Pancreas can be fed as part of a DIY (Species Appropriate Raw Food – SARF) diet, or can be fed as a treat alongside a complete and Balanced SARF diet. However pancreas is normally advised and fed as a supplement to help treat dogs that have pancreatitis, EPI – (Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency -which can also be referred to as Pancreatic Hypoplasia or Pancreatic Acinar Atrophy (PAA) Pancreatitis, where generally a number of cells that produce the digestive enzymes are destroyed either before or due to the attack it’s self causes insufficient digestion of foods. This is known as pancreatic insufficiency and can be aided with the supplementation of enzymes added in the food. Pancreas can also be fed to dogs that suffer from frequent issues with IBS or colitis. It’s also advised to feed proteins that are low in fat when assisting with recovery.
What does The Pancreas Do ?
The pancreas is a vital digestive organ that can be found on the right side of the abdomen, it produces a host of digestive enzymes but it has two functions>
1: It produces enzymes that help in the digestion of food (SARF) diet of course
2: It produces Hormones such as insulin. A lack of effective insulin plays a key role in the development of diabetes.
So What Causes Pancreatitis:
There are a number of causes but pancreatitis is affiliated with a compromised immune system normally the result of an unnatural diet, a diet consistent of processed or cooked “foods” it can also in some cases be associated with the administration of cortisone or even from a result of feeding too many vegetables which taxes the pancreas pressuring it to produce amylase in order to deal with the large amount of starch.
What is EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency ?)
EPI is when the pancreas is no longer able to secrete the necessary enzymes in order to help breakdown and absorb nutrients, resulting in incomplete digestion. This then causes the continual presence of considerable amounts of fermenting food in the small intestine, which can lead to a secondary condition that is common in many EPI dogs, called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). If an EPI dog has a lot of belly grumbling/noises, gas, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting, it’s considered to be highly likely the dog has SIBO.
EPI can be subclinical (no recognizable symptoms) for many months, sometimes even years, before it worsens and becomes noticeable. The symptoms can be exacerbated by physical or emotional stress, change of food or routine, and/or environmental factors. The most common symptoms include:
1: Gradual wasting away despite a greedy appetite.
2: Eliminating waste more frequently with large volumes of Yellowish or grayish soft “cow patty” stools.
3: Coprophagia (dogs eat their own stools) or pica (dog eats other inappropriate substances).
4: Increased rumbling sounds from the abdomen, and passing increased amounts of gas.
5: Intermittent watery diarrhea or vomiting.
Feeding pancreas and recovery:
So first and foremost we always advise feeding dogs or any other animals, their (SARF) diet, you can find more information about the benefits and reasons why we recommend feeding raw on our Raw vs commercial page. Natural, raw fats are normally very well tolerated and easily digested by healthy dogs. It is the cooked and/or processed fats that tend to cause the problem.
Pancreas can be fed as a natural enzyme supplement and can be very effective at helping with recovery, not with just pancreatitis but also with other issues such as>
1: Allergic reactions
2: Yeast Infections
3: Bladder Infections
4: Itchy skin and or ears
5: Vaccination reactions
6: Joint Issues Hot spots
7: Hot spots Reduced healing from injury and or surgery
A full recovery does depend on the severity of the disease and as with any health problem early detection determines a better chance of recovery. In addition to feeding a SARF diet and supplementing with raw pancreas (which aids in recovery) fasting is also recommended and is highly beneficial and particularly effective with a sudden onset of pancreatitis as it allows us to stop the pancreas from having to digest food allowing it to rest aiding in the recovery, the general suggested fasting time is 36 to 48 hrs. Unless your dog has chronic pancreatitis, there is no real need to switch to a lower fat diet for the dog, just a healthier, raw one overall. Its the heating of animal fats which totally alters their molecular structure making them unfit for digestion.
Many veterinarians will recommend feeding what is referred to as a “bland diet” of cooked rice and boiled chicken. This is not consistent with a canine/carnivores diet and although it may be very easy on the human digestive system it can and very often makes the situation worse with dogs.
Once the established dosage for your dog has been established, and after enzyme levels and function have been confirmed, the dose can often be lowered over time, this is very much down to the individual with regards to how quickly it can be reduced. Pancreas is best fed at room temperature helping to keep the enzymes stable, it can be portioned into 1″ square pieces and added to the daily food once to twice per day.