ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pancreatitis in dogs

Updated on February 2, 2012

Should you give Fifi that left over bacon from breakfast? Making a special holiday left over meal for your pooch? Feeding certain types of human food to your dog in moderation is usually okay, but there are some health risks associated with feeding your dog the wrong types of food. Pancreatitis can be dangerous to your dog and a form of the disease can be caused by consuming foods or a diet high in fat.

Dogs might really enjoy human food, but to reduce the risk of Pancreatitis and other health issues it's important to monitor what your dog eats.
Dogs might really enjoy human food, but to reduce the risk of Pancreatitis and other health issues it's important to monitor what your dog eats. | Source

The pancreas is an organ located near the stomach that works with both the endocrine and the digestive system. For the endocrine system, the pancreas produces hormones such as glucagon and insulin. As a digestive organ, the pancreas secretes fluids that contain digestive enzymes to help the body break down food and absorb nutrients.

Pancreatitis is a condition characterized by swelling of the pancreas. In dogs, Pancreatitis can be caused by eating an especially fatty meal, such as human table scraps. The disease is more common in overweight spayed female dogs and also in dogs that eat high fat diets. Dogs taking corticosteroids, or who have diabetes, hypothyroidism, or Cushing’s syndrome also seem to have a higher risk of developing Pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis in dogs can be acute or chronic. Chronic Pancreatitis is persistent or recurring pancreatic inflammation. Acute Pancreatitis is usually a single episode that attacks abruptly. Whether acute or chronic, the disease can be mild or severe. The signs of Pancreatitis vary from mild stomach upset to, in the most extreme of cases, death. Most dogs display some amount of stomach upset, including signs such as vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia, and/or diarrhea. Fever, dehydration, and lethargy are also common symptoms. Because these symptoms can also be indicators of other conditions, swift vet treatment is advised. If left untreated for too long, Pancreatitis can cause fluid to build up in a dogs abdomen and chest. It can also lead to renal failure, and cause inflammation in the dogs arteries and veins. This inflammation can occasionally trigger the body's clotting factors, depleting them. When depleted, spontaneous bleeding that can become fatal may occur. Heart arrhythmias, difficulty breathing, and sepsis are other symptoms of the severe form of the disease.

If you think your dog may be suffering of Pancreatitis it's important to get them into a vet. Your vet will most likely conduct a physical exam and take a blood sample to test. Other tests your vet may preform include urinalysis, x-rays, and/or ultrasound. Treatment of Pancreatitis usually focuses on keeping the dog comfortable and stable, making sure no further complications arise. Pain medication and fluid therapy are a normal part of the treatment. Other medications may be given to help control symptoms such as vomiting. Food given should be bland and low in fat. If your vet determines that your dogs Pancreatitis was caused by an underlying problem such as an infection or toxin, they should treat accordingly.

In the case of acute and mild bouts of Pancreatitis your dog's outlook should be good. Your vet may advise you to start your pet on a low fat diet in order to hopefully prevent future occurrences. Chronic Pancreatitis can cause some complications, such as diabetes and/or what is called pancreatic insufficiency. Dogs who develop pancreatic insufficiency cannot process nutrients out of their foods correctly. The treatment for this is to replace the dogs digestive enzymes by giving a medication created from the pancreases of pigs and cattle. This treatment is usually expensive, but should help the dogs who need it live a close to normal life.

It's important to be aware of the signs of Pancreatitis in dogs, and how you can help to prevent it. Don't feed your dogs a diet high in fat, and give treats and human foods in moderation. Watch your dogs weight and try to maintain a health body weight, as this can also decrease their likelihood of suffering from Pancreatitis as well as many other diseases. If your dog becomes sick and you think it may be Pancreatitis or are unsure of what's wrong, a visit to the vet is probably your best option. Early diagnoses can mean that your beloved pet will be feeling better again sooner, and it can also decrease the chances that further damage will be done to vital organs. Hopefully you and your dog will never have to experience the realities of Pancreatitis, but by learning about the disease now you should be able to help prevent it as well as know how to recognize the symptoms if they ever do occur.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)