Pancreatitis 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:
- Painful abdomen
- Bloated abdomen
- Hunched back
- Loss of appetitie
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.