(Original Article Published via RawFoodForPets.com)
Pancreatitis is a condition that can affect a pet’s health, causing inflammation of the pancreas. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as diet, antibiotics, and stress, and signs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. Treatment includes dietary changes, medications, and possibly surgery, which can help improve the condition and prevent future episodes.
What Causes Pancreatitis in Dogs?
Canine pancreatitis is usually seen in middle-aged dogs that have spent a lifetime being fed a diet mainly consisting of cooked and processed foods. Some integrative veterinarians, such as Dr Conor Brady, believe it is because high-carbohydrate based pet foods, which are hard for pets to digest, overstress the pancreas, quickly depleting its enzyme reserves.
Pets on steroid treatments, which are commonly used to treat allergies in dogs or canine arthritis, are also susceptible to developing pancreatitis, as are overweight or obese dogs. Dogs that are regularly fed table scraps, which are usually very high in fat, are also susceptible.
The common anti-seizure medication, potassium bromide, taken by epileptic dogs to treat epileptic seizures has also been linked to increased instances of pancreatitis in dogs. However, not all dogs with pancreatitis contract the disease from food or medication. Some breeds are more prone to contract the disease, such as Yorkshire terriers and Schnauzers.
There are several reasons why certain breeds are more prone to developing pancreatitis, including:
- Some breeds may carry genetic mutations that increase their risk of developing pancreatitis. For example, some breeds are more prone to contract the disease, such as Yorkshire terriers and Schnauzers. Miniature Schnauzers have a higher incidence of an inherited form of pancreatitis.
- Overweight dogs are more likely to develop pancreatitis because their pancreas has to work harder to produce enough digestive enzymes to process their food.
- Some Dogs that consume a high-fat (sugar) diet are more likely to develop pancreatitis. This is because sugar rich meals can trigger the pancreas to produce more digestive enzymes than it can handle, leading to inflammation and damage.
- Older dogs are more susceptible to developing pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis in Cats
Cats can also develop pancreatitis, although it is less common than in dogs. The symptoms of pancreatitis in cats may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. As with dogs, the exact cause of pancreatitis in cats is unknown, but it is thought to be related to diet and obesity.
Diagnosing Pancreatitis in Pets
Diagnosing pancreatitis in pets can be challenging as the symptoms are often similar to other gastrointestinal conditions. A blood test that checks for elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes is usually the first step in diagnosing the condition. Other tests, such as ultrasounds or X-rays, may also be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
If anything, real food help manage this condition, not cause it. Be sure to read Dr Brady articles on this topic, part 1 “Why is There is so Much Pancreatitis in Dogs?! The Answer is Diet” and part 2 “Dry Food Causes The Majority of Pancreatitis in Dogs. The Cure is Feeding a Homemade, Low-Fat Meal“.
Treatment for Pancreatitis in Pets
Treatment for pancreatitis in pets varies depending on the severity of the condition. Mild cases can usually be managed with dietary changes, such as feeding a low-fat, highly digestible diet. In more severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary for intravenous fluid therapy and pain management.
In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and pain. Surgery may be necessary in rare cases where there is damage to the pancreas or surrounding tissues.
Preventing Pancreatitis in Pets
Preventing pancreatitis in pets involves a few simple strategies, such as feeding a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding table scraps high in fat, and maintaining a healthy weight. Regular exercise and stress management can also help.
Can Raw Dog Food Cause Pancreatitis?
The short answer: No. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. A dog that has been diagnosed with pancreatitis is essentially suffering from an inflamed pancreas that is either damaged or stressed, which prevents it from functioning properly.
The pancreas has two functions: first, it has a major role in the regulation of the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and secondly, it produces digestive enzymes. When the pancreas releases enzymes prematurely, they begin to digest the pancreas itself. This is what we see most commonly in cases of pancreatitis in dogs.
Raw, uncooked foods contain an abundance of live, active enzymes. These living enzymes help with the digestion process, and also reduce stress on the pancreas that is forced to produce additional enzymes to break down McKibble or McCan. This makes a raw food diet the best dog food for pancreatitis.
Why Raw Food Is the Best Dog Food For Pancreatitis?
In our experience, fooding a natural, raw food diet is very beneficial when treating pancreatitis in dogs. Raw, uncooked foods contain an abundance of live, active enzymes. These living enzymes help with the digestion process, and also reduce stress on the pancreas that is forced to produce additional enzymes to break down the food. This makes a raw food diet the best dog food for pancreatitis.
Raw food contains the essential nutrients that pets need to maintain optimal health without the risk of chemicals or additives that can cause inflammation of the pancreas. Unlike cooked pet food, raw diets support optimal pancreatic and digestive health while providing the vital nutrients that pets need.
By feeding a raw diet, pet owners can offer their pets a healthy, balanced diet that is easy to digest, and low in fat. Raw, uncooked foods contain an abundance of live, active enzymes, which help with the digestion process, reduce inflammation, and place little stress on the pancreas.
Feeding a raw diet helps meet a pet’s nutritional needs and promotes good health, which can reduce the likelihood of developing pancreatitis.
Articles and Videos
Dr Karen Becker Discusses Pet Pancreatitis and How to Avoid it
Dr. Becker Discusses Digestive Enzymes for Healthy Pets
* Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor.