Indi's Painful Pancreatitis

Indi came to see the team at Vetwest Ballajura after she vomited one evening, then vomited a further three times the following morning. She had become very quiet at home and her owners were concerned. Indi had also not been keen on food, which her owners noted as being very unusual! By the time of her late morning appointment, Indi was severely lethargic and deteriorating fast, she could barely raise her head to greet people. Indi’s family consented to tests and supportive care to get her feeling better.

The team set to work straight away administering fluids to rehydrate her, pain relief to make her more comfortable and running tests to find out more about what was happening in Indi’s body. At Vetwest, we are very lucky to have a network of veterinarians with different skills and experience. Due to the severity of Indi's condition on presentation, we reached out to our clinical support team for expert assistance for Indi’s treatment and to perform imaging which was critical in reaching a diagnosis. A blood test showed us that she was in shock and needed high-rate IV fluids to start recovering. Ultrasound examination of Indi’s abdomen showed that her pancreas was severely inflamed and had a small volume of fluid accumulated around it. Indi was suffering from severe acute pancreatitis.


Indi needed intensive supportive care whist she recovered. Over the afternoon she received strong pain relief, an anti-emetic to stop her feeling nauseous, and a proton pump inhibitor to stop her overproducing stomach acid.

By the end of the afternoon, Indi was feeling a bit brighter but needed ongoing support. She was able to walk out of the clinic to greet her family who was waiting to transfer her to an overnight hospital to receive ongoing supportive care.

She returned to Vetwest Ballajura the next morning for further IV fluids, IV anti-emetic medications, and monitoring whilst we weaned her off IV pain relief. Indi continued to improve dramatically throughout the day, eating chicken when hand-fed and eating a bowl of chicken keenly in the afternoon. Indi required oral pain relief and prokinetic medication for several days after discharge but was able to be sent home to continue her recovery after only 2 days in hospital.

The team were so pleased with Indi’s dramatic recovery and have been pleased to hear that Indi is now back to full health and keeping up with her puppy sister at home! She is an absolute sweetheart, even when we know she must have been feeling rubbish she was the perfect patient, and we look forward to seeing her at the clinic for routine checkups.

We do not know exactly what caused Indi’s episode of pancreatitis, but we do know that high-fat meals can precipitate the condition which can be painful and acutely life-threatening. This is one of the reasons why we urge our clients to be careful when feeding pets off the kitchen table, and during the long weekends coming up over Easter when we get out the BBQ. Make sure that your canine companions are not able to get to the leftovers or meaty scraps, and that indulgent family members are not slipping snags under the table in response to the inevitable puppy dog eyes that will be shot their way!

 

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