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Dog died of pancreatitis.

Species: Dog
Breed: Yorkshire Terrier
Age: 8-11 years
My yorkie died at the vets.

She was 10 and a half. I fed her new dog food Saturday 2pm and she vomited it all up about 40 mins later and then started vomiting regularly through out the day and night.

On Sunday she was the same, I thought she might have an attack of pancreatis so with held food and water as well because when she drank she would vomit yellow bile, she was lethargic, no passing of bowels and just going away into corners or hiding to be alone or to vomit.
I gave her bath as she was sometimes not getting up from were she was being sick. She seemed to pick up after the bath for about a couple hours but then started to be sick again.
On Monday she was still sick through out the day and I new she needed a Vet but it was very late & I mistakenly hoped she might pick up. I stayed up with her till 3.30am and was woken 5.45am with an awful sound of her dry retching. I took her to Vets in the morning and after looking at her he said she was very ill, however no fever and not dehydrated even though she hadn’t drank in 2 days, he put her on an IV and said he would make sure she gets what she needs and to phone back in 3 and a half hours, I phoned and was told she passed away 10 mins ago, stopped breathing.

He said she might have had pancreatis or a tumor on the pancreas.

Blood work LaserCyte
RBC 5.5x10 – HCT 35.4 – HGB 14.2g/dl – MCV 64.9fL –MCH 26.1pg – MCHC(Out of Range) – RDW 15.4% - %RETIC 0.6% - RETIC 30.4K/uL – WBC 23.24x10 - %NEU 69.1% - %LYM 11.6% - %MONO 17.4% - %EOS 1.2% - %BASO 0.7% - NEU 16.05x10 – LYM 2.71x10 – MONO 4.04x10 – EOS 0.27x10 – BASO 0.17x10 – PLT 525 k/uL – MPV 10.0 fL – PDW 17.7 % - PCT 0.5%

Catalyst Dx
UREA >46.4 mmol/L – CREA (Off Scale) – PHOS >5.20 mmol/L - CA 2.33mmol/L – TP 85 g/L – ALB 38g/L –GLOB 47g/L – ALB/GLOB 0.8 – ALT 40U/L – ALKP 1806 U/L – GGT <0 U/L – TBIL 14umol/L – CHOL 11.81mmol/L – AMYL 1232 U/L – LIPA 5539 U/L – GLU >38.14 mmol/L

Inject BUPRECARE 0.3MG/ML solution x5

Should they have used Buprecare, which contains Buprenorhine when she was in a weak state? And in your opinion what do you thing was possible wrong with her and is it normal to die when she was full of energy 3 days previous.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm so sorry to hear that Millie died.

From what you have described it sounds like she was very very sick. There are a few things that stand out on her blood tests. She has extremely high kidney enzymes (BUN and CREA), and evidence of a severe pancreatic problem.

Your vet is right that this could have been either a tumor on the pancreas or pancreatitis. My guess would be pancreatitis. Some dogs with severe pancreatitis will also get something called a nephritis which is a serious kidney problem along with the pancreas problem.

While some dogs with pancreatitis can be treated, it can definitely be serious enough to cause death.

It is very common to use buprenorphine for treating pancreatitis. Pancreatitis causes severe abdominal pain and buprenorphine is very good at treating that pain.

A while ago, it was believed that it was not good to treat people who had pancreatitis with buprenorphine. But, newer studies showed that this drug is actually very safe for both people and animals.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks for your reply.

The makers of buprenorphine stated that the drug should be avoided in animals with kidney disease and as you said she had a serious problem with her kidneys, the vet would of known this as he did the blood work, so should an alternative pain killer not have been used in light of this?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Just checking the label of the buprenorphine it says to use with caution in animals with serious renal dysfunction.

This is where vets have to make hard decisions. "Use with caution" means "use it if you think the benefits outweigh the risks, but there is a chance that it could have a detrimental effect on the kidneys."

From what you have described it sounds like Millie's main concern was her pancreas. The most important thing to do for animals with pancreatic pain is to stop the pain. Buprenorphine is definitely a good choice for this. Every drug that we use has potential side effects and it sounds like your vet made a choice that the pancreatitis was the biggest culprit and needed to be attacked.

It's hard to say whether the buprenorphine caused more damage to the kidneys or not. My guess is though that no matter what we would have done the result would have been the same.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Dr. Marie.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.