - refusal of food, vomiting blood, lethargy, pain (but he wasn't touched like he was previously. I called my vet who is really far away but he's also a friend. I find out he's not seeing patients anymore - he's working on his business rather than in the business - he has three hospitals and his new vets need training. So rather than driving all that way, I take him to a new vet hospital near my house and they have very good reviews. They had availability and got his records from my vet and he has 105.5 temperature. They take blood and don't see anything alarming. They give him fluids and give him some anti-nausea drugs and send him home with metronidazole and ask me to monitor his temp and to bring him back if it doesn't get better. Two days later, he is not improved - he's eating a little but still with a high fever and generalized pain. I take him back and they do a tick screen (we don't have ticks in Austin but if I lived anywhere else I would have agreed with it) and we do a lepto test (okay my bill is up to $900) and I don't think he has leapt but we have to figure this out. The vets started talking about Addisons and cancer and want me to go to a specialist. They gave me doxy but later that day, his fever broke independent of the doxy but I gave him doxy for 14 days and he was fine. I never went to the specialist. I figured it's a one off - I did ask them through all of this, the following questions: Is this related to his pancreatitis episode in nov. - I brought this up twice or more and the answer is no like they didn't consider this. I asked about poisoning - did squirrels chuck de-con laced food in our yard. No. Does he have a blockage? No. So, fever of unknown origin. I'm not going to even mention about the fact that I signed him up for insurance two days prior but the waiting period was Aug. 1 so now we have a pre-existing condition damn it.
3) This week... I leave the house at 6AM to go to work and get on a plane at 10AM for a work trip to LA. Hubby texts me at night, Colt won't eat. He's lethargic and painful, but nothing like the last two times. Crap, he can't handle vet emergencies - he's a hubby. His work schedule is crazy and it's a new job. I called the new vet hospital in the AM and they have no appointments available (sigh, this is common in Austin), and they said we should just bring him to the specialist (this is where Merrel had her $6500 surgery for bloat and I don't wanna go but will if I have to.) So I asked them for some ID food and told my hubby to take him to the emergency clinic if he feels like he needs to go and to pick up the ID from the vet. So I call my other vet whom I love and decide I will see one of their other doctors if they will do things like Addison's tests, etc. The receptionist informed me that Brad (my vet friend) is working on Saturday and she made room for us!!!! By the time I got home Friday afternoon, Colt had improved.
Brad was perplexed that the other clinic put me through the ringer and did not do a pancreatitis test. He said, yes, it sounds like Addisons but the fever doesn't fit. He's taking the Occam's Razor approach that this is likely chronic pancreatitis. We did a test yesterday but it was negative. He didn't take too much in that reading since his symptoms were mild and he's no longer symptomatic. But also since he improved with the ID both times, he also thought pancreatitis. So we are going with that ($130 including food) unless he has any other issues. I need to feed him a kibble and canned. We opted for the low fat GI from Royal Canin. I'm not super crazy about the ingredients but the SD has corn gluten meal in the kibble as the first ingredient. I ordered some on Chewy.com **Also, the last two times, he had some cheese or turkey hot dogs in training. He's had these in the past with no issues but I'm suspecting these as being the catalyst for the last two episodes. I don't use much food in training because he usually wants a toy but I kind of have to sometimes and he spits out regular dog treats.
Here are my questions/concerns:
1) He gets 1/2 scoop of nupro - I forgot to ask the vet if he can have it.
2) I've been giving him geneflora but not sure if there is a better digestive enzyme for him. I know this is important for pancreatic issues.
3) I know that these prescription diets aren't great but really if this helps, I don't care but really why!!!! Why don't the good companies make some special formulas - no I'm not going to cook for him - it's too tricky, especially with this condition, if this is indeed what it is. Does anyone know of a highly digestible, low fat 5% ish fat food?
4) He's a thin guy. At 49 lbs, he's lean and in good shape. He's 44 now so he's lost weight. I'm concerned that a low fat diet won't be enough for him. The vet said it has enough calories but still... and then is his coat going to be dull? I don't know, I have concerns.
5) Once I feel like he is stable, I will look for something else - if anyone has suggestions.
6) I'm going to Croatia in less than 4 weeks and poor hubby is home with the dogs. What should I do for him in case something happens. I have a CC that he can use, is there anything else?
Thanks for any thoughts.