This is sort of a combo medical/food discussion but moreso food related.
So it's looking more and more likely Riley has pancreatitis... she had another "episode" yesterday of bloody diarrhea and this time vomited blood too. We took her to the vet - got a different vet this time (who was much more reasonable I think). Awaiting blood test results for a definitive answer but it's now been 3 incidences of sudden onset bloody diarrhea/inappetance since January and the vet is pretty convinced and says she would classify it as "level 1" pancreatitis whatever that is. The last time her blood test revealed elevated pancreatic enzyme levels but the levels were back to normal after 2 weeks of a bland diet.
DH and I agree that it's pretty likely what is going on, Riley has always needed frequent feeding since reaching adulthood or she gets digestive upset (vomiting) and frequent feeding is one of the ways to help manage pancreatitis. We may have been accidentally "Treating" it somewhat with frequent meals 4x a day. It would also explain why she is "lazy" and tires easily.
For now just to get Riley stabilized she is eating the Royal Canin low fat GI prescription food (barf) but I'd like to try to find something that we could use long-term. At Riley's follow-up I will ask the vet what exactly are the criteria I should look for in a "good" brand that would satisfy the medical requirements.
The other prescription option is a Purina low fat food, they are both ~5% fat on a dry matter basis. I wasn't sure which one to pick in the spur of the moment because I know they are both garbage and I'd like to try to find something better long-term. The nutrition in the purina looks better (more protein, more fibre) but it has that awful "animal digest" stuff in it.
I am going to hunt around and start comparing using these criteria is there anything else I should be looking at? I'll make an excel sheet for the vet so that she can compare.
- Fat % (10-12% or lower cutoff to make the list)
- Protein % (higher is better)
- Omega 6:3 ratio
- Protein sources (in case Riley does also have some kind of food sensitivity)
- Carbohydrate sources
Poor Riley, she is feeling much better since yesterday afternoon and has been wolfing down the kibble (apparently she likes junk food).