Antibiotics to treat Pancreatitis?

Question:  My 8 yr old girl had Pancreatitis in September and had lots of antibiotics. Her WBC is elevated to 19.98. She has Addison’s disease and a grade 3 heart murmur. I have been adding in a lot of supplements. The vet wants to put her on more antibiotics, should I do this?

Answer:  I’ll just tell you a little story about my sister’s experience with pancreatitis in her dog, a male Pom named “Roadie”.


At age 2, he had a severe bout with it and ended up at the ER, which cost my sister $1,000. I had been telling her for years to home feed her dog and how to do it properly, and she’d ignored me until this. She called, I told her what to feed and she followed it to the letter. The dog not only did not have a recurrence of pancreatitis, he did not visit a vet for the next 14 years. He died last summer at age 16 of old age.

Contrast that to a lovely Golden Retriever named “Pancho” who was in my care after his recent pancreatitis diagnosis a few years back. The owners had to travel out of town so I was the one who took him to the vet. He received an injection of Convenia, which the owner (a medical professional) had requested. The vet confided in me that she would not normally have administered an antibiotic for a diagnosis like pancreatitis, but only did so because the owner requested it. The dog recovered but a couple months later was again showing signs of pancreatitis. The owners travel a lot so once again he was in my care.

I resisted taking him back to the vet but when he stopped drinking on his own, the owner and I thought it would be good to take him in, get some sub-q fluids and maybe some diagnostics. The same vet, seeing the request for Convenia on the chart, astonishingly, once again administered it. I was livid when I heard this but by then it was too late.  After that injection, the dog collapsed into a coma and two hours later was carried to my car. The owners had to euthanize him late that night at an after hours clinic. He was lethargic and dehydrated when we walked into that clinic 2 hours previously, but certainly not near death.


Antibiotics have a reputation as always being harmless and never causing problems, but they are anything but. There is no place for antibiotic treatment in a dog with pancreatitis. “Itis” simply means inflammation!  Look it up. There is no microorganism ‘invading’ a dog’s body causing inflammation, it is the body itself bringing heat and fluids to an area where healing needs to be accomplished to dilute wastes deposited there and accelerate their elimination. It’s not a mistake, it is a LIFE PRESERVING mechanism of healing that the body employs in its infinite wisdom.  It should not be forcibly stopped with drugs.

The causes of inflammation of the pancreas have nothing to do with microorganisms! The causes are EXCESS FAT IN THE DIET. Even some doctors and vets know this, and that’s why antibiotic treatment for the condition is not common. All that is necessary to deal with pancreatitis is to remove the burden, which is DIETARY. Adding supplements will not help because it is not DEFICIENCY that causes most disease, it is EXCESS.  Optimizing the diet by feeding only foods that dogs can easily digest in combinations that do not compete with each other will allow the pancreas to heal itself.  If that diet is then fed to the dog for his remaining years, there will be NO recurrence of pancreatitis. 

You won’t be hearing any of this from any vet of any description.  Recurrence means repeat business, and that makes the cash register sing.  Removal of the burden (cause) makes nobody any money, and that’s why vet school doesn’t teach it.

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