August 21, 2020 13 min read

Pancreatitis is one of the most common exocrine pancreatic diseases in dogs and cats. Most often, there is no specific cause, yet feeding your dog’s unhealthy table leftovers, and allowing them to scavenge through trash may be a common risk factor in dogs. CBD can work together with traditional pet meds to offer health benefits with no side effects.

The AKC adds that “Pancreatitis in dogs is one of those conditions that owners must be informed about before it strikes because the warning signs may not always be obvious at first, the symptoms might be mistaken for something less serious, and yet it’s potentially life-threatening. The medical definition of pancreatitis is simple: “inflammation of the pancreas.” But like all serious conditions, there is more to it than that.”

CBD Oil for Pancreatitis in Dogs

One of the most important factors to consider with canine pancreatitis is that your dog will be in a lot of pain. Research has demonstrated that CBD oil may be beneficial in alleviating pain and reducing inflammation with pancreatitis. CBD oil may have numerous other health benefits for your dog. Keep in mind that CBD oil works effectively with traditional pain meds and antibiotics with no side effects. That said, it’s necessary to work together with your veterinarian to get the best outcome. 

New 2018 Research on CBD Oil Benefits for Canine Pancreatitis

“Mice with pancreatic cancer that were treated with a naturally occurring constituent of medicinal cannabis alongside chemotherapy, survived almost three times longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone,” via Science Daily. The researchers also added that “Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics, which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials. If we can reproduce these effects in humans, cannabidiol could be in use in cancer clinics almost immediately, compared to having to wait for authorities to approve a new drug. CBD is also known to improve the side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, meaning it could also improve the quality of life of patients undergoing chemotherapy.”

Another recent study at Cornell University found that CBD is effective in managing chronic pain in dogs, and demonstrated evidence that CBD did reduce inflammation and chronic pain in pets. It also found that pets on CBD did not build up a tolerance to CBD, so doses did not have to increase with time.

“Dogs received either CBD oil at 2 mg/kg every 12 hours or they received placebo oil, according to the abstract. Dogs were treated for four weeks with a two-week washout period. The dogs’ owners completed questionnaires and veterinarians conducted assessments—including physical exam, hematology and serum chemistry—before treatment and at weeks two and four. The Canine Brief Pain Inventory score and Hudson activity score (a visual analogue scale questionnaire used to assess pain and lameness in dogs),” via Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM. Veterinary News. 

CBD Oil Facts


CBD (cannabidiol) is a component of the cannabis plant, but without the tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC), the component of the cannabis plant that gives you the “high”. NO THC, NO “HIGH!”

CBD comes from the hemp plant, but can also be extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD oil is the liquid that comes from the cannabis plant, with the best form of extraction being the CO2 method. 

Cannabis oils for dogs may be beneficial for numerous canine health issues including pancreatitis, cancer, anxiety, seizures, glaucoma, to diminish tumor growth, as well and many other health conditions in your furry best friends.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, most often referred to asTHC, is the psychoactive compound that is derived from the cannabis plant. It causes the “high effect”, and is federally regulated in the U.S, yet is legal in Canada for recreational and medicinal use, and also in some US states.

Hemphas higher levels of CBD, and low levels of THC. For hemp to be classified as such, it has to contain only 0.3% of THC. With this amount of THC, there is no “high” effect. Hemp was made federally legal in the US through the Farm Bill in 2018.

Natural Doggie Organic CBD Hemp Oil helps relieve pain and anxiety in pets. Utilizing only the best natural products, the difference in our oil is that is derived from the highest quality Non-GMO, organic Colorado hemp. All dogs can benefit as this product is a perfect supplement to your animal’s diet and will help keep them happy and healthy. If your animal suffers from anxiety or chronic pain, you will see a noticeable difference in your dog immediately.

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CBD Law in The U.S

“First of all, hemp plants contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis. In 2014, President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Farm Bill), which allowed for the study and cultivation of industrial hemp for limited purposes. This led to the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, which allowed American farmers to produce and cultivate industrial hemp more widely. This legislation removed hemp from the controlled substances list as long as the hemp grown contained no more than 0.3 percent THC,” Dr. Sarah Wooten DVM, via Veterinary News.

Stay Away from Made in China CBD Oil

CBD oil consumers should purchase the best CBD oil for their pets! That said, with so many CBD pet products for sale today, combined with awesome marketing strategies, it may be confusing as to which CBD oils are best for your dog. More so, if your dog has pancreatitis or another serious health problem like cancer, suffers from seizures or is even depressed.

One needs to consider whether their CBD product of choice is a full spectrum oil or if it uses an isolate. That said, pet parents should find out if the hemp used in their CBD product of choice is from locally grown USA hemp? 

European sourced hemp may have originated from China, and ended up being processed and sold in Europe or the US. Keep in mind that hemp from China is often times not a high quality hemp, and is not pure. China and European CBD oils may contain bio contaminants and heavy metals. Today, the best and purest hemp mainly originates from 4 states, Colorado, South Carolina, Oregon and Kentucky.

Studies Show No Side Effects from CBD Oil When Combined with Antibiotics and Other Pain Meds. 

Side effects from CBD oil are rare. That said, it’s good to start with the lowest dosage of CBD oil and gradually increase the dosage over a few weeks. With pancreatic pain being severe, CBD oil may take up to 4 weeks to work. Although it’s been shown to decrease inflammation and pain, your veterinarian may use it in conjunction with more traditional medication. Due to minimal side effects, there have been no reports of CBD interactions with other medications

Trauma and surgery can also lead to pancreatitis in dogs. It may come and go, or it may end up affecting your dog for a longer period of time. It may become life threatening, and needs immediate veterinary intervention for a good long-term prognosis. Damage to the internal organs is irreversible with this condition, yet if treatment is sought early enough, even in serious cases, the outcome may be good.

Feeding your dogs a healthy diet, and maintaining a regular exercise schedule may help avoid it, yet some breeds like the Schnauzer or German Shepherd may be more prone to pancreatitis than others. A reaction to a medication may also trigger pancreatitis. During pancreatitis, the pancreatic lipase is released into the bloodstream. Your veterinarian will use this as a diagnostic marker for this disease.

Common Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

  • Greasy or fatty foods
  • Obesity
  • Stomach trauma
  • Toxins and some meds
  • Genetically prone
  • Hypothyroidism and other endocrine diseases in dogs
  • Feeding table left-overs that are not healthy

Pancreatic Functions

The pancreas have two main functions with the endocrine pancreas producing both insulin and glucagon. These regulate the blood sugar level, whereas the exocrine pancreas produces enzymes that are necessary for digestion linked to complex foods like proteins, triglycerides, and complex carbohydrates.


The onset of pancreatitis starts off with a lack of nitrous oxide (NO) which plays an important role in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis. Additionally, the abundance of NO results in pancreatic inflammation. Veterinarians have to both prevent pancreatitis and treat it, which require two different treatment approaches.

Inducible Nitrous Oxide (NO)

Inducible nitrous oxide helps to regulate normal pancreatic function by promoting good microvascular blood flow, and regulating digestive enzyme secretion. A reduced endothelial NO results in endothelial dysfunction. Normally with pancreatitis, the NO level is high, and the pancreas are swollen with blood and enzymes disgorged. The pancreas then become less functional, and congested with lots of free radical activity, once again resulting in pancreatic inflammation. 

When acute pancreatitis affects your dog, pancreatic microcirculation is affected with blood flow reduced, and platelet adhesion and blood clot formation increasing. The exocrine pancreas also secretes bicarbonate which helps to buffer stomach acid. That said, feeding your dog a low-quality commercial dog food that is high in carbs and rapidly absorbed, results in a spike of postprandial glucose in dogs. This in –turn results in an insulin spike. Insulin resistance together with pancreatic inflammation may result soon after.

When discussing chronic and acute pancreatitis in dogs, it’s important to note that during the initial stages of pancreatitis, there is a decrease in the amount of pancreatic juices. After that, pancreatic enzymes are activated in the pancreas instead of in the digestive tract. This results in the enzymes digesting the pancreas, which in turn results in inflammation and damage.

Signs of Pancreatitis in Dogs

There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog in pain. That said, it’s necessary for pet parents to pick up on all pancreatitis cues as soon as possible, and to consult with their veterinarian.

Signs of severe pancreatitis include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Swollen stomach
  • Restlessness
  • Gagging
  • Arching of back to throw up 

Treatment of Pancreatitis

According to research from College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas “Acute or chronic pancreatitis are now recognized to be common in both dogs and cats, but their diagnosis can be challenging. Various diagnostic tests have been used to confirm a diagnosis of acute and chronic pancreatitis, including the measurement of serum lipase activity, measurement of serum pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (PLI), abdominal ultrasound, and histopathology.”

If your veterinarian suspects that your dog may be suffering from pancreatitis, he or she may order blood tests, x-rays, ultrasound, and even surgery. Treatment may include hospitalization, and supportive veterinary care. Taking your dog to the veterinarian for an early diagnosis may allow for a better long-term outcome, and prevent complications. 

Your veterinarian may also recommend a special diet that your dog will have to follow. This may include a low-fat diet and low- fat treats for mild cases of pancreatitis. A pancreatic enzyme supplement is usually recommended when abdominal pain is still present. Pet parents need to watch their dogs and monitor a lack of appetite, since this is usually tied to abdominal pain in cases of pancreatitis. 

If dogs are prone to vomiting with pancreatitis, veterinarians will usually advise limiting food and water for a few days. In this case your dog will be given intravenous fluids. Pain meds are prescribed for abdominal pain in pancreatitis. Dogs that have mild, yet long-term pancreatitis, need to be monitored frequently for diabetes mellitus and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

A lack of pancreatic digestive enzymes results in digestive issues and malabsorption. This in turn causes your dog to lose weight, and have vitamin deficiencies. Dogs that have long-term pancreatitis may get diabetes mellitus. Minimal production and secretion of digestive enzymes by the pancreas are usually caused by the gradual decline of cells that produce digestive enzymes in dogs. 

German Shepherds are most prone to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and tend to get affected during their young adult years. Tumors that obstruct the pancreatic duct can also lead to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Your veterinarian will order a blood test to check for a decrease of pancreatic function.

Signs of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Your furry best friend may exhibit many symptoms, but the most common ones are:

  • Excessive eating
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting (not as common)
  • Loss of appetite (not as common)
  • Pale, foul smelling feces

Supplementing with Digestive Enzymes

Although digestive enzymes for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is necessary as an important part of treatment, there are adverse effects if the wrong dosage is given. That said, it’s necessary to follow your veterinarian’s dosage instructions carefully, and to report any bleeding from your dog’s mouth. In cases that result with bleeding, a lower enzyme dosage is recommended. As usual, it’s necessary to consult with your veterinarian for advice. 

The digestive enzyme dosage will be reduced when your dog is feeling better. On the other hand, if your dog does not improve Vitamin B12 may be prescribed for a cobalamin deficiency. 50% of all dogs with this deficiency have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Some dogs will have other vitamin deficiencies, which will need to be monitored by their veterinarians. 

It’s recommended that dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency change their diets to a low-fiber, easily-digestible diet that has a moderate-fat content. Diet changes need to be gradual.

Since exocrine pancreatic insufficiency most times results in an irreversible loss of pancreatic tissue with cure rates at a low, it’s important to supplement with the appropriate digestive enzymes and vitamins. It’s also worth noting that dogs will usually recover with the right veterinary care and will gain weight, and live a normal life.

CBD Oil May Be Beneficial for Dogs with Serious Health Conditions

CBD oils have numerous health benefits for dogs that have chronic pain, inflammation, and suffer from medical conditions. Many of these conditions when treated with traditional meds prescribed by your veterinarian, will also benefit from CBD oil use. Understanding what CBD oil can do, and which conditions may be beneficial, is important today. As usual, consult with a CBD savvy veterinarian for the best advice. A certificate of approval (COA) ensures that your CBD oil is of a high-quality, and safe for your pets.

Here are some conditions that CBD oils are good for:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Appetite stimulant
  • May help with numerous cancer treatments by destroying specific cancer cells, as well as stopping the growth of blood vessels to tumors.
  • Hemp is rich in natural compounds like terpenes and flavonoids. (anti-cancer properties)
  • Luteolin and kaempferol found in hemp promote disruptions to cancer cells.
  • Helps allergies in dogs.
  • May be effective for calming dogs that suffer from thunderstorm phobia.
  • May be effective in reducing the side effects of chemo and radiation in dogs.
  • CBD may be beneficial in promoting rapid wound healing and decreasing pain.
  • May help fight inflammation.
  • Helps reduce seizure activity
  • Helps with hot spots and other skin irritations in dogs
  • . May promote well-being and cardiac health.
  • Relieves chronic pain.
  • May help with autoimmune issues
  • May help with urinary tract disease

How to Purchase CBD Oil for Your Dog With Pancreatitis?

  • Opt for organic, USDA certified hemp. There are specific strains grown for pets like the PR-33.
  • Entire plant use of both seeds and stalk results in the CBD oil providing a multitude of additional benefits for unwell dogs with serious medical conditions. Opt for terpenoids and flavonoids.
  • CBD bottles with droppers are easiest to use for serious conditions, yet CBD treats work well for anxiety, general pain, and depression.
  • Discuss CBD oil differing potencies with your veterinarian prior to purchasing, (There are several potencies to meet the needs of dogs of all sizes.) Be safe, and follow dosage instructions!
  • Inquire as to how the CBD oil in your product was extracted?
  • CBD tends to have fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals, yet you will need to discuss drug interactions with your vet prior to administering any CBD oil to your dog.
  • Purchase only THC- free CBD products for your dog. Even a small amount will make him “high”
  • CBD oil is extracted, and then added to a carrier oil. Read the product’s website for more product information and get your COA!
  • Look at the product’s website, and ask plenty of questions about the product’s specific benefits.
  • Find out about their customer service, call them, and be curious!
  • Certificate of Analysis is most important to ensure a high-quality product that is safe for your pet. Make sure your CBD oil product has this.

What Makes a Good CBD Oil for Dogs with Pancreatitis?

As pet parents, we’ll do anything for our furry best friends, yet no CBD oil product should be chosen randomly, or in a rush, and administered to pets. Here are some tips for purchasing the best CBD oil for your dog:

  • Best if veterinarian approved
  • Opt for a high-quality CBD product that has lots of positive reviews from other pet parents
  • Choose a CBD oil for pets only. Do not use human CBD oil on your dog!
  • The CBD oil for dogs should be third party certified for purity and safety!
  • It should say “Improved absorption and bioavailability”
  • With all CBD products for dogs that have higher levels of CBD you must check dosage before use with your veterinarian.
  • Some CBD oils for dogs have a rapid effect that needs to be discussed with a veterinarian first before use.
  • Full Spectrum CBD oil is best.
  • Organic is very good!
  • No contaminants, no carrier oils, no alcohol is what you should be purchasing!

Preventing Pancreatitis in Dogs

When a dog is affected by pancreatitis, it’s no laughing matter. That said, there are some things that you can do to try and prevent pancreatitis from affecting your furry best friend. The American Veterinary Health Association (AVMA) also recommends that pet parents take out pet health insurance to help defray veterinary costs. “Pet health insurance can help defray pet owners’ cost of veterinary care, empowering them to provide a higher level of medical care for their companions. This is why the AVMA has long endorsed the concept of pet insurance as a viable strategy to pay for high-quality veterinary services.”

Additionally, by feeding your dog a high-quality dog food that is easily digested, you’re making it easier for your dog to take in small amounts of food while suffering from pancreatitis, and to benefit from healthy nutrition. A diet that is low -in fiber and low- in fat is preferable. Consult with your veterinarian as to the best dog food diets for dogs that are in recovery. A home cooked diet of steamed chicken breast with white rice and veggies may also be beneficial to a speedier recovery. Holistic practices will often offer nutritional and supplementation advice.

Choosing the best CBD oil for your dog may sometimes be difficult. That said, when opting fora combination of both holistic with more conventional veterinary care, you’ll be ensuring peace of mind, and your dog’s well-being.  By offering safe and natural options, you’ll be able to work together with your veterinarian in managing canine pancreatitis. 

Usually with mild cases of pancreatitis there is a good diagnosis, yet with severe cases, one faces a more guarded prognosis. You’ll need to watch your dog carefully, and also understand what to look for, and what you can do to reduce chances of your furry best friend getting pancreatitis.

Claudia Bensimoun

Claudia Bensimoun author of  CBD Oil For Pancreatitis in Dogs

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.

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