The pro’s & con’s of giving probiotics to dogs with pancreatitis

There has been research done on the effects of probiotics on pancreatitis, however, only a handful of them apply to dogs. This is the main…

There has been research done on the effects of probiotics on pancreatitis, however, only a handful of them apply to dogs. This is the main reason that some decide to hold off giving their dogs probiotics. There is just too little research and evidence that it improves gut health in dogs suffering with chronic pancreatitis.

Also, there are several different probiotic strains and each strain can have different effects, so it is important to understand which probiotics your fur baby actually needs.

Let’s discuss a little about probiotics and pancreatitis in dogs so you can decide if they are something you would add to your dog’s diet.

pancreatitis dogs guide

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are living micro-organisms that are composed of healthy bacteria that have proven to be very beneficial to gut health. Probiotics should be administered with prebiotics to receive the greatest benefit. Read more about probiotics and dogs here. Basically, they are ‘good’ bacteria that keep the gut healthy and functioning perfectly.

What does the research say?

  • Probiotics have been suggested to reduce bacterial translocation (in acute pancreatitis) Basically, it was shown to stop viable bacteria from moving out of the gastrointestinal tract to other parts of the body, like the blood stream or organs.
  • Some result show that probiotics lowered the severity of the injury to the pancreas. The exact mechanism of reduced injury is unclear and needs further study.
  • Probiotics have been shown to have an increased mortality rate in those suffering from severe acute pancreatitis.

While there are many mixed research results, for now, probiotics are contraindicated in patients with severe pancreatitis. So, if your dog has an acute case of pancreatitis they should not consume probiotics.

This is in great part due to a large study that looked at over 250 patients suffering from SAP (severe acute pancreatitis). The scientist noted an increased mortality rate in critically ill patients that were given probiotics. However, in most studies probiotics did not help or harm the clinical outcomes of the patients.

The effects of probiotics on chronic pancreatitis are widely unknown and while mostly positive much of what we know about them is based on human and rat studies. Further studies of how it affects dogs with both chronic and acute pancreatitis are necessary.

If you are considering going them to your dog, always consult your veterinarian prior to adding them to your fur babies diet.

Read more about types of probiotics to give your dog here.

Do you give your dog probiotics? Have you seen some benefit in using probiotics in your dogs diet? Comment below, I’d love to know!


  • PROPATRIA study, produced by the Dutch Acute Pancreatitis Study Group)


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