Pancreatitis Case Communication

When bloodwork reveals pancreatitis.

That’s serious inflammation (sometimes even infection) of the dog or cat’s pancreas. It can be life threatening if it drags on or becomes chronic. The pancreas can lose enough integrity to result in diabetes and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. If the inflammation is serious enough, the belly may even suffer peritonitis.

In some cases, infection is suspected when a pet is anemic. (Low iron, lacking red cells) or the white cells are elevated.

Pancreatitis is painful and “Tramadol” pain reliever is a “good idea”.

Management of Pancreatitis

The KEY element in pancreatitis is LOW or NO FAT in the diet from here on out.

Starting now:

  1. No food for 48 hours.
  2. Only water, not even broth.
  3. After 48 hours — Fat free or VERY low fat food(s)

Rice is fat free.

A diet of eggs, and non-starch vegetables works.
So you can consider: (Low starch low fat home cooking)

Or, you can use Hill’s Low Fat ‘i/D’ diet which is super digestible and very low fat. We have excellent luck resolving pancreatitis with that. I’d go through a 30 pound bag and then MAYBE consider going back to another low fat brand.


If a dog or cat with pancreatitis gets a piece of pizza, they will go RIGHT back to “square one” with the pancreatitis.

If the pet is diagnosed with pancreatitis and the hematocrit is low, or the white cells are high, vets may be a little worried that a dog or cat may have blood in the abdomen from the pancreas. A tap would tell.

But what would we do with that information BESIDES:

  1. Low fat feeding
  2. after a 48 hour fast
  3. Tramadol
  4. Antibiotics
Dr Erik Johnson is a Marietta, Georgia Veterinarian with a practice in small animal medicine. He graduated from University of Georgia with his Doctorate in 1991. Dr Johnson is the author of several texts on Koi and Pond Fish Health and Disease as well as numerous articles on dog and cat health topics.