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Canine Pancreatitis Treatment

Fluid therapy is the mainstay of treatment, at least for the first 24-48 hours. As the symptoms improve, a low-fat diet is introduced to ease the burden on the digestive system.
DogAppy Staff
Canine pancreatitis is a gastrointestinal disorder that causes inflammation of the pancreas. In this condition, the pancreas, that release certain enzymes for proper digestion, no longer function normally. No wonder, this condition is marked by poor digestion. Unhealthy diet, trauma that damages the pancreas, and diabetes are some of the risk factors of pancreatitis in dogs.

Treatment

Fluid Therapy: Dogs diagnosed with this medical condition are not allowed to consume food for at least 24-48 hours. Fluids are administered intravenously to keep the dog well hydrated. Fluid therapy is extremely important as putting food intake on hold, gives the inflamed pancreas sufficient time to heal. This type of therapy is continued until the dog's health significantly improves.

In addition to fluid therapy, the following medicines may be prescribed for the dog suffering from inflammation of the pancreas.

Pain Relievers: The commonly prescribed pain relievers include Butorphanol and Meperidine. Applying fentanyl (an opioid analgesic) patches on the skin, may also be recommended as they help to deliver the pain medication through the skin. Fentanyl will be more effective if the area is shaved before applying it. Fentanyl patches are generally attached using an elastic bandage, for a period of 3 days.

Medications: Dogs plagued with frequent bouts of vomiting are prescribed antiemetics like ondansetron (Zofran) and dolasetron (Anzemet). On the other hand, antacids such as famotidine (Pepcid) may be recommended to relieve digestion problems.

Diet
Once the condition improves, the dog is put on a low-fat diet. Rice and chicken (boiled) are some of the foods included in the canine diet. There are some veterinary diets that are specially formulated for dogs with pancreatitis. These diets are also prescribed as they contain added nutrients to speed up recovery.

Following are the foods that should be given to dogs suffering from pancreatic issues:
  • Cooked vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli
  • Lean ground beef (low-fat)
  • Egg whites
  • Barley
  • Oatmeal
  • Sweet potatoes
Instead of giving 2 large meals, feeding the dog in small portions (5-6 meals) will put less burden on the pancreas. Make sure that while giving chicken, the skin and the bones are removed. Recurring cases of pancreatic problems can always be prevented by keeping the dog on a low-fat diet. Even a high fiber diet can predispose the dog to pancreatic problems. So the canine diet should contain moderate amounts of fiber to prevent pancreatitis.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.