Pancreatitis: Bandit's Last Treat

by Nancy Sweyer

We found Bandit at animal welfare and fell in love with him. What a sweet little boy he was! I took him home at six weeks old.

An Australian Shepard that would become a part of our lives.

We went to obedience classes. He was the best student. Always watching me and such a good boy. He earned three diplomas! Even though I didn't practice as much as we were supposed to. We always were the star pupils because of him. He was so smart.  I think he taught me!

Then my mother got sick and moved in with us. She too loved Bandit. He would sit on the bed with her and she would pet him and talk to him.

One early Saturday morning Bandit tried to wake me up. 

I kept saying.  "Bandit go back to sleep. It's Saturday!"  He was trying to tell me my mother had passed away. He wanted me to get up and I didn't listen.

Well, then we were alone.

We went through two tornados together. Bandit was a big chicken. Didn't like storms and the two of us would hide under the blanket and he would shake. He must have sensed how scared I was,  I never would have made it without him.

Then I got married and my husband moved in with his dog.

Bandit was happy not to be the only dog. Bandit and Kelly made great buddies. Then we adopted Smokey, a little mixed breed, who turned out to being Bandit's very best friend in the whole world. Smokey and the Bandit. As they were known in the park. Every kid in the park would love to come and pet the pretty colored dog.

Bandit loved children and other dogs. 

I would trust him with anything. He never growled a day in his life. Except at the bad squirrel outside! 

Life was grand for a long time. Then Bandit started getting older and slowing down. He still loved chasing leaves blowing in the wind and he loved the snow. If only we all could find they joy he had in simple things.

One day I took him to be groomed and he fell or slipped in the tub and broke his hip. 

He went thru surgery and rehab. He loved going on the treadmill in the water. He couldn't wait to get to the vet and see his friends. He recovered really well. He was walking on his bad leg. He was starting to chase leaves and play fight with Smokey again. All was well. We were looking forward to spring to start walking in the park and give his leg some exercise.

Bandit loved laying in the yard and looking out into the park. Spring was so close.

And then it happened.
It was an ordinary Sunday. I went for breakfast with my brother. We ordered bacon eggs hash browns and we decided to bring home the left overs.

My brother, wanting to treat the dogs, dished out some eggs, bacon and hash browns into the dog bowls. 

They ate very happily. For dinner we had pork chops.

I gave the left-overs, including the fat to my dogs.

Later that night, Bandit started vomiting yellow. He was not himself. Hiding and lethargic. The next day he didn't get much better. He stopped eating. That's when decided he had to go to the vet.

The vet took one look at him and said. That dog doesn't feel good.

He just laid on the floor with his head between his legs.

She took blood. Bandit's blood levels where off.  The vet made him spend the night and he was put on IV fluids. The next day he seemed a little better. I thought he will be ok. He had to eat bland food. Boiled chicken and rice.

He ate it up. Like, "Wow, I am getting chicken!"

That was Monday. On Tuesday he was vomiting again. This time it was white, watery. I took him to the vet first thing in the morning. My husband scooped him up and he was in the hospital again.

They took those blood levels again and this time they were off the charts. 

I don't remember what they were called or the numbers. But the vet said his pancreas was going or shutting down. She said we need to get there.

Bandit wasn't gonna make it.

I met with my husband at the vet and we held Bandit in our lap. I  cradled his head in my hand and hugged him and kissed him and told him what a good boy he was.  I told him to go see mom. She was waiting for him.

The vet asked if we were ready. Which we never could have been.

My beautiful boy looked at me as he took his last breath.

This is so hard to write. I can't believe all this happened because I gave him those eggs & bacon and fat & pork chop. My beautiful boy. My Bandito, my best friend, my protector.

Smokey's buddy was gone.

I left out so much that he did to make our lives happy. He loved to play dead and roll-over for a little liver treat and he could guess what hand you had your treat in.

I miss that baby every day. Wish I had known about pancreatitis

Smokey now gets no scraps Ever!

Related articles:
Primer On Pancreatitis 
The Perplexities of Pancreatitis 
The House Is On Fire! Bridget's Pancreatitis
Holistic Look At Pancreatitis
Dog With Pancreatitis In Critical Condition
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work  
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?
Pancreatitis: Official Veterinary Killjoy Of The Holidays 

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What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this post! Pancreatitis is so preventable and this kind of story just breaks my heart. I will be sharing this with my clients. Just because they want human food doesn't mean it's safe for them!

    1. Thank you so much for reading. It is a heartbreaking story. Not all human food is bad, of course, after all it's all just "food." It's not like dog food grows on different trees ... ;-)

      But some things are good to share and some are not.

      And then, of course, there is Cookie, who got pancreatitis from getting into horse feed ...

  2. That post made me cry.. Our pets are an important part of our life and its hard to imagine life without them.. they love eating but we do need to take proper care while feeding them.. And good for smokey has, i bet he is one healthy dog!!

  3. Oh So very sad to read this post and so sorry you lost your dear Bandit...our 11 year old foxie had Pancreatitis two years ago..his fave marrow bones the culprit which we fed him as a treat as we have done for all these years..we never give our doggies human food and assumed these bones were ok...our guilt was horrible...he was hospitalised for four nights..yes the same symptoms as Bandit..and so unlike a feisty Foxie..we acted very quickly mainly because Fox terriers are never this quiet!! perhaps this saved him,perhaps we were just lucky..his bones now are rib..little marrow...I hurt for you it is a horrible illness and heart breaking. I see you beautiful Rottie Jasmie....we laos lost our rottie Eich at 7 when his liver failed..miss him always and his big boof head and gentle gentle spirit..I hope you feel our hugs form here and am again so sorry for your loss. Fozziemum

    1. There are a lot of dog who get to enjoy marrow bones and never get sick. You can have two dogs in one house, eating exactly the same things, and yet one of them comes down with pancreatitis and the other one does not.

      Even though fat is typically the trigger, it is a more complex tissue than the amount of fat they get. The true cause is not fully understood. Why one dog can tolerate it and another cannot still remains the question.

      And than there is Cookie, who got pancreatitis from getting into horse feed ...


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