How to Spot Pancreatitis in your Dog

albuquerque pancreatitis dog

albuquerque pancreatitis dogPancreatitis is a life threatening condition in dogs and can often be mistaken for something else. It is literally an inflammation of the pancreas. If you suspect your dog has pancreatitis you need to take her to the vet immediately.

The pancreas releases enzymes that help digestion. The enzymes only become active when they reach the small intestine. With pancreatitis the enzymes activate immediately upon release which inflames the pancreas and its surrounding tissue and organs. As these are digestive enzymes, this can cause your pancreas to literally digest itself. That is extremely painful and potentially life threatening.

You need to know what signs to look for in your dog. These are typical symptoms of pancreatitis:

  • Vomiting
  • Painful abdomen
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Hunched back
  • Loss of appetitie
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

If your dog is show one of these symptoms infrequently then you should monitor her. But is she has more than one, and has them multiple times, call your Albuquerque vet immediately.


The biggest cause of pancreatitis in dogs is a high fat diet, especially if they get one large serving of fatty food in a single sitting. Obesity, which is a sign of a high fat diet, can put your dog at higher risk. Hypothyroidism, blunt trauma diabetes mellitus, some medications, and a genetic predisposition can all put your dog at higher risk.



Once your dog has had an attack of pancreatitis they are more likely to get it again. If diagnosed, your vet will likely recommend a change in diet and suggest some dietary supplements such as fish oil. It is important to consult with your vet before giving your dog any supplements and to make sure she is on a proper diet to reduce the likelihood of another attack.

Train You Dog To Wear a Muzzle

albuquerque muzzle

albuquerque muzzleWearing a muzzle is a great training tool, good for social situations with other animals, and good to help prevent any potential accidents from aggressive behavior. But you don’t just want to throw a muzzle on your dog, you need to train them on how to wear it so the muzzle becomes something they welcome instead of something they fear.

Start with Puppies

The easiest time to teach your dog to wear a muzzle is when they are a puppy. Puppies can be taught to wear muzzles and have the training integrated into play and touch training so they associate the muzzle with affection and good times.

Fitting a muzzle

A bad fitting muzzle is an ineffective muzzle. During early stages of muzzle training, you don’t need it to fit properly. You only need it to fit enough to fit on their face until they learn to put their face into it willingly. Once your dog training is done, then it is time to get a muzzle that fits your dogs place properly.

A good rule is that a muzzle fits snugly but isn’t tight. Your dog should be able to open their mouth but not all the way. When fitting your muzzle it is a good idea to get the help from your trainer or vet.

Muzzle Training

The first part of muzzle training is to get your dog to place her face in the muzzle.

  1. Hold the muzzle with the opening facing your dog and keep the straps folded back and out of the way.
  2. Show her the muzzle and use a click sound then give her a treat. Your dog just needs to look at the muzzle, hear the click to get the reward.
  3. Once your dog is comfortable with looking at the muzzle, start moving it closer to their face. Get them to look at the muzzle, make the click and give them a treat. Generally 5 to 20 times at each stage is good for reinforcing behavior.
  4. Once the muzzle is close to their face, ask them to look at the muzzle, make the click and say muzzle or face and put a treat inside the muzzle so your dog has to go into the muzzle to get the treat.
  5. One comfortable getting it inside the muzzle, offer the treat from the outside of the muzzle so your dog has to put her face into the muzzle before being able to get the treat.
  6. Once your dog starts pushing her face into the muzzle, start buckling it. Give her a treat for putting her face in the muzzle and then again after buckling.
  7. Then start only giving the treat after buckling the muzzle.
  8. Once your dog is comfortable putting their face in the muzzle and having it buckled, practice doing it at different heights and angles. Some dogs are good at one height but not another, and you want to make sure your dog accepts the muzzle in any position.

Remember that muzzles are not scary. It will be no time before your dog is excited to put on her muzzle.

No Candy For Your Dog

halloween candy dogs

halloween candy dogsHalloween was amazing!! So many costumes. So many kids. So much candy. Now that you have all this candy what do you do with it? Often, unless we are 10 years old and have an insatiable hunger for candy, we cannot eat all the candy that we have in our trick-or-treat candy bucket. When you are trying to figure out what to do with your candy, do not give it to your pets.

Tootsie Rolls and caramel apples are off the list, of course, but here are some acceptable goodies that can keep him happy even though they won’t be in any kid’s Halloween bag!

Your dog and cat cannot eat any of your Halloween candy. There is not a single piece of it that won’t potentially make them sick or even risk death.  But that doesn’t mean that they have to be left out of the fun. You can give your pets the healthy treats.
Carrots, cooked sweet potato, green beans and even lettuce are super yummy and your dogs love them. It might be health food for you but for fido is a great treat to eat. Strawberries, melons, blueberries, bananas, apples and pears (without seeds) are also super yummy. If you are feeling ambitious you could make them a special treat that will be better than any candy and will be healthy too.
If you notice your pet vomiting, having diarrhea, lethargic, or loss of appetite please call your vet immediately as he might have eaten something he shouldn’t have.