Holistic Dog Care 101: Pancreatitis

Jean & Leslie Kessigner, Owners Three Dog Bakery

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What is pancreatitis in dogs? It happens when the pancreas, which is an organ near the dog’s stomach, becomes inflamed. The purpose of the pancreas is to digest food and control blood sugar. (To learn more about Three Dog Bakery now, click here.)

If you find that your dog isn’t eating and is vomiting, it could be pancreatitis.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Belly pain
  • Fever, low body temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • No Energy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat

If your dog has these symptoms for more than a day, or if they keep returning, it’s time to see your veterinarian. Your vet may make a diagnosis based on symptoms alone, order an ultrasound or do blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Dogs usually recover from mild cases, however severe pancreatitis can be fatal.

“Pancreatitis is one condition that is being seen more and more in cats and dogs,” says Leslie Kessinger, co-owner of Three Dog Bakery in Franklin. “The causes can be varied: sometimes it’s the result of a medication, sometimes it’s triggered by fatty table scraps like bacon grease, and sometimes it is caused by high fat or poor quality ingredients in the diet.” Older dogs and overweight dogs are also more prone to pancreatitis.

“Our recommendation for dogs with pancreatitis is to monitor his fat intake very carefully. His food needs to be low fat, and his treats should be limited and low calorie,” advises Kessinger. “The fewer ingredients in the food, the better. It is also incredibly important to resist the urge to feed your dog table scraps!” Kessinger emphasizes that dogs suffering from pancreatitis don’t digest human food well.Pancreatitis 2

“We recommend Fromm Family Foods and Zignature for pets with pancreatitis. Senior formula foods like NOW Senior or weight management foods can be excellent choices as well,” Kessinger suggests.

Kessinger also warns that you must be careful when choosing your pup’s food. “You have to be sure that in the effort to reduce fat, the manufacturer does not add fillers like soy or corn, which can cause excess inflammation and irritation in an already sick dog’s system,” she notes. “Zignature in particular can be a great anti-inflammation food because it contains zero soy, corn, wheat, alternate grains, potato, or chicken. It comes in a variety of meat proteins with moderate to low fat levels.”

It’s difficult to resist giving your Best Buddy a treat now and then. Kessinger recommends Sam’s Yams Pure Dehydrated Sweet Potato Treats, which comes in a variety of sizes from “fries” to large slabs. “They are extremely good for dogs with digestive issues, and the slabs can act as a dental chew,” says Kessinger. Bixbi Pocket Trainers in chicken or peanut butter are another good choice according to Kessinger. Containing just a few calories per treat, they have added berries and chia seed for anti-oxidant benefits. Another option is Freeze-dried Primal or Stella and Chewy’s Nuggets that are not hydrated. “They contain a moderate level of fat that is great as a treat or food topper,” says Kessinger.

Lastly, consider chew options instead of treats to keep the pounds off your pup. Kessinger recommends Antlers, Benebones (nylon bones with natural flavor), and Ruff Roots (the bulbous root of a tree) as great chew options because they are not consumed.Pancreatitis 6

You can find any of the holistic products mentioned here at Three Dog Bakery, located on West McEwen Drive, adjacent to Whole Foods in the McEwen Shopping Center in Franklin.

To learn more about Three Dog Bakery, click here.

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If you have health concerns about your dog, consult your veterinarian. This article is not meant to substitute or act as medical advice for pets.

Teddy & Lucky, Pet Proprietors Three Dog Bakery
Teddy & Lucky, Pet Proprietors
Three Dog Bakery

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