It’s hard to imagine we’d be relieved Missy has pancreatitis, but we are. Because we thought we might be losing her last night.

Three days ago she began vomiting. Lots of yellow bile and undigested food. Very lethargic, didn’t want to move. Couldn’t keep any food down.

She’d had a brief bout of pancreatitis in 2016, so my initial guess was that this was a repeat. But she still had good appetite and no fever, which made me doubt my diagnosis. I had metoclopramide and Pepcid from the last time, so I took the chance (it was a weekend) and gave them to her the second day. She seemed better, though still kind of punky.

I considered giving her gabapentin, a painkiller, because pancreatitis is so painful. But I was afraid I was wrong about the diagnosis and didn’t want to overdo the meds if I was wrong.

Our vet doesn’t work on Mondays and we don’t trust his second in command’s diagnostic abilities (bad history there). So we had an appointment for first thing this morning.

Last night was terrible. At about 11 pm she vomited up all her dinner, undigested and full of yellow bile. She was clearly uncomfortable and kept kind of crying and wimpering. My husband and I slept in the living room with her so we could get her outside quickly. She kept seeking out comfort.

Then the panting began. Panting because of pain? Panting because of a small hemangiosarcoma-related bleed? We didn’t know. Her gums were nicely pink. We comforted her all night, nodding off to sleep for a few minutes here and there.

And we kept going back and forth about putting her in the car and driving her north to an emergency vet. At 2:00 am, just as we were about to get up and get in the car, she settled down in her dog bed and went to sleep.

Blood work, x-rays, and an exam later — and it’s pancreatitis. I was so afraid we were going to learn she had a mass in her stomach or intestines.

Our vet was actually pretty pleased by how good her x-rays look. Nothing in there that looks worrisome, though her intestinal lining is a little thickened and the area around her pancreas looks a little large.

Since Missy is already on a very lowfat diet for the cancer, we’re not sure what caused this bout of pancreatitis. Our vet thinks it might be secondary, not diet related. So we will wait and watch. And give her meds to get her through this bout.

She’s sleeping comfortably at the moment. My husband broke down in tears when we learned she wasn’t about to die. She didn’t need to deal with anything more, but she’s a trooper, this one.

31 months with hemangiosarcoma and counting.

Missy with pancreatitis

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