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Low fat foods and tripe for pancreatitis.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 2-5 years
My 3 yr old Golden who was on Orijen for 2 years had a pancreatitis attack about 6 weeks ago.

She has been on Purina EN and I want her off the food. The Vet said ok but to keep her on a low fat diet 10% I think.

My question is the protein.
Champion Foods who make Acana/Orijen has a quality food (Acana) that is 10% fat but 35% protein. I heard that it is not the protein to worry about but the fat levels.
I think that is too much protein.

Holistic Blend has about 27% protein and low fat which seems good. I have asked several professional people and nobody can agree or give an uniform answer. I am confused about the protein levels for a dog who had a pancreatitis attack.

I know to transition her slowly but also wondering if I could use green trippe if that would help.

And is canned food more digestible for her now than kibble, or can we mix at same meal?

I know this is more than one question. If you need more money, please let me know.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for an interesting question!

When we are feeding a dog with a history of pancreatitis, the most important thing we look at is using a food that is low fat. High levels of fat can trigger off pancreatitis in some animals.

You've asked a good question about the protein levels.

Here are the levels of protein that veterinary nutritionists recommend for dog foods:

  • For dogs with kidney problems - 12-16% protein.

  • For healthy adult dogs - 20-22% protein.

  • For puppies - 25-30% protein.


So yes, 35% protein seems like a lot. With that being said, a high protein food is not harmful in an animal with normal kidneys. So, if Shaylea does well on this food it should be ok.

I did some research for you on tripe. This is one of the reasons why I love answering questions online - because I am always learning things!

There is a connection between tripe and the pancreas, but it is not recommended for dogs that are prone to pancreatitis. If you are feeding raw tripe, it is believed that the enzymes in the tripe can help animals that have a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. This is a problem where the pancreas is not producing enzymes and dogs have trouble digesting their food. However, in this case, the Green Tripette food is not raw but rather it is heated and processed and any live enzymes would be destroyed.

So why is tripe not good for pancreatitis? Tripe is high in protein (around 40%) but there are no carbs which means that tripe has about 60% fat. That is a lot of fat! If you were feeding significant amounts of tripe to a dog who was prone to pancreatitis you could very easily trigger an attack of pancreatitis.

It's hard to say whether canned or kibble food is better. They both have their benefits, but one doesn't outweigh the other when it comes to pancreatitis.

I hope this answers your questions!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

I did not know that trippett or tripe was so high in fat. Wow. I was not going to give her raw but just thought it would help aid her digestion in transitioning her old food to her new food. So thank u for that info.
She had the test for pancreatic insufficiency and thankfully does not have that.

I will try to find a moderate protein then. She does not have kidney problems.


The only other thing is if I wanted to use canned with kibble, just because the can says for example 8% fat, now I realize that does not mean a true 8% low fat. Apparently there is a formula to convert to dry matter and will therefore become higher than I thought. Finding a good quality low fat can might be hard.

I understand I need to transition slow, just wondering if I need to add any probiotics etc. to help her adjust and if so what kind.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I am definitely a fan of probiotics. They never hurt. I tend to use them though only if a dog has diarrhea.

The priobiotics that I use the most are Florentero and Forti-Flora. Both are available through your vet.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.