Food and Nutrition: Pancreatitis Diet

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One of several causes identified for pancreatitis in dogs is a dietary miscreants (part of the diet caused the problem). Fats can be termed as one of the causative components. Dogs fed fatty foods, with at least 18% of the energy coming from fats, are more at risk for pancreatitis. Such dogs can develop “hyperlipedemia” or increased lipid content in their blood; which can lead to obesity and then canine pancreatitis, as a result of increased pancreatic juice activity.

Pancreatitis Diet and Disease Management:

Dogs with pancreatitis develop symptoms such as vomiting. Vomiting can occur in multiple episodes and can cause severe dehydration. The standard approach to end vomiting and minimize pancreatic activity is that dog should be kept on a fast for at least 24 hours. The fast should be continued for 3–15 days; if necessary.

During the “No per Orals” (NpO) approach to fasting, antibiotics, anti–emetic drugs (stops vomiting), electrolytes and fluids should be administered intravenously (IV) or subcutaneously (SC). Nutrients should be administered intravenously (IV) in dogs kept on fasts for more than 3 days. Intravenous nutritional preparations should contain adequate calories, proteins, B complex, mineral traces and electrolytes.

Liquid canine pancreatitis diets can be started once vomiting has ceased and inflammation has been reduced. Liquid diets should contain at least 90% water, combined with a low fat (5– 10%) diet. Carbohydrates can be a major part, as it has less effect on pancreatic function. Commercial, homogenized liquid diets are available; which can be administered with the help of a syringe, by pouring contents into the cheek pouch or the head in a normal or slightly lowered position. This technique helps in reducing the risk of aspiration and encourages dogs to have voluntary swallowing.

Once a dog tolerates a liquid diet for more than 2–3 days, moderate fiber diets, containing 10–15% dry matter, and moderate fat contents (10–15%), can be administered orally, depending upon the response. Small meals should be given at least three times a day.

Long-term management of canine pancreatitis requires molding dietary plans to a permanent low fat diet, containing more carbohydrates. 

Common Ingredients of Pancreatitis Diet:

Rice is considered a highly digestible part of a canine pancreatitis diet, given in small amounts. Homemade foods such as rice, boiled chicken, low fat beef, beef organs (kidney, heart, liver), egg whites, yogurt, barley and cooked vegetables can be used as safe canine pancreatitis diet foods.

A homeopathic supplement might also help a dog recover from pancreatitis as an added layer of support. Pancreas Booster contains natural extracts from natural foods such as Pineapple and Papaya, to aid the body with digestion and pancreatic function.