Pancreatitis in dogs - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Like us, our dog friends also have a pancreas, an organ of vital importance for the proper functioning of the digestive system of the dog and that, in addition, affects the entire organism, since it releases glucagon and insulin, two hormones related to the metabolism of carbohydrates, therefore, by affecting nutrition, it has a systemic impact on our pet.

Food and digestive processes are of vital importance so that our dog can enjoy an optimal state of health, however, sometimes a disorder may appear that affects nutrition and affects the entire organism. In this AnimalWised article, we talk about the Causes and Treatment of Pancreatitis in Dogs, a serious condition that must be treated quickly.

You may also be interested in: Pancreatitis in Cats - Symptoms and Treatment Index
  1. What is pancreatitis in dogs?
  2. Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs
  3. What are the causes of pancreatitis in dogs?
  4. Treatment of pancreatitis in dogs
  5. Other common questions about pancreatitis in dogs

What is pancreatitis in dogs?

The term pancreatitis literally means inflammation of the pancreas, But due to the important functions of this organ, this condition goes far beyond a simple inflammatory state. To understand the damage that occurs in the pancreas, let's first know one of its main functions.

The pancreas synthesizes digestive enzymes that are prepared to be activated in the stomach and facilitate the digestion of food, on the other hand, when there is pancreatitis, these enzymes are activated in the pancreas and cause The digestion of it, which causes enormous inflammation in this organ and damage that can sometimes be irreparable.

Types of pancreatitis in dogs

We can distinguish two types of canine pancreatitis:

  • Acute pancreatitis- Symptoms come on suddenly and are highly defined and easily noticeable.
  • Chronic pancreatitis: the symptoms are not as intense as in acute pancreatitis, in this case the disease develops very slowly and is long-lasting. Structural changes occur in the pancreas and symptoms reappear despite treatment.

In the attached illustration, we can see an approximation of the visible differences between a healthy pancreas and an inflamed one, that is, pancreatitis.

Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs

The following symptoms should alert us, because if we observe them in our pet they may be indicating the presence of pancreatitis:

  • Vomiting.
  • Sickness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weightloss.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Gasps.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • Whining.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Apathy.
  • Pain.
  • Fever.
  • Depression.

It will be essential to go to the vet to make a diagnosis, although there is no specific diagnostic test, the vet will perform a blood and stool tests as well as an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis of pancreatitis and assess the damage that has occurred to the organ.

What are the causes of pancreatitis in dogs?

The exact cause of pancreatitis in dogs is not known, but it is known that the onset of this disease is closely linked to nutrition, because the following factors have been very clearly identified as risk factors:

  • Obese dogs.
  • Diets with excess fat.
  • High protein diet.

In addition to the causes related to the dog's diet, pancreatitis can also be produced as consequence of other diseases, like the following:

  • Cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Renal problems.
  • Infections.
  • Cardiovascular diseases.

You may also be interested in this other article on Symptoms of a sick dog.

Treatment of pancreatitis in dogs

Sometimes, pancreatitis has no cure, since the damage produced is irreversible, in this case, the only option is to administer a Palliative treatment that improves the quality of life of the patient and definitively establish a low-fat diet.

If you are dealing with acute pancreatitis, it is usually enough to suppressing food and water intake for a day to stop the secretion of digestive enzymes, subsequently returning to the usual diet progressively.

However, in any case, they are usually prescribed digestive enzymes that allow our pet to properly digest food and restore its body weight. The administration of digestive enzymes can be supplemented with anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce the symptoms of pain and inflammation..

The only preventive tool we have against pancreatitis in dogs is to nourish our pet properly in order to avoid excess body weight.

Home remedies for pancreatitis in dogs

Since treatment for pancreatitis in dogs is based on a correct feeding and / or in the administration of enzymes, we cannot say that there are home remedies as opposed to the usual treatment, since the treatment already has a very natural base and, in a certain way, "homemade". Of course, there are also no home remedies to replace palliative treatments for pain and inflammation, because to alleviate the pain of our pet we can only supply the medications that our veterinarian prescribes..

Other common questions about pancreatitis in dogs

If you want to know more about pancreatitis in dogs, you may have one of these questions:

¿How long does pancreatitis last in dogs??

Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs can last approximately from 3 days to 12 weeks. In cases of chronic pancreatitis in dogs, symptoms will appear fluctuatingly throughout the dog's life, which is why it is important to provide an adequate diet and visit the veterinarian periodically..

¿Pancreatitis in dogs has a cure?

As we explained, pancreatitis in dogs is cured, as long as it is detected in time and appropriate treatments are carried out, otherwise, irreversible damage to the body could occur and, even, the disease could become chronic.

¿A dog can die from pancreatitis?

Unfortunately, neglected cases of pancreatitis in dogs can end the life of the animal. Therefore, it is vitally important to go to the vet at the first alarm symptoms..

¿Pancreatitis in dogs is contagious?

As we have discussed, pancreatitis in dogs is inflammation of the pancreas caused by problems related to nutrition. Thus, pancreatitis is not contagious, as it is not caused by a pathogen such as viruses, bacteria or fungi.

¿What can a dog with pancreatitis eat??

For a dog with pancreatitis to digest food better, we can use healthy homemade food, dry food specially formulated for dogs with digestive problems, or wet food for dogs, also specially made for dogs with this problem. Of course, it will always be our veterinarian who will recommend the best for our dog..

This article is merely informative, at we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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