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Are Bananas Good for a Dog With Pancreatitis? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Luxifa Le

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

bananas

Are Bananas Good for a Dog With Pancreatitis? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Pancreatitis is no laughing matter; your dog’s pancreas is necessary for their ongoing health and well-being. Dogs with pancreatitis need to be fed a diet to reduce pancreas inflammation. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and easy to digest, making them a possible treat to give a dog who has pancreatitis. But you must check with your veterinarian first.

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is the fancy medical word for inflammation of the pancreas, a vital digestive organ. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes that your dog’s body uses to break down food into nutrients. The enzymes produced by the pancreas are intended to remain inactive until they move from the pancreas to the intestines. However, the mechanisms that keep these enzymes idle can fail, and the enzymes will begin to digest the tissues of the pancreas.

Pancreatitis is a severe and painful illness that can be deadly if left untreated. If you suspect your dog has pancreatitis, do not delay getting them to the veterinarian. A failure to treat pancreatitis can result in death.

peeled banana on white background
Image Credit: JumpStory

What Causes Pancreatitis?

The cause of pancreatitis is often unknown. However, medications, infections, diabetes, Cushing’s Disease, metabolic disorders, obesity, hypothyroidism, and even trauma can injure the pancreas. Some breeds, such as Schnauzers and Yorkshire Terriers, are more prone to pancreatitis.

Depending on the root cause of your dog’s pancreatitis, it will be categorized as “acute” or “chronic.” Acute pancreatitis has a sudden onset, and your dog can become ill very quickly. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and inappetence.

Chronic pancreatitis is usually more insidious in onset, tends to develop slowly, and often can’t be reversed. Chronic pancreatitis can also cause difficulties with glucose control and result in diabetes. Patients admitted with acute pancreatitis will be placed on a diet that meets their nutritional needs while reducing pancreatic secretions.

vet examining a miniature schnauzer
Image by: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

What Is the Treatment for Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is usually managed with a low-fat, easily digestible diet, which puts less pressure on the pancreas. Many dogs need intravenous fluid, pain relievers, and possibly antibiotics. Pet parents of dogs with pancreatitis must work with their veterinarians to determine the best ways to ensure their dogs meet all of their nutritional requirements while maintaining a diet that doesn’t make their pancreas more inflamed.

man checking dog food label
Image by: BearFotos, Shutterstock

What Are the Nutritional Requirements for a Dog with Pancreatitis?

As the pancreas is responsible for digestion, it makes sense that a pancreas-friendly diet would allow the pancreas time to heal. To preserve pancreatic function, dogs with pancreatitis need to be fed a relatively bland diet low in fats.

Rich, fatty foods require an increase in pancreatic secretions to break down in the gut. Since pancreatic secretions cause inflammation in the first place, more secretions from the pancreas will cause the pancreas to become more inflamed.

Bananas are low in fats and easily digestible. They’re recommended for humans with pancreatitis. Since dogs can eat bananas safely, there’s no reason your dog can’t enjoy the occasional piece of banana, too. They are relatively high in sugars, which may not be suitable for all dogs with pancreatitis, so check first.

However, you must ensure they don’t accidentally ingest any parts of the banana peel. The peels are hard to digest and will exacerbate the signs of pancreatitis.

Conclusion

Pancreatitis is a devastating illness that can rob families of beloved members, with and without fur. Luckily, there are several options for treating a dog with pancreatitis, and most cases will resolve with a simple change in diet and supportive care. Bananas are an option for dogs with pancreatitis because they’re easy to digest, but you must also talk to your veterinarian to build an effective treatment plan. The high sugar content may not be suitable for some dogs.

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Featured Image Credit: GabiSanda, Pixabay

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