The pancreas functions as a gland, releasing powerful digestive enzymes directly into the small intestine. Without these enzymes, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats could not be absorbed by the gut. For reasons known and unknown, pancreatitis occurs when these pancreatic juices leak into the abdominal cavity. That’s when trouble begins.  These juices quickly damage the surrounding tissues – resulting in red hot inflammation. Take notice. Severe abdominal pain can cause your dog to hunch up. Or, ironically, posture like the yoga pose – downward dog. Other clues include loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. If this looks like your dog’s scenario, take emergency measures. Early diagnosis and treatment can save your dog’s life.

Classically, the sneaky dog that ate the cheesecake gets the blame. In reality, the investigation often leads nowhere. Most of the time, the inciting cause of pancreatitis in dogs is idiopathic (cannot be determined). After the veterinary exam, blood testing can nail the diagnosis. The test, not yet available when I was in practice, is called specific canine pancreatic lipase (SPEC cPL). These patients are often hospitalized for a few days to maintain hydration and receive pain medication. Once home, long term management will be diet. To prevent future flare ups – that could lead to chronic pancreatitis – dogs are fed low-fat and highly digestible diets. In a pinch, boil one cup of white rice (not instant rice) in four cups of water for 30 minutes to make a rice porridge. Feed small amounts several times a day. Gradually add in lean protein sources, such as skinless chicken breast, low-fat cottage cheese, or boiled hamburger meat. No doubt your vet’s office will promote their favorite costly prescription diets. I say, save your money – there is a much better way to go! Find free recipes to manage various medical conditions at Balance IT. Choose from a simple list of ingredients. Next, mix in their formulated powder and serve your dog a completely balanced meal. It’s that easy.

As a warning, make sure your dog does not have access to the family trash can.  Kentucky Fried Chicken and other fast-food meals are risky business. Other than diet, it has been determined that obesity is another risk factor. I have and will continue to admonish fat dog owners. Read Why Kibble is a Bad Idea. Furthermore, obese dogs are predisposed to suffer from joint disease. You are what you eat and your dog is what you feed him. So, if you want to spend less time in the kitchen, take a look at a novel and truly all-natural diet, Dr Harvey’s. As an early pioneer in the pet food industry, Dr. Harvey Cohen began creating human-grade products for pets over thirty years ago. A true visionary, his formulations (a blend of organic grains and dehydrated vegetables), makes it the next best thing to homemade meals – just add protein, water and stir!


There is always a why and here's mine.

I'm confident that I've packed these pages with knowledge that will positively impact your pet's life. Learn how to reduce costs for veterinary care - keeping your pet healthy and living longer. That is my why.