Using CBD For Pancreatitis in Dogs – How It Works
Pancreatitis in dogs is a serious health condition that can be life-threatening. It is caused by inflammation of the pancreas. In acute cases, the condition can come on suddenly, without any warning at all. In chronic cases, it can be a condition that will need continuous management.
The treatment of pancreatitis includes resting the pancreas and reducing the inflammation and pain. That involves a period of fasting and the administration of drugs. Many pet owners of dogs with chronic pancreatitis have found that CBD oil can help a dog recover from pancreatitis.
If you have a dog with pancreatitis, and you’re wondering if CBD could help, here’s everything you need to know about CBD and pancreatitis in dogs.
What Is Pancreatitis in Dogs?
The pancreas is a vital organ that is situated on the right side of the abdomen. It produces hormones, such as adrenaline, and the enzymes that the body uses to digest food. Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed. The inflammation causes the digestive enzymes to escape into the abdominal cavity. That can then cause damage to the intestines and liver.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis can occur in a mild form or a severe form. It can also be acute, which means that occurs suddenly, or it can be chronic, which means that it occurs regularly. The symptoms of both types of pancreatitis can vary from dog to dog, but the most common signs are as follows:
- Loss of appetite
- Arching of the back
- Abdominal pain
- Swollen abdomen
What Causes Canine Pancreatitis?
There is a range of causes of canine pancreatitis. Some of these are nutritional factors. Some are environmental factors. Scientists are not entirely sure what causes pancreatitis. Some dogs are more prone to the disease, for example, schnauzers and miniature poodles.
It can also often be linked to excessive fatty food in the diet. Acute cases of canine pancreatitis are common during the holiday period. That’s when people tend to feed their pets treats from their own plates. Here are the most common known causes of pancreatitis in dogs:
- Human food
- Fatty food
- Dietary indiscretion – Dogs who are fond of eating anything they can find
- Trauma to the abdomen
- Hypothyroidism and other endocrine diseases
- Toxins and some medications
- Genetic disposition
Will My Dog Die from Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is a serious condition. In severe cases, it can be life-threatening. When the pancreas is healthy, the digestive enzymes remain inactive until they reach the small intestine. In cases of pancreatitis, the enzymes are activated prematurely. This leads to the digestion of the pancreas itself. In extreme cases, the enzymes may begin to digest other internal organs. When this occurs, the damage to internal organs is irreversible.
If pancreatitis is diagnosed early, the prognosis is good, especially in cases of mild pancreatitis. Even in severe cases, if treatment is started early enough, the condition can be managed. However, in extreme cases, pancreatitis can cause sudden death.
What Is the Cost of Traditional Treatment of Pancreatitis in Dogs?
Mild chronic cases can be treated by a period of fasting to rest the pancreas, followed by a diet of bland prescription food. Severe cases may require hospitalization.
One of the most important elements of treatment is controlling the pain. Antibiotics are also likely to be prescribed to prevent infection. If a dog is hospitalized with severe pancreatitis, food will be withheld. The dog will be fed intravenously. Also, round the clock monitoring and frequent blood tests to monitor progress will be required.
The cost of treatment for each episode of pancreatitis is usually between $220 and $1,000. The cost will depend on the severity of the condition. In some cases, however, pet owners have reported costs of treatment of as much as $7,000.
Natural Treatment of Canine Pancreatitis
Because the condition can be fatal, it is important that you take your dog to a vet if you suspect that your pet has pancreatitis. Longer term, however, chronic and mild pancreatitis can be treated naturally.
In the first instance, a fasting period of 24-48 hour is recommended. This will allow time for the inflammation to reduce and the pancreas to recover. During this period, you should only give your dog small amounts of pre-boiled water to drink.
Once the pancreas has had time to rest and your dog is showing signs of improvement, you can try feeding your pet small amounts of bland food. There are prescription dog foods designed for this purpose, or you can make your own low-fat food, such as bone broth.
Natural Remedies for Pancreatitis
There is a range of natural herbal remedies and supplements that can be used to treat pancreatitis and maintain the health of the pancreas. Herbal remedies include:
Dandelion and Burdock
Reduces stress on the pancreas by increasing the production of enzymes and bile in the liver.
Regenerates and restores function the liver, which may have been damaged by pancreatitis.
Echinacea or Astragalus
Herbs like Astragalus and Echinacea are known to boost the immune system. This can help fight any infection that may have been caused by pancreatitis.
Reduces inflammation and strengthens the pancreas.
CBD oil can be used to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
Supplements can also be used to help with the ongoing treatment of chronic pancreatitis in dogs:
Vitamins C and E are antioxidants. They can be used to speed up recovery from pancreatitis and reduce the frequency of chronic pancreatitis episodes.
Supplementing a dog’s diet with digestive enzymes will help to rest the pancreas. This is a treatment that is often recommended by vets.
Probiotics keep the good bacteria in the digestive system balanced. This can be particularly beneficial if your dog is being given antibiotics.
A low-fat diet is usually recommended for the management of chronic pancreatitis. However, studies have shown that fish oil can lower the blood lipid levels.
The long-term treatment of chronic pancreatitis in dogs is a natural, balanced diet. Fatty foods should be eliminated from the diet and kibble should be avoided. Kibble is harder to digest than fresh food, so it places extra strain on the pancreas. The administration of pre and probiotics can also help to keep the digestive system in good health and prevent flare-ups of pancreatitis.
Using CBD for Pancreatitis in Dogs.
CBD is a natural compound that occurs in the cannabis and hemp plant. It is what is known as a cannabinoid. The hemp plant contains a range of cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. Unlike THC, which is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD is non-toxic, and it does not cause a high.
When CBD enters the bloodstream, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system regulates the natural balance in the body. When CDB interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it has many therapeutic effects. Two of the most well researched of those effects are the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that CBD has.
In a 2013 study conducted by the Institute of Digestive Disease in China, researchers looked into the effect that CBD had on mice with acute pancreatitis. They found that CBD significantly reduced the inflammation in the mice. The results of this study are supported by the many pet owners who have documented the benefits of CBD for treating canine pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is a serious condition for dogs. If you suspect that your dog has developed pancreatitis, you should always take your pet to a vet for a diagnosis. If you are looking for natural ways to manage pancreatitis in dogs, CBD might be the best alternative to prescription drugs.