Pancreatitis in Dogs-The Natural Dog Food for Pancreatitis

pancreatitis in dogsYour dog’s pancreas is a V-shaped organ situated behind the stomach, and serves two purposes:

  1. To produce hormones such as insulin which aids the metabolism of glucose and amino acids.
  2. To produce the enzymes required for the digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.

What are the Symptoms of Pancreatitis In Dogs?

Pancreatitis in dogs is when the pancreas becomes inflamed and essentially leaks these digestive enzymes, resulting in symptoms such as a painful abdomen, a suppressed appetite, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, as well as other problems. The illness can be acute, whereby it’s brought on suddenly, or chronic, whereby it happens at a slower rate over the course of time. Acute is the worst form although ultimately, both can result in death.

What Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs?

The actual cause of pancreatitis in dogs is regarded to be unknown, but it doesn’t take much to see what one of the main culprits is. Yes, certain medications can bring on the illness such as anti-cancer drugs and cases of trauma to the dogs abdomen will play a role in some situations, but by in large, the problem usually boils down to your dogs diet, or lack of a good diet to be more specific.

Pancreatitis in Dogs Diet

Much like cancer in dogs, pancreatitis in dogs is just another condition brought on by feeding your pet a low quality diet of commercially manufactured food. This commercial food, typically canned and kibble, is usually grain based and contains little to none of the aforementioned enzymes used in the process of digestion. What this means is that in order for your dog to digest the food that they are given, they are using up their finite resource of enzymes with no adequate nutrition to replace them. Over time, it’s inevitable that something’s going to go wrong and that something is often pancreatitis.

How to Treat Pancreatitis in Dogs

Well, a better diet of course. You need to be feeding your dog the best dog food for pancreatitis recovery and the only contender is natural, raw food that actually contains the vital nutrients and enzymes that their body requires for smooth consistent operation. Raw meat on or off the bone, offal and tripe are all good examples that have these freely occurring enzymes as well as other essential elements.

These enzymes will be broken down during the digestion process and combined with enzymes already in the body so that they can carry out their intended function: to strengthen the immune system and fight against diseases, as well as a host of other purposes.

Ultimately, it makes so much sense. We’re well educated when it comes to the nutrition requirements of the human body and are aware that if we don’t provide it with the nutrients it requires, that’s when we have problems. So why do we think it’s different for our dogs? It isn’t. Pancreatitis in dogs is just another one of the many dog illnesses that can be avoided and even reversed simply through the transition to a better diet.

Don’t for one second think that pumping your pet with a load of medication is the only way to deal with its pancreatitis, or worse, do nothing. Find out more about how pancreatitis in dogs, as well as countless other illnesses can be solved simply by a change in the food you are feeding them. You’ll not only save your dog’s life, but endless vets bills too.

Get my free report below and find out more about how diet makes a world of difference to your dogs health.



About Dan

Dan is an experienced dog nutrition and home remedy specialist, helping dog owners discover the effective, natural, simple, low cost and swift solutions to having a healthy, happy, obedient and low maintenance dog for life.

Comments

  1. Hi Deanna
    Tripe is a good bet-great nutrient prifile.

  2. Hi, I would absolutely get started on a natural diet of raw based foods however It’s always best to work together with your vet so that appropriate treatment is given in-line with a new dietary regime. If your vet is un willing to help you based on your more knowlegable nutritional wisdom for healing your dog naturally then seek another vet or a holistic veterinary practice.
    Remember, vets are not canine nutritionists, that my friend is going to be your responsibility. You can heal your dog and I will help you, just let me know.

  3. Hi. I just came across this article. I have a question about raw diet. I’ve been feeding my dog a raw diet for about a year (frozen prepared raw). The other day he was diagnosed with mild pancreatitis. No vomiting or diarrhea. He just wouldn’t eat and wasn’t acting like himself at all. I usually switched up the proteins, and the week before his diagnosis, he was eating a duck formula. Was it just the high fat and the richness of the duck that may have caused this, or was it the raw food in general? I was also giving him cod liver oil. Was that a problem? I really want to continue feeding him a raw diet, but I’m very worried about him having another pancreatic attack, even though this one was very mild. This happened while out of town, so I’m taking him to my vet to check him out, and I’m worried that she is going to be one of those vets against raw diets. The vet he saw while I was out of town told my mother it was the raw diet that caused this. I’m very skeptical of that, and would just like to have your thoughts on this matter.

  4. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for highlighting your concern. lets start by clearing a few things up.

    The Pancreas-works in synergy with the enzymes in raw food by complementing with it’s own enzymes for complete food breakdown and absorbtion.

    You have not given me much case history to work with so my reply is a little limeted in scope.

    What your feeding sounds a little limited to me, (frozen prepared raw) as you stated can be hit and miss for a few reasons. Also the word “formular” sets my alarm bells ringing-why, because I dont know exactly whats in it?

    You see, it’s not “raw food in general” because dogs are fine on this diet. It’s going to be what the formular stuff is combined with. My bet is your formular is mixed with rice or other non bio-available source and has no bone in it.

    So, heres what to do-

    1-Cut back on the formulars.
    2-Find a butcher/meat supplier and make friends.
    3-Find raw green tripe-online frozen delivery boxed or travel to find bulk and freeze.
    4-Feed raw green tripe, raw beef pancreas (once per week) and 2/3 meat on the bone choices (must have plenty of bone for balance).
    5-That’s it, your dog will pick up and be fine with no more mild attacks.

    The cod liver oil is fine if the food is lacking in Omega 3 oils because it’s factory farmed for instance otherwise no need.

    Of course all this is assuming the vets diagnosis was correct? It may well have been a separate issue (after all you were away at the time and your dog showed no ovious symtems). You have been feeding for about a year, how old is the dog? How was his health before? Did he get shots in the last 3 months? How are the teeth and gums looking? Questions I have no answer for.

    Feed as instructed above, one meal per day, filter the water and no more shots…ever! (does not need them and can set off auto immune attacks). Get the balance roughly right first and his immune system will grow stronger and things will be fine. If you have more to add by all means contact me but this should be fine.

  5. Michelle says:

    Hi. Thank you so much for responding. My dog is 6 years old. When he was taken to the vet, his lipase enzymes were slightly elevated above the normal range, and with the other mild symptoms, which why I’m assuming the vet diagnosed it as mild pancreatitis. He recovered very quickly, as my vet did another blood draw to check his lipase levels again a week later, and he was low and normal, so he recovered very quickly. The food I was feeding him is made up of thr raw meat, plus organ meat and ground bone. It also contained ground veggies. No grains. Maybe using the word formula was incorrect on my part. The company that makes the food has different varieties of proteins, like duck, turkey, beef, elk, etc. I occasionally fed him the duck, which is what he was eating the week before this mild episode.

    Thank you for your advise.

  6. Michelle says:

    Oh, and he had no shots in the last 3 months, his teeth and gums look fine, and he is in good health.

  7. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for coming back to me with more information. Sounds like you have things under control. I personally like to buy from local butchers and feed “whole” raw food on the bone. This way I can get things roughly balanced.

    There is no ultimate way to feed a raw food diet and acheive perfect balance, it’s just not possible. However it’s a long way down the road to dog health from packaged mass produced crap in cans and packets (made worse with artificial additives).

    If you can, get some whole meat on the bone choices into the mix once or twice a week and not just ground bone. Also, if you can find raw green tripe, it’s a great addition for all round health.

    Do let me know if you need further help, all the best, Dan.

  8. Hi Dan,

    My 9 year old Dachshund has been diagnosed as
    a ketoacidic diabetic.

    The diabetes seemed to come on very quickly. He was in a bad way with ketones detected in his blood when he arrived at the vet clinic.

    He has been placed on an insulin drip for the past 5 days. His blood glucose level is still hovering around 15-17. It should be about 6.

    I have been told he is insulin resistant.

    Is there anything I can do in terms of diet that will help him to recover?

    The vet has told me he will require twice daily insulin injections for the rest of his life.

    I am prepared to do this.

    Is their anything that I can do to heal him?

    Is their anything available to heal his pancreas?

    Also I am concerned that he may now develop
    cataracts as a result of the diabetes.

    Please advise.

    Thank you

  9. Hi,
    Sorry for your Dachshunds predicament, lets see If I can help?

    Diabetes is fast becoming my top inquiry lately, a sad pattern is difinitely forming here and it lies squarely at the doorstep of nutrition or rather the lack of adequate quality nutrition over time.

    Your dog is suffering the effects of long term commercial dog food intake which has the double whammy of low grade waste food intake combined with fillers and additives, the result being internal organ breakdown via a compromised immune system. I see this every single day!

    What I do say to people and it’s the same for you is, if your dogs kidneys, pancreas and liver are still working then your dog has an excellent chance of full recovery within 6 months and a future of good trouble free health.

    What to do now.
    Immediately stop all commercial food of ANY kind regardless of vet, marketing bull or other interested expert opinion, it’s ALL useless as quality nutrition for so many reasons, I wrote a book on it all.
    Immediately start with fresh raw canine food which is choc full of live pancreas synagistic enzymes. In your dogs case a diet of raw green tripe, raw beef pancreas and some meat-on-the-bone choices has been proven to aid recovery of this condition. It’s food that is at the heart of health, it’s litterally a medicine in it’s own right or in the case of dead lifeless additive laden commercial dog food, toxic poison.

    Keep a close eye on insulin levels every week and adjust as the raw food does it’s magic and the blood glucose levels fall.

    Ask if you need further help and good luck.

  10. Thank you for responding.

    I live in Victoria, Australia.

    I have approached local butchers, and have been told that it is not possible to buy green tripe here. Only the bleached white tripe is available, due to food regulations.

    Is there any other raw food which you can recommend (and easily available), which may help my dog’s diabetes?

    Today I began his insulin injections: 3 International Units (IU) of Caninsulin, 12 hours apart. He seems quite lethargic after receiving the insulin.

    Thank you for your advice.

  11. Hi Frank,
    Next course of action is to research the net for any suppliers of raw green tripe as it may be that only high street butchers cannot supply it (same in UK).

    You do still have a large selection of meat-on-the-bone choices from your butcher like chicken, pork, lamb, beef etc. Just pick from these at suitable size too big for dog to swallow so he/she chews it up, 3/4/5 varieties, 1 meal a day. Add in some veg matter, crushed raw, some eggs and your set. Go with what your dog takes to.

    Always check insulin levels and adjust as necessary and as long as all internal organs functioning, you can heal your dog. Good luck and ask if needing more help.

  12. Hi, My mini-doxie was eating a raw diet for several weeks when diagnosed with pancreatitis. How should her food change now?

  13. for clarification- my doxie ( 3 years old) has been eating a raw diet- not a formula- which includes raw meats, veggies & bone meal- no fillers of any kind. she became ill after she had a “party” of sorts with something in the trash. she has been eating sweet potato, pumpkin & banana with omega 3s added. otherwise, she continues to turn up her nose at the raw food my other dogs eat. She used to love frozen green beans & baby carrots as well, but will no longer eat the green beans. any advise you could give is appreciated.

  14. Hi Stacey,
    Ok, first off and in general a dog with pancreatitis (but pancreas still working) can be healed with a basic raw food diet as this is what is needed to resolve the problem created from the toxins and sub standard filler mush in commercial dog food causing enzyme chaos.

    Your doxie has had a bad experience in the trash which has probably changed her thoughts around certain foods. Just keep trying alternatives while she’s being picky. Also it’s absolutely fine to fast her for 24 hours (I do this with my dog weekly-great for health!). This may re-set her thoughts around what you feed her and be a little more thankful for the food you give now she’s hungry (always works too!)

    Also, i’d advise against the bone meal and in it’s place feed meat-on-the-bone food like chicken thighs, legs etc. Your doxie gets better nourishment, more active user engagement with breaking it up to eat, a physical workout and greater wellbeing…plus clean teeth!

    So stick mainly to the basics of meat on the bone, some organ meat like liver, kidney and then veg and extras. The bone, meat and organs are key to balancing out the pancreas over a few months as it settle back to normal running.

    Hope this helps.

  15. Hi Dan,
    I found your website tonight in hopes you could maybe give me some advice on my dog Oscar. He is a mini doxie who is going to be 11 this year. He has had digestion problems off and on for about 4 years or so and numerous problems with his anal glands. He went in for a teeth cleaning and his blood work came back with elevated pancreas enzymes. Oscar has primarily been on organic canned food, but I’m starting to release that this food still isn’t the best. So I switched him to a prepared raw food. It is raw beef with liver, bone, tripe, heart and kidney. Along with some fruits and veggetables. It has minimum 11% fat. I’m wondering if it is maybe too much fat for him or maybe I didn’t give him any time to adjust to eating raw? I just started feeding it to him and took away his canned food. Since then he has been having a lot of noises in his stomach and wanting to eat grass alot. He now HATES any of the raw food, so I’m not sure what to do. I want to feed him raw food, but should I stick more to lower fat meats? I have some venison, but he’s not too crazy about that. Right now all he wants is boiled chicken and that’s about it. Also, before his teeth cleaning visit he had a rabies vaccine (which I was not told they were going to give him) because state law says he must be up to date on his rabbies vaccine. Could this be a reason as well? Any suggestions on what to feed him and how to help his anal glands out?
    Thank you so much!

  16. Hi Jordan, Your littl doxie has spent most of his life on commercial dog food and has gotten used to the strong flavors, so raw is not much fun to him.

    Try weening him over by making the raw food tastier to start with. For example you could get a chicken wing/drumstick/thigh/neck and give it a little searing in pan fried butter so it’s still raw on the inside. You can try this with whatever raw choice you feed.

    He’s going through a detox to clear 11 years of additives which can be hard on him for a week or two.

    The grass eating is probably used as a purgetive to help clear his system.

    Don’t worry about the fat content in raw.

    That boiled chicken-try the searing above.

    Shame about the mandated rabies vaccine, not needed and yes it can be detremental (never get any of the others!)

    It’s the bone content in raw food that forms hard pellet like waste and this is what epresses the anal glands. So raw meat on the bone or ground in bone if you don’t want to feed bones directly.

    Try out raw green tripe with nothing else added as it’s smelly and dogs generally love it plus it’s great balanced nutrition.

    Don’t be afraid to fast him for 24 hours before trying out raw food-hunger makes us all converts.

    Hope these suggestions help, ask if you need further help.

  17. Hi Dan

    Following a ruptured anal gland abscess 5 months ago the vet gave my 6 year old pomeranian 21 days antibiotics and 2 metacam injections. It was suggested to swap from kibble to raw to avoid further anal gland issues. Since then she has suffered with dreadful gurgling tummy noises following eating and obvious discomfort. She mouths and belches following eating. She is constantly hungry but suffers after eating and is miserable most if the time. Her poo on raw although still smelly is firm and good. She has been on a variety of homeopathic remedies with no improvement. Her blood tests were borderline pancreatitis 5 months ago but last week the retests showed double the level. She also had an impacted anal gland again withtoothpaste substance fluid in the gland which previously had ruptured. I am wondering if the pancreatitis is a secondary condition to something else going on with her GI system or anal glands. Not sure where to go from here as they say tests can be inconclusive. Any thoughts Dan? I hate to see her so unhappy:-( Could it be she doesn’t tolerate raw at the moment?

  18. Hi Dan,
    My 10 yr old labradoodle has been intermittently unwell and off her food for 6 months since getting her last vaccines plus a high dose worming all at once. Last weekend she got more acutely unwell and wouldn’t eat for 2 days and appeared in pain- all shaky and wobbly. We went to the vet and she has lost 5 kg in 6 months(from 29 to 24kg-she’s a big girl, crossed with a standard poodle) and blood tests have showed raised amylase and lipase.
    She has been on a combination of dried food ( yes with grains!) and bones and our leftovers.
    I’d love to try her on your suggested diet, but whenever I have given her raw meat in the past it goes straight through her to diarrhea. She will chomp smaller bones whole without chewing eg chicken neck and vomit it back up later. The only bones i have success with are briskets but i have been told they should only be given weekly. Lamb off cuts are a disaster- gets vomited back up in chunks. She seems to hate all vegetables.
    I’d love some suggestions, and do you think using probiotics may help with the diarrhea thing with raw food, and or digestive enzymes?
    thanks for your help
    Kelly

  19. Hi Kelly, poor girl, the meds/shots are not needed at this age and as you found, cause serious problems. I can recommend natural wormers that work and safe too. I think she needs a more dedicated nutrition and support plan which I can help you with beyond just digestive enzymes – they do help but she needs more specific attention.

    Contact support and I’ll get back to you.

  20. Hi Tracy, the antibiotics will have killed off much of the benneficial bacteria in her tract causing digestive problems and need building back up. I would need a detailed breakdown of your feeding plan and health history to move forward and advise you.

    Please contact support with the details and I’ll see how I can help you.

  21. I have been feeding my schnauzer raw for over a month. Started off great, I was giving him chicken backs, necks, beef, tripe, herring and some elk patties. He seemed like he was years younger. Recently I got some ground meats with bone and veg from a supplier who gets it from a butcher. I got ground turkey, duck, llama and a mixed meat organ tripe mix.
    My dogs been eating it for a week and I believe he is having a serious pancreatic issue as we speak. He puked all over, is lethargic, and has pain moving. I know the vet is going to give me heck over feeding the raw and I’m worried he’s going to be dead by morning. He’s 10 and I feel terrible. I thought I was doing something good and I think I just caused my dog serious trouble if not death.

  22. Ps, my other female schnauzers been eating the same stuff and she’s fine so far (she’s 9), but my thoughts are to run far and fast from raw food. By tomorrow my dog might be a goner or I might be broke from vet bills.

  23. Hi Kathy, all sounds like too much too soon for a senior dog. The diet sounds pretty good but way too much of everything all in the first 4 weeks! An older dog needs a gentle introduction on a limited diet with checks along the way to see how each new protein is assimilated and to get the dog through the detox phase.

    Assuming he’s ok? I can help you start from scratch and to get where you want to go with your dogs.

    A raw food diet is the right thing to do for any dog of any age but the older the dog the slower the transition. The first thing to do is to fast your dog for 24hrs minimum and clear the system. Come back to me and I will help you further on how to proceed from here.

  24. Hi dan!

    My 8 month old husky has been a raw fed dog for aprox. 3 months. She was just diagnosed with a severe case of pancreantitis Thursday morning. That night for dinner she had Lamb, duck wings, ground turkey, chicken gizzards, and beef liver. She had also chewed a bully bone earlier in the day. Where do I go from here!? I am blessed to have a vet that is OK with my raw feeding because I have done my research, but now is very concerned about the chance of introducing bacteria, and stresses the meat needs to be “fresh” I have access to deer, rabbit, and emu which seems to be low in fat. What other protein should I use because I know it needs to be 4 in order to consider it balanced. I really dont want to quit feeding raw, but that was a super scary experience. HELP!?!

  25. Hi there,
    I’m after some guidance please.
    My Labrador is just over 13 years. He has Laryngeal Paralysis which he has been on steroids for, for the last 8 months. He takes tramadol for arthritis (vomits on NSAID’s).
    He now has Cushing’s Disease, most likely caused by the steroids for his LarPar. However we can’t take him totally off the steroids as he will struggle to breath sufficiently well.
    He had a pancreatic episode 2 months ago after months of exceedingly loose stools (nothing shown in stool samples) which I think looking back was probably pancreatitis all the time until it ‘peeked’, poor lad. I felt that raw and non-commercial would be better so I switched him from a lifetime of kibble to a 70% raw meat and 30% home cooked diet (though this 30% did include raw juiced or blended veggies and I used quinoa, buckwheat and oats).
    He did GREAT for around 10 days, like a new dog then had another flare up. Then ok for 3 days, then another flare up. I rang a really helpful raw meat supplier who said stick with raw green tripe for as long as it takes to get things under control, then re-introduce new proteins slowly.
    After a couple of weeks on the tripe he was doing ok but his stools were kind of stringy, always formed but never VERY firm. And he started to smell like tripe?!? So I started re-introducing other proteins and again he is having the odd loose stool and lots of tummy gurgling. He also has slippery elm powder to help slow digestive transit.
    Having just read the above posts, I think maybe I have just done things too quick for him? And should just stick with tripe and pheasant as he is ok with them both? I can get the minced pheasant with 40% bone content, minced game with 20% bone. He can’t have actual bones, he doesn’t seem to crunch them properly and vomitted bone back up on a couple of occasions. Also he is sensitive to chicken so can’t have that.
    He’s an old boy and is ageing fast, just want to do my best for him for the time he has left, and I know so much more for my next canine companion!
    P.S. He is having Cushex drops which are helping with is general interest in life. He is approx 29 kg. and I’ve got his steroids down to 7.5mg per day. Any lower and he struggles with laboured breathing and ‘yekking’ type noise / wretching.
    Any suggestions how to procede? I also toyed with everthing back to half quality kibble and half raw as the raw is s expensive and I have limited work hours. But if raw is still best we will find a way!
    Thank you in advance.

  26. Hi Amber, Ok, pancreatitis is not a problem on a balanced raw food diet. This is because either your husky has residual problems from before starting this diet or your feeding way out of balance. I suggest you simplify in the first instance to one or two main ingredients in the meal, add some vegetation (crushed or part cooked) and get some raw green tripe into the mix. Also, don’t be concerned about bacteria or freshness, that’s not the issue.

    My book goes into additional simple effective balancing of the diet, get that and we can work together on the diet and more… (I interact with my customers by email) to get your husky on the right track.

  27. Hi Catherine, The tripe is a good way to go and if the pheasant works, go with that too. The stools sound about right too. Try not to mix commercial with raw and cut back as much as possible on the drugs. He’s got a lot going on inside and unwinding the problems is tricky at this stage. Slowly does it with the diet change and if your keen to learn more and introduce other helpful things, I suggest you get my book which then gives you the added benefit of personal email coaching with me to help you to the best outcome possible for your dog going forward.

  28. Hi Dan, I’m writing because our 4 year old boxer won’t eat. She was diagnosed with pancreatitis. She’s been in the vet hospital twice for three day stays but she quickly declines and refuses to eat when she returns home. She vomited again today and I am worried over her weight loss. What should I be asking my butcher for meat wise? She is currently on an all natural kibble but she won’t eat it or anything else. Advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.

  29. Hi Beth, she needs some whole food nutrition, something to make her feel good inside. I’d start with some raw green tripe. Your butcher may have it or try online somewhere like mypetcarnivore dot com. If you need support through the switchover, take a look at this page Click Here, for options on how you can get help for this diet for your boxer.

    In the mean time. Get 2 cans of sardines (packed in water), 1 raw egg and 1 large chicken breast. Chop the breast up, add to bowl, break egg and add to bowl and add the 2 canned sardines to bowl, mix and serve. This is a good nutrient rich meal and she should love it? Let me know, Hope that helps. Dan

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