This is Sadie Mae, she will be 2years old in October, she is a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie). Dr. Grosser has been treating Sadie since her owners first brought her in as a new puppy.
Sadie’s owners brought her in for vomiting, diarrhea and losing weight. Dr. Grosser sent in a stool sample and bloodwork to the lab and took radiographs of Sadie’s abdomen. Abdominal radiographs were within normal limits only showing gas in the bowel. Sadie was sent home on anti-vomiting medication and anti-diarrheal medication along with an antibiotic for bacterial overgrowth of the intestinal tract.
Bloodwork came back on Sadie revealing elevated liver enzymes but when Dr. Grosser called to go over bloodwork results, per the owner, Sadie was doing well, so he decided he would continue the current treatment and recheck as needed. He ended up adding in an additional GI protectant as Sadie’s stools were still not normal.
Within 10 days, Sadie’s vomiting was resolved but her stools were back to diarrhea and she had lost more weight. Dr. Grosser rechecked bloodwork and her liver values were normal. At this time Dr. Grosser started Sadie on Prednisone to calm down the inflammation in her lower bowel.
Three weeks after Sadie Mae’s initial visit her owners brought her back in; Sadie was still losing weight, her haircoat was dull and she was eating with a ravenous appetite. She was still walking with the owner and seemed happy but just wasn’t right. At this point Dr. Grosser sent in two different panels to the lab, a maldigestion panel and a GI profile. Samples consisted of blood serum, a stool sample and a sterile swab of the rectum.
Sadie’s bloodwork came back with the diagnosis of pancreatic insufficiency, a syndrome caused by an insufficient secretion of pancreatic digestive enzymes by the exocrine pancreas.
Clinical signs of pancreatic insufficiency only ensue when more than 90% of exocrine pancreatic function has been lost. The most common clinical signs are weight loss, loose stools, poor haircoat, some have increased flatulence, and some dogs may even be coprophagic.
Treatment consists of digestive enzyme replacement given with each meal. Pancreatic enzymes can be replaced by a variety of different options and a wide variety of products. Most people prefer the powder over other formulations.
Sadie did try the raw pancreas but it did not seem to be as effective as the powder so she is currently on the powder supplement and is doing well with improved stools and per the owner her haircoat already looks better! We will continue to monitor her weight and her progress as this is a lifelong condition that will need continued treatment.