Acute Pancreatitis in Dogs


The pancreas has many functions, consisting of the production and secretion of digestion enzymes and the production of insulin. Gastrointestinal enzymes are critical for food digestion, while insulin aids in the control of the metabolic process and blood-sugar levels. Pancreatitis implies “swelling” of the pancreas and severe means “sudden.” When the pancreas ends up being irritated, digestive enzymes that are typically non-active until they reach the small intestine become active in the pancreas instead — resulting in pain and swelling as the pancreas in fact starts to absorb itself.

What You Should Know about Acute Pancreatitis in Dogs


There are numerous recommended causes of acute pancreatitis consisting of: weight problems, high-fat diets, endocrine illness such as hypothyroidism, and numerous medications or toxic substances. Even if your dog does not normally eat a high-fat diet, the intro of a big quantity of fatty food simultaneously can cause acute pancreatitis. Veterinarians see an increase in pancreatitis around the holidays, given that lots of people believe a nice way to commemorate is to share their vacation meals with their dog. In addition, dogs that get into garbage are a lot more likely to develop pancreatitis, so be sure to keep your trash out of your dog’s reach! Pancreatitis can occur in any dog, however some types are more susceptible to this disease. They consist of the miniature schnauzer, mini poodle, and cocker spaniel. In addition, pancreatitis is more typical in middle-age to older dogs, obese dogs, and women.


The most typical symptoms of intense pancreatitis in dogs are anorexia nervosa, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms you may discover consist of:

  • Swollen abdominal area
  • Irregular posture; arching of the back
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Uneasyness
  • Gagging


Your vet will take a total history and carry out an extensive physical exam. In addition, diagnostic tests will be needed to identify if your dog has severe pancreatitis. These might include:

  • Chemistry evaluates to examine kidney, liver, and pancreatic disease or dysfunction, in addition to blood sugar levels
  • A total blood count to screen your pet for infection, swelling, or anemia and other blood-related conditions
  • Electrolyte tests to ensure your dog is neither dehydrated nor experiencing an electrolyte imbalance
  • Pancreas-specific tests to assist diagnose or eliminate the disease
  • Imagaing research studies to evalutate the pancreas and other abdominal organs

The treatment of pancreatitis depends on the severity of the disease and may include:

  • Hospitalization at the veterinary clinic and in more severe cases 24 hour extensive care and tracking
  • Intravenous fluids
  • Pain medication
  • Antivomiting medication (antiemetics)
  • Antibiotics, if a secondary bacterial infection is believed
  • Nutritional assistance
  • Other medications, depending upon your dog’s symptoms

Remember that your vet might recommend that some diagnostic tests, such as the CBC, chemistry tests, and pancreatic-specific tests be repeated to monitor your dog’s progress during treatment.

Your vet will recommend a treatment strategy that specifies for your pet. Make sure you offer all medications as directed and thoroughly follow any dietary recommendations. Following recovery a low fat diet might be suggested to decrease the chance of recurrence. Keep a close eye on your buddy; if he or she ends up being sluggish or stops consuming, call your vet immediately.


While you can’t completely prevent acute pancreatitis, the following will help in reducing the risk of your dog developing the disease and guarantee his health and well-being:

  • Do not let your dog become overweight — weight management is just as important for our four-legged buddies as it is for us!
  • Prevent high-fat diets
  • Prevent giving your dog table scraps, specifically if he isn’t accustomed to consuming people food
  • Ensure you discuss all medications your dog is getting with your vet
  • Do not let your dog have access to garbage!

Also read: Pancreatitis in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment


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