Jibini update- amylase levels are off.

Just got back from the vet; Jibini had been losing weight & had intermittent diarrhea for those who may not have seen my previous post.

Blood test shows that the amylase levels (a pancreatic enzyme, if I understand correctly) are "off". But the test in the office didn't show the value; it just indicated the value was way too high, OR way too low. (It's a rural country vet so she doesn't have all the super-high-tech equipment, BUT she is good, fairly priced & I really like the way she listens and works with us)….

SO, she's sending it off to an outside lab, and the results should be back Wednesday. All other organ functions looked normal.

She said that if the levels are too high, it would indicate something like pancreatitis. And if they were too low, EPI or some kind of similar pancreatic insufficiency disorder would be a possibility.

I'm not sure which to hope for. I always thought pancreatitis was an acute problem that would go away on its own? I'm off to do some research, but I'd love to hear any thoughts. Thanks!

Well, if EPI, the treatment is normally very successful… and Pancreatitis is as I understand it, life long and doesn't go away on its own....

sorry to hear about Jibini, can't offer any advice, but would like to say that i hope the vet sorts out the problem.

Houston

So sorry to hear about Jibini..

I thought there was a specific blood test for EPI. The internist did one for my Bowie but I do not remember which lab processed it.

I'll keep fingers crossed for you that whatever Jibini has can be easily treated.

Did they ever do a fecal to look for coccidia or giardia? Did she have a fever when she went to the vet?

As far as Pancreatitis I know that most of the dogs that come into the clinic are painful in their abdomen (because of the inflammation) not eating and have diarrhea and vomiting

info on the Diagnosis

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of pancreatitis is made through information obtained from the history, the physical exam, and laboratory testing. Dogs with pancreatitis generally have an increased blood levels of the pancreatic enzymes called amylase and lipase. If the liver also becomes inflamed, liver enzymes as measured in the blood may be increased. A rather new test, serum cPLI (pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity), may prove to be a valuable diagnostic aid. The white blood cell count is generally increased in acute pancreatitis. Radiography (x-rays) and ultrasound can also help in making the diagnosis. biopsy can result in a conclusive diagnosis, but is not commonly performed.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1580&aid=335

Paws crossed that it is something easily treatable and our pal Jibini will be back to normal soon.

Nicky, Topper & Fast Eddie too

Thanks everybody! Hopefully I'll hear more tomorrow if the results come back.

I've read up on EPI, it seems there is an additional test that can be done if EPI is suspected, in order to definitively diagnose it. Can't remember the name offhand but it's some kind of antibody test I believe.

I brought in a fresh stool sample & the vet did take Jibini's temperature- both were fine. I've seen dogs with acute pancreatitis who had abdominal pain as well, and Jibini hasn't had that going on. I did read a couple of places that an abnormal blood serum level of amylase can also be affected by intestinal inflammation?

He has been doing a lot better- BIG healthy poops; I am wondering if the bag of food he & Chloe just finished may have been bad, or maybe they changed something that messed him up? Chloe never had any issues. And Jibini seemed to get a lot better almost immediately when I opened a new bag.

Anybody know if Blue Buffalo changed their formula? I noticed a slight change in the bag design & graphics. Yesterday I went back to the store & compared ingredients between the "new design" bag and the "old design" bag….and while the ingredients are the same- many ARE in a different order. I don't know how significant that is, but I have a feeling I'll be looking for a new food just in case.

Thanks again for all the concern; I'll update as soon as I learn more!

Update- Good news 🙂

Talked to the vet this afternoon. Basically, since the test only showed elevated amylase and NOT lipase, liver values or anything else abnormal, apparently it is NOT indicative of a problem, at least not in dogs. My vet said she spoke with someone at Iowa State who confirmed it.

As of now, Jibini is doing MUCH better. Stools are normal, he's gaining weight and his activity level is way up. As long as this continues, I won't worry about it much. We'll have another blood test done next year, of course. We'll do it sooner if he goes downhill again, at all.

I'm seriously thinking the culprit HAD to be a bad bag of food- because Jibini's diarrhea went away the very same day I opened a new bag. I am thinking Blue Buffalo may have changed their formula or something….or perhaps Jibini has just developed an intolerance after being on it for 3-4 years, or maybe he's getting older & less able to digest it. I am looking at other brands of food- I'd like to find something I can obtain without driving 120 miles to Sioux Falls....and my options are limited unless I want to shop at a pet store that sells puppies :/. I could do mail-order food but I really prefer not to, if I can avoid it.

I may just make the switch to raw; but I've got some homework to do! I'll be posting a question in the food section to see if anyone knows anything about Blue Buffalo- I find it odd that Jibini's illness coincided with Blue's packaging redesign, their release of several "new formulas" at Petsmart, and their TV commercials. Something is fishy here....and since Blue Buffalo has not responded to my inquiry I am going to pick y'alls brains!

Thanks again everyone for your concern. Jibini and I appreciate it very much!! 🙂

Never used it, know of people who liked it. I use Innova (regular) and Orijen, mixed together (1:3). Glossy coats, firm but not hard stools.
I would seriously consider feeding raw, but am just too lazy! And my dogs seem to be thriving on what they currently eat. Oh, and of course some of whatever we eat, too, gotta share the pot roast!

I am glad to hear that Jibini is better. I would tend to agree, must have been change in formula or bad food.

Glad to hear Jibini is feeling better, thanks for the update.

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