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16 November 2010


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Phyllis DeGioia

Dr. Tony, you'll just have to butter your own biscuits!

I have to confess it's not Dodger, but my brother in law's ES who kept stealing/ingesting entire sticks of butter. Quite an art form for her. Roxanne just loooooved her some butter. And yet...somehow... oddly enough... she never once ended up in the ER for pancreatitis, holiday or ordinary butter-stealing days.

Gina Spadafori

Your head explodes so coherently.

Comment by LynnO

That's why I tolerate her dogs getting more attention than mine.

Dr. Tony Johnson

Wow - this is some piece!

"My dog just looked at a green bean. I am headed in to the ER!"

I left a comment on the article's page - hopefully folks will not take the NBC piece to heart - it is just way over the top.

Phyllis DeGioia

they should be talking about MY pancreas, not the dogs'. I can willing imbibe on Thanksgiving to such a point. My dogs get bites (off my brother-in-law's fork, not mine, and yet he seriously wonders why 5 or 6 dogs follow him around).

Live large. Have a whole STRING BEAN. And for some dogs (I'm not mentioning any English Setter's actual name) a stick of butter makes an interesting treat not recommended by any one but the dog. Good luck getting it back, by the way.

H. Houlahan

Your lead paragraph, Christie -- have I told you today how much I love you?

Dr. Tony Johnson

Phyllis - if I ever eat dinner at your house and you offer me a buttered roll, I am gonna need the whole travel history of said butter.

Gina Spadafori

McKenzie: Did someone say butter?

Yes, an entire pound. AND SHE SURVIVED!!!!

Dr. Tony ... you are a sick and twisted person. I love that about you!


THANK YOU, Christie! Thank you! I'm beginning to think that mass hysteria is the number one killer of pets, not green beans in butter.


Spew alert required for the McKenzie-and-butter comment ....


There would be a mutiny at my house if the dogs didn't get any turkey on T-day. Especially, the older Flat-coat who feels it is his God given right to have some. No argument. That is final!!

Had a golden retriever (Cedar) who not only ate a stick of butter with the paper still on it, but injested a whole spice cake. No ill effects, other than the cake was for MY birthday. LOL

Dr. Tony Johnson

Right. But will you be the Mommy or the Daddy?</b?


mary frances

My Chesapeake/terrier mix Nikki (just a guess regarding type of dog) when she was a puppy she ate four boneless chicken breasts (uncooked) chased with a bottle of baby oil....wagged her tail and she was fine - The bedspread was a mess though.

She lived a long and happy life.

Mary Mary

15.Right. But will you be the Mommy or the Daddy?


Comment by Dr. Tony Johnson — November 16, 2010 @ 3:50



H. Houlahan

Right. But will you be the Mommy or the Daddy?


I saw this - it's definitely the worst so far of the holiday scare articles - and wondered if you guys would tackle it :-)

Myself, after having observed just how indiscriminate my dog really is - cat box, anyone? - I reckon anything on the table that'd be liable to upset his digestion would probably kill me first.

H. Houlahan

It appears to be impossible to leave a comment on their site without authorizing them to scrutinize my last pap smear.

I don't want to think about what Dr. Tony gave up to get his published.

Dr. Tony Johnson

I don’t want to think about what Dr. Tony gave up to get his published.

The good news is I should be able to have kids again in about 2 years if I get the hormones balanced just right


Yea!!! Your head explodes so coherently. Thanks for sharing.

Christie Keith

Michael wrote:

His pancreatic enymes where sky high. It seems pretty clear the KFC was to blame.

Well, KFC is pure junk and not good for anyone, but a single piece of KFC has around 27-28 grams of fat. I don't know how much this particular Chi weighed, but a cup of toy breed kibble has around 18 grams of fat. I find it hard to believe those extra 9-10 grams made that much difference unless the dog was extremely tiny -- what did he weigh? I'm not saying the KFC didn't make him sick -- I'm just saying this isn't a case of "fatty food causes pancreatitis." It's a case of "over-eating causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which cause the pancreatic enzyme levels to spike."

My dogs routinely eat a diet that is sky-high in fat -- they must get more than 50 percent of their calories from raw animal fat. Their pancreatic enzymes are always normal.

Of course, I don't give them KFC, either, LOL.

Phyllis DeGioia

By the way, I don't mean to minimize the reality that some pets are prone to pancreatitis and folks like Illiena absolutely need to be careful. But for pets who aren't prone, folks can lighten up on the fear.

Kim Thornton

What is it with dogs and butter? Savanna once ate a whole stick of butter, paper and all. She was also fond of freshly baked mini loaves of bread (six at a time, thank you very much). The only time I ever saw her get sick from food was when she had diarrhea from eating grapes (before it was known they could be toxic).


Well it's good that I don't put green beans and butter on the goat guts when I'm butchering or my dogs would be goners....


What is it with people and butter? It tastes good! If dogs could make hollandaise and spread butter on bread, I'm sure they would. But if it's just sitting on the counter wrapped in paper, they'll take it that way, too.


My late beloved Indy (Cardigan Welsh Corgi) was a terrific butter thief. Two years in a row, he managed to steal butter off a fully set, very crowded Thanksgiving table while all the humans were in the kitchen serving up plates- all without disturbing a thing on the table. This was a feat that required pushing a chair out for access to the table. Impressively, he also put the lid back on the butter dish. If he hadn't been the only dog loose, we would have blamed the lab!


OMG..guess I am lucky my dogs are alive this morning...after all giving them dinner leftovers last night (chicken breast, veg's and rice) instead of dog kibble (with a side a melonium) should have killed them.

Christie Keith

Illiena, chicken isn't particularly high in fat -- and as I'm sure you know, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is a genetic condition in which the dog's pancreas atrophies and he can't digest his food -- any food, not just fat -- without being supplied with exogenous enzymes. The fact that the disease was diagnosed because your dog had diarrhea after this one meal was likely just a coincidence.


I am so glad that somebody (thank you, Christie) finally said something publicly about all the BS (excuse me, but that's what it is) of feeding a dog table scraps & how very dangerous that can be. Oh pullllleeeezzzz, give me a break.

I hear a lot of it this time of year. I grit my teeth, mumble several very descriptive bad words to myself & wonder how many pet parents are believing this stuff. How sad.

As one who cooks for her dog, I don't think my dog has ever been so healthy & perky (I know, I hate that word too)......full of energy, is that better? I learned more than enough during the recalls & that did it for me.

I'll give my dog a buttery green bean anytime over a lot of stuff on the shelves. Matter of fact, she loves green beans, sans butter, of course......

Thanks for all the very funny comments......I needed a good laugh.

Leslie K

Thanks ! I really needed this after the day I had. If a buttered green bean caused death or deadly disease I guess my 5 wouldn't be here .If I tried not giving them any turkey, they would probably eat me while I slept. How on earth is real food worse than meat flavored cereal in a bag ?


Same cat swiped an entire cooked turkey off the kitchen table ....

My Sphynx tried to do this one year. I heard growling, turned around, and there was Cueball trying to drag the turkey by one leg - nine pound cat vs. fourteen pound turkey. He'd've done it, too, except that I didn't have a nonstick rack back then.

My kitty Norton's pancreas had pretty well shut down when I adopted him as a kitten - my vet thought it was due to the viral load, he was from a feral colony and crawling inside and out. Anyway, I didn't have the money for a whole bottle of enzyme replacement then, and I'll forever be grateful to the anonymous owner of a GSD with EPI who donated some from his supply. Norton got over his bugs and his pancreas came back on-line about a year later, and he's 15 now.


Let's see... we've lost an entire giant porkchop, right off the pan, thanks to a cat. Same cat swiped an entire cooked turkey off the kitchen table - dogs got it before I could get to it (cooked bones and all!).

My old retriever ate a pound of thawing bacon including the package. He also ate a pound of butter - on multiple occasions. Inedibles included (but are not limited to) several bars of scented all natural soap, several tupperware containters - totally consumed, except the lids - and once, a Bic disposable razor. Of course, the winner was the night I was going crazy looking under ALL my furniture for my tea towel. I was doing laundry and I knew I had left one out. The next morning I took Molson out of the apartment for his constitutional. At the time he was raw fed, and as you raw feeders know, occasionally it takes a while for things to... pass. But this time it was taking a LONG time, and people were starting to stare. I looked back over at Molson, and literally had to look twice.

In front of my entire building, all my neighbours, passersby and the public, I had to stand behind my squatting dog and very slowly take a poop bag as a glove and gently assist... removing the tea towel. In one piece. I have never been so spontaneously amazed and grossed out at the same time. I wanted to bag it up and take it to the vet, but my guy at the time though I was out of my mind. C'mon, tell me you wouldn't want to have proof of that!

Fable once ate five pounds of raw potatoes. Why? Only Fable knows (my ACD mix).

Then there was Gretchen, our Pom. She had a sweet tooth and NEVER turned down an opportunity to eat candies, chocolates or mints. She once ate at least a pound of chocolate (thankfully, very cheap chocolate and she threw most of it up) with no ill effects. Few weeks later, she ate at LEAST a pound of kitty turds mixed well with clay litter. She came upstairs all shaky, had a seizure and vomited. Off to the vet!

There are literally DOZENS of other instances I haven't listed, not including the THOUSANDS of times I've simply fed them stuff (yes, even McDonalds - they get cheeseburgers, plain - not often). The only time we've ever been to the hospital for a consumed item was the razor blade and the cat litter. Not ONCE for edible items.

Way to straighten 'em out, Christie. :O)

Phyllis DeGioia

"freshly baked kahlua gingerbread men"

Melinda, Dodger and I will be right over. He'll have a stick of butter and I'll inhale an entire batch of cookies (I can do that like a bunny inhaling parsley). Guess which one of us will feel sick?


Do I need to destroy the photo of my dog happily downing a Turkey wingtip so as to avoid prosecution for inhumane treatment of my dog? (She didn't think it was inhumane at all!)My husband's family lived in India, and the ONLY thing available to the dog was table scraps and a special nilguy and rice stew prepared just for him! He managed to thrive quite nicely.

Nancy Freedman-Smith

Pancreatitis in my dog Charlee was caused by an injury to her pancreas from a car accident. Every holiday is a potential end of days for her if we are not super careful about who feeds her, or who leaves plates of food where she can reach them Last Thanksgiving she stayed in the car.


And did I ever learn about Pancreatitis the hard way! That wonderful free range chicken, which other dogs can digest, gave my GSD terrible diarrhea, which later turned out to be EPI(pancreatic insufficiency), genetic to the breed. Fat in the chicken brought out the onset of the disease. Today, I threatened to break my husband's arm if he even thinks about giving the dog anything I don't approve of during the Thanksgiving dinner....

Michael O'Donoghue

We had a chihuahua in hopsital for two weeks after his owner gave him a whole piece of KFC chicken. That is like a human eating 20 pieces of KFC at once! His pancreatic enymes where sky high. It seems pretty clear the KFC was to blame. Most dogs seems to tolerate fatty diet, but moderation and quailty of fats is key.


Several years ago my Sparky (Miss Perfect Housemanners) was on a huge dose of prednisone to treat an auto-immune disease. It saved her life, but that stuff turned her into a totally different dog for a while. I left some freshly baked kahlua gingerbread men on a foil covered plate in the middle of our kitchen table. Came home and "Cracky" greeted me with her usual tail wags and body wiggles, but her belly was absolutely sloshing from side to side. She was HUGE. Ran to the kitchen and discovered that all 3 dozen gingebread men were *gone*, the foil daintily moved aside from the plate without a tooth mark or paw print. It was quite obvious that Spark had gotten up on the table and eaten every last cookie. Judging by the faces of the other 2 dogs, she didn't even kick them any crumbs. Not a bit of digestive upset for Sparky with that one.

Liz Palika

Oh man I needed a laugh this afternoon! Thank you, Christie, Dr Tony, Phyllis, Gina and everyone else! HUGE SMILE.......

Dr. Tony Johnson

Oh, I can see where this is going! Not biting! Not taking the bait!

Mary Mary

I was watching two Afghan Hounds while their owner travelled.

They took a tin of butter cookies off the counter and ate them.

Oh, the mess later on.


Marty Becker

Phyllis, don't encourage Dr. Tiny, er, Tony to, as you put it, "butter his own biscuits." You know how little encouragement he needs!


Long ago we had a cat, Balthazar, that figured out how to open the broiler to get to the flank steak keeping warm there while the family was enjoying theirs in the dining room. When we thwarted that exercise in thiefdom, he took to sitting on Joel's shoulder during meals and trying to snatch the food from his fork before he could get it into his mouth.

He used to entertain me by sitting outside the puppy pen licking his chops as though he was planning to munch one for lunch. He was quite chagrined when I got up early one morning and found him sleeping with them.

Have never had another cat whose antics were anywhere close to a match for Baly's. Thank goodness.


Friday, my Aussie swiped half a Subway footlong from my teenager. Teenager's observation:"Dumb dog." Teenager got sandwich away from dog and threw it in a trash can that was totally accessible to the dog. Dog got sandwich anyway. I'm still feeding her pumpkin and yogurt to try to get her straightened out. My observation: "Dumb teenager." We may be making a trip to the vet today.


And let's not forget that corticosteroids can cause pancreatitis in some dogs and particularly in some breeds.

Thankfully my dogs are not thieves, it's the cats who think they can take what they want. One cat loved lamb and would come sit on the other side of my plate and try to paw a piece his direction, with glacially slow movements, hoping I wouldn't notice. I'd poke a fork his direction, which didn't deter him, he just started over. I'm not fond of cats on the table at dinner, but this particular act always gave me the giggles. Another got on the table and licked all the cream cheese topping off a cheesecake.

And once my dogs tore open a 5 lb bag of white flour I'd left on the floor in a bag. I don't know if they ate any, but it didn't cause them to throw up either.

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