Dog Pancreatitis Recovery Tips

Dog pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed and begins to malfunction, causing pain and gastrointestinal symptoms. Pancreatitis can be caused by a number of factors, and dogs that develop this condition are at a higher risk for recurrence. Recovery from dog pancreatitis is aimed at allowing the pancreas to rest while it heals. There are a number of things that you can do, both medically and at home, to help speed recovery and prevent the condition from returning.

Causes of Dog Pancreatitis

There are many things that may result in dog pancreatitis. Older dogs and those with an obesity problem seem to be at greater risk. One of the most common causes for this condition is consumption of poor quality, high fat commercial dog foods. If your dog's food is missing nutritious ingredients and contains only fillers with little protein, the pancreas may lose functionality and begin to secrete juices which attack the pancreas itself. Diseases like kidney failure and diabetes may lead to dog pancreatitis as well.

Often, if a dog has eaten greasy food from the table or a garbage can, it can develop an acute case, leading to:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • lethargy

Tips for Dog Pancreatitis Recovery

There are many treatment options for dog pancreatitis, and the majority of them involve supportive care in helping the pancreas to return to a normal state. If a dog is vomiting, withholding of all food, water and any medications will slow the production of digestive enzymes which are causing pain and inflammation. As symptoms begin to improve, bland food should be given in small quantities. Foods or treats high in fat should always be avoided, especially during treatment of dog pancreatitis. There are many dog foods on the market and recipes for homemade meals which can provide more nutrients and less harmful ingredients for your dogs at meal time.

Medical Treatments

If dog pancreatitis is severe, medical treatment may be necessary to restore well-being and prevent more serious complications. Dehydration may become an issue, especially in the event of withholding food and water. Fluid therapy may be necessary to restore electrolyte balance and can be administered intravenously or subcutaneously. Abdominal pain can be treated with medication, and secondary infections can be fought with antibiotics. Please note, however, that pancreatitis can result from many different medications as well. Limit the use of oral medication until the cause of your dog's pancreatitis is discovered.

Prevention and Management of Pancreatitis

Once a dog has recovered from dog pancreatitis, you'll want to implement a plan for prevention and management of the condition. The most important factor will be to eliminate obesity by returning your dog to a healthy weight. Avoid feeding any high fat foods, whether table scraps or commercially branded dog food. You may also wish to research alternatives to traditional medications that may be leading to pancreatitis or other gastrointestinal irritation. Certain nutritional and vitamin supplements may benefit pancreas health.