Q: Has anyone got experience with chronic pancreatitis in dogs!

May 16, 2008 | By Dazycutter | 4 answers | Expired: 2809 days ago

I have a 5 year old Irish seter bitch who has just developed pancreatitis adn is having a few episodes even though she is on a low fat diet

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Jill R.

May 17, 2008

If she's still having issues, you need to contact your vet for a follow up. She may need to make some adjustments in your dog's diet or care. Also, make sure to keep accurate records of what you feed her and when she has episodes, that could be helpful when your vet makes treatment decisions.

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May 16, 2008

GRAINS - These will add extra fiber if you want to add it; you can use oats; barley; a wonderful grain, if you can find it, known as Quinoa (keen-wa); brown rice (white rice is nutritionally dead); flaxseed, these are all very good. You can turn a dish into doggy Hamburger Helper :) Although cheaper, I'd stay away from the pasta - Creamette, Barilla's and things like that, just because it's more processed.

There are are also websites like www.drsfostersmith.com and www.jbpet.com you can visit for nutritional supplements, usually in powder form that you mix into the food.

I would also try to find a veterinarian that is more open to natural and holistic health. You can simply go down the list in the phone book and chat with them concerning their approach to medicine; you can visit www.ahvma.org, the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association and look up veterinarians there; you can also do a phone consultation with Dr. Anna M. Gardner, who runs www.petsynergy.com; there are all sorts of tools you can use to find someone who feels the same way you do about your dog.

Specialties are a bit out of my range, but by researching your problem, I have uncovered more knowledge, and thankfully, will be able to help more people in the future as well!

Here is a good website of facts concerning raw food, its overwhelming health benefits, and why its best concerning your pet's natural physiology:

The website from which I got most of my info regarding creating a homemade diet:

Here is a real informative website with many different ideas of how to treat pancreatic symptoms and a basic health outline to keep your dog happy:

And here is a book I've seen time and again concerning pancreatic problems and dogs. I've not read it, but have seen it highly recommended:
"Dogs, Diet, and Disease: An Owner's Guide to Diabetes Mellitus, Pancreatitis, Cushing's Disease and More" by Caroline D. Levin, RN.

For more recipe ideas, you can e-mail darleen@purelypets.com
I would also head to a bookstore, because more recently there have been many books written on health and nutrition, and many of them are wonderful and informative.

Best of luck to you and your dog!

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May 16, 2008

I did some extra research for you on pancreatic problems in dogs for another Pet Parent a few months ago, so here is what I found out and sent to her (She had a Pomeranian):

One of the main jobs the pancreas performs is to release enzymes in the digestive tract to digest food. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, either from trauma or infection or some other unknown cause (most cases have unknown causes), the enzymes are not realeased in the tract, but rather back into the pancreas itself. Fat is usually blamed for pancreatitis, but in truth if the animal's system is already failing, then a high-fat diet (usually junky food and many junky treats) will only escalate the problem, not BE the cause of the problem. However, a diet low in fat IS recommended for the days and weeks following the attack.

Probably two or three meals a day would be best for consistent energy levels and to keep her from being hungry throughout the day. If you figure a 50 lb. dog eats about 1 lb. of food a day, if it is dense, nutritious food, she should thrive on it, especially combined with exercise.

Here is the simplest recipe you can use for your setter:

3/4 cup chopped or ground meat
1/4 cup ground mixed vegetables/fruits

This makes about 8 oz. of food, so there's breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can of course make more by ratio and freeze it right away. It can be more handy to thaw her dinner if you're running low on free time in the future. This is preferably fed raw, because then all nutrients are intact, but if your setter prefers it cooked, that's fine, it won't lose too many nutrients, especially if the vegetables are par-boiled.

The major muscle meats to use:
1. Chicken
2. Beef
3. Turkey
4. Duck/Goose, which are higher in natural fats
5. Fish high in fatty acids, like salmon, mackeral, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna
6. Pork - some people will tell you not to use it because of possible health scares, but that really only applies to people - we have a very weak digestive tract compared to cats and dogs; they digest things much more quickly and have harsher enzymes in their systems, specially designed to handle raw/decaying foods. But you don't have to use it if you don't want to.

You can also give her raw bones for nutrition and to help clean her teeth. Bones are fine to feed unless they are cooked; then they weaken and splinter and should be thrown out. If you have a farmer's market or equivalent nearby, meat and bones should be easy to come by, and assuredly healthier than mass-shipped food you'll find in a Wal-Mart or comparable market.

Here are some vegetables that you can combine - remember, however, that onions and grapes, for whatever reasons, can have toxic effects on dogs, so leave those out: asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, baby carrots, dandelion leaves, fresh green beans, okra, parsley, parsnips, peas (& pods), pumpkin, rutabagas, sprouts, sweet potatoes, zucchini

And you can also add:

EGGS - cooked or raw (don't worry about salmonella, their digestive system is quite able to handle it), they are a terrific source of protein and Vitamin B.
GARLIC and CHEESE (shredded/grated) - You can add these for yummy flavor. Dogs absolutely LOVE garlic and cheese; you won't see many treats on pet shelves without these ingredients. You can sprinkle it into the food. Avoid American cheese and cheese product.

FRUITS and PLAIN VANILLA YOGURT - If your dog has a bit of a sweet tooth, you can add chopped/pureed apples, bananas, papaya, or any other fruit that she's partial to. You can simply add it in as part of her daily vegetables if you like. The yogurt is especially beneficial given her previous problems with digestion, and she'll probably really like the taste. Add some to her food, or make her a fruit/yogurt smoothie as a snack.

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Darlene A.

May 16, 2008

I'm sure that Dr. Jill Richardson will have some sage advice for you but I lived with a dog who had chronic relapsing pancreatitis. It's an issue of management and there are far better meds on the market today then there were back then. Note any flare-ups on your calendar, or keep a diary. The minute you see your dog going off his food,give him the medication your veterinarian suggests. The dog won't want to eat which is good because the gut should be rested. Keep the dog warm, and comfortable. Pancreatitis is a very painful disease. Keeping your dog on a low fat diet is critically important in order to try to prevent future flare-ups. No one knows your dog better than you so keep an eye on her. Be sure to ask your veterinarian to tell you which OTC meds to keep on hand and if an enzyme supplement would be helpful.
Good luck! I know that you can handle this with some veterinary help.
Darlene Arden, CABC
"The Angell Memorial Animal Hospital Book of Wellness and Preventive Care for Dogs"
"Rover, Get Off Her Leg!"

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