Discussing Questions And Answers About Dog Diet Lymphoma

Donna asks…

Ferrets vs dogs?

Which is more expensive to care for? A ferret or a dog? They both have vaccines to get every year. Have to be fed and have cages and bedding and bowls and such. Dogs need heartguard and frontline. I mean once you have bought a cage and all the toys and accessories for a ferret, over time is it cheaper than having a dog?

Jimmy answers:

As someone who has both ferrets and dogs, I would say 100% FERRETS!

Ferrets are extremely high maintenance, fragile creatures. They get into EVERYTHING, so you need to ferret proof your house, which can be very expensive, and no matter how much you spend they will ALWAYS find a way to get into trouble. Ferrets are extremely susceptible to injuries and blockages, and their surgeries can be extremely expensive as they are considered exotics. A HUGE percentage of ferrets will develop either lymphoma, adrenal cancer, or insulinoma in their lives, which will require DAILY medicine until they die. Ferrets will also NEVER be completely litter box trained, so be prepared to spend a ton on cleaning supplies and carpet cleanings. I have had to literally refloor the room I keep my ferrets in twice in the last four years. Their food is more expensive, their toys are more expensive, their litter is more expensive… Also, to keep a ferret healthy they need vitamin suppliments AND a homemade diet of ground up meat (preferably raw) in addition to their kibble.

If you have any other questions about ferrets, please feel free to contact me. Despite all that I’ve said, they really are wonderful pets. But the answer to your question is still definitely FERRETS!

Steven asks…

Should we change pet’s diet like the vet ordered?


we brought our female jack russell to the vet after noticing an unusual amount of blood today than average. she’s in heat, we know that. but it was a lot more blood. it was so much blood, that when she was cleaning it up, she vomited. the blood was present in her vomit. (we’ve already talked to the vet about this and he says it’s likely the blood present was from her cleaning it up)

we’ve never seen her bleed that much in the three-four years we’ve owned her. so anyway…

we brought her in and the vet checked her blood. he said her white blood cell count was abnormal and he was going to put her on antibiotics. he also said this could be normal… like women have the occasional heavy period, and they’re perfectly healthy and fine, but he said to also be concerned.


my mother is skeptical about changing our dog‘s diet temporarily and taking the vet’s recommendation to feed her a bland diet of white rice and chicken. she’s worried it will give her diarrhea. well, the vet wouldn’t have recommended this if this was such a concern, right? (the dog is currently on a light Science Diet, if that’s relevant)

i’m of the opinion we should follow the vet’s orders. but my mother… well, she’s looking for advice from you guys (if you know what you’re talking about). yeah, this is a vague request for help of any kind.
yeah, my mother can be so stubborn sometimes. she’s listening to me now though…

thanks, cindy. i googled it shortly after posting this and it verified everything you’re saying now. you’ll get best answer when the option comes up. thanks!

Jimmy answers:

Do exactly what the vet says. The bland diet will help settle her stomach, not upset it.

It’s the same as when people are vomiting, they often eat plain crackers or just broth. You have to let the system recover with a bland diet.

The vet is the expert…. He knows what he’s talking about. I have a dog with lymphoma. She gets diarrhea and vomits sometimes after her chemo. We feed a bland diet on those days to help get her back to normal.

Nancy asks…

EPI in dogs and treatment for it?

Jimmy answers:

You need to put him on enzymes and switch his diet to raw for best results.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is a syndrome that is characterized by a lack of effective pancreatic exocrine secretion in the small intestine.

EPI is not a rare clinical condition in both dogs and cats. The most common cause of EPI in dogs is pancreatic acinar atrophy (PAA). The etiopathogenesis of PAA has not yet been determined. Although PAA has been reported in many breeds, a familiar predisposition exists in German Shepherd dogs, collies and English setters. Chronic pancreatitis, repeated episodes of acute or subacute pancreatitis and pancreatic neoplasia are also reported as a cause of canine EPI. In cats chronic pancreatitis is the most common cause of EPI. Eurytrema procyonis flukes attached in the pancreatic ducts have been reported as a cause of EPI in some cats.

EPI is characterized by loss of the majority of the functional reserve capacity of the exocrine pancreas. Therefore, a decrease of intraduodenal concentration of pancreatic enzymes, bicarbonate, antibacterial and enteric mucosal “trophic” factors, as well as pancreatic and GI regulatory peptides are observed. Finally, malassimilation of nutrients (fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, trace elements), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, morphologic and functional changes of small intestine are produced as a result of EPI.

Dogs and cats with EPI usually have a history and clinical signs of small bowel diarrhoea with voluminous, semiformed, yellowish or gray feces, polyphagia, pica especially in young dogs with inherited EPI, extreme weight loss, intestinal borborygmus, and dermatological problems such as poor coat and seborrhoea sicca. Anorexia has also been observed in some cats.

Although the symptoms of EPI are typical, they are not pathognomonic. In dogs, the differential diagnosis includes the small intestinal disorders that cause malabsorption or maldigestion (intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, small intestinal villus atrophy, lymphangiectasia, diffuse small intestinal malignancies, short bowel syndrome, changes of the intestinal brush border enzyme activities). Differential diagnosis in cats includes intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, hyperthyroidism, chronic renal failure and triaditis (chronic pancreatitis-cholangiohepatitis-inflammatory bowel disease) and intestinal lymphoma.

Routine haematology results are usually within normal limits. Liver enzyme activity such as serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase are mildly increased and may reflect hepatocyte damage secondary to increased uptake of hepatotoxic substances through an abnormally permeable small intestinal mucosa or hepatic lipidosis. Concurrent hyperglycemia or abnormal glucose tolerance test are not common in dogs with EPI. Some dogs have subnormal cobalamin and high folate concentration. Cats with EPI have decreased serum cobalamin and folate concentration. Serum vitamin E and A concentrations are decreased in dogs, while serum vitamin K is decreased in some cats with EPI. Absorption of trace elements in EPI may be promoted or inhibited secondary to either loss of specific factors affecting absorption or to a change in intraluminal pH. In experimentally induced EPI in dogs, as well as in some clinical cases, serum total iron concentration and % transferring saturation have been increased, while serum copper and zinc concentration have been decreased.

The histopathological lesions of dogs with EPI include pancreatic atrophy and fibrosis, foci of fatty infiltration in the liver, destruction of villi epithelium and infiltration of small intestinal lamina propria with lymphocytes and plasmacytes.

The confirmation of clinical diagnosis of EPI is based on the measurement of serum trypsin-like immunoreactivity (cTLI) by radioimmunoassay. The cTLI is a species and pancreas specific test and determines trypsin and trypsinogen that have entered the blood from pancreas. The values of TLI test are characteristic and help in differentiating EPI of small intestinal diseases. Low-fasting serum cTLI concentrations (< 2.5 μg/L) are typical of EPI. Reference range of TLI in normal dogs is 5.0 to 35 μg/L. CTLI values between 2.5-5 μg/L are indicative of early phase of EPI, before severe destruction of exocrine pancreas.

A new fecal test for diagnosis of EPI is based on the determination of fecal elastase activity using the ELISA method. It is also a species and pancreas–specific test. A single fecal sample is sufficient and values less than 10 μg/g are suggestive of EPI. A disadvantage of this test is that low results can occasionally be found in normal dogs.

The fasting serum feline TLI test (fTLI) was developed and validated for the diagnosis of EPI in cats. Values of less than 8 μg/L are suggestive of EPI. FTLI values between 8-17 μg/L are indicative of early phase of EPI. For the diagnosis of exocrine pancreatic disorders, a radioimmunoassay has been recently developed and validated that measures canine and feline pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (PLI). The PLI test is more sensitive and specific than TLI test.

The management of EPI is based on the dietary modification and pancreatic enzyme supplementation. A highly digestible, lowfat, low-fiber diet has been shown to ameliorate clinical signs of EPI. On the contrary, some small animal gastroenterologists insist that feeding a low-fat diet does not significantly improve clinical symptoms. Dietary supplementation of medium-chain triglyceride oil (2 ml/meal every other day) may further improve the patient situation.

Exogenous pancreatic enzyme supplementation is the cornerstone of treatment of canine and feline EPI. Powdered pancreatic extracts (2 teaspoons/20 kg BW/meal for dogs, 0-1 teaspoon/cat/meal for cats) are usually adequate. The powdered form of pancreatic extracts is more suitable compared to the enteric-coated tablets, capsules or raw-chopped pancreas. Dogs and cats with EPI require parenteral cobalamin, vitamin K and oral vitamin E supplementation.

Inadequate enzyme supplementation may be a cause of treatment EPI failure. In these cases reevaluation of dose is indicated. Lipase is acid-sensitive enzyme. In some dogs with EPI the enzyme supplementation must followed by an antacid administration (ranitidine, cimetidine).

Other causes of treatment failure in dogs with EPI are small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and/or inflammatory small intestinal disease. In these cases metronidazole and/or prednisone administration is respectively indicated.

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