Triage Your Dog

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

While any disease that strikes our dogs is one too many, there are situations that include more than one disease at once. In cases of cancer combined with just about any other disease, owners are likely to focus on the cancer first. From a nutritional point of view, this reaction can be dangerous.


Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), and most cases of GI diseases demand a low-fat diet. Yet, the most common diets for cancer are keto and those high in omega 3 fatty acids. In these examples of disease, feeding those popular diets stand to harm the dog far sooner than the cancer will.


Dog owners/parents need to triage with a cool head when deciding the best course of action to take. As an example, pancreatitis is painful and can actually kill a dog. Kidney disease is progressive, and the dog should be fed optimally for it, but pancreatitis must take priority because if that’s not under control, no diet for kidney disease can work.


Once you have the diagnoses, it’s critical to understand the details of each disease and feed according to the one that is most immediately threatening. Acting on panic is unlikely to help you arrive at an informed decision. Remaining positive and trying to look at the situation with a little distance can truly be a life saver.