Pancreatitis In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs

By: Dr. Roy Kraemer |
DVM, Bulldog Specialist Veterinarian

Dear Dr. Kraemer, I am reaching out to you regarding our beloved bulldog, Moca. 🐕 She has been experiencing episodes of vomiting with bile for the last few weeks, and I’m worried it might be pancreatitis like my Frenchie that you treated last year.

I am giving him your bully probiotics and the prescription low-fat diet you recommended. Is there anything else I should do?

Thanks and happy new year, Anna

Pancreatitis in bulldogs and French bulldogs is an inflammatory condition that disrupts the normal functioning of the pancreas.

bulldog acute pancreatitis hospitalized on IV fluids

Bulldog Pancreatitis 5 X MUST KNOW

  1. Vomiting and sometimes diarrhea are among the most common medical findings.
  2. The cause of pancreatitis can be a high-fat diet with low fiber, obesity, infection, or drug reactions.
  3. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic, severe or mild, short-term or long-lasting
  4. Treatment might range from a diet change and pain medication in a chronic case to hospitalization, IV fluids, medications, and even surgery in an acute one.
  5. Prevention includes Dr.Kraemer’s

The owners of this bulldog community prefer prevention over RX

Bulldog Pancreatitis: PANCEREASE ANATOMY

The pancreas is a gland near the stomach and the upper small intestine (duodenum). It is characterized by pink, soft, glandular tissue responsible for three crucial secretory functions.

Bulldog Pancreatitis: PANCEREASE FUNCTION

The pancreas plays a crucial role in producing three essential products that are critical to your bulldog’s health:


The first function involves the secretion of insulin, a hormone known for regulating blood sugar levels.

  • Function: regulates blood sugar levels.
  • Importance: Helps cells absorb glucose for energy, maintaining optimal blood sugar balance.


The second function, less known but equally vital, involves the secretion of digestive enzymes. These enzymes aid in breaking down digested food into smaller components such as amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates.

  • Types:
    • Lipase: It breaks down fats into fatty acids and glycerol.
    • Protease: Digests proteins into amino acids.
    • Amylase converts carbohydrates into simple sugars.
  • Importance: Facilitates the digestion of food in the small intestine, allowing the absorption of nutrients.

This enzymatic preparation allows essential nutrients to be absorbed and utilized, preventing their loss in fecal material.

bulldog digestive enzymes and probiotic supplement

Bulldog Pancreatic Enzyme Insufficiency Disease WARNING

A deficiency in pancreatic enzymes can lead to a severe condition causing maldigestion and malabsorption, resulting in critical nutrient deficiencies.


  • Function: neutralizes stomach acid.
  • Importance: It prevents damage to the small intestine and aids in the digestion process.

These products collectively play a vital role in the overall health and well-being of your bulldog by contributing to:

  1. DIGESTION: proper digestion
  2. ABSORPTION: nutrient absorption
  3. BLOOD SUGAR: maintenance of blood sugar levels,

Pancreatitis in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs: ACUTE vs. CHRONIC

While acute and chronic pancreatitis in dogs share some similarities, they differ significantly in

  • onset
  • severity
  • long-term management

Bulldog Pancreatitis ONSET:

  • ACUTE PANCREATITIS: sudden, often appearing within hours or days.
  • CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: Gradual, developing over weeks or months, sometimes with intermittent flare-ups

Bulldog Pancreatitis SYMPTOMS:

  • ACUTE PANCREATITIS: typically severe, including
    • intense abdominal pain
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • lethargy
    • loss of appetite.
  • CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: some bulldogs might be asymptomatic; it is often milder than acute pancreatitis, with symptoms such as
    • intermittent episodes of vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • abdominal discomfort

Bulldog and French Bulldog Pancreatitis CAUSE:

  • ACUTE PANCREATITIS: Various factors, such as
    • high-fat diet
    • obesity
    • certain medications, like steroids
    • trauma
    • infections.
  • CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: Various factors, such as:
    • Repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis
    • dietary indiscretions
    • an underlying disease like diabetes or hypothyroidism.

Bulldog Pancreatitis SEVERITY:

  • ACUTE PANCREATITIS: The severity can range from mild to life-threatening, with potential complications like
    • dehydration
    • shock
    • organ failure.
  • CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: is generally milder than acute pancreatitis but can lead to long-term complications like
    • malnutrition
    • diabetes
    • exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).

Bulldog Pancreatitis DIAGNOSIS:

    • clinical signs,
    • blood tests (elevated pancreatic enzymes) immunoreactivity test (PLI), and specific canine pancreatic lipase (SPEC cPL)
    • imaging (ultrasound, X-rays).
  • CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: is similar to acute pancreatitis but may require additional tests like a pancreatic biopsy to confirm chronic inflammation.

Bulldog and French Bulldog Pancreatitis PREVENTIVE CARE

  • ACUTE PANCREATITIS: prevention must include
    • weight management
    • reduced-fat diet
    • minimizing prescription drugs
    • and avoiding trauma during abdominal surgery, such as spay. The surgeon must be careful not to pull, injury or probe the pancreas
  • CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: same as acute


In addition to the preventive measures we listed above, you should keep your bulldog on preventive bully therapeutic supplements such as:

  • V4B Bully Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes
  • V4B Bully Gentle-Move: a blend of natural, active botanical fibers
  • V4B Bulldog Immune Booster
  • V4B Bully Fish Oil EFA skin-joint-immune

Probiotics therapeutic supplement for bulldog pancreatitis

Bulldog Pancreatitis TREATMENT:

  • ACUTE PANCREATITIS: Hospitalization with supportive care like
    • fluid therapy
    • pain medication
    • antibiotics
    • antinausea & anti-vomiting
    • dietary adjustments.
    • In severe cases, surgery may be required.
  • CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: Primarily focused on managing symptoms and preventing flare-ups through
    • dietary changes (low-fat, high-fiber diet)
    • pain medication
    • enzyme supplements for EPI if needed.

Bulldog Pancreatitis PROGNOSIS:

  • ACUTE PANCREATITIS: Generally good with prompt diagnosis and treatment, but some bulldogs may experience relapses.
  • CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: variable, with potential for long-term management but increased risk of complications compared to acute pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs RULE OF THUMB

  1. Do Not Procrastinate: Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for acute and chronic pancreatitis.
  2. Quality Food: Dietary management is essential for preventing flare-ups in both acute and chronic cases.
  3. Blood Sugar: Inflammatory episodes of the pancreas can deplete insulin-secreting cells, disrupt sugar regulation, and potentially trigger acute diabetes.
  4. Life-threatening: While most cases of bulldog pancreatitis are mild, local, and short-term, a severe form can cause major illness, become systemic, and even be life-threatening.

If you suspect your dog has pancreatitis, seek immediate veterinary attention.

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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