Pancreatitis in dogs is a dangerous condition that can lead to a fatal outcome.
Mortality in dogs with pancreatitis is between 27% to 58%, which is very high.
Pancreatitis is a health condition that you never want to see in your dog. However, you may be the best dog owner alive, and your dog still may get sick.
Just like humans, dogs do get sick and their health disorders may run from mild to severe.
You may have heard how dangerous pancreatitis in dogs is, but do you know what it is?
Even if your dog is diagnosed with pancreatitis it cannot harm to understand this condition better. Let’s elaborate on this condition more.
The pancreas is the organ in the body that is responsible for performing many functions, such as producing hormones like insulin and secreting digestive enzymes.
In medical circles, pancreatitis is defined as “inflammation of the pancreas” and should always be treated as a serious condition.
When a dog is affected with pancreatitis, enzymes are activated when released, inflaming and directly causing damage to the pancreas.
Not only that these enzymes dan damage pancreatitis, but they also cause damage to surrounding tissues and other organs.
It is even possible for enzymes to begin to digest the pancreas itself, which will cause extreme pain to Fido.
Now, let’s take a look at common signs of pancreatitis in dogs:
- Repeated vomiting
- Pain of the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
If your dog displays any of the listed symptoms monitor your dog carefully.
Displaying just one of the listed symptoms should be a sign of heavy disease.
For example, when a dog’s tummy is upset you may see him eating grass when outside, or refusing food.
When this happens from time to time, dogs will usually cure themself by eating grass in most cases.
In most cases, this isn’t something to worry about. However, if these symptoms keep on continuing frequently, you should contact your veterinarian.
If your dog is diagnosed with pancreatitis you will have to implement some habits into your life, to put comfort and extra care in your dog, and overall provide a certain surrounding that your dog can benefit from.
Let’s see how you can provide the best possible comfort to your dog with pancreatitis.
Comforting A Dog With Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a dangerous condition that can seriously harm your dog.
Once your dog is diagnosed with pancreatitis it is important to have an honest conversation with your veterinarian on how to provide the best care for your dog.
Depending on your dog’s condition, your veterinarian will suggest the proper treatment and medication.
Next to this therapy you can go the extra mile and provide additional support.
Here is what you can do to comfort your dog as much as possible and help him recover at a much faster speed.
1. Think About Nutrition First
Your veterinarian will probably suggest you feed your dog a bland diet, during the first days of recovery. This is usually a period of one to two weeks of recovery when your dog will be the most sensitive.
During this period you should focus on serving food that is easy to digest.
In other words, during this period you should focus on providing a bland diet, based on boiled chicken and white rice. This is a great meal option when your dog in general has some stomach issues.
Bear in mind, that this diet is very bland, meaning that it comes without major nutritional values, which is why you shouldn’t overdo it.
Monitor your Fido closely and as soon as he shows signs of recovery change his diet. This means that you should gradually swap the bland food for proper dog food.
Commercial dog food is a great choice because it is specially designed for dogs and filled with nutrients.
To get the maximum out of commercial dog food, you should learn how to read pet food labels.
This simple skill will help you find the best food for your dog in the shortest period possible.
During the recovery period serve food in a small amount. Not sure how much these portions should be? Make sure that you talk with your veterinarian on this one.
This is why you should know how to find the veterinarian because you want someone who is really an animal lover and who can communicate properly.
Why you should mind the amount of dog food during this period? The purpose here is to reduce the strain of the inflamed pancreas.
2. Avoid Serving Human Food To Your Dog
A big part of responsible dog ownership is nutrition. Knowing how to find the best dog food possible, and when to serve food to your dog is being mindful of the overall dog’s health.
Learn what a bloat is and learn which human foods are ok to serve to your dog and which should be avoided no matter what.
Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for veterinarian offices across the States? This is because they are great when it comes to swiping food.
Plus, if you have visitors who are soft on those puppy eyes, you can be sure that your dog will get some extra bites.
In most cases, sharing some human foods as an occasional treat is fine. This is safe to do as long as you serve it in a small amount and as an occasional treat, and when your dog is not on special treatment.
When your dog is in the recovery phase or special treatment, you should avoid feeding him human foods.
Human foods, especially one that is high in fat, can be problematic for dogs.
Not only that it may speed up weight gain, but it can lead to various health issues, as well.
Know that dogs that are fed a high-fat diet are those who eventually end up with pancreatitis.
3. Provide A Healthy Lifestyle
If you want your dog to thrive, or recover faster, you should upgrade his lifestyle. This means that you should focus on building a lifestyle that can be described as healthy.
To help your dog cope with pancreatitis in the best way possible you should first focus on providing the best nutrition possible.
Once that is well-implemented you should provide regular exercise. Next to daily pee walks dogs should have special time for exercise only.
Learn how much exercise dogs need in general, and start from there.
Do not force your dog to perform intense exercises during his recovery progress.
Instead, focus on enabling consistent exercise in a mild tempo that will help him stay strong. Pancreatitis tends to be common in dogs who have extra pounds.
Obesity in dogs is on the rise, and you don’t want your dog to be part of this negative trend.
Just like in humans, weight gain in dogs may lead to countless health issues, including problems with blood pressure, heart, and joints.
If you have any doubts regarding your dog’s diet, weight, and overall nutrition, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.
When your dog manages to recover successfully from pancreatitis, make sure that you stick to exercise time.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Recover From Pancreatitis?
The recovery process is something that will vary from dog to dog.
In some dogs, pancreatitis can be once in a lifetime occurrence and recovery may last only for a few weeks, while in some dogs recovery process may last longer.
Truth be told, recovery will depend on the severity and the type of pancreatitis.
Mild cases of pancreatitis may only take a few days to recover, while severe cases may take months. That being said, no one can tell for sure for hold long pancreatitis recovery may last.
Can Pancreatitis In Dogs Be Cured At Home?
If your dog has fleas you can try some home remedies to help the dog, but in general, you should still take him to the vet and apply the right treatment.
The same principle applies to pancreatitis as well – follow your vet’s instructions and do what you can at home as extra support in terms of nutrition and exercise.
What if you hear some dog owners telling for they cure pancreatitis in their dog at home?
When you hear something that isn’t medically backup with results and concrete steps, you should just listen to it carefully and still talk with your veterinarian.
You cannot know the whole story, how intense symptoms in dogs were, and how long the treatment lasted (there is always some kind of treatment).
Pancreatitis can easily turn to be a life-threatening condition, especially if it isn’t treated properly at an early stage.
To get the right and precisely diagnose you need to take your dog to the vet’s office.
Your veterinarian is the only one who can tell you how serious pancreatitis in your dog is and the only one who can reduce the risk of turning into a more serious condition.
Always Monitor For Worsening Symptoms
No matter how long recovery might last, you want to keep an eye on your pup all the time.
Even if your veterinarian doesn’t recommend hospitalization you should monitor your dog carefully.
If your dog has chronic pancreatitis you can expect to see lethargy, diarrhea, and a poor appetite.
If you monitor your dog closely you can notice faster any kind of symptoms, and any type of worsening.
- Check the gums. Gums are always a strong indicator of the overall health of any dog. Healthy gums stand for a healthy dog. If your dog’s gums are in any other color but pink, contact your veterinarian.
- Unresolved clinical signs. Clinical signs should disappear after some period, after 48 hours to be precise. If this doesn’t occur, and your dog continues having a lack of appetite and displays vomiting, make sure that you contact your veterinarian.
- Blood in stool. Whenever you notice blood in a dog’s stool, you should contact your veterinarian.
Now, you may ask – What can I do to prevent pancreatitis in my dog? To get an answer to this question, you need to understand the causes first. Let’s elaborate on them first.
Unfortunately, no one can tell for sure what causes the pancreas irritation. However, it’s well-known that some breeds are more prone to this type of condition than other breeds are.
Did you know that Schnauzers are extremely prone to pancreatitis? To compare Schnauzers with other dog breeds, or just to learn about your dog’s health compared to another breed, use this compare dog breeds tool to understand better health in dogs.
Another common claim is that dogs who are overweight are more prone to pancreatitis than other dogs.
Dogs who tend to eat a significant amount of human foods, or meals that are heavily dependable on fat are more prone to experience pancreatitis.
Dogs usually recover from mild cases of pancreatitis, while severe cases usually lead to death.
Bottom Line: Pancreatitis Prevention In Dogs
Your biggest influence should be seen in a dog’s diet. Nutrition is a big part of dog ownership and a dog’s overall well-being. To help your dog live to its fullest, you should watch his diet.
Make sure that you stick to food specially designed for dogs, and avoid serving him too much high-fat food.
Ignore those puppy eyes, been on special occasions (you should even take a firmer stand during the holiday season), because honestly speaking your dog should not eat human foods.
Keep your garbage can well-secured and keep your dog engaged with treats that are specially designed for dogs.
Bear in mind that most cases of pancreatitis in dogs are reported during the holiday season when people tend to eat more fatty food. What humans eat their pets usually eat as well.
Again: serving safe human food to your dog as an occasional treat and in a small amount is OK, but anything above that can put your dog at high risk.