Pancreatitis In Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

By helloBARK!
Updated on 27 November 2019

Pancreatitis is a condition that can affect dogs just like humans.

If you’re a dog owner, Pancreatitis is something that you should be aware of, especially if you own an adult or senior dog.

Pancreatitis can be defined simply: it’s the inflammation of the pancreas.

However, the symptoms can be difficult to spot or misconstrued as something else. For example, if you’re dog isn’t eating or is throwing up, it could be pancreatitis.

If you suspect your dog is suffering with pancreatitis, you shouldn’t contact your veterinarian immediately. If your local vet isn’t available or closed, you should head to the emergency vet.

The American Kennel Club explain that there are a number of causes and risk factors that can bring on pancreatitis.

Sometimes pancreatitis can come out of blue so it’s important to educated about the health condition as a dog owner.

In a bid to learn more about pancreatitis, we spoke to Pete Wedderburn, aka Pete the Vet, to learn more about this issue.

Pete is a vet with a big media profile as a Daily Telegraph columnist and a regular on Irish radio and television.

With his own practice in County Wicklow in Ireland since 1991, Pete was able to shed more light on pancreatitis in dogs.

1) What is pancreatitis [in dogs]?

By definition, inflammation of the pancreas.

2) How serious is pancreatitis?

It varies: there are different forms. It can be severe, necrotising, and sometimes fatal, or it can be low grade, chronic, and relatively harmless.

3) What are the symptoms to look out for?

Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for:

• Inappetence
• Vomiting
• Abdominal pain

4) How do you tell the difference between pancreatitis and upset stomach or an obstruction?

It can be hard to tell, and concerned owners should talk to their vet if they feel this is a possibility. A blood test and ultrasound examination can be the only way to tell.

5) At what stage should you seek veterinarian help?

Golden Retriever has a check up at the vet (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retriever has a check up at the vet (Photo: Adobe Stock)

If a dog stops eating, if they vomit repeatedly or if they become very dull, then a vet’s advice should be sought without delay.

6) There is a conception that pancreatitis affects older dogs. Is this true or can younger dogs suffer from the condition too?

It can affect dogs of any age.

7)How important is a dog’s diet to prevent pancreatitis?

A high fat diet makes pancreatitis more likely, so if a dog is prone to having this condition they should be fed on a low fat diet.

8) Is it possible to cure pancreatitis? If so, how?

Fasting, intravenous fluids, pain relief and antibiotic cover is sufficient to cure many cases. But sometimes, despite everything being done, individual cases do not survive.

9)Is pancreatitis more prevalent in certain dog breeds?

There is a genetic element to this, but I am not sure if any breeds are particularly prone to it.

10) Can Pancreatitis lead to other health conditions?

Diabetes melllitus can develop if the pancreas is badly damaged during a severe bout of pancreatitis.

Check out Pete the Vet’s exclusive interview with helloBARK! here.

You can visit Pete’s award-winning blog here:

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