Pancreatitis is a common but tricky disease when it comes to dogs. It’s often hard to catch early on because the symptoms of pancreatitis look a lot like symptoms of other things, even fairly harmless things. But unfortunately, if not handled properly, pancreatitis can be very serious for your dog, even fatal. Spotting it early and getting medical treatment and advice tailored to your pet specifically is crucial.
Related: Pancreatitis in Dogs
Pancreatitis in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, including obesity, high-fat diets, blunt trauma, hyperthyroidism and diabetes, among others. It presents some typical symptoms, such as frequent vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy and fever. As you may have noticed, these symptoms are things your dog may already experience from time to time as a result of other illnesses or even due to eating unusual items found outside.
If your dog does develop pancreatitis and is diagnosed by a vet, they’ll quickly begin a customized treatment plan for your dog’s specific health and bodily needs. Typical treatments include close monitoring, ultra-low-fat diets, medications, adjusted meal sizes, and even IV therapy (in severe cases). A major requirement will be keeping your dog away from any fatty foods–strictly no table scraps at all. These can worsen the condition very quickly.
However, there are some fruits and veggies that fit in that super low-fat snack category and can be healthy alternatives to the treats your pet used to have. Of course, it’s crucial to consult your vet about anything you want to feed your dog once they’ve been diagnosed with pancreatitis. But with their go-ahead, these are some healthy treats you may want to sprinkle occasionally into their meal plan:
- Strawberries and blueberries
- Green beans
Keep in mind: pancreatitis is very tricky and hard to predict. Introducing new snacks must be done slowly to avoid triggering a relapse or flare-up. Introduce very small amounts of new food at a time, even over the course of days or weeks. Then watch closely for any signs of discomfort or intolerance to the snack. Once you’ve determined that they aren’t having negative reactions to the fruit or vegetable, it’s safe to include it in their diet in the amounts your vet recommends. From there you can try introducing something new, carefully and slowly as ever.
Because pancreatitis is a food and digestion-related disease, monitoring your dog’s diet once diagnosed is extremely essential if you want to ensure they have the long life they deserve. Talk to your vet about including some low-fat, healthy fruits and veggies to their treatment plan; if done right it can be a great component of them managing the disease.
Top photograph: hobo_018/Getty Images