If your dog has been recently diagnosed with pancreatitis, it’s very challenging to stand by and watch it suffer. That’s why you should know what exactly your doggo is experiencing to help ease their discomfort and reduce pain.
Since pancreatitis in dogs is quite dangerous and can even be life-threatening, you’re probably already giving your dog the medication and treatment a vet has prescribed. However, apart from that, there are a few other things you can do to comfort your dog with pancreatitis and help it recover sooner.
Let’s take a closer look at what is pancreatitis, its causes, symptoms, and how you can comfort a dog with pancreatitis in the best way possible.
What Is Pancreatitis in Dogs?
Pancreatitis occurs when your dog’s pancreas becomes inflamed or swollen. The pancreas is the organ responsible for releasing enzymes that aid in digestion and produce hormones like insulin.
When the pancreas is functioning normally, the enzymes activate only when they reach the small intestine. However, in the case of pancreatitis, the enzymes become active straight after they get released. This causes damage and inflammation to the pancreas, its surrounding tissue, and other organs. According to the Whole Dog Journal, these enzymes might even start to digest the pancreas itself, which causes severe pain to your dog.
There are two types of pancreatitis in dogs: acute and chronic. So, in most cases, your actions will depend on the severity of the disease.
Acute pancreatitis in dogs is a life-threatening emergency. Usually, it occurs suddenly, without any prior signs of the condition. The inflammation levels are so high that they create congestion and swelling in the pancreas.
Chronic pancreatitis in dogs is a condition that develops over time. Usually, it occurs in dogs that suffered from pancreatitis earlier. As a result, your dog might experience repeated bouts of pancreatitis and will most likely need to follow a low-fat diet forever.
Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs
Here are some of the most common symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs you should pay attention to. If you notice any of those, take your dog to the vet immediately to help prevent severe health issues.
- Loss of appetite
- Hunched back
- Abdominal pain
Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs
Even though pancreatitis attacks usually appear very suddenly, here are a few known causes of pancreatitis in dogs that you should know about.
- High-fat diet
- Hormonal imbalance
- Blunt trauma
- Indiscriminate diet (aka, your dog eats everything)
- Toxins and certain medications
- Certain genetic predispositions
Top 7 Tips to Comfort a Dog With Pancreatitis
It’s crucial to ensure the well-being of your pup while it’s being treated for pancreatitis or recovering from it. Here are some tips to help you comfort your dog at home when it’s experiencing discomfort and pain.
Introduce a Low-Fat Diet
Once a vet says it’s okay to start feeding your dog again, you need to ensure you prepare or buy low-fat foods for your pup. Usually, you’d want to aim for 8% or less. Your veterinarian might also prescribe a specific weight-loss diet to your dog. For example, you can try feeding your dog boiled white rice, chicken breast, or lean ground beef. Just make sure to cook all of the fat out of the food first.
Revise Your Dog’s Eating Habits
If your dog is used to eating one or two large meals a day, you’d need to change that habit. Once your fluffy friend can digest food without vomiting, switch to feeding it five to six small meals per day. This will help not to overwhelm your dog’s pancreas and give it time to recover from working hard. You might also need to keep your dog’s diet like this for quite a while.
Feed Your Dog Plain Food
While it might be tempting to comfort your dog with a tasty treat, it’s not the right time to do so. Your vet might advise feeding your dog bland food for a couple of weeks before switching to more normal dog food. The simplest meal would be white rice and boiled chicken breast. It might sound boring, but this will help your pet recover faster.
Have Water Nearby
After your dog’s first pancreatitis episode, your vet might tell you to stop feeding your dog for up to 24 hours. However, don’t forget about your dog’s hydration needs. Put a bowl of clear water next to your dog’s bed to have it always ready when they feel thirsty.
Prepare a Comfy Dog Bed
Just like any other disease, pancreatitis can make your dog more vulnerable and emotional. That’s why creating a comfortable environment and providing your dog with its own safe space is as important as ensuring your pup eats a proper diet. In addition, a high-quality pet bed can help your dog relax and feel loved.
There are many anti-anxiety pet beds for dogs you can choose from, depending on your dog’s size and breed. For example, at Bella&Toby, we focus on revolutionizing the concept of pet care, putting usability, comfort, and quality first. Our pet bed is made of fine materials and is suitable for dogs of all sizes. It’s also machine-washable and can fit into any room of your home.
Prepare a Pad
Pancreatitis might make your well-trained dog more prone to accidents inside the house. Please don’t be angry at your pup because it simply might not be able to control it. To avoid sudden diarrhoea accidents, make sure to put down a pad next to its bed so that your sick pup can quickly go there if needed.
Watch Out for Your Dog’s Stomach
Often, dogs with pancreatitis have very sore stomachs. It means you might need to refrain from picking up your favourite doggo or touching its belly to prevent them from experiencing even more pain.
Whether your dog is suffering from acute or chronic pancreatitis, it might take some time for it to recover. During this period, it’s essential to do everything possible to help your furry friend feel safe and get better soon.
Since overweight dogs are more prone to pancreatitis, always make sure your dog follows a proper diet and lives a healthy, active lifestyle with a sufficient amount of exercise. We hope these tips will help you better comfort your dog with pancreatitis and overcome this disease as soon as possible.