Living with
Dog Pancreatitis

If dog pancreatitis has called on your canine more than once, I can help. While no one seems to know for sure it's cause; diet, fasting and two remedies will help immensely.

An inflamed pancreas is a food provoked condition that isstatistically seen more often in middle aged, overweight dogs.

Triggers for a pancreatic attack are often an overindulgence in rich fatty foods, a successful raid of the garbage can, or maybe even a large dose of a decaying compost pile or animal.

If your dog has been tested and the results are conclusive, you already know mild pancreatitis can lead to loss of appetite, depression, uninterrupted vomit, diarrhea and weight loss.

I know. I can hear you sigh. No one wants to see their dog feeling lousy and wonder when it will happen again.

The first thing you should do for dog pancreatitis is change his diet. Do your homework on dog foods and stop listening to the commercials. And dare I say it, you may have to stop listening to your vet about food choices as well because his hands are tied in the midst of the bureaucratic doo-doo of the AMVA. Here's a little something you should know about dog food manufacturing.

And please read those short quotes in the right hand column so we're on the same page. They aren't just for dog pancreatitis, they are for everything!

I'm going to highly suggest a raw diet low in fat or a commercial diet of high quality such as canned dog food without grains. Nature's Instinct is a good starting point.

Part of the problem with manufactured foods is what is listed on the can may not be all that's in it so you must go with a trustworthy company or make your own.

For those who are unsure if their dog suffers from pancreatitis, here are the symptoms again. If your dog has not been tested, the food suggestions are still good but remedies may vary a bit.


Signs and Symptoms of Dog Pancreatitis

These symptoms can range from mild and hardly noticeable to a severe shock-like collapse:


  • Complete loss of appetite
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Diarrhea that may contain blood
  • Reluctance to walk
  • Weakness
  • Crying, whining and restlessness from abdominal pain

Frequent attacks can result in the lack of insulin production and the onset of dog diabetes. See Symptoms of Canine Diabetes. Believe it or not, dog diabetes is also food provoked.


Cause of Pain in Canine Pancreatitis

Since the pancreas is overburdened and swollen, it leaches enzymes into the abdomen instead of sending them to the intestines.

The intestines need those enzymes to do their job. Without them, the belly becomes distended and painful. Never mind what happens to those enzymes in the wrong place. Yuck!


Pancreatitis Treatment Options

The first thing to do when your canine shows signs of dog pancreatitis is stop feeding him for at least 12 hours. He will probaby stop eating  by his own choice but fasting dogs is important to give that pancreas and the intestines a little vacation.

If symptoms are severe and vomiting and diarrhea are frequent you must not give anything by mouth at all. No liquids, no water. None. That inflamed pancreas needs to rest.

We all want to care for our canines and I've known women who have fed food and water to their sick dogs with an oral syringe trying to keep their strength up. Unfortunately that only makes things worse.

If that sounds like you, please read Fasting for Health where I explain what's good about not eating.

Now if your mind just came to a screeching halt after reading where I said no water, I'm glad. It seems obvious that what is needed is more water to avoid dehydration, and that's true except for one thing.

When even water makes a dog vomit his body is terribly stressed and the repeated vomiting is wearing him out and he's getting even more dehydrated than he would be without the water.

Keep up with him and do the dehydration test. Severe dehydration will cause organ damage so pay attention. If he fails the test you have two options.

His vet can give him an IV with fluids and electrolytes. If for any reason you can't get to the vet you will find a way to treat that at home at the dog dehydration test page.


What the Vet Will Do (and Will Not Do)

In addition to replacing lost fluids with an IV, your vet will give your dog pain medication and antibiotics to cope with a bacterial infection which may be brought on by the pancreatitits. He may inject an anti-xxx to stop the vomiting. He cannot give anything to reduce the inflamed pancreas because corticosteroids are thought to be one of the causes of this dog disease.


What You Can Do

While we certainly don't want an infection, there are antibiotic side effects. Using canine probiotics afterwards is important to balance the good gut bacteria so digestion can take place ...unless we use an alternative.

Long Term Care for a Dog with Pancreatitis

In addition to a permanent change in diet, preferably raw, you can help your dog heal and strengthen her organs with the following targeted natural support. She will recover faster with the first while the second should will help her body work better.

Liquid Silver Shield on an empty stomach will reduce inflammation without the use of corticosteroids and also kill bacteria without antibiotics or their side effects.

Target P14 contains 14 herbs to support pancreatic function, maintaining blood sugar levels and the function of B vitamins.

Especially if canine pancreatitis is something you have dealt with more than once, keeping these two aids in the medicine cabinet and a permanent change to a healthy dog diet will help your dog immensely and calm your frazzled nerves.

Please contact me with any questions or dosages for your dog. You can try the Facebook comments section below but it doesn't always alert me, so if I don't answer within 24 hours, send me an email through this contact page.

Did I forget anything? Yes, here's a couple of notes.

When reintroducing food, feed small mini meals several times a day to reduce stress on that tired pancreas.  If any vomiting or diarrhea occur, cut back food again.

The Supplements I suggest are very specific and only made by NSP. To understand why I am so specific (and picky) please give my page "Why NSP" a quick read.

Your Dog - this page is written to help your dog lead a normal life and deal with medium/low bouts of dog pancreatitis. If your dog is crying in pain; you can see the stomach convulsing; and she will not get up - get her to the vet immediately.


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