Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed. It can affect dogs of any breed, age or gender. If your dog has pancreatitis, it can lead to serious health problems and even death if left untreated. Keep reading to learn more about this condition and how you can prevent it in your dog.
What is pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is a serious condition that can lead to death. It’s an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that produces digestive enzymes and hormones. When it becomes inflamed, those digestive enzymes are spilled into the stomach where they cause damage and pain. Pancreatitis is most commonly seen in middle-aged to older dogs. It’s also common for pups who have had parvovirus or distemper infections to develop pancreatitis as well as other serious illnesses later in life.
Pancreatitis isn’t always easy to diagnose because there are many causes of abdominal pain in dogs besides this condition, including other types of inflammation or infection within the abdomen (such as colitis), parasites like tapeworms or roundworms (which could be causing vomiting), cancerous tumors inside your dog’s abdomen (which could be causing vomiting), constipation from medications such as opioids — even something as simple as eating too much too quickly!
What causes pancreatitis?
If you have been following this series from the beginning, you know that it’s an inflammation of the pancreas caused by too much fat in a dog’s diet. As we’ve already discussed, there are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Acute pancreatitis usually occurs suddenly and lasts for only a short time (a few days). Chronic pancreatitis occurs when there is long-term damage to your canine companion’s digestive system.
There are many causes of pancreatitis in dogs, including:
- Diet. If your dog eats a lot of fatty foods or large amounts of carbohydrates and sugar, he may develop pancreatitis.
- Obesity. Excess body fat can put pressure on the pancreas and make it swell up, causing inflammation.
- Alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol can damage the pancreas and trigger an attack by increasing levels of toxins in the blood that irritate the organ’s tissue cells. This type of pancreatitis is called “alcohol-induced.”
- Cancerous tumors within the pancreas itself or cancer that has spread to other parts of your pet’s body (metastasis) can also cause this illness as well as trauma (e.g., being hit by a car), infections (such as distemper), parasites such as worms or tapeworms, and certain kinds of medications used for treating arthritis symptoms (such as prednisone).
How do I know if my dog has pancreatitis?
The symptoms of acute pancreatitis include vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain or tenderness, lethargy (tiredness), loss of appetite (anorexia), dehydration because they can’t keep food down long enough to absorb nutrients properly into their bloodstreams which causes weight loss over time if left untreated.
Chronic pancreatitis has similar symptoms but they are often less severe than those seen with acute cases since these issues happen slowly over many months or even years instead all at once like an attack would cause them too happen within days if not hours depending on severity level where death could occur if not treated immediately after diagnosis which is why it’s important to know what signs look for when trying diagnose/treating this condition as well as prevent future attacks from happening again so always follow up with your vet regularly throughout treatment process just make sure everything going well nothing going wrong during recovery period!
If you suspect your dog has pancreatitis, the first thing to do is check for symptoms. Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs can include:
- Lethargy (lack of energy)
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain (usually on the left side, but sometimes on both sides) and/or tenderness when touched. If your dog seems to have a lot of pain or discomfort around his stomach area, it’s best to take him to the vet immediately.
- Anorexia or loss of appetite (not eating). Your dog may refuse food or eat very little if he has painful abdominal symptoms as well as nausea from vomiting or diarrhea. A lack of appetite could indicate serious illness such as pancreatitis; however, it can also be caused by other conditions like parasites or poisoning so don’t assume that if your dog isn’t eating he must have pancreatitis!
How do you treat pancreatitis?
- Stop feeding your dog for 24 hours.
- Feed your dog a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice with pumpkin puree.
- Give the dog painkillers, such as Tylenol or Metacam.
- Give your dog antibiotics to fight infection, if necessary.
- Administer fluids via an intravenous drip in order to rehydrate the pet and flush out any toxins.
- If necessary, insert a feeding tube into their stomach so that they can receive food without eating on their own (this is not always recommended).
- Give them an injection of somatostatin that will reduce the production of pancreatic enzyme over time (this treatment should be used by experts only). If this method works well for your dog’s illness, then you may want to consider switching from injections to pills once it’s been determined that this type of treatment has worked well enough over time so as not cause any more damage than necessary due to continued use.”
Can a dog recover from pancreatitis?
The prognosis depends on the severity of your dog’s case. Some dogs recover without any problems, but they may need to go on a special diet.
Dogs with chronic pancreatitis will usually be prescribed medication for life. If they have severe pancreatitis, they may need surgery to remove their pancreas altogether.
How can I prevent pancreatitis in dogs?
If you want to stop pancreatitis in your dog, then follow these tips:
- Feed a high-quality diet. In general, the higher the quality of food your dog eats, the fewer digestive problems will occur. As a rule of thumb, don’t feed your canine table scraps or treats that are not specifically designed for dogs’ nutritional needs. If you’re not sure about which foods may be appropriate for your pooch’s diet and nutritional needs, consult with a veterinarian who specializes in animal nutrition or ask at an reputable pet supply store where they recommend that their customers purchase their pet’s food (this is often a great way of finding out what brands they would recommend).
- Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Overweight dogs have an increased risk of developing pancreatitis because excess fat cells can produce more inflammatory chemicals than leaner animals do—and we all know how much pain inflammation causes! To keep from packing on pounds too fast during this process (and thus making it harder for them to lose weight), try walking several times per day with them for 20 minutes each time until both of you feel comfortable with how long each walk should last before returning home again
Know the signs of acute and chronic pancreatitis in your dog.
Chronic pancreatitis can be a slow and subtle disease, making it difficult to spot. The signs include:
- Increased appetite
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Weight loss (due to malabsorption of nutrients)
Some dogs might also have a decreased tolerance to exercise due to pain or discomfort. Pancreatic cancer is serious, but if you know the signs of this condition in your dog, you can get him treatment sooner—and give him better odds at survival.