Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tucker's Travels

Tucker at Halloween 2008
In April, I had blood work done on Tucker so that we could have dental work done. We found out that his cholesterol and triglycerides were elevated. After testing for Cushings and hyperthyroidism, he was put on a low fat diet which my vets hoped would lower his cholesterol.

Last week, I had his blood retested and his cholesterol and triglycerides were still elevated so my vet did additional tests to see how his pancreas and liver were doing. Those results came back through the roof.  Worried that it was acute pancreatitis, my vet referred me to Alta Vista Animal Hospital's Internal Medicine section for an ultrasound.  Dr Rozen told me that often there was an underlying cause such as liver failure or cancer but even pancreatitis left untreated could be life threatening. They advised me to get into Alta Vista as soon as possible; that was last Thursday, 21 Oct.  I called Alta Vista right away but the vet that I had been recommended to see had no openings until Tuesday; not wanting to wait, I asked if there were any earlier appointments with any other vets in that department.  I was able to get in on Friday with the same vet who treated Ceilidh, Dr Bravo.

My appointment on Friday was for 11:00 am, Dr Bravo was so apologetic when she saw me.  I left Tucker there for his ultrasound, not knowing what kind of results I would get.  I worried all day that it would be the worst, which for me would have been to hear that he had cancer.  At about 3:30 in the afternoon I got the call from Alta Vista asking if I could come back in for 4:45pm and that Dr Bravo would see me. That got me even more worried as my experience has been if its good news the vet tech will tell you when they call. 

I was ready for the worst, but when Dr Bravo came into the office she said it was good new of sorts. I relaxed a little bit and began to breathe.  Tucker's ultrasound was normal and so with no other symptoms other than being lethargic and the blood work results, her diagnosis was chronic pancreatitis. She gave us some medication that he is to take for 30 days, put him on a couple dietary supplements which he can take long term and also Peptid AC.  She also recommended a low fat hypoallergenic diet. Try finding that! I have a feeling that I will end up cooking for him. We are to repeat blood work for him now every six months. 

So we are now doing smaller meals twice a day rather than one big meal a day. I think both he and Beckett are enjoying that.  Tucker seems to be a little more energetic already but that could be the crisp fall weather. 

It was quite the scare to think about losing Tucker. I know the end is inevitable for all of us but I just didn't want to think about losing Tucker so soon after losing Ceilidh. He will be 10 years old at the end of the month and even though I know that means he is approaching the average life span for a Sheltie, I hope we have many more years together.


  1. Lots of emotions in a very short time. I'm relieved that there is a solution for Tucker's problems.

  2. Wow, what a scary few days. I hope you are able to work a diet out, that will help Tucker have many more happy, healthy years with you.

    Take care.

  3. awwww Tucker ..
    pancreatitis is such a tricky thing

    hang in there ole man and stop scaring your mom!!


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