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Pancreatitis Protocol

The Basic Causes of Pancreatitis

Despite an enormous body of knowledge concerning this disease, the veterinary literature is still unsure of the inciting causes of Pancreatitis. At a deeper level, the veterinary profession is still not asking the following important questions regarding the more fundamental causes of this crippling, debilitating and often fatal disease.

  1. Why do cellular control mechanisms fail and allow normal controls on the activation of Pancreatic enzymes to malfunction?
  2. Why is it that some dogs have insufficient levels of antioxidants and so many are unable to “damp down” the Pancreatic “fire”?

Why is it that some of these dogs have an incompetent immune system which is not able to limit and halt the spread of damage within and beyond the Pancreas?

Two dogs laying in a forest together

Any “BARF®er'' worth his/her salt will realize that  the answers to these questions revolve around a lifetime of eating commercially made cooked and processed rubbish. The biologically inappropriate and damaging materials – which vets recommend their patients be fed, actively promote a poorly functioning immune system. They actively promote bodily degeneration. They lack the naturally occurring antioxidants as found in fresh, whole, raw unprocessed foods.

Causes of Pancreatitis:

  • Diet and Obesity
  • Stress – Both acute and chronic. May be physical, psychological or emotional.
  • Drugs/Medication

The BARF® Perspective:

Pancreatitis is likely to occur where a dog has been fed poor quality pet food for its entire life. The factors that are involved in the production of Pancreatitis by feeding biologically inappropriate per (e.g. kibble) extend across the whole range of problems associated with these products. As we learn more about cellular functioning and how it depends on strictly correct (Raw diet) nutrition, more factors, which contribute to pancreatitis, will undoubtedly come to light.

Some of the factors we do know about which contribute to pancreatic-malfunction include:

  1. Lack of enzymes in the food, which result in continual over stimulation of the Pancreas. 
  2. Food that has poor quality fats that allow cell membrane damage.
  3. Food that lacks sufficient naturally occurring antioxidants. Such food fails to prevent both mutations and other cellular damage and eventually fails to prevent run-away Pancreatitis. 
  4. Food that promotes the inflammatory cascade. 
  5. Food with poor quality proteins and other nutritional problems which together fail to support the immune system. 
  6. Carbohydrate rich food, which promotes Hyperinsulinemia. This has a multisystemic damaging effect including the stimulation of inflammation. 
  7. Foods that lack sufficient vitamin and minerals in correct balance, practically with the respect to Calcium, Zinc, and Chromium all of which are involved in a normal healthy functioning Pancreas.
  8. Processed foods do not protect our pets against (a major inciting cause of Pancreatitis).

In summary, processed pet food fails to support the health of the pancreas, which over time deteriorates. This deterioration is occurring in concert with many other organ systems. It just so happens that the Pancreas is the first to develop overt disease.

Once the Pancreas has been damaged this way, by a lifetime of inappropriate foods, it only takes one of the inciting factors mentioned above to set the disease in motion. 

Chocolate lab in front of a blue background

Treatment of Pancreatitis

Diet for Pancreatitis

  • The first given water an attack should be little and often until satisfied. This will not be offered until at least 12 hours after the attack. (Sucking/licking ice cubes may be a good way to get started.
  • When it is time to re-introduce food) because the dog has been fasted for a day or more) the dog will usually have developed an appetite and be ready to eat just about anything. This is great because the food we are about to offer would not normally be accepted by the average well-fed modern dog. This is because the foods that dogs are attracted to most readily, are foods rich in fat and protein, and it is these two nutrients we are (mostly) going to leave out of the initial Pancreatitis diet.

Current veterinary wisdom advocates the feeding of complex carbohydrates at this point. That is foods rich in rice, potatoes, etc. Because of their minimal effect stimulating the Pancreas.

However, while acknowledging that it is carbohydrates we need to be feeding, the BARF® (biologically appropriate raw food) program is not a starch or refined sugar type carbohydrate program for very good reasons, all of which apply here.

The carbohydrates we will be feeding will consist of crushed green-leafy vegetables. This simple raw vegetarian food is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes, other phytonutrients and small amounts of essential fatty acids. It will provide the necessary bulk in the diet. It does contain some simple (easily digested) carbohydrates and the soluble fibers keep the bacteria in the lower bowel healthy. These bacteria use that fiber to manufacture short chain fatty acids for energy.

The most important reason for feeding a vegetable rich version of the BARF® diet is because it works! This is not surprising. We are following BARF® principles and we are taking into account what we know (in a scientific sense) of the basic inciting factors for Pancreatitis. With time, the addition of both protein and fat containing foods is permitted, but when and how much can only be determined on an individual basis.

For pet owners who have not fed BARF® prior to an episode of Pancreatitis, I make the very strong point that they must not feed cooked food, or foods containing or based on grain, fatty meals or processed fat (canned or kibble food). 

  1. Cooked food has destroyed living enzymes
  2. Grain based foods provoke an inflammatory response via hyperinsulinemia
  3. Processed food is the food that is non-protective and begins the degenerating and destructive process in the first place.
Two dogs laying in a forest together

The first food fed after an attack of the Pancreas

  1. Will only be fed as little meals, e.g. very small meals fed frequently throughout the day. These meals will be a quarter to 1/8 the size of what the dog would normally eat. Little meals stimulate the Pancreas less than big meals, making the re-appearance of Pancreatitis much less likely.
  2. Should be 90 to 100 raw crushed vegetables – mostly green and leafy with plenty of color. These vegetables must be crushed, (put through a juices or food processor). Use carrot, celery, cabbage, pumpkin, etc.
  3. Will be warmed to body temperature and have an enzyme tablet crushed and mixed through and left to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before being fed.
  4. Will contain non-fat yogurt (or equivalent amount of non-dairy probiotic) at about 5 – 10 percent of the diet.

Diet for Pancreatitis

If this vegetable mix is refused, a tiny amount (up to 10% of the mix) of lean raw minced meat (chicken, beef, etc.), egg, cottage cheese etc. may be added. This will make the mix more interesting. When adding a protein, make sure it is a lean protein and only a very small amount (no more than 10% of the mix) and very finely crushed and mixed thoroughly with the vegetable mix.

Offer those little meals every few hours. Keep feeding this way over the next several days to a week or so. If there are no further attacks, these meals may be gradually increased in size to about a quarter of what he/she is used to eating, and the frequency may be reduced to 3 or 4 meals a day. You will make these changes gradually over a period of several weeks. At the same time you may gradually increase the protein portion of the diet (up to approximately 30% of the diet)

When all is going well, and usually after a blood test has confirmed that the pancreas is back to normal, you may start to introduce some raw meaty bones into the diet (raw chicken wings/necks, shank bones, large raw beef bones). During this period there would be a gradual reintroduction of the other elements of the diet. These would include such items as: 

  • Fruit - apples, pears, orange, banana, mango, etc. 
  • Liver, egg, cottage cheese, sardines (in spring water) 
  • Supplements, including multi-vitamin B, vitamin E, flaxseed oil, cod liver oil, garlic, kelp, vitamin C and zinc
Brown dog smiling with its tongue out the side of its mouth

The Ongoing Pancreatitis Diet

The Pancreatits Patty

  1. These are fed 2 to 3 times per day.
  2. They are best offered BEFORE feeding the (human) family their cooked meal so that the dog is not stressed out by the sight and smell of the cooked food.

For more information on a customized diet for your pet suffering from Pancreatitis, please contact one of our Raw Food Specialists at BARF World®, Inc. You can also visit our website for more information and testimonials from pet parents just like you.

Email: info@barfworld.comPhone: 866-282-2273 (Available Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM CST – 5:00 PM CST) 

Box of raw chicken patties for dogs

Chicken Diet - Patties

OUR MOST POPULAR FLAVOR! Chicken is the leanest protein source which is recommended for pets prone to weight gain. It also contains the lowest level of protein which is ideal for pets suffering from liver or kidney disease. Other important benefits your pet will receive from the Juicy Chicken Recipe are:     

  • A low sodium diet.
  • High in potassium.     
  • High levels of vitamin A.

Quantity represents 2, 6 lb. bags containing 24, 8-oz. fresh, frozen BARF® Diet patties.

Fresh ingredients and raw meats arranged on a table

Take Steps Today Toward a Biologically Appropriate Diet

Now that you understand our products’ ingredients, let your pet try them. Shop through the best raw dog food available and give your pet nutrients to support their bodies and minds.

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