Thanksgiving’s bounty overflowed into our dog Lassie’s food bowl as scraps of turkey meat and skin. The results for Lassie were not so happy, however.
I reproach myself now for the lack of common sense which would have reminded me that, as Lassie has gotten older (She is a ten-year old keeshond, chow, lab mix), she has been eating less. Typically, she eats a small portion of dry dog food formulated for mature dogs, and a milkbone. Somewhere in my memory the knowledge that sudden changes to a pet’s diet are harmful should have sounded a warning and stopped me from loading the poor doggie’s bowl with all those turkey scraps. However, I did give her the leftovers (bones carefully removed), and she ate it all.
The first hint of trouble came Friday morning. Lassie threw up, and looked down in the dumps. She went outside to eat some grass to ease her tummy troubles. We were alarmed when, much later in the day, Lassie threw up what looked to be quarts of water. She couldn’t keep water down. We worried, “Intestinal blockage?”, but it was late by that time. The vet’s office was closed for the weekend.
A friend of ours, who is a farmer, recommended that we give Lassie mineral oil. (I don’t know yet if this is good or bad advice. I’ll ask the vet.) Well, since we didn’t have that, we gave her vegetable oil, purportedly to lubricate the “obstruction” and help it pass through her system. This was the worst thing we could have done, as the vet sternly informed me. It exacerbated the condition that the super-abundance of scraps brought on: pancreatitis. This is what ThePetCenter.com has to say about this condition:
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreatic gland which is situated very close to the origin of the small intestine (duodenum) near the pyloric area of the stomach. This elongated, thin organ has numerous responsibilities including secreting hormones into the bloodstream such as insulin and glucagon which act in concert to regulate blood sugar levels within rather narrow limits. As well, life would not be possible for dogs or cats without digestive enzyme production and secretion into the lumen of the intestine. These digestive enzymes can actually cause the demise of the dog or cat if they leak into pancreatic tissues or surrounding abdominal structures. Therefore any inflammation of the pancreas has potentially life-threatening consequences. Pancreatitis can result from trauma, sudden ingestion of fat, toxins, viruses and other unknown causes. One usual consequence of pancreatitis is diarrhea and vomiting. Pain is a hallmark of pancreatitis and it is always considered a priority for treatment by attending veterinarians.
I took Lassie to the vet Monday, and she is still there. She is on antibiotics and a special diet, doing fine, but getting special care. I’m to bring her home tomorrow. I’ve learned a lesson, but it’s been the hard way, as far as our dear doggie is concerned.