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Natural Pancreatitis Remedies for Dogs

Natural remedies (such as herbs, vitamins, and other natural supplements), together with a low-fat diet and plenty of exercise, can be effective in preventing and speeding up the recovery of pancreatitis in dogs.

Dog on Grass Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of the pancreas. It happens most commonly in middle-aged or older dogs. In particular, those whose diets are high in fat are more susceptible.

This page takes a closer look at the kind of diet that is appropriate for dogs with pancreatitis, as well as some natural dog pancreatitis remedies that can be used to support and strengthen the dog’s pancreas, liver and immune system.

Diet for Dogs with Pancreatitis

If your dog has pancreatitis, or is prone to develop this health problem, you should put him on a bland, low-fat diet. Fat and protein in foods stimulate the pancreas to release digestive enzymes. To avoid putting a heavy burden on your dog’s pancreas, minimize the intake of vegetable oils, butter, and all other fatty foods.

The pancreas also produces insulin. Diabetic dogs tend to be prone to pancreatitis, whereas pancreatitis can also cause diabetes. It is therefore advisable to pay attention to the amount of sugar intake as well. Avoid vegetables with high sugar levels (such as pumpkin, fresh corn, parsnips), fruits, honey and grains (except rice).

Food ingredients appropriate for pancreatitis in dogs include boiled chicken meat served with rice or potato, no-fat cottage cheese, turkey baby food, etc. Low glycemic vegetables such as grated cabbage and broccoli (uncooked) can be given in small portions.

Kibbles usually do not contain enough natural digestive enzymes and so your dog’s body will have to work extra hard to produce the enzymes for food digestion. If you cannot cook for your dog every day, look for a premium, well-balanced, natural dog diet to make sure that your dog is getting all the nutrients.

As well, feed your dog small portions (of both food and water) throughout the day to put less strain on the pancreas. Food should be given at room temperature for best digestive action.

Herbal Dog Pancreatitis Remedies

Herbs are best used to support the systemic organs related to pancreatic function at the onset of dog pancreatitis. In general, this will require tonic support of the liver and the digestive system.

  • Milk Thistle: One herb that supports and benefits the liver is milk thistle. It is effective in regenerating and restoring normal function to the liver that is damaged as a result of infection, drugs, etc.
  • Yarrow: Yarrow strengthens the pancreas and helps to reduce pancreatic inflammation. It also improves blood circulation to the organ.
  • Dandelion / Burdock: Dandelion or burdock root can increase bile and enzyme production in the liver; therefore they can aid digestion and reduce stress on the pancreas.
  • Echinacea / Astragalus: Immune-boosting herbs such as echinacea or astragalus can be given to a dog with pancreatitis to strengthen the body, especially if bacterial infection is the trigger of the pancreatitis attack.

Useful Supplements for Dogs with Pancreatitis

  • Digestive Enzymes: Many veterinarians suggest giving a dog with pancreatitis supplements of digestive enzymes to give the pancreas a break, making the dog pancreatitis flare-up easier to control.
  • Probiotics: A supplement of probiotics is also essential to ensure that the digestive system has a balanced gut flora. This is particularly important if your dog has been treated with antibiotics. The good bacteria in the probiotic supplement also aid digestion.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that can reduce the frequency and severity of dog pancreatitits flare-ups. The vitamins can also speed up recovery from the condition.

Related:

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Don’t Let This Organ Ruin Your Pet’s Life

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

Pets and Toxic Plants

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

May 28, 2015 Posted by | Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

Dogs love human food, and most humans have a hard time resisting the pleading face of a dog who wants a bite of what they’re eating. On the other hand, some human foods are not only unhealthy for dogs, but a few can actually kill them. One food some people reward their dog with is nuts, especially almonds. Can dogs eat almonds safely?

By Marion Algier  -  Just One More Pet

Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

The humane society and others publish a list of “no-no” foods or unsafe foods for dogs to eat, and the only two nuts on the list are walnuts and macadamia nuts. Feeding a dog as few as four macadamia nuts, depending upon the dog’s size, can cause neurological symptoms such as muscle weakness, tremors and even paralysis. Walnuts can cause stomach upset in dogs and moldy ones that contain mycotoxins cause tremors in dogs. These two nuts are a definite "no-no" for all dogs.

Does this mean dog scan eat almonds since they’re not on the list? Even though almonds aren’t toxic to dogs, there are some good reasons to avoid giving your dog this nutty treat, or at least give it sparingly. Nuts of all types, including almonds, are on the list of foods that cause stomach upset in dogs.

So, if you do occasionally almonds or other nuts, or something with nuts in it, with your best friend, do so sparingly and watch for any negative reactions.  If you notice a negative change in their behavior, their stool or that they are in pain, cease to share nuts in general and definitely that type of nut with them.

Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for humans, but too much fat of any kind increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis can be fatal to your canine best friend, so it’s best to stay from nuts and fatty human foods. Giving your dog food high in fats may earn you a few tail wags, but it could have bad long-term health consequences.

Another reason not to give your dog almonds or other nuts is they can get caught in their throat or intestines, causing an intestinal obstruction that could require surgery. Who wants to put a dog through that?

Can Dogs Eat Almonds: The Bottom Line?

Almonds aren’t directly toxic to dogs like walnuts and macadamia nuts are, but they do increase the risk of pancreatitis and intestinal obstruction. Almonds are a heart-healthy snack for humans, but if your dog loves them too, buy some organic peanut butter flavored dog cookies to satisfy your dogs need for a treat. It’s a safer option.

Related: 

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis 

Pancreatitis in Dogs

No-No Foods for Pets

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

July 15, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Marion’s Pet Sitting Services – Best in Temecula CA

Marion’s Pet Sitting and Dog Walkers are Your pets‘ best friend when work, play or other events force you to be absent from your precious loved ones. Whether you select a package or ala carte services, our numerous options we will ensure your pets get the care they deserve. A friend that your pet can count on:

  • Trusted caretakers who are professional and reliable, all with available references and background checks.
  • Communication is provided by daily diaries, text messaging, email and twitter updates.
  • We provide peace of mind, knowing that your furry little ones are in a safe, homey environment and that they are loved.

Marion’s Pet Sitting and Dog Walkers has built our reputation one client and one pet at a time first in Southern California then in North Austin, Texas and now back in SoCal (Temecula and surrounding areas): one pet and animal event at a time, and one blog post at a time here at Just One More Pet. We are animal lovers and will treat your pets like family.

Check out our services, testimonials and services at: http://www.marionspetsitting.com/

By Gina and Paul S. – May 10, 2010 (Corona, CA)
Our boys (Lhasas), Snoop and Gizzie, as well as our son, have always loved Marion and were so excited to see her back.  She was great with them from when they were puppies and they were always better behaved with Marion than with us. We are so excited that she is back and now that we have moved to Corona, she is closer to pet (and maybe baby) sit for vacations and special occasions

If you need a sitter or are close enough to use her service as a walker, you couldn’t ask for a better walker, dog or house sitter!!

Jan 11, 2013 – Welcome home Marion… We missed you!  We will be calling you soon!!

Marion’s Pet Sitting and Dog Walkers also offers pet products that we use ourselves for our own pets to keep them healthy and fit. You will love them.

StemPets® is a natural stem cell enhancer for dogs and other house pets. It is the specially formulated pet equivalent of our patented stem cell enhancer (AFA Concentrate) for humans, documented to support the natural release of adult stem cells from bone marrow. Also see StemEquine.

“Within two weeks of using StemPets my German Shepherd’s hips were not as stiff and she started running like a puppy.” – Jan A., IN

Our little Chiweenie suffers from pancreatitis and whenever she has a flare-up, a double dose of StemPets: For Dogs Single helps her get back to her normal self better than anything we have found, prescription or natural. – Marion A., TX

In a clinical study, AFA Concentrate naturally increased the number of circulating stem cells in the body.

Available in tasty chewable tablets, this high-quality nutritional supplement has been designed to meet the needs of dogs and other house pets.

Also see StemEquine®, an all-natural stem cell enhancer for horses. The supplement is the specially formulated equine equivalent of our patented stem cell enhancer (AFA Concentrate) for humans, documented to support the natural release of adult stem cells from bone marrow.

A clinical study revealed that this extraordinary supplement increased the number of circulating adult stem cells by approximately 3-4 million. Simply add StemEquine granules to your horses feed.

Natural Renewal StemPets supports the natural release of adult stem cells from your pet’s bone marrow. Adult stem cells play a key role in the natural renewal process. Their primary role is to maintain and repair tissue. Scientific studies have shown that increasing the number of circulating adult stem cells in the body is an important aspect of maintaining optimal health.

Service Areas

  • Temecula CA and surrounding areas

Contact Us At:

Marion’s Pet Sitting: 41911 Avenida Vista Ladera, Temecula, CA 92591-5336

Ph: 512.810.7888 or 7881 -  Email: JustOneMorePet@gmail.com

January 24, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in dogs is life threatening. Dogs that get Pancreatitis can die unless emergency vet care is  started immediately when you see symptoms.

We want you to be fully aware of what you can do to avoid Pancreatitis however some dogs are now thought to be born with the pre-disposition.

CLINICAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
Typical symptoms include, but are not limited to:  
·
         Vomiting;
·         loss of appetite or not eating;
·         abdominal pain
·         The dog, due to abdominal pain, may act restless, pant, cry, shake, stand with an arched  back or lie down with his/her front end down and hind-quarters elevated.

Additional symptoms include:
·
         fever;
·         depression
·         diarrhea
·         severe weakness or collapse
·         dehydration or shock.

RISK FACTORS:
Risk factors for developing pancreatitis include a dog being overweight or obese, elevated fats (lipids) in the blood, recent eating of a  high fat meal, and other diseases. Also, some medications are believed to predispose to pancreatitis. These medications can include corticosteroids, Phenobarbital and Potassium or Sodium Bromide. 

DIAGNOSIS:

A diagnosis of pancreatitis is based on several factors. First, your Vet will want to take your dog’s history and do a physical  examination. Procedures for diagnosing pancreatitis commonly include blood work (such as a Complete Blood Count or “CBC”), serum chemistry to measure elevations in the pancreatic enzymes (amylase and lipase), and a urinalysis.  X-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen may also be done to check  the dog’s internal organs, as well as to check the pancreas for inflammation,  abscesses, tumors or other disorders.

Diagnostic blood tests a Vet may conduct include a “cPL test”, which is a specific test for diagnosis of pancreatitis. Other tests used include a trypsin-like-immunoreactivity assay (TLI  assay), and an ELISA test for trypsinogen activation peptide (also known as a  “TAP” test). A TAP test is done to evaluate the levels of trypsin in the  blood.  These blood tests apply more specifically to pancreatic function than tests for amylase and lipase.

TREATMENT: 
Pancreatitis treatment usually requires hospitalization at the Vet’s office or animal  hospital for 3-4 days or more. While in the animal hospital, fluids and  nutrients are given intravenously  (also known as an “I.V.”)  In order to give the pancreas time to “rest” and  heal, food, water and oral medications are not given during this time. In addition, pain medications and antibiotics may be given as well.

Additionally, W. Jean Dodds, DVM, provides the following information regarding blood transfusions in treatment of pancreatitis:

“Pancreatitis can be helped to ‘cool down’ with transfusion of fresh-frozen plasma (3-5 cc per pound given once or twice daily).  A Vet should consider giving plasma as often as is needed to neutralize the excessive trypsin released by the inflamed pancreas. They can even put the plasma directly into the peritoneal cavity to "bathe" the inflamed area to effectively neutralize any trypsin enzyme that has leaked out of the damaged pancreas and is "autodigesting" the tissues it contacts. If this blood product is not readily available where you are, please call my staff at Hemopet and say it’s an emergency need. Fresh-frozen plasma contains alpha-1 anti-trypsin to neutralize the trypsin produced and released by the pancreas, but in the case of pancreatitis, it is released into the surrounding abdominal tissues causing them to be autodigested.”

WHAT IS  PANCREATITIS?
In simple terms, pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, a gland that produces enzymes that help digest food. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it produces too much of the digestion enzymes. These “extra” enzymes then damage or destroy the pancreas, intestines and other organs.

Description of Pancreatitis for Vets:  Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, a gland that produces enzymes that break down proteins to help with the digestion of food. However, if these enzymes become activated inside the pancreas or leek out of the pancreas into the abdomen, they inflame and digest the pancreas and/or other surrounding tissues, and pancreatitis (or more serious digestion of the bowel) will develop Pancreatitis is a very serious disease that can be life threatening and it requires immediate treatment. If you suspect that your dog may have pancreatitis, immediately take him/her to your Vet or take your pup to your local ER Vet for evaluation.

POST PANCREATITIS CARE AND DIET:
Your Vet will provide instructions regarding medications and a feeding schedule for your pup after an episode of pancreatitis. Be aware that a dog recovering from an episode of pancreatitis should be fed a food that contains no more than 10% fat.

Regarding diet for a dog post-pancreatitis, Dr. W. Jean Dodds states that "the liver cleansing diet would be best — even long term.http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/liver_diet.htm

For those who cannot cook easily for their dogs, select a diet with not more than 10% fat. Fish and potatoes, fish and rice, chicken and rice, or even vegetarian kibbles are generally OK.  If they only feed canned foods, which are too soft and mostly water, there will likely be a tartar build up problem. There are vegetarian baked dog biscuits, and people can just moisten and season their dog’s kibble and bake it into biscuits — many of our clients do that, if the company that makes the kibble doesn’t have a comparable biscuit."
Dogs that have had an episode of pancreatitis should NEVER be given high fat treats such as rawhides, pig’s ears, pigars and other similar items. In addition, dogs that have suffered a bout of pancreatitis should not be given coconut oil or any other types of supplemental oils or fats.

Finally, your dog’s Anti-Epileptic medications may need to be changed after an episode of  pancreatitis. Dr. Dodds explains “Because of the previous pancreatitis, the risk is much higher that bromide rather than Phenobarbital or other anticonvulsants would trigger another pancreatitis attack.”  Dr.  Dodds also stated "Keppra would be a good alternative to Bromide."

PROGNOSIS:  
Pancreatitis is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. Dogs with a mild case have a better prognosis than those who have a more severe case. If you suspect that your pup may have pancreatitis, take your pup to your Vet or call your local ER Vet as soon as possible for guidance and evaluation.

Diet Factors of Pancreatitis

While fat is often not the initial cause of pancreatitis, it is necessary to reduce the amounts of fat in the diet for a dog recovering from pancreatitis so as not to over stimulate the pancreas. The pancreas is in control of insulin production, which controls blood glucose regulation. Often dogs with diabetes can be prone to pancreatitis, and pancreatitis can lead to diabetes. In cases like these, it would also be a good idea to watch the amount of sugar in the diet. This would include high glycemic vegetables, fruits and honey.

To reduce the work load on the pancreas following an attack of pancreatitis, a low fat diet is recommended, preferably spread over several small meals a day. Smaller, more frequent meals help glucose levels to remain more stable and reduce the load of foods at one serving to decrease the enzyme activity of the pancreas.

In acute cases of pancreatitis, once supportive care is given and the dog recovers fully, they can usually gradually return to their normal diet. In some chronic cases, pancreatin enzymes may need to be given for life so that food can be digested properly.

The diet recommendations I have listed below are for after the dog has recovered from a pancreatic attack, and in most cases are only needed for a few days or weeks. If the dog is prone to chronic pancreatitis, they may well need to be kept on a low fat all their life, and fed several small frequent meals a day. In that event, calcium will need to be added to the home made diets given here, at 800 mg per pound of food served. For short term use (less than two weeks) this is not necessary. Please remember to follow up with your veterinarian for advice on your dog’s recovery and health needs. Periodic check ups and blood panel levels are recommended to monitor health.

50% of the diet should include low fat animal proteins such as:
– White meat chicken (which is lower in fat than dark meat), with skin and excess fat removed.
– Lean or low fat hamburger, and if cooked, drain excess fat (boiling will remove most of the fat).
– Beef heart or roast, with excess fat removed.
– Beef kidney and liver (small amounts).
– Egg whites
– Low fat or nonfat plain yogurt or cottage cheese

25% of the diet should be low glycemic vegetables, such as:
– Broccoli or cauliflower
– Summer squash, such as yellow crookneck or zucchini
– Dark leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach
– Cabbage

These vegetables must be cooked or pureed (in a food processor) in order to be digestible by dogs.

25% of the diet can be higher starch foods such as:

– Sweet potatoes, white potatoes (no skin)
– Oatmeal, rice or barley. These will hopefully add calories lost by feeding a low fat diet.

These foods must be cooked, and grains are more easily digestible if overcooked a little.

To each meal, add digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria. The Berte’s Digestion Blend is great for this, as it contains a full spectrum of enzymes including pancreatin, acidophilus and l-glutamine which helps fight inflammation in the digestive tract.

Recipe Examples
(for a fifty pound dog, to be fed in three or four portions daily)

Recipe #1:
1-1/2 cups of cooked beef heart chunks, fat drained
1/4 cup steamed or cooked spinach
1/2 cup cooked broccoli
3/4 cup cooked sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon of Berte’s Digestion Blend

Recipe #2
1 cup of cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup of low or nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup cooked cabbage
1/2 cup cooked zucchini
3/4 cup white potato
1/2 teaspoon of Berte’s Digestion Blend

Recipe #3
1 cup of boiled lean hamburger, fat drained
1/2 cup cooked beef kidney, fat trimmed
1/4 cup of cooked kale
1/2 cup of yellow crookneck squash
3/4 cup of oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon of Berte’s Digestion Blend

Recipe #4
1 cup cooked stew meat or cut up lean roast, fat drained
1/2 cup low or nonfat cottage cheese
1/2 cup cooked Broccoli
1/4 cup cooked zucchini
3/4 cup cooked barley
1/2 teaspoon of Berte’s Digestion Blend

As your dog improves, you may add vitamin E, vitamin C, a B complex and EPA fish oil. This may take from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the severity of the condition. Add EPA fish oil at 1,000 mg per 20 lbs of body weight daily, plus vitamin C, vitamin E and a B complex. A fifty pound dog would get about 500 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E and a B-50 complex.

If these recipes are to be fed longer than 2 weeks, then add 800-1000 mg of calcium per pound of food served (2 cups is approximately one pound). You can use ground eggshell at the rate of 1/2 teaspoon per pound of food, or plain Tums, both of which are calcium carbonate. You should also include liver as part of a long term diet. Give about 1 ounce a day or 2 ounces every other day to a 50 lb dog.

Supplements that B-Naturals carry that are recommended for dogs with pancreatitis include Berte’s Digestion Blend, EPA Fish Oil and Berte’s Daily Blend.

*It is always better to cook real food for your dog (pets) for at least part of their diet.  It is even more important if they are sick.  Most vets will usually suggest cooking chicken and rice or lean meat and rice at bare minimum and will then often suggest some low fat pet food; wet or dry they usually don’t like it much, so cooking for them at least once a day is important and then supplementing with something like Hill’s low fat dry food.

Sources:

Except where noted, primary information was obtained from Carol D. Levin’s book, “Dogs, Diet, & Disease: An Owner’s Guide to Diabetes Mellitus, Pancreatitis, Cushing’s Disease, & More“ and www.vetcentric.com.

Dr. W. Jean Dodds, DVM, reviewed and also contributed to content.

Related:

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Posted by Ask Marion~

August 18, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Recipes, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , | 27 Comments

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Update for all those who have asked  and sent their best wishes and prayers for Angelina… (06.27.11  8a.m.)

Thank you to all of you who have asked about her.  My husband Tim is on his way right now to pick her up at the Vet’s.  Her symptoms are better but the Vet says it takes a week before the the levels in the blood go down, so too early to test. The Vet was in the office at about 2a.m. last night and sometime between then and 7a.m. when the first of his staff come in, Angelina had managed to get out of her cone and remove her own IV.  (We warned him!) He said she didn’t like their food, the environment or the company…  Or lack thereof~  So, it was probably time to come get her. 😉

We had to take the littlest of our four pups, Angelina, to the vet today.  Turns out she has pancreatitis. Who knows why but perhaps because we are temporarily in a situation where we can’t control everything she/they eat.

Angelina is the little chocolate brown and white one. (Photo by UCLA Shutterbug)

Poor thing had to stay at the hospital because she needed an infusion of fluids.  I felt so bad. She is used to having us around plus her doggie family and there was only one other dog at the hospital… and he was knocked out suffering from liver cancer.  We left her with an IV, a cone around her neck and a pain patch in a cage all by herself.  I wanted to cry and she was crying when we left. I tried to convince the vet to let me stay and watch over both of them… keeping him from having to run over in the middle of night to check on them, but no go because of liability issues.

She kept looking at me like… Mom are you leaving me?  How could you? Are you ever coming back?  And then I felt particularly bad because I hadn’t brought her a toy or a blanket that smelled like home; never thought she’d have to stay over.  (The blanket was a clean freshly washed one,)  It made me think of all the people who just abandon or dump their pets and makes me wonder even more than I always have… How could they?

The other 3 are all moping around and the Dad of the bunch keeps walking around like he is looking for her.

M~

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is simply an inflammation of the pancreas and is found in animals as well as humans.

So what’s a pancreas? It’s a little gland located near the stomach.

The pancreas has two main jobs. Its first job is to produce enzymes that help digest food. Its other job is to produce insulin, which regulates the blood sugar level.

And the cause of spontaneous pancreatitis in dogs is not well understood.

Types of Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in dogs is usually divided into chronic and acute cases.

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are milder and are often mistaken for other illnesses.

While chronic pancreatitis is the milder form of the two, it’s a continuing inflammatory disease that’s often accompanied by slow, irreversible damage.

Acute pancreatitis is usually more severe, but when it’s over, there’s no remaining damage to organs.

So basically, pancreatitis can be acute and only occur once in a dog’s lifetime or it can become chronic and keep returning over and over again. It can be a rapidly life threatening illness or a mild attack of pain that resolves in a few hours or a day or so.

There’s another very severe form of this condition called necrotizing pancreatitis, in which the damage is so severe that portions of the pancreas are actually destroyed. Some authors refer to this as hemorrhagic pancreatitis.

This form of pancreatitis can be fatal and requires early intervention and aggressive treatment.

Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

In a large number of cases, the cause of pancreatitis remains unclear.  Like with colitis, we really don’t know what causes it.

However, there are certain things that we know are associated with the disease.

Genetics.  Many dogs are just born with it or if they have parents or grandparents that suffered with it they can inherit the propensity if not the disease itself.

There was a period where vets, who were trained through a training system that was affected by large donations from the commercial pet food industry, use to think and tell people who fed their pets human food, which is actually real food, was causing or at least sparking outbreaks of pancreatitis.  But just like with pre-packaged food for humans and commercial baby food, we are realizing that we have been had. Big Pharma has controlled the medical field for humans for years and works on the same concept and formula for babies and commercial pet foods.

Cooking for your pets or feeding them a raw diet is now being taught as the healthiest diets.  Back to the way grandma great-grandma fed her pets, kids and family is finally coming back into mode.

Dogs with diets high in fat, and dogs who have recently gotten into the trash or have been fed ‘greasy’ table scraps, seem to have a higher incidence of the disease.  Ham, bacon, meat fat from our plates that we won’t or shouldn’t eat, processed hot dogs, ice cream, and greasy junk foods can cause an out break of pancreatitis.  In fact, a single high fat meal can cause pancreatitis in a dog whose normal diet is moderate or low in fat.

That’s why there’s a rash of pancreatitis cases at vet clinics around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter every year. People just can’t resist sharing their ‘high fat’ leftovers with the family dog.

Some other factors contributing to the development of pancreatitis in dogs include:

  • Obesity
  • Trauma
  • Liver disease
  • Lack of exercise
  • Certain medications
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Recent abdominal surgery
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids
  • High calcium levels in the blood
  • High triglyceride and/or cholesterol levels in the blood

But for some dogs who are genetically pre-disposed to pancreatitis it can be none of the above.

Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatitis In Dogs

The most common symptoms of pancreatitis are:

  • fever
  • lack of appetite
  • depression
  • vomiting
  • signs of abdominal pain

Other pancreatitis symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Yellow, greasy stool
  • Dehydration
    • sunken eyes
    • dry mouth
    • dry skin
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Redness of the gums
  • Signs of shock
Making a Diagnosis

Pancreatitis in dogs mimics several other conditions, making diagnosis difficult. Some of these most common “look alike” conditions are:

  • Acute gastroenteritis
  • Colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal obstruction

While there is no definitive test for pancreatitis, your veterinarian will try to make a diagnosis through information obtained from:

  • Medical history (especially what your dog eats)
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests
  • Radiographs (X-rays)
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • CAT scan
  • Biopsy (occasionally)
Treatment For Pancreatitis In Dogs

The treatment your veterinarian selects will depend on the severity and duration of the illness. Dogs with a mild case of chronic pancreatitis may be treated at home, while those with a severe case of acute pancreatitis will require hospitalization and intensive care.

Resting the pancreas and gastrointestinal system is the most important key to your dog’s recovery.

That means no food or water by mouth for at least 24 hours to 48 hours.

The second major part of the treatment is the administration of large amounts of intravenous fluids.

Most dogs with pancreatitis are dehydrated from recurrent vomiting and diarrhea.

Other treatment measures include drugs to control vomiting, pain medications, and sometimes antibiotics to control or prevent bacterial infection.

Once the patient seems to feel better, he’s allowed to drink a bit of water. If he doesn’t vomit in the next 12 to 24 hours, he can graduate to solid food. He’ll probably be given small meals of a bland, easily digestible, low-fat food.

Over the course of a week or more, the amount of food can be gradually increased. Most dogs can go home once they’re able to eat and drink again.

Some dogs, if there was damage to the pancreas, may need supplemental treatment such as enzymes or insulin indefinitely.

Complications of Pancreatitis In Dogs

Dogs with severe pancreatitis can recover, but may also develop fatal complications, including:

  • Shock
  • Abnormal bleeding and clotting
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Liver or kidney damage
  • Abdominal inflammation and fluid accumulation
  • Sepsis (internal infection from bacteria and toxins)
  • Breathing difficulties
How Can I Keep It From Happening Again?

Pancreatitis can be a very unpredictable disease. In most cases, if the attack was mild and the dog only had one episode, chances of full recovery are good. Simply avoiding high fat foods may be all that’s needed to prevent another attack and/or complications.

Most vets generally prescribe a low-fat, high-fiber diet for pancreatitis in dogs, to help speed recovery and to prevent future episodes. (Homemade chicken and rice is a great choice!)

Depending on your dog’s situation, the diet recommendations may require a change for life or he may be able to gradually return to his former food, if it’s low enough in fat and high enough in quality.

Although most dogs can eat an occasional high-fat meal without a problem, once a dog develops pancreatitis, a high-fat meal will often cause another episode.

And make sure he can’t get into the garbage!

Some vets will try to steer you toward special commercial food for dogs with pancreatitis. If you feed your pet commercially prepared food, it is probably healthier than what you are feeding now and if you feed your pets a mixture of pet food and real food, you might try this type right after the incident and see if they will eat it. But the best food you can feed your dog is homemade chicken and rice, veggies, barley and a variety of non-fatty meats, plus a high quality probiotic and a natural vitamin daily.  Natural chicken and duck type jerky strips and homemade biscuits are the best treats.

Sadly, veterinarians like MD’s know very little about nutrition.  Vet and Med schools only spend about 10-hours out of their entire training process on the subject.  Some, however, are beginning to educate themselves on this and other subjects, and once they do they all become proponents of feeding your pet real food, raw or homemade (non-greasy, non-junk) foods.  The idea that real food is human food and not good is proof of the great selling job big business and marketing firms have done and the myth they have sold the public as well as many veterinarians and vet schools.  Just look at what animals eat in the wild.  Americans are starting back on the road to common sense on this matter as well as on many others.

Holistic, natural or alternative vets are always the best choice.  They generally combine western veterinary medicine with nutritional therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and other other holistic practices in order to treat the whole dog and the whole disease, including its root cause.

We have found that when our little Chiweenie (Chihuahua-Dachshund mix) has a flare-up from pancreatitis that a double dose of StemPets: For Dogs (and cats) helps her get back to her normal self better than anything we have found, prescription or natural, and giving it to her daily has kept her from having many flare-ups or kept them mild.

Who’s At Risk?

As with most diseases or conditions, certain dog breeds are more susceptible to pancreatitis than others. Miniature Schnauzers have a genetic susceptibility to the disease.

Other dogs that seem to be more predisposed to this condition are Yorkshire and Silky Terriers, Dachshunds, Miniature Poodles, and Cocker Spaniels.

The disease occurs usually in middle aged to older dogs, and overweight dogs are at a higher risk. It seems to affect females a little more frequently than males. Dogs with diabetes are also more at risk than others.

But it can strike any breed in any physical condition and at any age.

June 26, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Chiweenie, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , | 25 Comments