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Dog with Pancreatitis & Gallbladder Sludge Makes Excellent Recovery!

My dog became ill in April of 2019.  She was diagnosed with Sludge in her gallbladder, put on Ursodiol and we assumed we found the problem. A month later she was no better and we found a mass on her spleen so we removed the spleen and assumed we found the problem.  She was on and off food for the next year or so, finally diagnosed with pancreatitis and I had to put in a feeding tube as it got really bad. The tube helped tremendously because she had an aversion to low fat foods.  Once I could keep calories in her and get her used to low fat foods we were in better shape and I took the feeding tube out, but she had little energy and would relapse often which devastated me. Now we get to my point.

Around December 26th, 2020 I started my first dose of Gastro Elm and haven’t missed a dose since.  It took a few weeks for me to see the full benefit.  My 14 year old Chihuahua mix has the energy of a 6 year old now. Her appetite is back (although she would still prefer a high fat diet!!) She doesn’t shake anymore. She is happy, she plays, she is the dog I remember before all this illness began in April of 2019.

I was very hesitant to purchase GastroElm, as it is outside of the usual medications we use at the veterinary practice where I have worked for the last 15+ years. I saw so many people talk about it on the FaceBook Pancreatitis pages and it kept haunting me that there was something I had not tried that was working for others.I finally ordered a bag.  A relapse had gotten especially bad so I ordered a bag.  I am so happy I did. For my dog it has made all the difference in the world, I have no doubt of this.  Other things that have helped, I took my dog off Ursodiol (much early on) as we did figure out that it caused her to be nauseous (a little known side effect) and we added adequan (she is part daschund and all that comes with that at her age). I do attribute very much of her success at the moment to GastroElm Plus and wanted to share that with you.  You were very kind in corresponding with me and your Youtube video was so helpful.  There are not enough words to thank you for creating this product and sharing it with pets all over the world.

With sincere gratitude,
Lisa Z. and Pisher.
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Understanding Pancreatitis In Dogs

Our first experience with pancreatitis was when our toy poodle, Angel, woke up sick one morning.  Her stomach was extremely noisy, she was uncomfortable and we weren’t sure what to do for her.  Since she was young she had always been a finicky eater in the morning and would throw up bile if she didn’t eat breakfast.  I guess these might have been warning signs.  We had tried all kinds of different dog foods but nothing appealed to her.  On this day, however, things were much more extreme.  By early afternoon she was thowing up and it was obvious that she needed to see a vet.  The next 24 hours were horrible.  The vet ran tests and confirmed it was acute pancreatitis.  She therefore insisted on not giving her ANYTHING except IV fluids.  I had read about Carafate (Sucralfate) but she refused to give her any of it during the 24 hour fasting period.  As a result, she soon developed bloody diarrhea, continued to throw up and we feared for the worst.  Later that night we took her to the animal hospital to continue IV’s.  She ended up spending two nights in the hospital and having a blood transfusion before finally turning the corner.  When we got her back home she was on antibiotics, famotidine and carafate but her stomach was still noisy and she was miserable.  Since the antibiotics were just to prevent her from getting an infection (not to treat one) we stopped giving it and things quickly began to improve.

I began researching pancreatitis and searching for a new Vet.

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed.  In most cases, this condition causes the pancreas to release too many digestive enzymes into the digestive tract.  The primary culprit is lipase which is the enzyme that assists with the digestion of fat.  When Angel had a blood panel it showed that her lipase levels were off the charts.  High lipase levels can cause nausea, vomiting, intense upper stomach pain, fatty stools, lack of appetite / weight loss, rapid heart beat and fever.

What to do?

Our next vet taught me that instead of fasting dogs (especially small ones), you should feed through the flare using very small low fat meals and make sure they are drinking water.  This way they don’t become dehydrated and end up in the hospital.   We used chicken breast, white rice and mushy peas because Angel wouldn’t eat the prescription i/d food.  By keeping meals small  (about 1/3 of normal) the vet told us that the pancreas would still be able to rest and since they were super low in fat her lipase levels would come down.

Dogs that have one acute flair can sometimes go completely back to normal once things calm down, especially if the flare was caused by over indulging in something they weren’t supposed to.  If your dog continues to have flares however, it may be necessary to make dietary changes by increasing fiber and drastically reducing the fat content.

Chronic Pancreatitis

Angel’s lipase levels remained stubbornly high which meant that she had chronic pancreatitis instead of acute pancreatitis.  She would often wake up in the middle of the night with nausea and discomfort often throwing up.  I would give her carafate and a little food if she would eat it and in an hour she would go back to sleep.  If I could get her to eat breakfast then she would have a pretty good day.  If not, we would find a puddle of yellow bile somewhere around the house at lunch time and she would eat her breakfast at that time.   Since carafate (sucralfate) shouldn’t be used long term our vet found a more natural solution called Gastrafate for her to use daily.  It smelled terrible and she hated the taste, but I diligently gave it to her before breakfast and at bedtime for several years and it did help minimize her flares.

Since she had to be on a low fat diet long term we switched from rice to quinoa.  She ate it along with chicken breast, peas, green beans, pumpkin, sweet potato and sodium free dry curd cottage cheese for the rest of her life.  She loved pasta so we often gave her Banza pasta (made with chickpeas) in place of her quinoa for variety.   We had always been told that dogs need lots of fat in their diet for a healthy coat etc, but she did much better on a low fat diet.  We had to keep her meals small and fed her four times per day including at bedtime.  It got to the point where I even had to give her a meal in the middle of the night which would help her make it through the night without getting sick.

Our Big Breakthrough!

In the spring of 2013 we were going on a trip and taking Angel along.  I had ordered Gastrafate from the vet but it was back ordered and she was at the end of her supply.  I knew that if we left town without it she would be miserable the whole time as we had become very dependent on it and she really couldn’t be without it.   Since I had long been involved with marketing and studying supplements I started doing research and found that I could make a similar gooey substance using slippery elm bark powder.  I immediately went out and bought slippery elm capsules, opened 10 of them and put it in a little shaker cup with a few ounces of water.  After shaking for a bit it started to turn into a gel which was amazing and a huge relief.

That night I gave her the slippery elm instead of Gastrafate thinking I would save that for when she needed it.  Surprisingly she woke up the next morning feeling better than she had in years.   I was completely amazed.  When we returned home I continued to do some research finding that marshmallow root would be beneficial for her stomach lining and intestines.  Milk thistle seed and dandelion root are supportive for the liver, pancreas and other vital organs so I began experimenting with different combinations until I came up with GastroElm Plus.   After a few weeks Angel literally came back to life.  She began to play and go on walks like she was a pup instead of a 13 year old dog.

After being on it for a few months we checked her enzyme levels and they were normal for the first time in years!  Our vet was amazed as he had never seen this happen in a dog that had been chronic for so long.  Her flares became much less frequent as long as we used it on a daily basis.

After seeing the amazing results with Angel as well as other dogs, cats and even horses I decided we should make this product more widely available.  I went to the best suppliers I knew and began ordering the ingredients in bulk.   In 2018 I found my current slippery elm supplier who only deals in organic wild crafted Appalachian slippery elm bark.  The bark is sustainably harvested by two families who have been doing it for decades.  The result is the most fragrant, wonderful slippery elm powder I’ve ever worked with.   I could purchase organic slippery elm for roughly half the price, but believe me it’s not the same.

Using GastroElm Plus For Pancreatitis in Dogs

I still use a little shaker cup to make it into a gel.   You can mix 1 tablespoon of powder with 4 ounces of water and shake it for 10 seconds to make a smooth gel.  For smaller dogs you can mix 1/2 tablespoon with 2 ounces of water in a smaller shaker.  You can store it in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week.   It will start to smell funny when it goes bad.

I use a syringe to give it to smaller animals 5 minutes prior to breakfast and at bedtime.   For bigger dogs this can be hard so you can mix the gel into food or a snack.  Here is a link to the complete instructions.

Using GastroElm Plus


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to give it daily or just when my dog has flares?

Using the recommended doses there really is no downside to using it daily.  If you notice energy improvement and fewer stomach issues it’s best to use it at breakfast time and bedtime daily.

Can I use more during flares?

Yes.  You can give a third dose midday if you notice them shaking (pain) or a noisy stomach.  You can even cut the dose in half and give it every couple hours during bad flares.

Is it safe to use long term?

Yes.  We use whole herbs, not extracts or concentrates so they are well balanced and very safe for long term use in the recommended doses.  Whole herbs such as dandelion root and milk thistle seed have multiple flavonoids and other components that provide balanced support without over stimulating the liver.

Does GastroElm Plus interfere with other meds?

No.  GastroElm Plus creates a water based barrier that meds can pass through.

How about taking it with food and supplements?

I mix other supplements right into GastroElm Plus with great results.  One example was adding 500mg of  Hawthorn Berry to each batch of GastroElm Plus for Angel when she developed an enlarged heart.  It worked amazingly well and was much easier than trying to give it to her separately.

Most animals trend back toward their normal weight once they are on GastroElm Plus so this indicates that they actually have better food utilization when on it.  This is true with dogs, cats and horses.

You can learn more by reading an interview I did with Dr Michele Yasson who has used this ingredients for over 30 years in her practice:

Interview With Dr Michele Yasson


Michael Peterson
Founder of Nature’s Pet Supply

  • I’m not a veterinarian so everything in this article is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace proper veterinary care.   Everything I’ve learned is from research, experience working with our own animals and from helping thousands of sick animals over the past 8 years.

Angel lived to be 15 1/2 years old despite developing chronic pancreatitis when she was 7 years old.  This video of Angel was taken when she was 13 and had been taking GastroElm Plus for a couple months.  Her energy level was off the charts.

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A Dog with Diabetes & Pancreatitis Regains His Appetite!


Wow! I don’t know why I waited so long to try this on my pancreatic corgi! Loki just turned 11 on August 6, 2019. He was diagnosed with Diabetes and Pancreatitis on December 26, 2017. It was rough in the beginning, but things smoothed over a little after getting him on some prescribed Rx diet. But he was never really into it after all this time. And recently it had gotten much worse. Getting him to eat was like pulling teeth.

A few times since his diagnosis, he had rough days where I thought for sure he was having another flare-up of Pancreatitis (vomiting, even just water… extreme inappetence). This latest episode on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, I thought for sure it was the end. He threw up first thing in the morning, before he had even eaten. Just a bunch of water/foam. He refused to eat, just chugged a bunch of water and then threw up again. I found him laying in the bathroom just laying there in a puddle of his own water-vomit. We had already decided if it was another flare-up… we would just make the decision to let him go, because he was just miserable! He never wanted to eat, he would just lay in the bathroom all day looking sad, every day. Well on this day, the vet ran his bloodwork and his pancreas values came back perfect. Say what?? But she decided he was in extreme pain for arthritis or a spine/disc issue. She gave Loki an injection of Cerenia, and a new medicine to begin injecting to help him with his joint pains. He felt better that evening, and gave less of a fight to eat… but the next morning, he didn’t want to eat again. I was at my wit’s end. He can’t live eating a few bites here and there.

I took to a Pancreatic Dog support group on FB and someone suggested GastroElm Plus.  (I had seen it mentioned before, but when I saw it those times before, I wasn’t having so many issues with him not wanting to eat). So I ordered it, and it promptly arrive on Saturday morning (Aug 10). It missed his breakfast time by just a few minutes, and he had put up a fight about eating that morning. I gave him a dose of GastroElm just to help soothe his tummy. About 30 minutes later, he was sticking his face in his bowl like “Hey! Lady! I could eat!”. So I gave him a little additional food that he had ignored earlier, and he gobbled it right up!

Then, Saturday evening, it came time for their dinner. About 20 minutes before I set his bowl down, I gave him another squirt of the GastroElm gel that was made earlier in the day. Then when I was standing at the counter prepping his dinner, he shows up and is standing there staring at me like “Uhm… when’s dinner??”. Which was HIGHLY unusual for him. Typically I have to BEG him to come out of the bathroom and eat his dinner. It had become an every day thing… kneeling on the kitchen floor and trying to coax him to eat so he could have his insulin. WELL! Not on this night! I finished prepping his bowl and set it down in his stand, he stuck his face right in there and gobbled it up without hesitation…. licked it clean and trotted off to roll around on his back in the living room. This was a sight I hadn’t seen in so long. I cried a little. I have continued to give it to him the last couple of days, and every day he’s a little more excited about eating, and seems more happy and satisfied. Thank you so much for this wonderful product! I can’t say enough good things.

Since 2013 we’ve heard countless stories like this one.  You can learn more about GastroElm Plus by visiting:


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Dog Recovering From Pancreatitis & IBD


My 16 year old dog, Casey, came down with Pancreatitis and IBD and my Vet suggested giving her several different medicines. I am not a fan of giving a dog medicine due to all of the side effects and all medicines are eliminated through the kidney’s. I joined a FB Pancreatitis group and everyone was talking about GastroElm Plus. Casey was lethargic, loss of appetite, nauseas, painful belly, depressed and she didn’t want to eat. She was so sick that I considered putting her to sleep to end her suffering. I watched a You tube video about Gastro Elm and after being sick for almost three weeks I decided to try Gastro Elm.

20 minutes after my sick dog received Gastro elm her appetite came back, it was a miracle! I gave my dog Gastro elm three to four times a day (one hour before every meal). By the second day of being on Gastro elm my sick dog came roaring back to life. Her energy returned, her nauseas abated, her appetite came back and I no longer heard any gurgling acidic noises in her stomach. Gastro Elm saved my dogs life. I now give her 1/2 teaspoon in the AM and 1/2 teaspoon before bed (with a snack). No more 5 AM bile throw ups and my dog now wakes up happy, wagging her tail and rolling on my bed. Gastro elm is by far the best holistic product I’ve found and I will always keep my dog on it for the rest of her life.

Thank you!


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Making Bone Broth for Dogs

Domesticated animals such as dogs and house cats tend to eat either commercially prepared foods or home cooked meals.  Two areas that tend to be neglected in both are calcium from bone meal and collagen from ligaments and connective tissues.   Collagen is very useful for animals that are showing the effects of arthritis or are suffering digestive disorders.  Just as leaky gut has made it’s way into discussions regarding human health, it is also an issue for animals.  This can be aggravated by the use of antibiotics and other medications.  An easy way to get more collagen into your dogs is by adding bone broth to their diet.  Since most commercially prepared bone broths contain onions or added sodium, I prefer to make it at home simply using beef bones and water.

I use a combination of bones that contain marrow and some neck bones which contain more cartilage and connective tissues.  These are easily obtained by asking at the meat counter of most grocery stores or from a local butcher.  Grass fed beef is the best choice but they tend to be much harder to find unless you have access to a local source of grass fed beef.

Place them in a deep pot to allow them to be completely covered in water.

Bring water to a boil.  Turn it down to a simmer and then scoop out any garbage that floats to the top.  It’s usually just remnants from the bones being cut.

Then add a couple tablespoons of vinegar which will help with releasing the collagen from the bones.  This will not affect the taste.

Let it simmer for 48 hours.  I leave it on low on the stove, but some people feel safer using a crock pot which will work as well.  This will make your whole house smell wonderful if you like the aroma of cooking homemade soup!  When it’s done simmering, remove it from heat and let it cool down.  Then remove the bones and all other chunks that have accumulated.  I run it though a course strainer.  Here is what the bones should look like when finished.  You will notice that most of the marrow is missing from the bones which is what you want.  Some people prefer to remove the remaining marrow and add it to the broth.

After straining it into a bowl it should look like this.

You will notice there is a significant amount of fat present which would be fine for a healthy dog, but if your animal has pancreatitis you will want to refrigerate this for an hour until all the fat solidifies on top.

Once this has occurred, simply skim the fat off the top and discard leaving a nearly fat free bone broth like this:

Since there are no preservatives, most sources recommend only storing this for a few days in the refrigerator, so I transfer it into an ice cube tray (the one shown is a silicone tray for large cubes but any will do).  Once they have frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag for long term storage, up to a year in the freezer.

This way you can thaw out a cube anytime and use it for supercharging your GastroElm Plus mixture or adding it directly to their food.  How much you add to the food depends upon the size of your dog, but I use it like a gravy and the dogs love it!

If your dog has an issue with beef, you can use meaty chicken bones, turkey bones, buffalo or wild game.

If you have any questions simply reply in the comments below!


To a healthier pet!

Michael Peterson





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Tips for Managing Pancreatitis in Dogs

I’ll never forget the day that our toy poodle, Angel, was struck down by acute pancreatitis when she had just turned seven years old. She became so violently ill that we thought we were going to lose her. With blood coming out of both ends, our vet at the time, did nothing to coat her stomach or intestines.  Due to her small size (6 1/2 lbs) she ended up spending two nights in the hospital and needing a blood transfusion in order to survive. Since then I’ve gained as much knowledge as possible from both holistic and non-holistic vets. I’ve also helped thousands of pet owners in the same situation since creating GastroElm Plus in the spring of 2013. I share much of what I’ve learned below in hopes that it can help others.

There is Hope! Angel lived 8 1/2 years with chronic pancreatitis, which was several years longer than the original prognosis of 2-3. The most important aspects of caring for a dog with pancreatitis are Diet, Exercise and Caring for the digestive tract and affected organs.

My first tip: Do not fast small animals.  Fasting might work for large dogs who have plenty of bodyweight.  If you choose to do this, never withhold water.  Dehydration is very detrimental to the recovery of the animal.  Angel’s second vet taught us to divide a normal meal in thirds and feed small meals every couple hours instead of fasting.  If you have some GastroElm Plus give them 1/2 of a normal dose with each small meal.  This will get them through an acute attack as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Diet – Rule #1 is Very Low Fat, especially in the beginning. Excess fat causes major problems for dogs struggling with pancreatitis. In the wild, dogs tend to eat birds, rabbits and other wild game that is quite low in fat. In fact, dogs don’t need nearly as much fat as what is present in most commercial dog foods. Fat is cheap and tasty, so it makes an enticing filler. I almost exclusively used chicken breast for Angel after her diagnosis. Remove all visible fat, but you don’t have to boil it. Grill it or slow cook it in the oven. If your dog doesn’t tolerate chicken well, then my next choice would be the leanest cuts of beef you can find at the grocery store or meat counter. If in doubt, ask someone at the meat counter or a butcher. If you have access to lean cuts of buffalo or venison those are also great choices.

Veggies – There are several veggies that work well as they provide some extra fiber to keep them regular. I have found pumpkin to be the most beneficial, because it contains lots of fiber and is also soothing if the animal has tendencies toward diarrhea. Angel also enjoyed green beans, peas, sweet potato, and squash. Angel was very allergic to carrots which is why we didn’t use them, but most dogs enjoy them. Using any of these in rotation to make up about 1/3 of a meal works well.

Avoid Excess Grains.  When dogs are first diagnosed with pancreatitis most vets recommend boiled chicken and rice. Rice is not a good long term solution because like other grains it can cause inflammation in the digestive tract and dogs with pancreatitis are already dealing with too much inflammation. My vet recommends using overcooked quinoa instead of rice. She overcooks it by doubling the amount of water and cooking for a longer period of time so it’s mushy and easy to digest. Angel really enjoyed pasta so as an occasional treat we would give her some Barilla Plus which is a combination of durum and legumes. She loved it and it never caused any problems for her.

Calcium is a very important component of a dog’s diet and is often overlooked when owners begin home cooking. This can cause kidney issues, because meat is high in phosphorous and needs to be balanced out by calcium. In the wild, dogs eat the meat and most of the bones from a kill. In fact, if you do any research on raw food diets they always recommend 10-15% of their diet being raw bones. If you use a calcium supplement, my holistic vet recommends calcium lactate in the powder form added to the meal. One thing that Angel liked much better than calcium powder was sodium free dry curd cottage cheese.

This version has virtually no sodium, is fat free and is high in calcium and protein.

Bone Broth – Another source of beneficial nutrients for dogs is bone broth.  Bone broth does not contain much calcium, but is a great source of collagen to help their joints and muscles as well as tighten up a leaky gut. Since many dogs with pancreatitis also have problems with colitis, IBD and other digestive issues this could be very beneficial, especially when combined with GastroElm Plus.  I make it at home and skim off all of the fat.

Exercise is very important for dogs with pancreatitis. In fact, when Angel was having a bad morning, I would always take her out for a short walk and more often than not she made a dramatic improvement as a result. You should give them at least a short ten minute walk each day to help them keep everything flowing through their system. It’s important for all dogs, but especially those with pancreatitis.

Healing – The third thing that’s incredibly important is protecting and healing their digestive tract. That’s why I developed GastroElm Plus for Angel, because I knew she needed something that she could take on a daily basis. Things like sucralafate or Carafate were not intended for long term use.   As stated on the GastroElm home page, each herb was chosen not only to soothe the digestive tract and allow it to heal but to also support the vital organs as well.  I intentionally left out herbs like licorice which may be beneficial in the short term but should not be used longer term.

Note:  If you live outside the United States you will not have access to GastroElm Plus at this time.  You should be able to find Slippery Elm Bark Powder (avoid product from China) which will help to coat the stomach in a similar way.

Some people may suggest that long term use of Slippery Elm or milk thistle is not in the best interest of the animal, but I strongly disagree. An animal diagnosed with pancreatitis is suffering from a very debilitating and deadly disease. Others think that using slippery elm might reduce the ability of an animal to properly digest their food and utilize the nutrients from it. Again, I don’t agree. I’ve seen dogs, cats and horses who resembled a bag of bones before going on GastroElm Plus who began to fill out and gain weight after implementing this product. A dog with pancreatitis or a horse with ulcers is already having tremendous difficulty assimilating food properly, so the number one goal is to heal the digestive tract. That’s exactly why GastroElm Plus improves the quality of life for so many animals.

Supercharging GastroElm Plus

GastroElm Plus by itself is usually enough to help your animal regain good quality of life.  But if you have a dog who has been sick for long time or has multiple issues that don’t respond fully to GastroElm Plus, there is an easy way to super charge it. Try using fat free bone broth as mentioned above, instead of water to mix with the GastroElm Plus powder. Bone broth and GastroElm are both wonderful for tightening up a leaky gut which is an underlying issue with many sick animals. Since many commercial bone broths are made with onion or added sodium, it’s best to do it from scratch at home. It’s incredibly easy, just use this recipe.

If you have any questions simply reply in the comments below!


To a healthier pet!

Michael Peterson