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Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on August 23, 2009

Question

I read your article in our local newspaper regarding the 3-year-old Westie who threw up at night.

I have a Shih Tzu that was on Cesar food forever and was throwing up yellow liquid. He was finally diagnosed to have pancreatitis and we decided to take him off the fatty diet of Cesar food. He has been on Prescription Diet by Hills given by our vet and gets no fatty treats, just milk bones and an occasional greenie. He has been fine for several years now, thank goodness. Please tell M.A.G. in Clifton, Va., to have her pet checked for this.

S.T-M., Bonita Springs, FL Aug 23, 2009

Answer

Pancreatitis (often associated with liver disease and linked to dietary factors including excess fat, carbohydrates and gluten) is a fairly common health crisis in dogs today. It can be extremely painful and is often associated with nausea, vomiting and loose stools. A low-fat diet is called for and, in many instances, eliminating all gluten ingredients (like soy, wheat and corn) and high-starch grains can make a world of difference. It is also advisable to give him probiotics and digestive enzymes to help prevent recurrence. Relapses are common when dogs are overindulged and fed too many fatty leftovers at Thanksgiving and on other festive occasions. For a list of manufactured dog and cat foods that I recommend, visit my Web site and click on "Special Reports," "Companion Animal Care."

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