Hello – I am new here, although I’ve lurked on the DFA site at those threads. This could be long, so bear with me. We rescued a 3-year old boxer last year who had “allergies.” We have two vets, a conventional one, and a holistic one, to whom we travel three hours each way when he needs to see her. We started taking Nico to her when all we were getting from conventional vets was Pred, then antibiotics or antifungals for secondary infections. You know the drill. Since transitioning Nico to a raw diet with supplements (enzymes, probiotics, a Chinese herb formula, and other herbs) Nico has done much better. His coat has improved, he itches much less (almost not at all in the winter). He’s still been on 5 mg of pred every other day, however, and vets agree that this is OK.
That said, we’ve done a few blood work ups on him and each time, all seemed normal except his Lipase. It was through the roof; it has “come down” to something like 4,000 when the high end is something like 1,600. I could be slightly off on that last number. We ultimately decided to do a separate draw and send that blood to a lab at Texas A&M. My husband just heard back form our conventional vet and she said she “got an earful” from the folks in Texas. I am beside myself. They are calling it something like latent pancreatitus or something like that. Has anyone ever heard of this? He has no symptoms that we can see. Every so often he has a soft or mucousy stool but otherwise he is fine and that is only occasional. I’m wondering if anyone has heard anything about this and if so, what is recommended to feed him? He loves his OC Raw turkey and rabbit. We HATE the idea of giving him kibble. And we worry that all the work we’ve done to ease his itchiness will be for naught. Thanks for listening if you’re still with me. Any thoughts would be most appreciated!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
While high lipase levels don’t always indicate pancreatitis – when they’re that high (3X the normal or greater) it usually is an indication of pancreatitis. By “latent” I’m assuming that the vet is saying it’s underlying chronic pancreatitis that hasn’t flared up yet. Your vet didn’t give you any dietary recommendations – such as a certain level of fat to shoot for? I wouldn’t say you need to quit feeding raw but you should closely monitor his fat intake. The fat levels should be very low (I’d say around 10%) – which can be difficult to find in a raw diet. The OC Raw Fish & Produce formula is pretty low in fat at 12% and the Goat & Produce is only 9%. Another option would be to purchase some lean meat (heart, poultry gizzards, 96% lean ground beef or turkey, whitefish, etc.) and add it to a pre-mix to create a balanced raw meal that is also low in fat. There are some dehydrated foods with low fat levels as well if this is something you’d be open to – The Honest Kitchen’s Zeal (9%), Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Chicken (9%), Sojo’s Turkey Complete (8%), Sojo’s Beef Complete (8%), Addiction’s Perfect Summer Brushtail (10%), Addiction’s Outback Kangaroo Feast (8%), Addiction’s Steakhouse Beef & Zucchini (8%), Addiction’s Fig’licious Venison Feast (10%). If you aren’t familiar with “dehdyrated foods” – they’re essentially a raw diet that has had the moisture removed, you add water let it stand for a few minutes and it rehydrates to a similar consistency of fresh raw. Dehydrated foods aren’t truly in a “raw” state after the dehydration process (the meats are generally heated to a high enough temperature to kill bacteria) but they are much less processed than kibble and probably the next best thing to raw. I would definitely keep him on digestive enzymes (make sure it contains lipase) and probiotics. I would also recommend supplementing with a pancreas glandular. You may also want to talk with your vet about whether or not your dog could benefit from some additional fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and, if yes, in what amounts – when a dog isn’t metabolizing fat properly (such as with pancreatitis) they may not be absorbing adequate amounts of these vitamins. I know some other here have had dogs with pancreatitis so hopefully they’ll have more to contribute. Good luck.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Hound Dog Mom: Thank you so much for this reply. You went above and beyond with all of these ideas and recommendations. We have an appt. tomorrow with the vet to go over all of the information from Texas A&M. She did tell us we’d need to consider his fat intake – it’s a little tricky for her and for us in a way, because she knows we go to the holistic vet and they share information, but I’m not sure how comfortable she is with a lot of this. She’s trying to be open minded and that is all I can ask for. We’ve put both vets in a sticky spot, we know… But our gut has been to go with what our holistic vet recommends, because that’s in alignment with our own views on health in general. In keeping with the Chinese medicine model, she wants us to feed Nico only cooling or neutral meats, so that is why the turkey and rabbit. We tried OC Raw’s fish formula but we thought he seemed itchier on that food, so although it would seem ideal as a cooling meat, he seemed to scratch more on it. He also doesn’t take too well to a fish oil we got for him. Anyway, I’ll know more tomorrow, then we’ll have to connect with our holistic vet and see what she thinks. She is actually a big proponent of Urban Wolf, which is a dry mix to which you add meat, similar to what you are recommending. I never see it mentioned here on DFA.
The other question I have is about coconut oil. Would you guess we need to stop giving this to him? He only gets about a tablespoon or two a day but absolutely loves the stuff. I should mention that his lipase was high from the very first blood draw we did with him, so it’s not because of the raw food.
Anyway, thank you again for writing such a helpful reply!
OH, and it wasn’t latent pancreatitis, it was asymptomatic pancreatits.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
I really like Urban Wolf – I’ve used it many times in the past and it’s one of my favorite pre-mixes. You shouldn’t need to stop giving coconut oil. Coconut oil is comprised of predominantly medium chain triglycerides which digest in a different way than most other fats – they don’t require pancreatic enzymes to digest so dogs with pancreatitis tend to tolerate MCTs pretty well. Don’t go overboard though – maybe just a drizzle on his food. I’d discuss amounts with your holistic veterinarian.
Thanks again HDM – I truly appreciate it. We were in a panic about this, but it looks like we will be OK. (Paws crossed.) We just don’t want our pup to suffer any more. Between this and the itchiness he seems to have been dealt a pretty lousy deck, genetically speaking. He was probably very poorly bred. Despite that, he is handsome as can be, very social and playful and we love him to bits!
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