Pancreatitis in Dogs, Symptoms of Canine Pancreatitis, Diet

Pancreatitis in dogs can be serious and can produce a a variety of symptoms…

The cause of canine pancreatitis is due to your dog’s pancreas being inflamed and is normally caused by too many digestive fluids being produced in the pancreas.

There are also other factors which contribute to the condition including obesity, which is why we have included some some top diet tips for your beloved dog…

  • This variety is classed as Chronic with this type normally quite mild. The chronic version of this condition can be treated but it has a habit of reappearing after being treated and can leave lasting damage to your dog’s pancreas and other organs that surround the pancreas.

Acute Pancreatitis.

  • This variety will not leave any permanent damage to the pancreas or other organs. This version is normally quite severe but can be treated quite successfully.
  • The Acute version of this condition comes in two separate levels of seriousness. One is classed as mild and will not leave and permanent damage to your dog’s pancreas or organs.
  • The second is classed as severe, this variety is very serious and involves hemorrhaging – basically digestive fluids starts to digest the organs surrounding the pancreas. This leaked fluid will start by affecting the pancreas and this is when you will start to see some negative symptoms in your dog,

What Does the Pancreas Do…?

  • The pancreas looks like a ‘V’ and is found near the liver and behind the stomach and it helps your dog with many of their glandular functions. Due to the fact that the pancreas is the first organ behind the stomach and so close to it, any leaked digestive fluids will affect it first. These leaked fluids start to inflame the pancreas causing canine pancreatitis.

Why is it so Important…?

  • The pancreas performs many functions that enables your beloved dog’s body to work and function properly.  The pancreas is the organ that produces digestive enzymes that helps your dog digest the food in their intestine.
  • If your dog did not have a pancreas, the digestive enzymes would not be produced in the right quantity or they may not even be produced at all!
  • The pancreas also helps in the production of insulin which is very important for helping to control blood sugar levels and also helping to maintain agood and healthy weight.

What Causes Pancreatitis in Dogs…?

The Food your Feed Your Dog Makes A Difference

A Short Video on The Secret Ingredients in Some Dog Food

Some of The Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs…


  • Obviously if you are feeding your dog either too much dog food or the wrong sort of dog food he is likely to get fat, this is when your dog can run into problems. The reason for this is that there have been many veterinary studies that have proven that fat or obese dogs are much more likely to get pancreatitis.

The risk of developing the condition is directly related to the amount of fat contained in some dog food…

High Fat Dog Food…

  • Diets and a dog food that are high in fat increases the risk of your dog developing pancreatitis. The reason for this is that due to the constant ingestion of fat, this causes the pancreas to release pancreatic lipase which is responsible for digesting fat
  • After the fats in your dog’s food are digested fatty acids that are harmful to your dog are released in your dog’s bloodstream. The lipase is then released and then the pancreas becomes inflamed because of the increase and high-level of digestive enzymes.
  • This will continue to happen until your dog receives medical attention.


  • The pancreas is a very delicate organ and if your dog is unlucky enough to have a severe abdominal injury sustained through being hit by a car this can also cause pancreatitis in dogs due to the fact it can actually rupture the pancreas which will cause the digestive fluids to leak which will then cause the condition.


  • The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin and can either occur after pancreatitis has been diagnosed or before. It is quite common for dogs to develop diabetes after pancreatitis has damaged the pancreas.


  • Hyperlipidaemia is a condition that occurs when there is too much fat in your dog’s bloodstream. This can be caused by a bad diet or fatty dog food or when your dog has trouble removing the fats from his bloodstream. This will cause your dog’s pancreas to start producing too much digestive fluids which will then inflame the pancreas leading to pancreatitis.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs…

  1. Vomiting
  2. Loss of appetite and refusing food
  3. Depression
  4. Tiredness and lethargy
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Swollen abdomen


Treatment may include any of the following…

  • Anti-nausea medications
  • Canine pain medication
  • Due to the fact that the condition is caused by too many digestive enzymes being produced, a common treatment is to withhold food for a period of time (this should always be done with your vet’s advice and guidance as should all treatments.)
  • Nutritional therapy – if you are withholding food your dog will need to have supplements through alternative sources including intravenous feeding.
  • Your dog may need surgery, this is rare and involves your dog’s vet removing some of the excess toxic fluids – this is normally only offered as a last resort.