Dog Pancreatitis and Signs of a Relapse

Posted by Laura Greenland on

Diary of a dog mum - here we go again!

Ok, so you might want to grab a cup of something, this is a big update! 😬 

Comfortable? Ok, let’s begin…Some of you might have noticed that Enzo hasn’t made as many appearances across our socials as usual? If not, no bother, that just means Enzo’s lovely brand ambassador pals have done an awesome job holding down the fort - thanks guys! 😍

So anyhoo, let’s get started. Rewind to St. Patrick’s Day when Enzo suddenly got very, very ill, which as a result, he spent two weeks in hospital – first spending four days at MediVet Hendon, and then was subsequently referred to the Royal Veterinary College (the RVC). 

Enzo was having a really bad acute pancreatic episode where CT scans discovered new lesions on his pancreas as well as a build-up of bile in his gallbladder. On top of that, there was now a question mark around his liver function too - this guy seriously doesn’t make my life easy! 😂 

Whilst Enzo was in hospital, unfortunately myself and  the vet treating him had a slight clash of opinion, where we didn’t quite see eye to eye on his diet - I know what you’re thinking, here we go again…😬

If you choose to feed your dog a raw diet, then you will know that not all vets or specialists are keen on this choice and will always try to steer you away from it. Unfortunately for the vet treating Enzo, she didn’t bargain on butting heads with somebody like me as I’m used to this fight! 🙃

We were having the same debate regarding Enzo’s diet everyday during my daily update calls. They tried to feed him a hydrolysed kibble whilst he was in their care, which he just point-blank refused to eat. Despite me telling them we had previously tried this, Enzo would have remembered how it upset his tummy,  so he won’t eat it! Regardless of constantly disagreeing on Enzo’s diet, I have to give it to them, the care they provided to Enzo was exceptional.

After two long weeks, Enzo finally returned home just in time for my birthday – woo-hoo. 🥳 The vets were able to confirm that the legions on his pancreas were non-septic cysts that would burst on their own, and not cause Enzo any harm. He was also given a boat load of meds as there was still a build-up of bile in his gallbladder, and his liver function scores were still very high. Thankfully though Enzo was improving – he had perked up, was bright, happy and alert, yet refusing the hydrolysed kibble. We all agreed that Enzo would be best cared for at home at this point, with a view to return in 4 weeks to repeat the blood tests to check his liver function score and bilirubin levels (that’s the test for checking on the bile in his gallbladder). 


Not all of the meds given were suitable on a raw diet, so I compromised with the RVC and had Enzo eating a cooked diet (Butternut Box) for the next 4 weeks that followed, supplemented with psyllium husk because even on a cooked diet Enzo’s poo’s are like mashed potato. 😐

Over those 4 weeks, Enzo was full of energy, loving life, and back to his bouncy self that he was even before he had the surgery in Jan 2021 to remove abscesses from his pancreas - we had our boy back. 😍 The RVC kept in touch with us during this time, and given that I wasn’t willing to back down on switching Enzo from a raw diet to a hydrolysed kibble, they suggested and advised that we contact a recommended nutritionist to create bespoke recipes for Enzo. I won’t say who the nutritionist was but I did check her out, she just wouldn’t have been the person for us, despite her impressive accreditations. 

As the weeks went by, Enzo continued to thrive and we are loving having him back to his old self. 🥰 I think they may have broken my dog - he’s surprisingly come back really social?! For a dog that is usually really aloof, and used to have “stranger danger” issues, he has now started approaching people in the park, just to say hello! 😂

We returned to the RVC four weeks later, repeated the tests (neither myself or the treating vet mentioned Enzo’s diet 😂) and I am super, super happy to report that Enzo was given the all clear, for now - let’s be honest, this is Enzo we are talking about. 😋 Enzo’s bilirubin levels had gone down which would indicate that the bile in his gallbladder had passed through, his liver function levels had returned to a normal level, and the assumption is that the levels had shot up because he was having an acute episode of pancreatitis, but we will keep an eye on it. 

I skipped out of the RVC that day with the biggest smile ever, we were so pleased. 😆 

But then I had a new predicament as I could no longer feed Enzo pre-made complete raw meals! To lessen the possibility of repeat acute episodes and to manage his chronic condition, I now had to find a pro-raw nutritionist to help me create super low fat (under 5% fat per 100g), lean, single, novel protein recipes for Enzo – where on earth was I going to find one of those? 🥴

Honey’s to the rescue!

Enter Honey’s Real Dog Food! You might have seen me mention in other posts that I source Enzo’s pre-made raw food from Honey’s? Well, once again, Honey’s came to Enzo’s rescue! 

Honey’s was just launching their new Honey's Bespoke Dog Food which is perfect for a dog like Enzo. You can read all about it and how it works in their own online magazine, ‘The Alternative Dog’. Also, check out their amazing range of pre-made complete meals, along with a vast array of meaty bones, broths and they even cater for humans too – these guys really are the full package. 🤩

What makes Honey’s Bespoke Dog Food really bespoke... 

- All food made to order

- Only the finest, freshest ingredients used

- Individual recipes formulated by Honey’s own vet and nutritionist

- Food can be prepared raw and/or cooked

- Personal diet and care plans created by Honey’s in-house professionals 

- Food delivered portioned, and ready to serve

- Dedicated team who are available out of hours 

Honey’s are now able to cater to everyone - from the fussiest of eaters to dogs like Enzo that suffer from serious health complications. Your dog doesn’t need to be sick to benefit from this service as they aren’t only providing raw food recipes, but also cooked or partially cooked food. What is even better, is that you can call their healthcare team to discuss your dog’s individual needs or even for a bit of advice – even if you don’t become a customer.  

In my experience, one of the things that makes Honey different from other dog food companies is their offering of a completely free advisory service. It was actually Honey’s healthcare team that told me Enzo shouldn’t be eating raw food whilst he was on the meds from the RVC. 🤓 

In summary:

  • Honey’s can help with all aspects of canine nutrition and health
  • Their friendly team includes vets, vet nurses and nutritionists
  • They don’t mind if you never plan to become a customer
  • You’ll be under no obligation - they are just happy to help
  • The service is free and unlimited 
  • They will provide free back-up documents including fact sheets, diet plans and books
  • You won’t be rushed - they really do love what they do!

And I can personally attest to all of the above. ☺️

So, as soon as I learned about the bespoke service, I called Honey’s and booked an appointment to speak with a nutritionist. A few days later, I had an hour-long conversation with one of their nutritionists talking about my favourite topic - all thing’s Enzo. 😋

Honey’s are now creating bespoke recipes for Enzo, consisting of wild pheasant, wild rabbit (with lamb heart) and wild pigeon. All of these recipes are between 2.8% - 4.1% fat per 100g. They are also doing test recipes for me to see if we can include an even lower in fat turkey recipe for Enzo. In addition, so that we can add a variation of proteins for Enzo, they are already checking to see if they can source kangaroo and horse (or cheval in French as Jonathan the founder of Honey’s prefers to call them I’m told 😉). It’s like having my own private chef just for Enzo - these guys really have been instrumental in my success in caring for him. 😍

Looking Forward!

Our first delivery from Honey’s Bespoke Service arrived this week and Enzo appears to be enjoying the food, his stools are good, he is still bouncing around, and long may it continue. But with all things Enzo, I’m sure something else will come up again but I’m not about to give up anytime soon, especially when I have people like Honey’s in my corner. 😉

As I have always said, don’t be afraid to advocate for your dog/pet. Whilst I have a huge amount of respect for vets, specialists and nutritionists, and even though they might be experts on animals, they aren’t experts on your fluffy family member - you are the expert on your pet, nobody knows them better than you, and so if something doesn’t sound or feel right, ensure you say so. You might not be hugely popular but who cares, your intentions are right and you are doing your best for your pet. ♥️

So, thank you for taking the time to read this post and I hope the info above proves helpful. 





This blog is not monetised. We’re not getting paid for any of the endorsements or links in this post. We just know how heart-breaking living with a sick dog is and if this article and if any of the links in it can help even one dog family then that’s a win for us. 

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