Pancreatitis in dogs and cats is a disease that has been around for a long time but until recently the only way of diagnosing it was with an ultrasound or surgery and a biopsy.  The blood test and the in-house test that can be run at the vets was launched two to three years ago and since then, many more pets are being diagnosed with pancreatitis than ever before. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas.  The pancreas is an organ that lies under the stomach. Sometimes if your pets eats a meal that is very rich, fatty or rotten, it can lead to pancreatitis.  Pets with diabetes mellitis are more prone to developing pancreatitis. The symptoms of pancreatitis are unfortunately very similar to the symptoms of a nasty tummy bug.  Only a blood test can differentiate the two. Pain in the abdomen (stomach ) The ‘prayer’position is typical for pancreatitis – dogs look they are praying – it’s the most comfortable position for their sore abdomens. Severe pancreatitis that leads to death is not that common, but it is common for dogs and cats to be hospitalised and put onto a drip for three days, together with medication for nausea, antacids and pain and sometimes antibiotics.
Any sign of thickening of the intestine which could indicate something like inflammatory bowel disease or lymphoma cancer.
The stomach wall and whether it appears normal, thickened, ulcerated and if there are any growths in the stomach wall. A blood test should follow a month later after the pet is better to reassess the levels of spec FPL and spec CPL.
The main thing owners have to be aware of is that once a pet has had pancreatitis, it may be a lifelong condition, and they will most likely have to put their pet on a special low fat diet, quite possibly for the rest of their lives. Medication given is usually a combination of painkillers if the abdomen is very sore, antacid drugs and anti-nausea medication.
Animals are sent home with bland food, antacids, anti nausea drugs and possibly antibiotics. Pancreatitis is severe inflammation of the pancreas that often occurs due to eating too much rich, fatty food or getting into the garbage. Digestive enzymes are very helpful and let the pancreas rest and allow your pet to digest the nutrients in his or her diet. Natural balanced vitamin supplements such as Paaws and Vitalife are very helpful to support your pets body, take the burden off the pancreas and promote a speedy recovery while also boosting internal immunity to help prevent future recurrences of pancreatitis and help prevent the onset of Diabetes in dogs and cats. The use of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) can bring some relief, particularly where there is also bad diarrhea.
I am very glad your dog, Lucky recovered from his pancreatitis and did not end up with Diabetes. Once dogs begin to experience multiple episodes of vomiting and diarrhea, veterinarians refer to this as Pancreatitis. Then they flavor the food with one of the 3 canine favorites: barbecue sauce, pasta sauce or low sodium Tamari sauce.
I am hoping more pet owners will become aware of the fact that natural products can be extremely effective. Overview of Canine Pancreatitis Acute pancreatitis results from sudden inflammation of the pancreas and is characterized by activation of pancreatic enzymes that can cause the pancreas to begin digesting itself. Abdominal ultrasound may help identify abnormalities within the pancreas and other abdominal organs. Diagnosis of Pancreatitis in Dogs Diagnostic tests are needed to identify acute pancreatitis and exclude other diseases. A complete medical history and a complete physical examination including careful palpation of the abdomen to check for pain or abdominal masses. A complete blood count (CBC or hemogram) to evaluate the severity of the inflammatory process as well as to check for anemia and low platelet count.
Serum biochemical tests to evaluate your dog's general health and to determine the effect of pancreatitis on other body systems. Serum enzyme tests including amylase and lipase are usually measured; however, these tests are not ideal and can be normal in dogs with pancreatitis. Abdominal ultrasound examination to evaluate for swelling of the pancreas, presence of pancreatic abscess or cyst or presence of peritonitis. Fluids may be administered subcutaneously or intravenously to correct dehydration and to provide the dog's daily fluid requirements during the period that food and water are withheld.
Food and water is gradually re-introduced if your dog responds favorably in the first few days. Abdominal pain is treated by cage rest, withholding food and water and administration of pain medications as necessary. Surgery may be necessary in severe cases and those complicated by pancreatic abscess, pancreatic cyst or peritonitis. Schedule regular follow-up visits with your veterinarian to monitor your dog's progress and promptly identify any recurrence of pancreatitis. Attempts to lower blood fat (lipid) concentration in animals with abnormal blood lipid concentrations (e.g. Other medical problems can lead to symptoms similar to those encountered in acute pancreatitis. Whether you live in a dog or cat household, it’s important to lock up chocolate safely in secured kitchen cabinets.
Different types of chocolate contain various levels of fat, caffeine and the substances methylxanthines. Death is actually very rare, only occurring in about 1 in every 3,000 chocolate intoxication cases. White chocolate: Not necessarily toxic but high sugar and fat contents can lead to vomiting and other illnesses like pancreatitis.
Keep in mind that there are many things other than simply Hersey Kisses and big old chocolate bars that contain methylxanthines. Lee recommends that when a dog ingests chocolate, owners should immediately call a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline’s 24-hour Animal Poison Control at 1-800-213-6680. Depending on the severity of the situation, a pet owner might be instructed to induce vomiting at home or rush the dog to the clinic for activated charcoal treatment to absorb the toxins.
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Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which are controlling. Also, keep in mind that if your dog is under-drinking or over-drinking, it could be a sign of an underlying illness. To look for dehydration in dogs, grab a piece of skin at the back of your dog’s neck.
Knowing the amount of water your pet should drink helps you determine if your dog is an under-drinker or an over-drinker. To help insure that the water supply for both humans and canines is protected, you can do one simple action – clean up after your dog.
Cats and dogs have different dietary needs, and should eat food specific to their species.Written by Dr. Having grown up in a household that never had less than eight cats, and always at least one dog, our dogs were always taking advantage of the ever-present feline food items — no matter how hard we tried to keep them from the cat fare. Ounce for ounce, most cat food is typically more expensive than most dog food — and so most dog owners for economic reasons alone would rather feed their dog his own food. Technically and evolutionarily, cats are obligate carnivores who need to eat meat as their main food source. Generally speaking, the canine diet typically contains more fiber than a strictly-carnivorous regime.
Though dog and cat foods may seem similar at first glance, there are some significant differences.
Though these differences in diet may not seem that significant, the higher percentages of protein and fats mean more calories for your dog for the same sized portion of cat food.
Also, as a dog’s gastrointestinal system was not designed to digest consistently high-fat foods, cat food can upset the stomach resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.
Some of the newer cat foods contain an improper balance of vitamins and minerals for your dog, and this may lead to either deficiencies or excesses of these ingredients. Dogs also need more carbohydrates than cats and often will not get the energy they need without these ingredients in their food.
The higher protein content of most cat foods can pose a metabolic threat to an older dog, especially one that has kidney disease, liver disease or diabetes. One question that I am commonly asked, “Is it bad for my dog if it occasionally has some cat food as a snack?” This should not be any worse than if your cat has an occasional doggie biscuit. Separate the cat’s feeding area from the rest of the house with a gate that the dog cannot jump over or crawl under. So again, more often than not, cat-food-eating canines tend toward being overweight and may often suffer more gastrointestinal ailments because they eat the richer cat food.
In many stores where you would purchase pet foods, the commercial dog foods and cat foods are labeled and sold separately for a reason. There are many health conditions that are best controlled with a low-fat diet, especially hyperlipidemia (high levels of triglycerides in the blood, even after fasting for at least 12 hours), which can lead to pancreatitis.
After Spenser suffered a serious attack of pancreatitis in 2007, his owner found she had to research and build a palatable low-fat diet without much guidance from her vet. Simple diet following acute pancreatitisSpenser is a six-year-old Cardigan Welsh Corgi with a history of digestive problems. While Spenser was hospitalized, with my vet’s approval, I offered him homemade dilute chicken broth, followed by slushy steamed potatoes mixed with a broth made from lean ground sirloin beef.

I continued to feed small, frequent meals for the next few weeks, slowly increasing the size and decreasing the number of meals, until he was eating three meals a day. Today, Spenser continues to get three meals a day (even prior to the pancreatitis, he did better with more than two meals a day). Spenser gets slices of raw carrots to chew, and a small beef marrow bone once every couple of weeks. Seven-year-old Annie looks terrific now, but she weighed 20 pounds less when first diagnosed with EPI.
I agree that adding more variety would be an improvement, particularly since Spenser is not getting any organ meat, nor a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. A cooked diet for a dog with EPIMarilyn Wilson of the northern Adirondack Mountains of New York has a seven-year-old German Shepherd Dog, Annie, who was diagnosed with EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) two years ago. I add 1 teaspoon of oil, rotating among fish oil, olive oil, safflower oil, and butter, with the emphasis on fish oil. Once a day, I add 1 tsp psyllium for fiber, human probiotics, and a sublingual (under her tongue) vitamin B12, as dogs with EPI have trouble absorbing this vitamin from their intestines. Miniature Schnauzer with hyperlipidemiaKeely, a five-year-old Miniature Schnauzer, is owned by Gail Roper, of Tucson, Arizona.
Breakfast foods include non-fat yogurt and cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, sardines, 93 percent lean turkey bacon (microwaved), and chicken wingettes with as much skin removed as possible. Dinner foods include skinless chicken breast, 93 percent lean ground turkey, salmon, and just a little bit of liver three days a week. Daily supplements include 1,000 mg fish oil, 200 IU vitamin E, 1,000 mg vitamin C, and Animal Essentials’ Multi-Vitamin Herbal Supplement. Treats are EVO grain-free dog treats, Merrick’s dried beef lung, and homemade chicken, beef, and turkey jerky. Raw diet following acute pancreatitisRowdy is a Rhodesian Ridgeback who was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis for 10 days at age 12.
Rowdy was troubled by borborygmi (loud intestinal rumbling noises) after eating this food and seemed uncomfortable, switching positions frequently.
I started with grilled skinless chicken breasts, combining half a breast with a cup of white rice that was cooked with lots of extra water and fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth. Rowdy’s stomach noises and discomfort after eating gradually diminished, especially after I began feeding raw food. Two months after his pancreatitis attack, Rowdy had emergency surgery for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV, also known as bloat). Rowdy dropped from 82 to 71 pounds after his stay at the hospital, and he looked emaciated. One of the vets Flood consulted believes that Rocky has both IBD and chronic pancreatitis, and suggested feeding a home-cooked diet, but Rocky wasn’t interested in a mixture of chicken and rice. It is connected to the intestine by the pancreatic duct which is a tube with a one way valve at the bottom entering the intestine.
Carol Veterinary & Wellness Center Testimonials Submit a Testimonial Letters About PAAWS™ Dr. Treatment is geared to allow the intestinal tract to rest by withholding all food and water for up to 24 hours. Half of the pancreas normally produces digestive enzymes; the other half of the pancreas produces insulin. Fresh yarrow leaves can be chopped and added to your dog’s food, three times daily for up to one week.
The pancreas lies in the upper abdomen alongside the first portion of the small intestine (called the duodenum) and between the stomach, liver and right kidney. Predisposing causes include obesity, high fat diet, liver disease, infection and recent abdominal surgery. The body's reaction (systemic reaction) to the inflammation often determines the severity and prognosis. Compare this photograph with the photograph of the normal pancreas and note the significant difference.
The serum trypsin-like immunoreactivity is a newer test that has been used to determine if pancreatic enzymes are being released into the bloodstream; however, the value of this test is still in question.
During ultrasound examination, a specialized probe is applied to the abdomen and an image is generated on a monitor by the reflection of ultrasonic waves from the organs of the abdomen.
A bland diet (low in fat) is offered in small quantity if your pet has improved and has not vomited for at least 24 hours. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. This includes Halloween and Easter candy, along with less obvious sources like chocolate-flavored chewable, daily vitamins.
Small dogs or dogs with a history of diabetes, pancreatitis, or heart problems are typically more sensitive to chocolate than large, healthy dogs. Chocolate cake, fudge, brownies, cocoa powder, cocoa beans and even caffeine pills such as NoDoz can make dogs sick. One option is to use an automatic feeder instead, the kind that opens separate compartments at specified times. And by providing a healthy diet and the right amount of clean water to your pooch, you can prevent illness and promote health. But maybe you are having the same problem as I had, where my dogs always found a way to get their paws on the cats’ cuisine.
Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores who eat both meat-based foods and plant-based foods to fulfill their nutritional requirements. Cat foods typically contain more protein than dog food, and also contain higher amounts of fat. These richer feline diets can lead to weight gain and even obesity if eaten for extended periods of time. Too much fat can negatively affect a dog’s pancreas, leading to pancreatitis, which can at least impact the efficiency of their digestion and at worst have serious health consequences. Dogs can consume a diet containing almost 50 percent carbohydrates to give them energy, while a cat gets the majority of its energy from fats. A proper dog-specific senior food should be fed to older pooches or a specific prescription canine diet should be fed to dogs with medical conditions. However, for optimal pet health, I would not recommend incorporating the other pet’s food into your pet’s diet — and instead do all that you can to feed each species of pet its species-specific diet. Dog foods have been and some continue to be deficient in taurine – an essential amino acid required for cats either not found in some dog foods or not at adequate levels for felines. Finally, if all else fails, install a pet door to a separate room, such as the laundry room, that is either too small for your dog to use or that is activated by a remote on your cat’s collar. Diarrhea, vomiting and pancreatitis — which can be life-threatening — are all possible outcomes for either short- or long-term feeding of cat food to dogs.
We should not be feeding our dogs cat food — and we definitely should not be feeding dog food to your cat. Other conditions that may respond favorably to a low-fat diet include chronic pancreatitis, EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), and lymphangiectasia.
This month, owners who feed their dogs home-prepared low-fat meals will share their diet plans with us. He also mooches from my husband’s plate, getting small amounts of just about anything that is not high in fat.
I think feeding a simple, home-cooked diet with only a few ingredients at a time helps him stay healthy.
The overall diet is 25 percent meat and eggs, 25 percent raw meaty bones, and 50 percent carbs, and averages out to 32 grams of fat per 1,000 kcal (GFK). Annie’s owner enjoys cooking for her dogs now that she has learned how to streamline the shopping, preparation, and storage. Wilson feeds a home-cooked diet that works well for Annie, though many dogs with EPI do not do well with fiber or grains. I feed about half a pound of raw, organic liver a week, spread out over multiple meals, as too much at one time leads to loose stools. I also give cod liver oil that provides 130 IU vitamin D twice a day during the winter when there is little sunshine.
Annie was dealing with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which is common in dogs with EPI) for a long time, and using these supplements helped her to recover. She requires a low-fat diet to prevent ill effects of hyperlipidemia, which is common in Miniature Schnauzers. When using bone meal, give an amount that provides 1,000 to 1,200 mg calcium per pound of food. To make jerky, I boil the meat, then cut it into thin strips and bake on a cookie sheet at 250 F until dehydrated. His owner, Jerri Langlais of Brentwood, California, was afraid to return Rowdy to a raw diet after almost losing him. After three weeks, he started rejecting the prescription diet, even with added fat-free organic chicken broth or low-fat cottage cheese.
I gave him slippery elm tincture and chamomile tincture when this happened, which quieted them down within 10 minutes. He had difficulty gaining weight until I began feeding him 5 to 6 ounces of raw pancreas every day.

I rotate among green tripe, raw pancreas (once a week), beef kidney, and I’m starting to try ground beef.
Rocky was down to 13 pounds of skin and bones when Flood, desperate to find a food that Rocky would eat and that wouldn’t make him sick, came across the dehydrated foods made by The Honest Kitchen. To my surprise Rocky devoured his entire plate and for the first time was begging for more food! We have also tried cooked chicken livers and very lean beef sirloin, and he loves those as well. With our vet’s approval, we have also started giving him tiny pieces of lean raw meat (beef sirloin), which I was shocked to find he loves. He is so excited at meal times, which is a first, actually diving into his plate to eat, and finishing completely on his own instead of my having to coax him. I did want to point out, a reader advised that cat kibble could be used as treats for a dog. Dogs allowed to sample the feast at holiday celebrations often end up with indigestion and pancreatitis. Fluids may be given under the skin (subcutaneously), or in cases with vomiting fluids are replaced intravenously. If necessary use a plant based, natural digestive enzyme supplement containing lipase, lactase, protease, cellulase and amylase.
It produces bicarbonate to neutralize stomach acid and several enzymes that facilitate digestion. What many people don’t realize is that if their pup gets his paws on this rich treat it can trigger a number of toxic reactions including possible death. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, dogs might experience vomiting, diarrhea, urination, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors and seizures. Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states.
Monitoring your dog’s water intake can improve their health, prevent illness and insure proper hydration.
Also, avoid ingredients that can artificially increase your dog’s thirst such as sodium.
After exercise, give your dog ice cubes to start and then just a little water at a time to prevent bloat. You might be left wondering if it’s OK for your dog to always be chowing down on Kitty’s food.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends a minimum of 5 percent fat for dog food and 9 percent fat for cats, according to the U.S. Cat food also usually contains added taurine, something that dogs do not need in their diet. So as it relates to dogs, ideally I recommend feeding your pup food designed for dogs to avoid health issues. Close the door to deny your dog access to the cat food, and monitor feedings to make sure that each pet eats its own food.
Kitten food, which typically has even higher protein and fat levels, is even less appropriate for dogs. It is possible that a dog could eat some cat food as a snack on occasion or even could steal a meal from the cat, but this is not something that you want to promote on a regular basis, because of the potential health problems discussed. In some cases, owners may choose to reduce dietary fat as a preventive measure for dogs who may be predisposed to pancreatitis, including those with diabetes or Cushing’s disease, or who are given anti-seizure drugs. I usually feed one protein for a week, then switch to another, with canned fish fed once a week.
Annie doesn’t do well with eggs or cottage cheese, so I leave those out of her diet, but I often add some plain, low-fat yogurt to meals.
I’ll cook a 40-lb case of chicken breasts in batches, using the same water each time.
When I first started home cooking I was overwhelmed, but I actually enjoy cooking for my dogs now that I have the process streamlined. Her ophthalmologist diagnosed her with corneal fat deposits due to hyperlipidemia, which is common in Miniature Schnauzers, and advised putting Keely on a low-fat diet. For training, I use chicken breast and London broil (both cooked), and non-fat feta cheese, which she loves. Langlais decided to switch back to a homemade diet, hoping it would help Rowdy return to normal. I also feed whole chicken parts with skin and fat removed, or Verve from The Honest Kitchen. His owner, Danielle Flood, who lives in Crofton, Maryland, tried feeding all kinds of foods, but nothing seemed to work, and within a few days, he would stop eating again.
He has gained weight, over a pound in the first two weeks, and is now up to 16 pounds and looks wonderful. Pre-mixes are a great way to feed fresh foods, without having to worry about balancing a homemade diet. With repeated episodes of inflammation, the pancreas loses its ability to function properly which can lead to diabetes. Most dogs and cats respond to treatment and in a few days are gradually put back onto food, starting with a bland diet given in small portions several times daily.
Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. These nutritional differences can affect your dog’s overall health over a long period of time.
Other unique nutritional needs of felines are that they cannot synthesize enough niacin, arginine, and vitamin A, along with arachidonic acid, or taurine, and they need five times as much thiamine as dogs do. And, again, older dogs and those with established medical conditions may be even more adversely affected by the higher protein and fat levels of cat and especially kitten food. I grind the cooked meat in a food processor for easier digestibility because of Annie’s EPI. I put that water in the refrigerator overnight, then skim the fat off and use the liquid to cook the grains and pasta. Each time I started something new, I would wait at least three days, watching for any signs of discomfort, before making any further changes. I fed him chicken soup, using chicken breasts boiled with white rice and grated vegetables, for five days following surgery, but he was able to resume his regular diet once his incision healed. As soon as I added the pancreas, his energy level increased markedly and he started gaining weight and strength. Beef heart makes his stools loose if I feed too much, so I just give a small piece with his meal. Our vet, my husband, and I are delighted and relieved to see Rocky healthy, happy, eating, playing, and in no pain.
Also, severe pancreatitis can cause compression of the bile duct and clinical symptoms of biliary obstruction (icterus or jaundice – a term that refers to yellow color of the mucous membranes such as the sclera of the eye and the gums). Too little water can lead to dehydration in dogs, kidney stones, organ failure and even death. Each meal is mixed with a cup of warm, filtered water, along with Annie’s prescription digestive enzymes. I make training treats out of beef liver, boiling thin slices for ten minutes, then cutting into tiny pieces and microwaving for 10 minutes or drying in the oven for an hour at 150 F.
I’ve had trouble finding heart, but my grocery store said they could order it for me, so I will be using that as well. In fact, pancreatitis can actually be the cause by that very food you are using as a treat. Drinking too much water can lead to stomach bloat, electrolyte imbalances, and Hyponatremia (water toxicity). Occasionally I include nuts (such as walnuts, but never macadamias, which are poisonous to dogs), or canned clams or oysters. I freeze the cooked meat in meal-sized portions, and the carbs in gallon-sized freezer bags. I then freeze each package in quart-sized freezer bags, which lasts my two dogs a couple of days. A negative SNAP test result generally eliminates that diagnosis of pancreatitis in dogs but a positive test does not confirm the diagnosis.
Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. I do Annie’s training right after she eats so she will still have the digestive enzymes in her system. Beef jerky is incredibly low in fat had lacks all the weird stuff put into dog and cat treats. The Serum PLI being sent to an outside lab is considered the test of choice to diagnosis pancreatitis in dogs. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years.

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