Pancreatitis is the most common disease of the pancreas in dogs.
A lot of pet owners don’t know that their dog’s pancreas needs monitoring until there’s an issue with it. However, the pancreas is one of the most important organs to ensure your pup is digesting their food properly and making sure that they’re getting all the nutrients that they need.
But what is pancreatitis? What threats can it have to your dog? And what to feed a dog with pancreatitis? Don’t worry if you’re not sure the answer to these questions. This post will outline and explain everything you need to know about the disease and how it should be treated so that you can monitor your doggo’s health.
- What is Dog Pancreatitis?
- What are the Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs?
- How to Treat Dog Pancreatitis
Your dog’s pancreas carries out two vital roles for their overall health. Firstly, it secretes nutrients to help with their blood sugar levels. Plus, it produces enzymes to help with breaking down and digestion of food, especially starches, proteins, fats and other food types that are more difficult to digest.
When the pancreas becomes inflamed, this is what’s known as pancreatitis. When this occurs, the flow of enzymes in the digestive tract can become disrupted, meaning that your pup won’t be digesting their food properly. Enzymes are then forced into their abdominal area, which can lead to them breaking down the fats and proteins of other organs, resulting in pretty severe consequences.
There are two main levels of severity of dog pancreatitis. These are:
Acute pancreatitis is the least severe but it can still be extremely uncomfortable for your puppy. If the inflammation spreads and starts affecting other organs and systems, it can be life-threatening if not treated properly. The last thing that anybody wants is for their little friend to be in pain – acute pancreatitis cases are usually treated in 24 to 48 hours.
Chronic pancreatitis is the same inflammation as acute. However, as it’s called chronic it means the symptoms are more repetitive than some of the less serious cases. Chronic pancreatitis can be tough going on your pup, so it’s best to take the precautions necessary to reduce the risk of them developing it. For example, feeding them low-fat dog food.
The Causes of Dog Pancreatitis
There are several causes of inflammation to the pancreas. The most common cause is high levels of fat in the blood but trauma to the pancreas and medication can also trigger the inflammation too.
Pancreatitis is more common around Christmas time. The reason for this is because as owners, we give in to those puppy dog eyes too easily. After all, it’s Christmas and we want to treat our dogs, but for the sake of their health, we shouldn’t go overboard with the fatty leftovers. Their bodies simply can’t handle the large amounts of fat and it’s their pancreas that pays the price for these treats.
Unfortunately, there are breeds that are more susceptible to developing pancreatitis than others. Schnauzers, overweight and older dogs are the ones that are most at risk at developing pancreas issues.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Plus, it can develop suddenly or come on over a long period of time. It tends to develop when the digestive enzymes start working prematurely, whilst they’re still in the pancreas, which leads to swelling and inflammation. It can also result in infection and tissue death too.
It can happen to your pup just once, or it can become a recurring problem. Which is why the symptoms for pancreatitis can vary tremendously. Dogs tend to have a combination of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal enlargement
- Abdominal discomfort/pain
- Poor appetite
Whilst these are the main symptoms, they’re not definitive to the diagnosis of pancreatitis. To be ultimately sure, you should always check with your vet. After all, you don’t want to take chances with your pet and it turns out to be something more serious, do you? They’ll be able to run tests to be sure – whether its blood tests, abdominal x-rays or faecal examinations, your vet will be able to assist you and your poorly pup.
The treatment for pancreatitis will completely depend upon what symptoms your dog is showing. The main goal of the treatment is to relieve the pain that your pet is in but to do so in a way that they’re always comfortable too. Your first step to treating dog pancreatitis, whether acute or chronic, should be to consult the vet.
For both acute and chronic cases, your vet will advise you to withhold food for a day or two to ease any pressure on the pancreas and allow it to rest. This will ease the enzyme production too, which is where the problem stems from. Medication and drugs may be supplied to help combat any nausea your doggo could be suffering from.
Always remember to follow your vet’s instructions once home so that your dog is back on its feet as quickly as possible. Feeding them the correct diet is crucial to helping them recover in the shortest time they can.
What to Feed a Dog With Pancreatitis
Low Fat Dog-Food
Low-fat dog food is perfect for pups who’re suffering from pancreatitis. Due to its lower fat content, it doesn’t take as much effort to breakdown and digest. This is ideal for your dog as their pancreas won’t be feeling as much of an impact when it’s already inflamed. It also ensures that your dog isn’t missing out on any vital nutrients whilst they’re poorly.
High-Fibre Dog Food
Digestion issues can lead to an upset stomach. This is bad news for both your dog and the owner who has to clean up the resulting mess. However, high-fibre dog food is well renowned for easing your dog’s upset stomach. It’s also great for maintaining a healthy weight and controlling diabetes too.
Protein-Rich Dog Food
Protein-rich dog food is ideal for your dog’s recovery. Meat is rich in protein and is no doubt the preferred food of your pup too. Chicken is a great source of protein for your dogs, just like it is for us. But be careful not to feed them too much of it, as it could lead to other allergies.
At Reet Good Dog Food, our meat products are all made with a minimum of 50 percent meat content. Which is great compared to other products on the market. With our products, you can be sure that your dog is getting all the nutrients and goodness that they need to get them back on the mend.
Don’t Ignore Your Pup’s Symptoms – Look After Them!
If your pup is showing any of the above symptoms, we advise you to seek medical advice straight away. After all, you can never be too careful when it comes to their health. Pancreatitis can be uncomfortable for your dog and nobody wants to see their little best mate in any discomfort, do they?
Pancreatitis is extremely common but a lot of people don’t realise that their pet might have it until it actually strikes. Be proactive and always look out for the symptoms.