Brave Pet Scarlette – diabetes and pancreatitis
Scarlette is a 10 year old Weimeraner who lives with another Weimeraner, Mackenzie. Over the years Scarlette has generally been a very healthy dog, but she presented to the surgery in January having had an increase in thirst and had started urinating in the house overnight.
A simple dipstick test on her urine suggested likely diabetes and this was confirmed by blood tests. Scarlette’s owners, Mr and Mrs Bradley were happy to start treatment straight away which involved giving Scarlette twice daily injections of insulin.
Initially, all seemed to be going well, but she represented at the beginning of February having stopped eating and was being sick. She was admitted for further tests including more blood tests, x-rays and an ultrasound scan of her abdomen. These tests revealed that Scarlette had pancreatitis.
The pancreas is a gland situated in the abdomen and is responsible for the production of lots of enzymes needed for digestion including insulin. Pancreatitis develops when the pancreas becomes inflamed of which there are several possible causes e.g. a sudden very fatty meal such as your dog raiding the bin for the pork fat after the Sunday roast. The suspicion was that Scarlette had initially developed pancreatitis and subsequently diabetes.
Pancreatitis can be severe and painful. It often necessitates aggressive treatment including intravenous fluids, anti-sickness drugs and pain relief. Animals affected by pancreatitis often need to stay in the surgery for several days until they are well enough to go home.
Scarlette stayed with us for four nights but is now back with her owners and improving on a daily basis.
There is a small possibility that as Scarlette’s pancreatitis resolves, enough insulin will be made by the pancreas without the need for Mr and Mrs Bradley to give insulin. For now, they are carrying on treating her whilst we monitor the situation.
Well done Scarlette! You are our hero for this quarter, particularly as you do not like being away from your family and you had to spend four days with us in the surgery.