How to Help a Dog With Pancreatitis

How could my dog possibly have pancreatitis? He is 9 years young, receives incredible care, and yet here I am scouring the Internet to learn how to help a dog with pancreatitis. My Cocker Spaniel has had two bouts of acute pancreatitis in the last 60 days as of this writing, and we hope it stays away. Our previous Cocker Spaniel had one bout of acute pancreatitis in her nearly 15 years on earth. This is an in-depth article to help in your dog’s journey with pancreatitis.

If you’ve arrived at this article, it’s either because your dog has pancreatitis or you suspect he does AND you want to know:

What to feed a dog with pancreatitis
How to get a dog with pancreatitis to drink water
How to prevent pancreatitis in a dog
Treatment for dogs with pancreatitis
Some other question about how to help a dog with pancreatitis

We are a very hands-on, empower the dog parent kind of resource here at Fidose of Reality, so step by step, this is our experience, what we’ve learned, and information to help your dog get better, stay well, and things to discuss with your veterinarian.

How to help a dog with pancreatitis

What is Pancreatitis in Dogs?

Whenever you see the suffix ‘-itis’ on a word, it means inflammation. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and it is very painful, potentially dangerous, and affects millions of dogs each year.

The pancreas is a part of your dog’s digestive system. It is an organ that performs two very important functions: to help regulate the dog’s blood sugar levels by produce hormones (insulin and glucagon); and to help in digestion by producing enzymes. According to the Merck Vet Manual, these two pancreatic functions are called endocrine and exocrine.

The pancreas is a really big deal because it involves food digestion and its breakdown with digestive enzymes as well as controlling a dog’s blood-sugar levels via insulin. If you like to geek out on your dog’s health like I do, the location of the pancreas is in the lower part of the stomach and at the beginning of the small intestine. Here’s a handy diagram to show you the location:

dog anatiomy

Pancreatitis occurs when something upsets the balance of the pancreas: This “something” can be an outside source, such as a fatty meal, raiding a garbage can, ingesting something foreign or not part of the regular diet, medications, and in other cases, the cause is unknown. According to the UC Davis Book of Dogs, about one third of acute pancreatitis cases in dogs are primary with no known cause, so it is the responsibility of the diligent dog parent to catch it early and stop it in its track.

If you take one key thing away from this article, it is this: Stop pancreatitis early and stop it fast so it cannot progress because that’s when things can get nasty, painful, and urgent.

What are the Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs?

In speaking with our dog’s Internal Medicine veterinarian, some dogs have very subtle signs of pancreatitis that dog parents can easily dismiss or miss. On blood work, the abnormal levels show up, meriting further investigation. Other times, there are outward signs of pancreatic distress in dogs.

Here are some of the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs, of which your dog may have some or all of these symptoms. Keep in mind, these symptoms may indicate other issues, so always seek veterinary care for your dog:

  • • Lack of appetite
    • Hunching of the back (indicates pain)
    • Retching of the neck (our dog did this a lot – indicates pain)
    • Vomiting
    • Weakness
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Excessive panting
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal pain to touch
    • Abdominal distention
    • Air licking (lip smacking) – sign of nausea
    • No interest in drinking water
    • Increased temperature

dog waiting for cold laser treatment

Is Pancreatitis in Dogs an Emergency?

Despite the fact that it generally occurs in dogs who are middle aged or older and those dogs are well cared for, pancreatitis is an emergency, which is why stopping it early on is crucial. If it progresses, it can be fatal in some cases.

There are two forms of pancreatitis: Acute and chronic.

Acute pancreatitis, as the name suggests, comes on suddenly with symptoms that are mild to severe. Our dog’s second bout of acute pancreatitis occurred after a fun day of playing, walking, eating his normal meal, and napping. At 10:30 in the evening he suddenly vomited without any warning. Things rapidly progressed from there and we found ourselves at the emergency veterinary hospital a few hours later.

The folks over at DVM360 advise veterinarians with this information regarding  cute pancreatitis, “Once you have determined the dog is vomiting rather than regurgitating, the next step is to determine if a self-limiting or life threatening problem is present. This assessment is crucial and must be based on a thorough history, careful physical examination, clinical experience and judgment, and a sound understanding of the differential diagnosis of acute vomiting. Dogs with acute pancreatitis can present with both types of vomiting. Animals should be considered to have a potential life-threatening problem if some of the following are present: Moderate or severe abdominal pain, lethargy, dehydration or pyrexia, enlarged distended bowel, frequent and severe diarrhea, hematemesis, frequent vomiting or increasing frequency of vomiting, signs of systemic disease, or puppies with an incomplete vaccination history. If a clear distinction cannot be reached, it is better to error on the cautious side and consider a potential life-threatening problem.”

Chronic pancreatitis can affect dogs who recover from acute pancreatitis, which is what we are trying our best to prevent in our dog. Many times, dogs with chronic pancreatitis will have a normal blood panel, normal abdominal ultrasound, and may not even have outward signs.

Dogs with chronic pancreatitis may show signs similar to those in acute pancreatitis. In most cases, the symptoms are generally milder and more severe complications are not as prevalent. In the Cocker Spaniel world, a breed known for its predisposition to pancreatitis, we have seen many dogs affected with chronic pancreatitis who are successfully managed.

What Tests Are Available to Diagnose Pancreatitis in Dogs?

There is not one specific test that shouts out, “yes, the dog has pancreatitis because this result says so.” However, a combination of diagnostic testing, clinical judgment, and patient history points to a diagnosis of acute pancreatitis.

During our first emergency vet hospital visit, the following tests were performed with a final diagnosis of acute pancreatitis:

• Complete blood panel including CBC and chemistry panel
• Abdominal ultrasound

Thirty days later, during our second Internal Medicine visit, the following tests were performed with a final diagnosis of acute pancreatitis:

• CBC and Chem 17 panel
• Abdominal ultrasound
• IDEXX Spec CPL blood test: The Spec cPL® Test is a tried and tested diagnostic tool which allows vets to quickly and confidently assess pancreatitis in dogs. IDEXX has developed qualitative and quantitative testing to deliver the ability for veterinarians to rule in or rule out pancreatitis. (this blood test was sent out and we had results 24 hours later). There is an in-house version of this test, but it will only report negative or positive, not how high or low the number is. We were advised to have the test done at IDEXX, so we opted for this option and are grateful for it.

Pancreatitis dog blood test
This is the blood test result from our dog’s CPL test.

Further, the spec CPL test, according to VCA Hospitals, should be performed:
• Dogs with signs of sudden onset vomiting, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite.
• Dogs with recurring episodes of vomiting or poor appetite.
• Dogs at increased risk for pancreatitis, such as Miniature Schnauzers, or dogs receiving Potassium Bromide anticonvulsant therapy.

Often times, amylase and lipase will be elevated in the dog’s blood panel if acute pancreatitis is present. Of special note, the folks at VetFolio state, “Approximately 50% of dogs with elevated amylase and lipase levels have pancreatitis. Neither amylase nor lipase are pancreas-specific because both enzymes are produced in sites other than the pancreas, such as the gastrointestinal tract and the liver.”

Our internal medicine veterinarian does not include amylase and lipase in the follow-up blood panels for this very reason, but this dog mom does like to keep tabs on them so I ask they are tested. I am a “look at the whole picture assessment” kind of gal in that way.

In some cases, a biopsy of the pancreas can be performed, but this is not the norm and is done in extreme cases.

Should a Dog With Pancreatitis Be Hospitalized?

Many times, yes, a dog with acute pancreatitis should be hospitalized. Dogs with acute pancreatitis should be provided with:

• Pain relief
• Proper hydration
• Antiemetic(s) to stop vomiting
• Nutritional support

If the dog is hospitalized, and many times this is and should be the case, the dog should receive supplemental fluids via intravenous method or subcutaneously under the skin, depending on the severity of the situation. Dogs will be monitored, blood levels checked, pain controlled, and a diet will be introduced only when appropriate. Dogs can easily become dehydrated during pancreatitis, so re-hydration is crucial. Simply providing water at home or using a syringe to get fluids into a dog orally is not enough. In extreme cases, a food tube may be inserted to provide proper nutrition.

In both cases, we took our dog home after he received a diagnosis, subcutaneous fluids, pain medication, anti-vomiting medication, and instructions to return to the hospital for any new changes and for follow-up care and assessment.

Never second guess yourself if a dog is sick and you have any sort of suspicion that pancreatitis is rearing its ugly head. Get your dog to the vet. Hours do matter and pancreatitis can rapidly get worse. I know because I’ve seen it first hand!

Dogs not responding to treatment at home under the care of the vet should be seen again and consideration of inpatient care should be given.

VetFolio reports the routine use of antibiotics is considered to be of no benefit in animals with pancreatitis because, in contrast to human pancreatitis patients, bacteria do not seem to play a role in pancreatitis in small animals.

“How long do I have to stare at this treat?”

When Should I Feed a Dog With Pancreatitis?

The folks at Whole Dog Journal hit the nail on the head with their assessment of what to feed a dog with pancreatitis, which pretty much echoes what our dog’s Internal Medicine veterinarian shared with us.

It used to be that all food and water were withheld from the dog until symptoms subsided, thus resting the pancreas. If the symptoms lingered longer than 72 to 96 hours, the dog received nutrition via feeding tube so that the stomach and pancreas were bypassed. This is called parenteral nutrition. An older school of thought also was that the sight or smell of food could flare the pancreatitis due to the production of enzymes and make matters worse. Yikes!

Whole Dog Journal shares, “Today, though, there is growing evidence that dog pancreatitis recovery time is reduced and survival rates increased when patients are fed early in the recovery from pancreatitis. It is now accepted that prolonged withholding of oral food and water for more than 48 hours (including the time before the dog was brought in for treatment) can lead to increased intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”), atrophy of the digestive cells in the small intestine, and sepsis (blood poisoning). In turn, sepsis can contribute to multiple organ failure and decreased survival rates.

ALWAYS discuss your dog’s feeding schedule, meal instructions, and liquid intake with the dog’s veterinarian. Every dog is unique, so what is right for one dog may not be right for your dog. Never trust something “just because this one person said it on a forum online dedicated to the topic.” In writing this article, we are presenting you with facts, our experience, the journey of others, and what trusted experts say on the topic of acute pancreatitis in dogs.

What Should I Feed a Dog with Pancreatitis?

After our dog’s second bout of acute pancreatitis, we had a heart to heart discussion with the Internal Medicine veterinarian on his case.

“You need to start feeding a lower fat diet,” he instructed.

“For how long,” I asked.

“For life.”

You could have heard a pin drop and the silent sound of me thudding onto the cold veterinary floor. But all of my dog’s treats and food have had well over 10 percent fat in them. Well, this is the case no more and I learned why.

Despite what caused the pancreatitis, the fact is dogs who get one episode of pancreatitis are prone to more attacks. I have a Cocker Spaniel, meaning the breed has an inherent risk of developing pancreatitis of an acute or chronic nature at some point in their lives.

Here are questions to ask yourself, your vet, and potentially a veterinary nutritionist, as dietary needs vary from dog to dog, as they do in people:
• What should I feed my dog on discharge from the office/hospital? Often smaller, more frequent meals are recommended. For the first two weeks of my dog’s acute pancreatitis episodes, we fed four small meals throughout the day and made sure he was taking in fluids.

• When to do I return to my dog’s regular diet and moreover, what changes should I make in my dog’s diet?

• Are table scraps allowed? I am answering this now for you: NO. This also means no wrapping pills/medications in lunch meat, cream cheese, a piece of bacon, etc. I learned from our dog’s regular veterinarian that doing so can cause the pancreatitis to flare.

• Can you recommend a veterinary nutritionist?

• If you are more into prepackaged dog food, talk to a qualified veterinary nutritionist about what type of food is best for your dog. Even this seasoned dog mom/blogger is a bit kerfuffled in trying to calculate fat content and protein ratios. You want to generally look for food and treats that are both nutritionally sound and are not likely to exacerbate pancreatitis in the dog. NOTE: If you want to talk to your vet or figure out the fat content and ratios, here’s a fat content resource for dogs.

• Can my dog continue on his medications? Could any of the medications have caused this? In our case, my dog was being treated with prednisolone for 50 days as of that time for an autoimmune disease that reared its ugly head two months earlier. There is some evidence in the veterinary community to believe long-term steroids can contribute to acute pancreatitis. My gut, pun intended, tells me the combination of medications, an autoimmune disease, other medications in the mix, and a diet of 18 percent fat made for the perfect pancreatic storm. Steroids have since ceased.

You need to ensure all friends and family are on board with knowing not to give the dog scraps or anything outside the norm. Even one piece of lunch meat or a high fat treat can incite pancreatitis to come crashing down on your dog. This is why you read so many posts about what to avoid feeding your dog during holidays. Veterinary visits increase exponentially during ‘food holidays,’ so keep your dog away from such edible temptations.

HACK: I boil lean, low fat organic ground beef to mix into my dog’s base mix of The Honest Kitchen Preference dog food. In doing so, the fat is lessened and my dog is thriving, knock on wood. I keep a small amount of the boiled beef on hand during holiday meals to feed my dog while we eat our meal. He loves it. Be careful on the type of treats and the quantity of treats you feed as well.

Meat for dog with pancreatitis
Boiling the lean ground organic beef to lessen the fat even more.

There are a few veterinarian-prescribed diets for dogs with pancreatitis, and those include Two Hill’s I/D (intestinal diet) dog food, and Purina EN (Gastroenteric).

How Can I Get a Dog With Pancreatitis to Drink Water?

For some reason, dogs who do are affected by pancreatitis often refuse water. Coupled with the vomiting, this creates a dehydration situation.

Dog dad, Al Nelson, is dealing with acute pancreatitis in his 15-years-young Cocker Spaniel, Maxie. In her initial days following diagnosis, Maxie refused to drink water.

“I have a syringe to give her vitamin water in a little while if she doesn’t on her own,” Nelson told us. “She did get a “hump” with fluids Thursday night at the vet.”

The hump is subcu fluids and my dog received the same thing prior to discharge with his episodes.

After giving Maxie some baby food, she progressed to this dog food from the vet and is doing well on it:

Dog with pancreatitis dog food

Often times, dogs are nauseous and not into drinking. Keep your veterinarian apprised of this situation and follow our tips to encourage dogs to drink water.

Homemade low-fat diets for dogs to treat and prevent pancreatitis are another option and one that I am using. Whole Dog Journal says a low-fat homemade dog food diet should consist of about half carbohydrates, and half low-fat protein. Make sure the protein is mostly meat, but eggs and non-fat dairy is good, too.

Dog with pancreatitis

What About Enzymes?

I am here to tell you that not all dogs need the addition of digestive enzymes if they are diagnosed with pancreatitis. If your dog’s stool returns to its normal state after the acute pancreatitis bout, he likely does not need digestive enzymes. For chronic pancreatitis, or if a dog is unable to keep up a healthy body weight, discussed enzymes in your dog. Many of them can be crushed and sprinkled on the food.

Like people, enzymes should be considered on a case by case basis and because you discussed it with a qualified expert like your vet who sees this a lot or a holistic veterinarian familiar with treating dogs successfully in this capacity.

I encourage you to discuss digestive enzymes and supplements with your dog’s vet. My friend, June Myers, added a digestive supplement to her dog’s diet when he was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. Buster ate a good diet with a digestive enzyme added to it and he lived a long life of live.

Buster and June
June and Cocker Spaniel, Buster, who lived to over 16 years of age.

Dogs with pancreatic problems, such as those in chronic cases, will have problems absorbing fats and oils from foods. Some experts recommend giving a quality omega 3-omega 6 supplement, but this needs to be discussed with your vet.

What Can I Do to Prevent Future Pancreatitis Episodes in My Dog?

Weight: So much of pancreatitis is related to fat, so you want to be sure your dog is a proper weight. An obese dog is more prone to pancreatitis.

Exercise: This is a great aide in preventing pancreatitis to get the digestive juices flowing. It is a myth that dogs need more calories in the winter months. This is true for sled dogs or working dogs, but dogs need year-round exercise. Here are ways to entertain a dog indoors.

Thyroid Check: Have a full panel performed on your dog of his thyroid function. If your dog is gaining weight, is overweight, and this is despite your balancing his diet with exercise, a thyroid issue may be to blame. I recently had a complete panel performed and sent out of town to an outside lab. Here are the results below. Everything was normal. I like seeing all the different levels and not just a free T4. Learn more about the thyroid function and your dog’s hormones here.

Dog thyroid panel test

Lipid and Cholesterol Check: Elevated triglycerides and lipids can lead to pancreatitis. My dog’s triglycerides are up since the steroids, so now that they are eliminated we are working to get the triglyceride number down. Be sure to fast your dog 12 hours before testing for hyperlipidemia.

Proper Diet and Treats: As above. No fatty treats like pig ears. Keep your dog on the new balanced diet with the low fat and lower fat treats. I believe that irritating a pancreas with fatty foods invites another episode. Also with my dog’s triglycerides being elevated this year, we are working to get those down with medicine and through diet. We plan a triglycerides level check every six months.

Eliminate Table Scraps/People Food: I know how hard this is, and trust me, I remember how sick my dog was whenever the urge comes over me to give scraps that can harm him.

Keep the Garbage Can Closed: My dog is known to try to topple the garbage can, so he has zero access to the kitchen when we aren’t in that room with him.

Dog at the table for breakfast
Just say no to fatty foods to help prevent pancreatitis.

Can Pancreatitis Recur in My Dog?

Yes. Even if a fatty meal was not the cause of your dog’s pancreatitis, high fat foods can trigger another pancreatitis episode. If the pancreas was scarred or damaged, your dog is more prone to future episodes.

Can Pancreatitis Cause Other Problems in My Dog?

It most certainly can!

Dogs with pancreatitis are may encounter diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, and other endocrine diseases.

A condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) may occur in recurrent cases.

Medications We Were Prescribed

Pain Medication: Tramadol
Antiemetic: Cerenia

Medications vary by dog, and our dog was given an injection of pain medication prior to discharge from the emergency visit at the vet hospital. Do not give your dog over the counter medications or people medication. There are many pain medications that dogs cannot take.

The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers

If you feel your dog is developing pancreatitis, rest his stomach from food, and if the vomiting does not subside, seek veterinary care and don’t attempt to self-diagnose. If the pancreatitis was caused by a medication, the medication should be discontinued. If it was caused by a toxin, infection, or other condition, the appropriate therapy for the underlying condition should be started.

In rare instances where there are intestinal complications or the development of a pancreatic abscess, surgery may be necessary.

Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are also being used to treat dogs with both acute and chronic pancreatitis. I learned of this treatment from my dog’s Internal Medicine veterinarian. During veterinary hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the dog is placed safely and comfortably in a large chamber with 100 percent oxygen at pressure 1.5 to 3 times that of normal atmospheric pressure. The sessions last about one hour and are given one or two times daily. Dogs sit and breathe in the oxygen. Our vet shared that some dogs get four or five sessions with amazing results and curative responses.

When divers go underwater, sometimes they come up too quickly and experience a cramping sensation known as “the bends.” These divers are often treated the same way. This video explains it. Knowing I have access within 90 minutes of my residence is reassuring:

How to Help Dogs With Pancreatitis: Advice from Experts

There is a LOT of information online about how to help a dog with pancreatitis. A lot of it is not true, as is the case with any topic online. There are, however, some very valuable and trustworthy resources that we infused into this article. Here is a final video to share from Dr. Judy Morgan, DVM, about pancreatitis:

I am also a fan of this white paper that has been peer reviewed on the topic of canine pancreatitis.

Final Thoughts

I will diligently watch my dog and what he eats, continue with visits to his Internal Medicine vet and regular vet. We have veterinary pet insurance, and I would do whatever I needed to for my dog. I highly suggest you start a savings, invest in pet health insurance, or both. It is expensive to treat issues like this.

If you missed my dog’s journey with IMT (immune-mediated thrombocytopenia) and why he was prescribed steroids in the first place, read here: Help for dogs fighting IMT.

Your Turn

Has your dog been diagnosed with pancreatitis? Have you ever dealt with it in your dog? We’re listening and appreciate comments in the box below.


  1. I’ve only had one dog who had pancreatitis, and it was actually more a symptom of something else than something of its own right. Three years ago on December 30th, my deaf hound girl, Ran, just started acting out of the ordinary. Mostly, she just didn’t want to eat. I know dogs can get tummy upsets that go away on their own, and other than not really wanting to eat and mostly wanting to just sleep on a dog bed in the living room, I didn’t see much out of the ordinary at first. I did manage to get her to eat a little, but then on New Year’s Eve and Day, she didn’t get better. I watched her closely and managed to get her to take just a little food and water, but on the next day I took her to the vet. They did a snap test for pancreatitis and it showed positive. They also did a full blood panel which showed the real culprit. Ran was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, and the pancreatis cleared up quickly. The autoimmune disorder, not. I lost her a little under four months later. She was just five. Again, if it wasn’t for the pancreatitis we likely wouldn’t have discovered the autoimmune disease until later. Even with constant trips to the vet and various medications, special food (for the pancreatitis), and multiple testings, Ran just went downhill. Fortunately, her pancreatitis cleared up quickly since we had proverbably bigger fish to worry about.

    1. My little Italian Greyhound will be five this winter and your story sounds like ours. The vet did a snap test and it confirmed pancreatitis. It has been five days since the diagnosis and on the eve of day 3 he finally began to eat and drink a little. On day four he seems just a little low key and his appetite seems to improve yet on the very next morning he refused to eat. I can’t help but think that the pancreatitis is a symptom of something bigger. We are keeping a close eye on him and we are struggling getting the antibiotic into him. Now I’m spending my days looking up what to feed him once we are out of this episode and keeping our fingers crossed that I’m wrong about it being a symptom of something else. Although he eats at about 90 miles per hour and has always been a hungry horror we have always been very diligent about his food being of a healthy quality kibble along with ground turkey and fruits and vegetables. I am at a loss at what to give him that will provide nutrition and variety.

    2. My Yorkie (5 years old) has just been diagnosed with pancreatitis. Symptoms and vet visits over the last 5 years were all made out to be sensitive stomach, stress or ulcer. Unfortunately his last attack was severe and after 2nd vet visit i insisted on more action. His been on drip and medication for 48h but no improvement. He has no interest in food. Stil seems to be in pain and presents signs of confusion or seems “spaced out”
      Could he have other organ damage and what van i do as it seems like the vet is saying its normal with severe attacks?

  2. Wonderful blog! Full of information that is so helpful to folks dealing with this problem. I’ve already referred a friend who has a dog with acute pancreatitis to this blog. Thanks for all you do. So sorry to hear Dex had another bout of pancreatitis. Dr. Judy Morgan’s video was fascinating. I had no idea the fat in raw foods are easier on the pancreas than the fat in cooked food. Thanks for including her video in your blog.

    1. Steroids helped cure Dex of IMT but they helped incite pancreatitis x2. We are glad this blogged helped, Kim. Hugs and holiday love from our house to yours.

  3. I have a standard poodle that has both renal failure, and pancreatitis as well as frequent UTI’s. I just read that low protein diets like Royal Canin Renal food is not recommended for dogs with pancreatitis.. this is the diet my dog has been on for the last 3 years. My poodle just got out of the hospital after 6 days of renal care. Her lab work is much better for her renal issue, but I think she is still suffering from her pancreatitis. I don’t know what to feed her.

    Can you help me?

    1. I do know that a low fat diet is needed for dogs with pancreatitis. Also be sure to talk to your vet about having the prescription Cerenia on hand. It helped my dog through pancreatitis, Olivia.

      Two foods I recommend are the Honest Kitchen preference then boiled organic meat and add it as your protein. Also look into Dr Harvey’s line of homemade products. They are easy and good for dogs. I cant speak to the renal failure portion but that is what I used and continue to use for pancreatitis and regular diet.

  4. Our 5 year old little dachshund hand HGI a few weeks ago and was given fluids and recovered fine. 5 days ago he had belly pain and was lethargic so I took him to the vet and they said he had pancreatitis. He received fluids for 3 days and they didn’t prescribe any pain meds. He had energy, was eating but the pain is still present. Today, day 5 we went back to the vet and he was given pain meds. He perked up a little but still struggles to climb stairs and won’t jump through the doggy door. he still yelps if touched or picked up the wrong way. I switched to a recommended low fat diet 3 days ago and he’s hungry and has doesn’t vomit. I did notice his stool was blackish and my wife said the other dog’s was very dark too…but I feared Melena after googling. Vet said he had a fever 1st day but only pancreatitis was positive. My question is how long can dogs go through this, days, weeks a possibility? We can’t afford thousands of dollars and we love the little guy but I just don’t know what to do and can’t seem to get any good answers. This web page offered me more useful information than my vet! We’ve been feeding him 3-4 little meals and some boiled rice and he does drink water. I’m just unsure if more than 5 or more days of pain is unusual?

    1. Are you on Cerenia? Did he have an ultrasound? Do you have pet insurance? Pancreatitis can be acute or long term, called chronic. Pain is not good and the dog should be getting relief. I would recommmend a specialist. Thanks for the kind words; let’s get your little one better.

      1. He’s on Galliprant for pain, given this morning (day 5). No pet insurance and the pain seems to come and go with severity but is definitely present. The ultrasound was done a few weeks ago for the HGI and just showed “gas and waste” but they didn’t see anything concerning. They didn’t seem to think it was necessary so far with our regular vet. The ultrasound was done at the emergency vet.

        It’s difficult getting definitive answers from our vet staff…I’m forced to push for specifics and even what to look for. One of the vets on staff said he’ll be recovering for a couple weeks..well, i don’t know what the means or if pain is part of that. There are enough pain meds for a week so I’m guessing that might be “normal”.

        I’m amazed at not being able to find any information on how long pets with pancreatitis have actually had the pain and recovered. You understand the frustration I’m sure and thank you so much for responding.

        1. My dog recovered twice from acute pancreatitis. Dr. Harvey’s has an amazing food and you can actually get free samples from them, just pay $3 shipping. You can also call and talk to Dr. Harvey. My dog eats their food. Here is the info:

          Also having pain like this is not normal after that period of time. Can you see a specialist? I am happy to respond, that is what I am here for. To help dogs and awesome pet parents like you, Karin. Please keep me posted.

          1. Hi there,
            My 9 year old dog stopped eating on Thursday. I took him to the vet and they did blood work and an X-ray of his stomach area. All checked out food.
            Still not eating I took him a gain on Friday,. My vet gave home an Iv. My dog was drinking water, small amount of diarrhea. Took him back Saturday more IV. He gave himself steroid shot ( which he needs for a skin issue),and a B12 shot.
            Came home seemed much more alert. He ate a small pieceof cookie.
            Still drinking water. Took him today Monday and the vet checked him. Drinking water and still not eating. Tomorrow possible another IV. How long does this go on for

        2. Similar to what happened to me. I have a 1 year old italian greyhound who’s been diagnosed with severe pancreatitis. This all started 2 weeks ago after he got neutered. I was told the cause of it could have been a combination of the foods he was eating and the pill they gave him for recovery, one of them was Carprofen so I have to stay away from that pill going forward. Anyways, two day after surgery he began to pant while laying down. He then whined and cried everytime I held him. He stopped jumping off and on the couch as well as up and down the stairs. I took him to the vet because he was in a lot of pain and they only gave him more pain medicine. Fast forward a couple days later, in one afternoon he was standing on all four legs for a while not wanting to lay down then he started to walk and he stopped using his left leg! He started to limp then finally sat down but was leaning towards his right leg because he couldnt feel or use his left leg. At this point I took him to emergency care where I was told to increase his pain meds once again. This seemed to work for two days but then on one evening he began walking and pacing and could not sit down for more than 2 seconds. The day after I took him to the vet and asked for help to ease his pain. They were about to send him home again but I began to cry, asking for x-rays or anything that might help find why he was in so much pain. They finally did an x-ray which came back normal then they did a glucose test which kept changing, kept going high and then super low. At this point 2 weeks later!!! They told me he was going to be transferred to emergency care so they could give him fluids. At this point I still had no idea what was wrong with him. At emergency care they did an ultrasound and was told that same thing they told you “just gas and some waste” but that he would have to stay overnight to be monitored. It wasn’t until a couple of hours later that I was told he had a very severe case of pancreatitis and to prepare for the worst. I was told that he probably wouldn’t make it through the night and if giving him iv fluids didn’t help and he woke up the same the next morning, I’d have to consider putting him to sleep because he would be in so much pain. I didn’t know what to do. Luckily he was doing better by noon and was then told he had acute pancreatitis and he would have to be in a low-fat diet for the rest of his life. At this point I don’t know what to feed him aside from the prescribed food the vet recommended which he doesnt seem to like. He’s an iggy so he can’t have any grains. I’ve been giving him boiled chicken but don’t want to overdo it as that will also make him flare up. I don’t know what to do.

    2. Our dachshund was given Hills low fat canned food (it will turn the poop black because they put crushed pecan shells in there for fiber), and PanaKare to help digest the food. That was a miracle for him. I have since changed him to VivaRaw pets and continue the enzyme o help break his food down and so far he’s been good, thank God. I think the enzymes are key because when their pancreas isn’t working to break it down that causes the inflammation on the pancreas. My sisters dog has same issues and Vet will not give the enzymes and her dog is at the Vet every other week so sick. I keep telling her to get the enzymes!

  5. My 11 (almost 12) year old Jack Russell terrier, Dexter, died yesterday of pancreatitis, or possibly pancreatic cancer. He’s had a heart murmur his whole life which meant they couldn’t attack the pancreatitis as strongly as they could in a normal dog. He was acting just fine Tuesday, a little tired but nothing unusual. Woke up at 4AM Wednesday to him eating his vomit, which was dinner from Tuesday night. He continued throwing up, began panting heavily, and wouldn’t move. I took him to the vet as soon as they opened at 7:30AM. By 5:30PM Wednesday, he was gone. He spent the entire day receiving oxygen and fluids and didn’t respond to either. I just don’t understand. He’s been healthy his whole life, other than the heart murmur. He ate better food than my husband and I. His lab work was even normal yesterday – just some slightly elevated liver enzymes. The vet suspected it may have been cancer, or severe acute pancreatitis. I’m just sick. Maybe if I had taken him to the emergency vet at 4AM he would still be with me tonight. He thought I was mad at him, too, for vomiting everywhere. I don’t know how to make sense of this. It just isn’t fair. It killed him in 12 hours.

    1. Oh no, Heather. This isn’t fair. I am so incredibly sorry. You must be beside yourself. Just take care of you now and take it easy. This is a horrible thing to go through and so sudden. My very deepest condolences.

  6. My cocker spaniel has recently developed pancreatitis he is 14 and had hypothyroidism but other than that always healthy..trying to get him to eat at times is tough but I’ve learned to keep cool whip containers and freeze water he will only drink cold water and loves to lick the ice..I keep my freezer with a few of them and it’s nice to not have to worry about getting water in him too.
    The rest is a mystery he does well a while and then we go thru it again..the most he has refused to eat has thankfully been 24 hours which seems like forever to me.
    I usually start him back with bone broth and then he picks from many choices of low fat canned food his kibble days are over he won’t touch that anymore..
    Also the prescription dog food he liked the canned food for a few days and now refuses that so it’s really hard to figure out what to feed him that he will eat.

    1. I would recommend two things: A whole food (meaning real food) diet like Dr. Harvey’s. You can even call and talk to Dr.Harvey and explain the situation. They can offer advice.

      Also look into the hyperbaric oxygen chamber I mentioned in this blog post. Usually a veterinary hospital, holistic vet, or specialized clinic have those. It works wonders for dogs with chronic pancreatitis.

      I love your Cool Whip water/ice container idea.

  7. My girl Sable will be 12 in November she is a min pin.. She was diagnosed with diabetes back in June. Still unregulated she went in to DKA last weekend spending the weekend at the ER Animal hospital and the next 2 days at the vet getting fluids. An ultrasound found pancreatitis, novels on the liver and some kidney damage but could be age related Dr said. I have always fed her real food, since coming home she has been eating Royal Cannin but not happily and with a diabetic they have to eat to receive insulin. It has been a real struggle. We have had a few really good days and now I am seeing how uncomfortable she is laying on her sides and some panting. Going to call her vet in the morning.

    1. my dog eats royal cannin, but I add gerber baby food, yams, spaghetti, boiled chicken breasts and broccoli-. she loves her dinner-you just have to spice the taste.

  8. My poor 11 year old lab got a hold of a 6lb bag of puppy food and snuck it out the doggie door and devoured it in one setting in our backyard. 48 hours later I had to rush him into the ER and he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. Then, he required 24 hr around the clock supportive care. He was in severe discomfort and they gave him fentanyl and other potent painkillers for a few days. He was on IV to combat hydration. After 8 days they let him go home b/c his kidney values were OK, but he still has not eaten anything substantial. I had his blood work done and his kidneys and proteins are still OK, his liver #’s are high, but they said that was normal with pancreatitis. What really concerns me is that it has been 12 days now, and he still shows little to no interest in eating. I was told since he is a bigger dog, he has lots of reserves to draw from and he will slowly eat when he is ready. The waiting for him to eat is agony. Anyone have similar experiences?

  9. I have a mini pincher with the same problem. He has not eaten in about 6 days. Im really worried because hes lost so much weight. The Doctor said just give meds and try to make him eat and take meds. He does drink water. Im with you on the worries about them going so long without eating. Im also looking for answers. Just want u to know your not alkne. Lets hang in there for our doggies.

  10. I have an 11 year old mini schnauzer named Romeo. We are not sure what he has but there are similar symptoms as mentioned above but vet blood test and xrays are non specific. So he is on Royal Canin gastro can and dry kibble as he seems to be hungry all the time. This has been going on since November, he went from 18 pounds to 14 pounds. He is happy most of the time, and he vomits once to twice per week. Any advice help would be great, I don’t know what to do at this point and can’t keep going to the vet every other week. The vet said that he may have cancer, pancreatitis and possible a gall bladder obstruction.

    Carole Joanisse

  11. I have spent hours researching pancreatitis to see if there is anything out there to help. My dog was acting a little sluggish for a couple days but was drinking a lot of water. The third day he went downhill quickly. We got an appointment for the 4th day and they did x-rays, bloodwork etc and found he not only had pancreatitis but diabetes with a sugar level so high they did not have a level to give me. It was recommended that we might want to have him put to sleep but my husband really wanted to try to save him. He is now on day two of his insulin and 3rd dose of amoxicillin and carprofen, but we are not seeing any improvement. I am waiting for a miracle tonight, but I also made an appointment to have him put to sleep tomorrow at 10 if he is the same. I cannot stand to see him like this, and I do not want him to suffer. This is an excellent site by the way just did not have the miracle I was hoping to find.

    1. Hi, thank you for sharing your experience with your pets pancreatitis, my heart goes out to you.
      I’m currently going thru the exact same issues with my guy tucker, I didn’t think he’d make it thru another night, hes so weak, it’s been 6.5 days since he last had something to eat, which only stayed down for a few hours, and little was digested.
      I took him to see an emergency vet yesterday morning, was only looking for some direction, should I stick with the current treatment and pray for even a minuscule improvement today or do I stop letting him suffer.
      Needless to say this vet had his own agenda, refusing to hear me, he administered 2 injections, and about to run a battery of tests and exams when I got angry, told him NO, that’s not why I brought him in. Thought I’d have a bill for an exam of maybe $75 , not the $335 he charged me for nothing except making him more sick from the injections.
      So sorry for rambling on, I’m so frustrated and falling to pieces watching him deteriorate like this.
      Should I continue with his meds, hes on day 7 of 10, or if he hasnt improved by now, I’m only letting him suffer longer. I’m really hoping you will get this asap and share the outcome of your experience with me so I can finally make an informed decision. I’ve been researching for days, you’re post is the first I’ve found that that relates to tuckers specific health issues atm, any advice you can offer me after already going thru this will be invaluable to me

      Thank you again for sharing,

      Darlene Dadson

  12. JRT
    Vet prescribed 100 mg [2x,3x daily] for pain.
    Is this a good idea as the Trimadol was not enough for him.

  13. Bonnie first of all I really hope your dog recovered – sending love. We lost our beloved – and blind 🙁 – cocker spaniel Bailey (6 and a half years old) to this horrible condition two weeks ago.

    On the Sunday it was our daughter’s Christening and Bails was fed table scraps by some of the vets. This wasn’t massively out of the ordinary – we have always been a bit naughty with treats but she wasn’t overweight at all etc.

    Two days later she was evidently having some stomach pains and sicked her normal food up; very unlike her. She also refused to drink. I took her straight to the vets after work who prescribed some oral painkillers (which I couldn’t get her to take despite best efforts). Over that night she become significantly more distressed. I spent almost the whole night with her cuddling her but like some idiot didn’t take her to the emergency vets (why oh why didn’t I act more quickly?)

    First thing the next morning she went and was admitted; again, she didn’t look terrible (signs and symptoms: wasn’t eating or drinking, some stomach discomfort and looking noticeably ‘down’). Vet admitted her with suspected pancreatitis, administered painkillers though IV and water through drip, seemed optimistic about improvement.

    We visited her that evening and although not in obvious pain (due to meds I’m guessing) Bails was hugely flat – she wasn’t even excited to see us. I was starting to worry. I rang first thing the next morning and she’d had a bad night – they were administering glucose as her blood sugar levels were worryingly low. Even then, vet didn’t seem unduly worried.

    The next half an hour was a blur. First thing I know is vet is calling again – she has had a fit while they were trying to scan her via ultrasound. Can I get to the surgery ASAP? Five minutes later she was gone 🙁 My world collapsed 🙁 We asked what on earth had happened, we were absolutely numb with the shock. We have had many dogs over the years; I adored them all but Bailey was my little souldog. To make things worse she had gone blind over the past 18 months (PRA) and was almost entirely dependent on me – time and love I was more than happy to give to my beautiful black and white girl.

    Her autopsy showed extreme necrotic pancreatitis – she was literally being eaten from the inside by her own enzymes. Vet said he had never seen anything like it in terms of a destroyed pancreas in 45 years of practice across all animals – and not to blame myself for all the rich food she had been given as I was literally beside myself with sadness and guilt. He suggested treats at Christening might have been the trigger for a time bomb none of use ever suspected – Bails didn’t show one single symptom before this tragedy befell us, His kind words didn’t help much.

    As the weeks go by the shock has faded but the sadness endures; I keep asking myself what I could have done to foresee this and still blame myself for her diet and the treats, If only she’d shown a symptom like refusing food, or regurgitating – or anything! – in the past.

    I hope anybody reading this gets some small insight into what a killer pancreatitis can be, and that it serves as a warning to feed your dogs a healthy DOG diet – my little Bails looked perfect on the outside but she loved her treats more than anything and we – I – indulged her.

    In the end I killed her with kindness. Please don’t make my mistake 🙁 I’m so sorry Bailey, I love you so very much 🙁

    1. I am so sorry for your loss. We went thru the same thing with Our 14-year-old Norwich terrier in May. One day he just stopped eating and I took him to two different vets who gave him soft foods. No diarrhea but he did spit up a few times more than usual. I could see he was not getting better so I went to another vet who did the ultrasound and mild pancreatitis came up along with possible cancer in the abdominal wall. Since he didn’t have typical pancreatitis symptoms she treated him for cancer and gave us nausea medicine, Cerenia, Entyce, and steroids. Unfortunately he was doing worse and I waited a couple days which I shouldn’t have and then took him to the ER. He was there for three nights but unfortunately it was too late because the pancreatitis levels were too high at 6037 the highest my doctor had ever seen. Evidently he had a terrible case and we didn’t even know because he was such a strong stoic little guy. My husband and fed him way too many treats to because all he wanted was food but we tried to also give him a healthy food and hills brain food which I think is too high in fat at 14%. If I could just do a redo over the last six months I would do anything to get my little Nelson back. He was the light of our lives. My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered with this.

  14. Thank you for the information. My dog has just come home from the vet, diagnosed with pancreatitis, and put on a low fat diet with antibiotics to be administered. I can’t get him to take the antibiotic. I think I’m turning him off to eating by trying to get a pill in him. Do you think he would really need it?

  15. My 2 year old maltipoo is three days post his pancreatitis diagnosis. He is home, on an antibiotic, antiacid, and anti-nausea meds. He is eating well, surprisingly, but is still slow going and not drinking water at all. Do you have some tips on how to get him to drink more? I’m thinking I need to start syringing it into his mouth, but don’t want to make things worse. Thank you!

    1. Hi Colleen. My dog is doing the same thing. And the vat gave her the same thing. How is your dog doing? Any advice you could give would be appreciated.

      1. Hi Cindy,

        My dog is doing the same thing, i.e. eating but not drinking, any experience/advice would be much appreciated.

    2. Hi Colleen,

      My dog is doing the same thing, i.e. eating but not drinking, any experience/advice would be much appreciated.

  16. My little 13yr poodle cross has been sufering with recurring bouts of pancreatitis for the past 18 months..
    I thought I had lost her twice..the first time it was in the early hours,,,her pain was so bad she was so exhausted I actually told her it was in for her to go and not to keep fighting for me (She is my companion dog , I have ptsd)…bless her she hung in and was put on a drip for pain and fluids.
    Atm she has been taking flagyl daily for the past 5mths which seems to keep her bouts to a lesser degree although approx every 6wks she has another antibiotic added for 5days as she has slight flare ups.

    I know her symptoms for an on coming attack so well.
    She stops eating
    tummy noises are extremely loud.
    She hunches.
    Sometimes vomits
    And can’t settle.
    I have found she copes better on home made low-fat food instead of the hills gastrointestinal.
    She has no treats what so ever.
    Good luck …it’s a horrible condition for our fur child to live with.

    1. Hi All

      My staff has pancreatitis too and it’s horrible to see them panic and you don’t know what to do. Max has had 3 bouts of this and I’m so scared each time. My vet has prescribed rhanatadine and Omeprazole alternating every other day. His attacks are always at night. Why do they know so little about this illness. I felt so alone at the vets plus max does not take kindly to injections or having his temperature taking. He went for the vet which did not help 🙁 he is on raw food and low chicken treats only. The last flair up was on Friday no sleep and wanting to eat grass. Vet has upped Omeprazole dose to 20g every other day. Hopefully this helps.

  17. I am appreciating all the information passed on by you and other readers. I need ideas of how to get my little lady Mindy eating again.
    Mindy is a 16 yr old mini-dachshund. 2 weeks ago her tests did not confirm pancreatitis, but her behavior does. She is finally drinking on her own and she wants to eat, but sometimes she throws it back up. Also, I’m giving her low fat foods but she won’t eat the same thing twice. I’ve tried ground chicken, all the different meats in baby food form, low fat cottage cheese, and eggs. She’s eaten the ground chicken, eggs, and low fat cottage cheese, but only for one meal.
    Any suggestions on how to entice her to eat?

  18. My six year old yorkie has pancreatitis all of a sudden and the vet gave him famotidine and antibiotic cephalexin is that good for this condition should I use the cephalexin he seems to throw up after I give it to him

  19. I have three of my own dogs (two almost 11 yr Bichons & one 14.75 yr pug/Australian Shepherd mix) that I have been feeding a raw diet for three years. My son, who brings his now 1 yr old German Shepherd daily to my home-based business, is also feeding her the same raw diet. I switched to raw when the older dog started having heavy mucus stools…first I tried home-cooked and the mucus lessened but was still present, so I did further research and went full raw…except for the eggs which I cook in an egg-cooker and grind the shells for their calcium. My three boys all lost weight (and now have waistlines!), their coats are great and they’re very energetic. Baylee, my younger Bichon, developed an issue in May…slight vomiting, a bit of shaking, slight rounded back, so I took him to the vet….and after days of back and forth between my vet for daytime care and the emergency/specialist vet for night-time care and a biopsy… and $5,500 lighter… he was diagnosed with Pancreatitis even though the in-house test taken during the first visit was negative and the biopsy was less than decisive. They wanted to check his blood in six weeks to see if his liver count was down, but I wanted to check it regularly, so every six days or so after the biopsy I had his blood drawn and the first blood draw showed it had come down from over 3,345 to 865 and six days later it was down to 297 and I think would have been down to the normal range except I had unfortunately fed him a few hours before the blood draw. Seeing these numbers I had them do the IDEXX Spec cPL test and it too was negative. I kept him on the recommended canned Hills Liver food for several weeks but then decided to switch him back to his regular raw diet and he has been fine since. I actually think I know what was the cause of his symptoms…two ultrasounds had been done and it was told to me that the opening of his gallbladder was a bit small. Baylee came home the night before his surgery and when I picked him up I inquired if he had pooped at all and there was nothing in the records to indicate he had (Baylee will not poop on walks or anywhere but in his backyard). He pooped within hours of coming home for the night and I, a very big proponent of poop analysis, noticed there was a yellow ‘plug’ within the stool, which was otherwise quite normal. I believe this whole fiasco was a gallbladder blockage and all the hydration helped to push it through….I could be wrong but he’s been fine since. FYI: I make big batches of half 93/7% organic grass fed ground beef (WalMart $6.48/lb) and half of 1% fat turkey breast meat that I grind myself, cooked eggs, calves liver (lower in fat that chicken or beef and no more than 5%), chicken hearts (I cut off the fat), chicken giblets, calcium from the egg shells, 5% combo of carrots, baby spinach & baby kale ground/pulverized in my Cuisanart. I then add Dinovite for any thing that may be missed. Now, after watching the video, I’m wondering if I should stop cutting off the fat on the chicken hearts. I’d be interested to know if others serving raw diets cook their eggs or feed them raw as I think the yolks would be more beneficial raw, coat-wise. Anyone with an opinion or feedback? I too have eaten a low carb diet for about 10 years and at age 69 am exceptionally healthy and active and for the first time in my life, can maintain a normal weight of 120 at 5’5″.

  20. My blue heeler cross is currently getting better from pancreatitis. I feed him a very wet mixture of boiled chicken and rice (small meals 3 – 5 times a day). And to get him to drink water, if he isn’t interested in it I just put a small ladle of the chicken broth in the water and he will drink all of it.

  21. My 5 year old Springer is on her 3rd bout of pancreatitis and I’ve died a thousand deaths trying to get her better. She’s eating and drinking normally but just not herself..lethargic and panting a lot. She is on Hill’s I/D, small amounts and nothing else. Vet says just keep an eye on her, that as long as she’s eating and drinking she should be ok.
    Any input is appreciated.

  22. Two of my males dogs who also have low end of normal thyroid issues, one being auto immune have had bouts of pancreatitis. I have like many of you struggled with what to feed them after one of my dogs was on a script of royal canine for years but then went downhill quickly from pancreatic attack.

    So one of my friends who is certified in canine nutrition recommend that I try ANSWERS Pancreatic Diet—which includes Raw Goats Milk and Cow Kefir it’s a 30 day regime so they are on a liquid diet which rests the pancreas and already has enzymes in it, plus all the minerals and nutrients in it they need to thrive. My one dog would eat a particular food for a while, I even switched them to raw Darwins patties but eventually he would begin not wanting to eat in the mornings.

    Crazy when I put out the milk, I dont have to ask him twice, he laps it up. I am sure you can find raw goats milk elswhere but Answers has a number to call and are a small business that really want the best for our animals. My dogs are doing great on this along with sucralfate to coat the stomach, acid reducers when necessary and metro (antibiotic in case it was bacterial)

    Hoping to wean him of the meds soon but I dont have to worry about them getting dehydrated or getting the vitamins they need to heal their bodies. Thank you for this blog and sharing information, it’s how I have helped my dogs on numerous occasions. Bless all of you having to go through this with your dogs. It’s painful to watch them suffer.

  23. My 9 year old Pomeranian Petal was diagnosed with chronic and acute pancreatitis. This got to the extent that I would have to take her into the vet in the morning for IV treatments all day and pick her up at night for a week. This happened multiple times even on a prescribed low fat diet.

    After an ultrasound was performed, thickening in the small intestine was also found (although all of her other tests were normal. Including blood, liver enzymes, even lymph nodes. Her pancreas even looked okay). That means she either has IBD or small intestine lymphoma. Since a biopsy would have been incredibly invasive, I’ve decided not to do it. Finally, my doctor prescribed some Purina hydrolysed diet crap that looked awful to me.

    So instead of going that route, I called for a nutritional consultation with SF Raw. Petal was put on a one-month goat kefir fast. In that time, she lost around the half a pound that she needed to lose, and is now transitioning to what my nine month old Pomeranian eats.

    These are raw turkey, rabbit, chicken, lamb, etc grinds that include all of the bones and organs essential for Nutritional Health. They also eat raw, one-day-old quail, eggs, all kinds of raw, whole foods now. I mix these the grinds with a special Health powder that has turmeric and spirulina and vitamins and stuff in it and Petal has not had a single problem since.

    If you don’t want to feed your pet some synthetic crap, I highly encourage you to check out at least the kefir fast before putting your dog on any other kind of diet, if not RAW in general. It worked miracles on my dog’s gut. She can now digest anything I can throw at her.

    1. I love this and my Pomeranians both have P names, Pearl and Powder. Pow developed acute pancreatitis after I gave him Nexguard! I didn’t give to Pearl because she was nursing Poppy, Prince and Petunia… I have always used topo flea/tick meds because we live in mexico where they can get erlychia from ticks which is usually more dangerous than toxins. But ingesting chemicals has been a nightmare for my boy pom who is suffering hard for 21 days and still on meds right now. I have fed boiled hamburger but love the raw idea and will look into this more. THANK YOU.

    2. How Eve how is your Pomeranian doing on the diet? Did she have any more flare ups with the Pancreatitis? My 8 years old Pom was diagnosed with Pancreatitis 4 years ago as well and he has ups and downs, I am still trying to figure out what works better with this condition. Please post an update if possible on your fur baby. Thanks a lot

  24. My dog is a 13 year old havenese, he started having problems standing up one morning then had a seizure so took him into see our vet. He did blood work said his labs were good except he had too much fat in his blood then put him on seizure med. I also changed his diet to their low fat 3 days later I’m back at the vets after a night of agitation, packing, vomiting. First thing this morning we are at vets, they did and. X Ray’s, blood work all kinds some had to be sent out also pancreatitis test which was positive he was given iv fluids, a shot for vomiting and was told to take him home not to feed him and just give small sips of water also took him off seizure medication hes just walking around going from water bowl to water bowl. I’m waiting for a call now. I’m really scared for him all of this just popped up. I’ve taken notes on you blog and will talk with vet. Thank you

  25. Thank you, this blog is very informative, I’m sending this to my brother since his rescue sheltie just developed pancreatitis or she has it before my brother adopted her, but the rescue center said she I was healthy at the time.

  26. My bison mix has been diagnosed with pancreatitis . she will not eat or drink water. The vet sent us home with medication that does not seem to work. This is the 7th day. She was given fluid and medication at the vets. Still not eating. Vet referred me to the dog emergency hospital. She is not vomiting, does not have diarrhea and does not seem to be in pain. I have already spent over 900 dollars. She is 12 years old.. She had blood tests and x-rays.

    1. My dog didn’t have a lot of symptoms and the bloodwork was normal. Go to ER hospital bc they know how to treat it best. Ultrasound is also necessary. We spent 5 k and lost our wonderful companion.

  27. My little Jack Russell poodle mix was diagnosed with pancreatitis Saturday. Because of the on going Corona crisis it’s been difficult to speak with my vet. They were wonderful. Got her right in gave her meds, IV fluids etc. She is doing well, thank God! Eating the canned food they sent home. Not drinking very well. But I add extra water to the food and she finishes it. My question at this moment is what to expect during recovery. What should I be doing to help her? Should I take her for walks? I need a idea of what recovery looks like.
    Thank you for any help you can give me.

    1. Though I am not a medical vet, I would advise you to keep a close eye on her eating, her bowel movements, any signs of pain (outlined in the post) and to follow the vet instructions. You can read some tips in this post as well. If you are in doubt, I’d seek the services of an emergency vet if you need to. It sounds like you have your dog on the road to recovery. Take good care and give your dog a tummy rub from us.

  28. My 2 year old pug has severe pancreatitis and has been at the pet er for 5 days. We just started hyperbaric chamber treatments and it has decreased the fluid on her lungs as her respiratory rate is normal again. She is still not eating. Hoping tomorrow she has additional improvement and eats as they were unsuccessful in placing a feeding tube.

  29. Are any of you giving your dogs NEXGUARD edible flea tick med? I gave it to my dog for first time ever at 4 years old by vet recomendation and 2 weeks later he has sudden acute pancreatitis! I feel certain its the toxin. Asking around to my friends whose had dogs die suddenly over the last few years and each of them say OMG I gave it to him a few weeks before sudden pancreatitis onset and they died suddenly… My pomeranian is suffering now 21 days and it is not getting better yet. Praying he can flush out the toxin and make it past this.

    1. Hi,
      My name is Tracy, I gave nexguard tonmy 3 dogs one died and the two others had a pancreatic and one of the two is hospitalized on iv and stopped eating. I am going to the vet to feed him boiled riz and ground beef. He eats little but do you know what i can do to help him. i reàlly think that nexguard is behind this. You think the same right? I’ve seen this comment alot lately.

    2. Hi Nikky, thank you for info here. We are dealing with bad case of pancreatitis now too; but have given Nexguard to our pet for a couple of years without issue. I’m wondering though if yours was from your vet and authenticated or if was ordered online and could possibly be inauthentic? My vet warned me of this about a year ago so we only buy through reliable sources, not via amazon snd nothing made in China. We are trying to figure out if it’s the new food that had probiotics that actually exacerbates pancreatitis), combined with some too fatty food and the recent dose of Nexguard combined that brought on severe symptoms. She’s been on IV now for 2 days at hospital. Thanks for any info.

  30. I have a golden doodle she’s only 2 years old My vet did tests and thinks it’s Pancreatitis. The thing is she doesn’t have the symptoms I’ve read about she drinks and actually she acts like she can’t eat enough but then poops it out. This is the second time she’s lost weight and it scares me also she’s had constant diarrhea she’s on Pancreved and Tulane and now getting B12 injections again. I would love to know why my dog eats like crazy then just eliminates it all from Pancreatitis

    1. Can you take your pup to a specialty hospital for more dedicated care? I love my dog’s vet but when he developed pancreatitis, his internal medicine doctor handled it. That might be something to explore.

  31. My dog Bailey is suffering from pancreatitis. It’s been 31days and he finally ate on his own for maybe 2 days. Then he stopped and got diarrhea.. he refuses to eat any dog food, boiled chicken, rice, broth. But if u offer him a pork roast, pizza, steak sandwich. He will attempt to take it from you. Ive pretended to put it in his bowl and at times have gotten him to eat this way. But now this trick has stopped working. Tried putting chicken broth in water bowl but will not drink it. Bought Nulo water enhancer and will not drink it. Got pizza for tonight and he was crying and begging g for a piece but wud not eat his food. Licks the other dogs’ empty bowls but will not eat his food. Very strange. Anyone have this experience?

  32. Our dog had a skin issue and was on Prednisone for about 3 weeks in addition to the food fun of the holidays. He is 9 and is a lab mix about 55 lbs. After vomiting through the night, we brought him to the vet and he spent 4 days in the hospital and is now home with Cerenia, 2 antibiotics and Pepsid for 10 days. He had developed severe pancreatitis. We began with boiled chicken and rice and since he has always been tactile and picky in eating, he picked his way around the rice for the chicken. Then I subbed in sweet potatoes and the same thing. Last night finally gave him some turkey breast which he took a few bites and then stopped. Today no food at all interested him but he went for a walk and seems fine otherwise except for a bit quieter. I guess we will definitely look into the Honest food but this is all a bit daunting as we figure it out. So glad to have found this blog.

  33. My 18 year old Rat Terrier has had chronic pancreatitis for years. We were blessed that we were able to manage with Royal Canine low fat food for years and 20 mg of Pepcid AC a day. At 18 he has decided to stop eating the food he loved and we have tried a couple of other prescription options with no luck, we are working with a vet to try to get a diet he will eat. The other real struggle is trying to get a dog with this to take medications, the usual treats that work like a charm you would use to help take the pills are not allowed. Our vet told us Marshmellow, tofu, banana, bread and strawberries are all ok but he won’t eat them. If anyone has any advice on this I would love to hear them! My vet is saying only option is forcing it in his mouth

    1. Hi Sorry to hear about your rat terrier. X
      My 12 year old Border Terrier has had chronic Pancreatitis for 3 years and eats the RCGI tinned food.
      How is your dog doing?

  34. I am so glad I stumbled upon this web site while researching pancreatitis. My sweet dog has hypothyroidism, Cushings disease and diabetes, the perfect storm for pancreatitis. The thing is, because of these diseases I was already feeding him low fat food – chicken that I cooked up for him and some rice. However, I do believe this most recent ‘episode’ as I call them, stemmed from some extra crispy bacon I cooked up and shared with him along with smoked brisket. In hindsight, I see now that over the past 10 years that I’ve had him, he has had bouts of digestive distress which only lasted 24 hours – probably caused by me. But over the past few years they have become increasingly worse. I almost lost the little guy 2 weeks ago but after 2 days in the ER he came home and was doing quite well for 10 days, then he had to go and upchuck his chicken dinner for no apparent reason and was out cold for the next 12 hours, after which he rebounded and was eating successfully again. This was 2 days ago. Today we had a follow-up appt. with the specialist and she prescribed Cerena for vomiting, Entyce to stimulate his appetite (prior I was using a dollop of Fancy Feast pâté to gain his interest in food) and I need to give him 5mg of Prilosec per day. I was researching the ‘why’ behind all of this. While she (the internist) explained everything to me, I didn’t fully grasp what I was being told, hence this research. It didn’t make sense to me as to why would I prevent vomiting, but now I realize the dehydration risk. Guess that’s why she gave him subcutaneous liquids today. I don’t like taking drugs without knowing why, and the same goes for my dog. Now I understand better so thank you for this information. Also, thank you for reading this; I needed to vent.

  35. My 12 year old Australian Cattle dog (red healer) named Maurice died from pancreatitis. On Thursday he greeted me as always when I got home from work. He ate his dinner at 5pm without hesitation. He was normal. He woke me up at 1am Friday morning and I let him outside. At 6am he was in his favourite early morning spot getting the first rays of sun. At 7am he would not get up when my wife called him, but finally roused himself and had a dry biscuit. At 8am my wife could not find him and searched frantically. My wife found him hiding in the garden at 9am and took him to our vet. He died that night at the vet surgery.
    He was not showing any symptoms.
    We buried him Saturday morning. I went around the yard cleaning up all his toys and things. I found 27 places where he had dug holes in those early hours of Friday morning when I let him out of the house at 1am. He was in pain and doing the prayer position by digging (bum and tail up, front low and stretched out). This extends the abdomen trying to get relief from the inflamed pancreas. I was crying when I filled in all those holes and after researching found out about the praying position. 3 days later I’m still crying.
    We never fed him bad food. He had a strict diet. My wife only bought the very best canine food for our dogs. He was properly vaccinated and had regular health checks at the vet. So we are really upset that this happened to our little champion.

  36. My 7 yr old Yorker was just diagnosed with pancreatitis yesterday. I took her in because she was vomiting. Yet the vet did not tell me anything about it gave her fluids and some Cerenia and sent us home with some new food and amoxicillin. I didn’t know how serious this was and for sure didn’t know it was life threatening, until my neighbor told me about her daughters Yorker just got over pancreatitis, and what to expect and what they fed their baby. It’s only day two and this is hell, she did stop vomiting and I have been giving her a syringe of water every hour but she won’t even get off couch. It’s so sad. I really think she needs to be hospitalized but it’s the weekend, and I have called everywhere and nobody is open, even our emergency hospital is closed and message says I need to go to next town hour away, I called them and they are closed. I don’t know what to do or how to help her.

  37. Thank you for this extremely thorough article. My vet wanted to diagnose my pup with pancreatitis after a simple urine culture, and I knew that sounded a little fishy. I’ll be requesting additional diagnostics because of this piece.

  38. Happy new year! So Walter had some inappetance and it turns out he has chronic pancreatitis- your article is so helpful. Did you have any issues with tramadol. We’re doing daily cerenia but I wonder if the tramadol is actually helping or causing more harm overall. Thank you!

    1. Tramadol long-term can cause issues like diarrhea and we had to watch that. I am sorry Walter is going through this. The Cerenia is a good idea. Is the hyperbaric oxygen chamber an option?

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