Once a dog has had pancreatitis, it will need to permanently remain on a low fat diet. We have various options in the Burns range to meet these needs with many of our adult diets meeting the requirements of 10% fat or less.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It is often a result of a diet too high in fat or a large intake of fat all at once but sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint a cause.
The pancreas is usually responsible for producing enzymes that aid digestion and so during a bout of pancreatitis, it will be difficult for your pet to digest food, especially ones high in fat, this can result in a prolonged digestive issue.
Many dogs that get pancreatitis are overweight, as a result of eating a diet that is too high in fat for their needs. In other cases, a high fat treat/chew or one off food might have caused it. Sometimes it can be a result of another illness and in some cases it can be very difficult to find what the cause might have been. Genetics seems to play a part for some dogs as certain breeds seem more prone to the condition.
There are multiple signs of pancreatitis in dogs. These can range from mild pancreatitis symptoms to more severe pancreatitis.
Symptoms of pancreatitis might be:
-Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
-The condition is very painful and uncomfortable and so your dog might be making the ‘prayer position’ a lot- lifting rear end up and stretching front paws out in front in a bow position.
If your dog is showing these symptoms, it is important that you visit your vet before you try and sort out their diet, so you can rule out anything else and so the vet can treat them. Once they are stable, you must keep them on a low-fat diet to prevent reoccurrence.
There are a few things you can do to help comfort dogs with pancreatitis and it is important to visit your vet. If your dog has suffered from mild symptoms of pancreatitis, the vet is likely to prescribe them anti-sickness medicine and will order for your dog to get plenty of rest and eat small frequent meals spread throughout the day.
Most dogs with pancreatitis make a full recovery from their diagnosis of pancreatitis after being seen by a vet and put on a diet. There are some severe cases where dogs will need ongoing care.
Pancreatitis in dogs can also cause diabetes, although it is very rare. It can take up three days for dogs to recover from mild symptoms of pancreatitis. However, if your dog suffers severe symptoms, they may suffer from pancreatitis several times throughout their life. If your dog does suffer from recurring pancreatitis, it’s important to visit a veterinary practice for advice and to keep them on a specialist diet. At Burns, we have a team of Nutritional Advisors and we would be happy to advise on which dog food is most suitable for your dog’s condition.
Some breeds such as cocker spaniels, miniature schnauzers and terriers are more prone to the condition, although it can affect any dog. Middle aged and older dogs are most commonly affected by the condition. Once a dog has had the condition, it can be left more susceptible to getting the condition again and so it is worth maintaining a strict diet from then on.
All parts of the diet should be low in fat and the quantities fed should also be very carefully measured. Wet foods may look low in fat but these are often higher in fat (on a dry matter basis) than dry foods and so it is always best to check on the suitability of a wet food. A diet should be under 10% fat on a dry matter basis to be suitable for this condition. Most of the Burns adult foods can be fed and the ‘Wild Fish’ variety of wet food is also suitable at 8.7% fat (on a dry matter basis)
Most important considerations should be:
– Feed your dog with food that’s under 10% fat.
– Feeding little and often – feeding amounts will be particularly important to keep the fat as low as possible.
– Be careful when feeding a wet food. Many people think they are feeding a low-fat, wet food, but when you take away the moisture content to compare it to a dry food it works out as high in fat (for further information into this please see Wet Vs Dry Foods.
– Even if your dog is underweight, it is important not to try and ‘fatten them up’ as this can overwork the pancreas.
We have a range of different foods that can support this ailment and help your dog on the road to recovery from pancreatitis.
In general, a lot of wet foods are high in fat compared with a dry food and so are best avoided if your dog is happy eating a dry food. However, we have one in the Burns range which is low enough in fat to feed, which is our Wild Fish wet food, which is 8.7% fat on a dry matter basis.
If you need more advice or guidance on what to feed your dog who has developed pancreatitis, you can get in touch with the Burns Health and Nutrition Team on our helpline page. We’ll be happy to provide individually tailored advice on the right food type and amounts for your dog.