January 2015

by Dr. Keith Leakey

If you own a pet then the familiar scene of a poor mutilated trash bag
with the innards strewn throughout the house has crossed your path. Chewy
was our trash diver and the best I had ever seen. You could leave the
house and be gone 30 seconds just to return to her hind end, tail wagging,
nose deep in the best treasure our house had to offer.

When my wife and I were having our house built in Dallas, we would go
almost every day to look at what had been done. We would often take our
labs because, at the time, they were our kids. I soon realized that Chewy
became so excited every time we would pull up to the curb only to scour
the job site for the foil ball of left over burrito or other
unidentifiable morsel that she had been dreaming about since her last
visit. All said and done Chewy survived her escapades of trash diving but
not without issues. There were many times that she would become sick and
we would have to treat her for issues.

What should you be worried about in your trash diver? The things we see on
a daily basis associated with our clients pets can range from abdominal
pain and vomiting/diarrhea to very colorful wrappers and whatnot in their
bowel movements. There is a very serious condition known as Pancreatitis
that can be life threatening in many cases and causes severe vomiting and
diarrhea. This condition can be caused by the consumption of high fat
table foods or trash.

The pancreas is responsible for releasing digestive enzymes into the small
intestines where they can breakdown sugar and digest nutrients. In
Pancreatitis the digestive enzymes cause severe inflammation of the
pancreas. This condition is usually diagnosed with a specific test and
blood work along with a very depressed and lethargic patient. Most of
these patients have to be hospitalized and placed on intravenous fluids to
prevent dehydration and manage their symptoms. Subsequent bouts of
Pancreatitis can make them more susceptible to recurrence and permanent
damage.

Please take the proper precautions to protect your families from the trash
diving Chewys in your household. If the vandals do strike, please consult
your local veterinarian and monitor them for any gastrointestinal
issues. Timing is everything when dealing with the post trash diving
patient.