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Herbal Solutions for Pancreatitis In Dogs

Pancreatitis can be a debilitating condition … one that causes your dog overwhelming pain and digestive upset.

Pancreatitis is a medical way of saying “inflammation of the pancreas.”

But it’s much more complicated than it sounds.

Problems with the pancreas can cause serious consequences, such as …

  • Internal bleeding

  • Cell death

  • Organ damage

so pancreatitis is definitely a situation you need your vet’s help with.

But the good news is … once you get home from the vet, most cases of pancreatitis are manageable at home.

The Pancreas (A Simple View)

The pancreas is a glandular organ with both enzymatic and hormonal functions.

The stomach releases gastric secretions into the duodenum (the pathway between the stomach and small intestine).

Then the pancreas releases digestive enzymes (amylase, lipase, trypsin) along with bile from the gallbladder.

The pancreatic enzymes then activate and adjust the pH (acid level) of the stomach contents … before entering the small intestine.


Inflammation causes the premature activation of pancreatic enzymes inside the pancreas … where they go about digesting the surrounding tissue. Ouch!

Pancreatic enzymes can also leak into the abdominal cavity … eating through its lining and damaging the digestive tract. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic.

Acute cases of pancreatitis happen quickly, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Severe cases of acute pancreatitis often require veterinary care including fluid and pain management.

Chronic pancreatitis is usually seen in dogs with …

  • Enzyme deficiency

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Nutritional imbalances

Dogs with chronic pancreatitis are usually low in vitamin C, E and selenium.

Symptoms and Causes Of Pancreatitis In Dogs

Some of the symptoms of pancreatitis are:

  • Abdominal discomfort or distention

  • Back hunching

  • Dehydration

  • Diarrhea or bloody stool

  • Elevated calcium levels

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Gallstones (minimal in dogs)

  • Fever

  • Lethargy

  • Butt in air (downward dog position) after eating

  • Restlessness or agitation

  • Low appetite

  • Redness of the eyes

  • Rapid heartbeat

Possible causes of pancreatitis include:

For more detailed information about pancreatitis … and what your conventional vet will do to manage the condition

Holistic Treatment for Pancreatitis

If your dog has severe pancreatitis, he may be hospitalized for fluid and pain management.

The first step in recovery is traditionally to rest your dog’s pancreas by fasting him for 24 to 48 hours. However, this can be controversial … there was 2015 research suggesting that early feeding may improve the health of the intestinal tract.

Discuss with your vet the best approach for your dog on whether to fast or feed him.

If you’re caring for your dog at home and he can keep water down, give small amounts of water and electrolytes. When vomiting stops … bone broth and small frequent meals are a good way to slowly re-introduce food.

While fasting, give your dog homeopathic Aconite 200C and Arnica 200C for pain and inflammation. Helping control inflammation and pain is essential for acute attacks. Give 3-4 pellets three times the first day. Place the pellets in your dog’s cheek.

Step two involves introducing modest amounts of bone broth and herbs … working your way into frequent, small, bland, low-fat meals.

A fresh food diet is an important part of recovery, avoid feeding kibble.

Room-temperature RAW is the best option.

Avoid fatty meats like duck and lamb as well as rich meats like beef, bison or buffalo.

Focus on simple proteins, including chicken or turkey breast, whitefish or eggs. Remember, a pancreatic diet is usually temporary while the organ heals itself.

Herbal Support for Pancreatitis

Giving your dogs these herbs and gemmotherapies will help heal the pancreas and speed his recovery.

Billberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) Fresh Or Dried Herb

For chronic and acute pancreatitis.

Oxidation is a contributing factor in pancreatitis as the destruction of healthy cells causes excess free radicals and metabolic wastes. This puts extra pressure on the surrounding organs.

Billberry is high in antioxidants and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It also strengthens the pancreas by fortifying pancreatic B-cells responsible for regulating glucose.

Fresh or dried bilberry can be added to the diet or given as a supplement.

Dosage For Billberry

150 mg for extra small dogs 250 mg for small dogs 350 mg for medium dogs 450-500 mg for large dogs 500-800 mg for extra large dogs

Give twice daily with food.

Black Mulberry (Morus nigra) Gemmotherapy

(For chronic pancreatitis. Don’t use it for acute pancreatitis.)

Black Mulberry gemmotherapy is helpful for chronic pancreatitis. It helps strengthen and stimulate the pancreas. Start out with a small amount and work your way up to the dosage below.

Dosage For Black Mulberry Gemmotherapy

8 drops for extra small dogs 10- 15 drops for small dogs 15-20 drops for medium dogs 20-25 drops for large dogs 25-30 drops for extra large dogs

Give twice daily before eating.

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) Glycerin Extract

For acute pancreatitis.

Dandelion is a high antioxidant remedy for acute pancreatitis and liver support.

Research has shown that the root protects against the effects of increased CCK octapeptides (intestinal hormones) known to cause acute pancreatitis.

Dandelion root strengthens the pancreas as well as the entire digestive system. It’s bitter and helps the liver and gallbladder release bile for fat digestion.

Dosage For Dandelion Root Glycerin Extract

4 drops for extra small dogs 6-8 drops for small dogs 10-12 drops for medium dogs 15-20 drops for large dogs 20-30 drops for extra-large dogs

Give two to three times a day without food.

European Walnut (Juglans regia) Gemmotherapy

For acute pancreatitis.

Walnut gemmotherapy is used during and after an acute attack. It’s anti-inflammatory and repairs mucous membranes. It also …

  • · Balances intestinal flora

  • · Normalizes pancreatic enzyme production

  • · Supports the digestion through liver function

Dosage For European Walnut Gemmotherapy

8 drops for extra small dogs 10- 15 drops for small dogs 15-20 drops for medium dogs 20-25 drops for large dogs 25-30 drops for extra large dogs

Give twice daily.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Glycerin Extract or Seed

For acute and chronic pancreatitis.

Milk thistle supports liver and gallbladder function during an attack.

Pancreatic trauma causes a cascade of metabolic wastes and puts pressure on the liver.

Milk thistle helps support the liver’s cellular structure and function, and aids the liver in the detoxification process.

Dosage For Milk Thistle Glycerin Extract

4 drops for extra small dogs 6-8 drops for small dogs 10-12 drops for medium dogs 15-20 drops for large dogs 20-30 drops for extra large dogs

Give two to three times a day, without food.

Dosage For Milk Thistle Seed

150 mg for extra small dogs 250-300 mg for small dogs 300-500 mg for medium dogs, 500- 800 mg for large dogs 800-1200 mg for extra large dogs

Give twice daily, without food.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) Powder

For chronic and acute pancreatitis.

Slippery elm is an anti-inflammatory and soothes gastrointestinal mucous membranes. Its fiber content helps feed beneficial bacteria and support normal gastrointestinal function.

Powdered Slippery Elm Instructions

1 tsp to 4 oz of powdered herb in warm water. This will make a thick liquid you can syringe into your dog’s mouth.

Dosage For Slippery Elm

1 tsp for extra small dogs 2 tsps for small dogs 1 tablespoon for medium dog 2 tablespoons for large dogs 3 tablespoons for extra-large dogs

Give 2-4 times per day as needed. Can increase dosage by 50% if needed.

White Birch (Betula alba) Gemmotherapy

For chronic pancreatitis.

Betula alba (or Betula pubescens) gemmotherapy stimulates immune function and decreases inflammation.

White birch supports the kidneys and stimulates the regeneration of Kupffer cells in the liver to increase detoxification.

Reducing toxic load is key for dogs with chronic pancreatitis and digestive malfunction. It has salicylic acid which helps with pain and inflammation.

Dosage For White Birch Gemmotherapy

8 drops for extra small dogs 10-15 drops for small dogs 15-20 drops for medium dogs 20-25 drops for large dogs 25-30 drops for extra large dogs

Give twice daily, without food.

Pancreatitis damages the pancreas as well as the gastrointestinal tract. The goal for recovery includes decreasing oxidation through antioxidant supplementation, healing mucosal damage and bringing down inflammation. Using herbs can provide vital support before, during and after a pancreatic attack.

Rita Hogan CH is a canine herbalist and co-founder of Farm Dog Naturals, an herbal remedy company for the All-Natural Dog. Rita combines nature with her love for dogs by offering consulting that focuses on dogs as individuals: mind, body and spirit. Her practice incorporates herbal medicine, complementary therapies and environmental stewardship to help dogs and people find balance and partnership with nature. Connect with Rita through her website

Source: DNM

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