|Female Border Collie|
Regulated between and
Dazzle - 10 yr old Border Collie Edit
Dazzle is a 10 yr old Border Collie who I have had since she was 8 weeks old.
She was always a fit dog until January 2008. She had her first attack of Pancreatitis at this time. She had all the classic symptoms, diarrhoea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain etc etc. She was hospitalised and given pain relief and fluids. Dazzle seemed to recover very well although I noticed that her stomach always tended to be very noisy after eating. My own vet decided to refer her to a specialist for an abdominal ultrasound to rule out other problems such as a tumour on her pancreas.
The ultrasound didn't show anything to worry about but due to continuing bouts of stomach pain and diarrhoea, the specialist did an endoscopy and biopsies. These showed some pointers towards IBD but this wasn't a firm diagnosis. Dazzle recovered well apart from the continuing rumbling stomach after she was fed. This continued and worried me quite a bit as frequently, she also showed signs of pain.
In late 2008, Dazzle was again admitted with a flare of pancreatitis. After she recovered from the acute bout, she still had the same grumbling stomach but as well as this, her thirst had increased a great deal and she was losing weight and her coat condition was very poor. Once she was over the initial bout, she was referred back to the specialist. This time, the specialist decided that the best thing would be to do a laparotomy (open abdominal surgery) to rule out Lymphoma or other cancers and to try to find the cause of her problems. The main finding from this operation as well as slightly inflamed intestines, was that her pancreas was tiny - completely atrophied. This, along with blood tests led to a diagnosis of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) which means she is not able to produce the pancreatic enzymes that are needed to digest her food. She was prescribed Lypex which is a capsule containing these enzymes. I was told to be aware that she may also go on to develop Diabetes.
In early February 2009, she once again had a bout of pancreatitis and was re-admitted to my primary vet practice. This time, they decided to check her urine for glucose due to the thirst I had reported and found it was high. Her Blood Glucose was at this time 25mmol/ltr (normal 5). My vet decided to do a Fructosamine test to confirm that this high BG wasn't just as a result of the stress of the Pancreatitis and hospitalisation. The Fructosamine test showed that she had had high BG levels for several weeks prior to this so Diabetes was diagnosed. At this time, I found an excellent forum k9diabetes whose members have been so supportive and are extremely knowlegeable about this disease.
Since her diagnosis (now late May 2009) I have been struggling to control her glucose level with the help of my excellent vets and support from the K9 Diabetes Forum members. She is still having bouts of pancreatitis and this is causing her to be insulin resistant. Her diabetes is still very unstable.
In early May 2009, my vet agreed to refer her to Cambridge Veterinary School's Queens Veterinary Hospital. on 20th May we saw Penny Watson who has been doing clinical studies into Chronic Pancreatitis and Diabetes in dogs.
Penny arranged for Dazzle to have ultrasound, abdominal Xrays and blood tests. These,plus her clinical signs, showed that despite a normal pancreatitis snap test done at my vets, she was indeed having another flare of pancreatitis. This time it lasted for around 10 days and Dazzle needed two more admissions to my local vet to get her pain under control.
Penny also diagnosed Dazzle with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and has started her on Metronidazole tablets for a month to help with this. She feels that Dazzle's pancreas is now over 90% destroyed and now we are all hoping that perhaps this latest severe bout of pancreatitis may well burn her pancreas out completely. If this happens, it could well make it much easier to control her diabetes and most of all, will mean an end to the dreadful, painful bouts of pancreatitis that Dazzle has suffered with for at least 18 months.
That's her story so far - I will try to update as things progress.
Dazzle is now 12 yrs old (May 2011). She has not had any more bouts of pancreatitis but her diabetes is still not very stable. This is possibly because sometimes the EPI prevents her from digesting her food very well. Some days, she has a very high glucose because she has digested her food well and another day she will be hypoglycaemic because her food hasn't been so well absorbed and doesn't balance out the insulin properly.
However, she is managing well and still has a great quality of life. I pray that this will continue for a long time to come still.