So what is Pancreatitis in dogs?
The general definition of Pancreatitis for dogs is the inflammation of the dogs’ pancreas. Premature activation of enzymes will enable the pancreas to start digesting itself. The organ thus starts rubbing its walls on each other which causes pain and inflammation. Pancreatitis is among the most common digestive health issue in dogs.
Dogs usually display symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite, back pain, restlessness or difficulty in breathing. These are sometimes accompanied by fever and diarrhea besides others symptoms. Only your veterinarian can confirm Pancreatitis with a snap test. If the condition is acute, then timing is critical for successful treatment.
It is not clear what causes pancreatitis in dogs. But a pancreas trauma through a car accident or surgery in the abdominal cavity can be a triggers. However, there are many other factors that can contribute to this condition. Feeding fatty foods, diabetes or other hidden illnesses can trigger Pancreatitis in dogs.
There are two types of Pancreatitis in dogs
There are also two types of Pancreatitis in dogs which every owner should be aware of. Each of these types have a different set of symptoms and treatments. Severity can range from mild to fatal depending on a number of factors.
Acute Dog Pancreatitis – this type of Pancreatitis in dogs occurs suddenly. There is usually no history or record of previous Pancreatitis. Acute dog Pancreatitis usually happens when the dog ingests fatty foods or food from the trash. Sudden changes in its routine, a trauma or emotional stress, linked to other underlying diseases, can also play a role. This type of Pancreatitis occurs suddenly and without prior indication or signs. It can be really hard to diagnose for the non-trained eye and it is an emergency situation. Among the two types, acute dog Pancreatitis is the more serious one. If left untreated your dog can die. The Pancreas inflammation can spread to other organs in the abdominal cavity and cause severe infections.
Chronic Dog Pancreatitis – unlike acute dog Pancreatitis, dogs can acquire this type of Pancreatitis over time. It is more manageable than the first type of Pancreatitis. With the correct diet and medication over your dog’s lifetime, you can manage the symptoms well.
Treating Pancreatitis in Dogs
Basically, the first approach to treating Pancreatitis is through pain relievers, hydration with IV fluids and Antibiotics. Enzymes from food (usually fatty foods) cause Pancreatitis. These normally activate the pancreas enzymes only when they reach the intestines. In dogs with Pancreatitis, these enzymes activate already in the pancreas. As a result the organ walls touch and rub on each other, causing tremendous pain to the dog. The first step for treatment would be relieving the pain as early as possible and avoiding infection. It is very important to also hydrate your dog. Most if not all cases of Acute Pancreatitis need the animal to be hospitalized. They need to receive fluids intravenously and antibiotics to reduce swelling of the pancreas and for the pain.
Only a veterinarian can determine if your dog is suffering from acute Pancreatitis or chronic Pancreatitis. Your vet will complete a complete health evaluation. This usually includes a snap blood test and often requires a specialist for a comprehensive diagnosis. Some veterinarians will also request an x-ray or ultrasound if they think is necessary. Specifically, if they suspect there is more than just a Pancreatitis case or if surgery is necessary.
If your dog recovers from an acute case of Pancreatitis, your veterinarian might prescribe a new diet. Digestive enzymes and vitamins or probiotics and other medication can also help to improve you dog’s health. It is important to maintain a good health routine to avoid the disease from coming back. Only a veterinarian can determine which medications are best for your dog. Like any human being, your dog is an unique living creature. What works well for your dog might not be good for a neighbor’s. They might have a special health condition or other health issues.
Probiotics For Dogs With Pancreatitis
So what are probiotics for Pancreatitis? Probiotics are essential microorganisms that are currently living within your dog’s intestines. Doctors refer to probiotics as ‘good bacteria’ as these bacteria keep the gut healthy and functioning perfectly.
Food which dogs eat can affect their behavior as well as their level of activity. The Pancreas is responsible for producing and delivering a series of enzymes to the body. These help digestion are good bacteria that inhabit your dog’s intestinal guts. If something is wrong with your dog’s digestive system you will notice immediately. They are less playful and active than usually. This is where probiotics can help. Probiotics can help proper digestion. They aid the effective breakdown of food to allow for nutrient absorption.
If your dog has an acute case of pancreatitis, your dog cannot consume probiotics. Only dogs that do not have an acute case of Pancreatitis can use probiotics. You should consult your veterinarian to be sure. The majority of probiotics available to dogs contribute to their immune system and gut health. Please check with your veterinarian first, if your dog has any other underlying health issue before using probiotics.
Recommended Probiotics for dogs
Natural probiotics are best. They have controlled nutrients and enzymes carefully manufactured for dogs. These focus on maintaining your dog’s digestive system and/or boosting their immune system. Alternatives include natural probiotics for dogs, like the Rockwell Pets Pro Natural Probiotics For Dogs.
Processing vegetables towards fermentation is a proven source of probiotics, both for humans and dogs. Fermented food converts carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids and is therefore rich in natural probiotics and enzymes. These help your dog’s body to absorb nutrients better and digest the food easier.
What many people do not know is that goat milk is actually safer for pets than to other milk types. It has a better dosage of natural probiotics than other milks. The lactose content of goats milk is lower than that of cow and processed milk. Too much lactose component in milk can cause digestive upset which can cause stomach pains, inflammation and diarrhea.
Kefir can also be utilized as food additives for dogs that are picky with their food. Simply add a small amount of Kefir to your dog’s diet. This ensures that your dog gets a regular supply of good bacteria.
In addition to probiotics coming from food items, good bacteria can also come from the environment and even from dirt. Dirt comes with soil-based microorganisms which can also be beneficial to a dog’s system. Now this doesn’t mean you have to feed your dog with dirt! This means just let your dog be a dog. Let your dog play around. Let it roll in the mud if they want to and let them socialize with other dogs and animals. Just make sure to give them a good bath after. Your dog will absorb probiotics from the environment. Letting them play around will also naturally boost their immune system.
You might also be interested in learning more about whether dogs need vitamin supplements?