How to Treat Canine Pancreatitis & Renal Failure


Pancreatitis and renal failure are common but potentially dangerous conditions that can affect dogs of all ages. Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas is inflamed, which can be caused by many factors including infection, certain medication, obesity and an intake of fatty foods. Renal failure can take place due to age, cancer, trauma and a host of other reasons. Treatments for these two illnesses are fairly similar and need to be administered by a veterinarian.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibiotics
  • Pain medication

Withhold food, water and oral medication from your dog if you are treating him for pancreatitis. The first step in treating pancreatitis is resting the pancreas. The pancreas can rest when it doesn’t have to produce digestive enzymes. Restricting your dog from ingesting anything orally will cause this non-production of enzymes and will give the pancreas a break. Consult with your vet to determine the appropriate length of time these items should be withheld.

Determine the cause of your dog’s renal failure by having your vet perform diagnostics such as blood and urine tests. Acute renal failure can potentially be reversed, depending upon what is causing the problem. If an infection such as leptosporosis caused the failure, antibiotics may help to cure the problem. In addition, if your dog’s kidney problem was caused by the giant kidney worm or the ingestion of antifreeze or an Easter Lilly, there are specific treatments for those causes of kidney failure. If the definitive cause of your pet’s acute renal failure is diagnosed, your dog has a better chance of recovering.

Administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids to your dog if he has pancreatitis or renal failure. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can occur with both conditions, therefore fluid therapy is essential. In addition, the fluids can help flush out both the pancreas and kidneys, helping to remove any toxins that are in the organs.

Give your dog pain medication or antibiotics if prescribed. It is common for dogs with these conditions to experience pain, so your pooch may be given medication to keep him more comfortable. Antibiotics are also usually prescribed to dogs with these conditions to prevent or clear up any infections.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once your dog begins to feel better, slowly introduce food again. Because of the nausea both conditions can cause, it is best to give small meals periodically throughout the day. Your veterinarian may prescribe a specific diet for your dog, depending on his condition.

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