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Diet for pancreatitis

Sparkle MT
June 20th, 2008, 09:51 PM
Hi everyone.

My boy Andy (dog) was diagnosed with pancreatitis a month ago. Long story short, he seems to be recovering okay, but has to change his diet for life. My vet has said that to be safe, he recommends that dogs who have had pancreatitis go on a low fat diet for life. Makes sense to me. When he came home from the hospital he was put on a canned gastro diet, which he hated. I've fed him either totally home cooked or a combo of homecooked and a dog food available here called (I believe) "Human Grade Canine Cuisine" before. It is little meatloaves, lamb or chicken or beef. Seems to be a high quality food. Before he got sick he had been on a hypo-allergenic diet for 2 months - rabbit and yams. It was all organic and cooked at home (by me). Anyway, his diet now is high in carbs and veggies, and very low in protein. I understand that, because it must be low fat, but what kind of carbs should he get? Some of the recipes I have call for pasta - I've been using whole wheat pasta, which I hope is good for him. Has any one out there had to put thier dog on a similar diet? Any advice? Seems everyone has a different idea about this....

June 21st, 2008, 12:55 PM
having had a cat that has been through bouts of pancreatitis i can offer you this information. yes, the most important thing is keeping the diet low fat, and that doesnt mean you need to cut down the protein content drastically. what you need to do is start looking at the ratios of fat in the diets you previously fed, your natural stuff, and compare with the fat ratio of the vet prescribed diet.

so as long as the fat content is within that range, you can definitely feed sources of protein, chicken, fish beef the lean cuts with some good grains, brown rice etc.

another important thing is the way the body breaks down fat and how it affects the pancreas, so feeding several times a day, if you can is best for your Andy. My cat gets fed four to five times a day for life now. Breaking up his meals into several portions, whatever you can realistically do given your schedule helps to digest and break down much easier than feeding all in one or two servings.

a last thought is how this inter-relates to the liver, and supplementing with a good natural liver detoxer is a thought, milk thistle is a good one, its actually given as well to many dogs with valley fever when they are on their meds to help detox and flush and strengthen the system. its recommended as well to animals with pancreatitis, and can be bought easily and the dose broken down into enough for a doggies needs by weight. you can easily look up milk thistle to see what it does, its benefits and such, it is a good supplement.

hope your pup is feeling better, and keep us posted on how he is doing, i am sure there are others here that will give some great recommendations too.

June 21st, 2008, 02:42 PM
Hi Sparkle MT -

I would agree with your vet on changing to a low-fat diet that would include meals and treats. There is nothing on the market presently that would be categorized as low-fat, so it is terrific that you can give him homemade. I made this decision about 2 years ago when our Daisy was diagnosed 6 months before with diabetes. After we switched over to homemade, she began to thrive. We have cut her insulin in half this year as well. She has energy and no more bouts with pancretitis.

If you give him rice on a regular basis, just by adding some beans, it will make the rice more digestible and will assist with his blood sugars. Oatmeal is the best to give him. I give them oatmeal in the morning with some carob chips melted in it or chop up some dried cranberries (or blueberries). Not many for that changes the fat content.

You could consider adding salmon oil in his food to add omega-3. When you don't add salmon oil, you can add kelp powder and it will help with the fiber content. I add both these to our dog treats in my bakery, in addition to Quinoa grain. Quinoa is a grain full of health building nutrients that are valuable for dogs with diabetes or pancretitis. In addition, it contains manganese and a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous.

I cook oatmeal and add green beans and chicken. Green beans and peas are the best vegetables to give him (they are low-glycemic vegetables). I substitute rice, potatoes or sweet potatoes about 3 times per week. The other 4 evening meals are oatmeal based and every breakfast is oatmeal based. You can sprinkle cheese on top about 3 times per week. Once about every other week, I cook up some pasta for our kids (bassets) but be careful not to use tomato paste/tomato sauce that contains garlic or onions. That goes for commercial bread crumbs too. I use Italian herbs in most of our homemade dishes...they just love it.

Recent studies are showing that cinnamon is excellent for enhancing a dog's health. I am working on learning more about this spice and should better understand the studies in future weeks.

Good luck and I hope this has helped.
Pamela Akkerman

Sparkle MT
June 22nd, 2008, 08:07 PM
Thanks so much for the advice - it helps to get another opinion. I will try some of your suggestions. Feeding smaller meals more often makes sense. The cinnamon thing sounds interesting - I know that is very good for us humans. I'll definitely do some research on that.