Holistic Care for Pancreatitis in Dogs
Preventing & treating Pancreatitis through diet and supplementation
What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is severe inflammation of the pancreas. It’s very painful and in serious cases can be fatal. Almost all holistic veterinarians agree that most cases of canine pancreatitis are due to inappropriate diets that are full of starch, poor quality meat, and rancid oils/fats. This page looks at the symptoms, causes, and treatment of pancreatitis and how diet and dietary supplements can be used to prevent this problem in dogs.
How the pancreas work & how Pancreatitis develops?
The pancreas is a sensitive organ that is easily damaged and slow to heal. It has two main functions:
- To produce insulin for the body and stores glucose to regulate blood sugar. To produce pancreatic enzymes, amylase, lipase, and protease, that helps the body to digest and absorb fats and proteins in the digestive tract.
When our dogs are fed a hard-to-digest dry, wet, or refrigerated foods, the pancreas gets over stimulated or overworked and in turn becomes inflamed. The inflammation then activates the digestive enzymes before they’re properly sent to the intestines which can result in the process of “self digestion”. The enzymes from the inflamed pancreas can also leak out in the abdominal cavity and damage the abdominal lining and other organs causing a very serious case of Pancreatitis.
Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs
Dogs suffering from pancreatitis usually show these signs and symptoms:
- poor appetite
- severe vomiting and diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
- yellow, greasy stool
- abdominal pain (dog is crying and hunching his back)
- abdominal distention (bloating)
- lethargy and weakness
- may have a fever
- reluctance to walk
Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs
The cause of pancreatitis in your canine can be one of many and is usually related to a compromised immune system and improper diet. It is normally associated with feeding a dry or wet food that is too processed, high in starch or high in cheap fats/oils. In other cases, it can be triggered by the administration of cortisone, the development of an infection, metabolic disorders, as well as trauma and shock.
What happens is, under normal conditions, digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas are only activated when they reach the small intestines. In the case of pancreatitis, these enzymes are activated prematurely in the pancreas instead of in the small intestines. This results in digestion of the pancreas itself. The clinical signs of pancreatitis are often variable, and the damage caused by the disease will depend on the quantity of enzymes that are prematurely activated. This process can happen once or be reoccurring, which is called Acute Pancreatitis.
Treatment Recovery & Management of Pancreatitis in Dogs
Firstly, when you start to notice symptoms of Pancreatitis, all food, water, and oral medications should be withheld for at least 24 hours to give the pancreas a rest. If your dog’s symptoms improve in the course of a few days, they may intake food, in small portions but, the food given is should be bland, easily digestible, and low-fat. 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.
If your dog has pancreatitis, or is prone to develop it, you should put him on a bland or basic, low-fat diet such as PWZ Limited Ingredient Formula, which is a nourishing food that is also soothing to the pancreas and digestive tract. The fat and protein in foods stimulate the pancreas to release digestive enzymes so, to avoid putting a burden on your dog’s pancreas minimize his intake of processed vegetable oils, butter, and all other fatty foods. Fish and animal fats in small quantities can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and help improve digestion. 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.
Detoxification is also a very important step in preventing and treating Pancreatitis. It used to kick-start the body into “healing” mode. It rebalances and speeds up the body’s ability to process and excrete toxins. To support the detoxification process, the body requires a variety of minerals and nutrients. Detoxifying will work miracles for their health & wellbeing and it doesn’t involve purging, fasting, or bland diets. It’s as simple as sprinkling powder on top of whatever they’re already eating. VFlow daily detoxifying powder for pets is the #1 best selling detox supplement for cats, dogs, and animals and it’s the only product that has activated charcoal for dogs along with other natural detoxifiers like clay, spirulina, and wheatgrass. It decreases inflammation and protects organs and tissue from further damage.
The pancreas also produces insulin causing diabetic dogs to be more prone to pancreatitis; however pancreatitis can also cause diabetes. It is advised to pay attention to the amount of sugar intake considering that most dry and wet foods, even grain-free, are high sugar or starches (which are still converted to sugar in the body). Stick to easy-to-digest veggies and gluten free grains or seeds (such as oatmeal, rice, chickpeas or quinoa).When using a pre-mix or creating your own recipe, the best foods for Pancreatitis in dogs include boiled chicken, rice or potatoes, no-fat cottage cheese, and low glycemic vegetables such as grated cabbage, broccoli, or carrots (uncooked) can be given in small portions.
Kibble, grain-free or not, should never be given to a dog with pancreatic issues because they are heavily processed and lack digestive enzymes so your dog’s body will have to work extra hard to produce the enzymes for food digestion. Our Nutri-Therapist have created a number of recipes for pancreatic, gastric, and organ health but if you don’t have the time to cook for your dog we also carry a number of premium, well-balanced, natural dehydrated dog food, to make sure that your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs for recovery.
Always consult your Vet first if you have any serious concerns about your pet’s health.
Puptection Health & Nutrition Center Disclaimer
Puptection Health & Nutrition Center’s website advice is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health. Never disregard professional veterinary advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online.