We all love our dogs and when they get sick, we feel their pain and we can tell they are ill simply by looking at their faces. Pancreatitis in dogs is a relatively common ailment which can occur frighteningly quickly (acute pancreatitis) or can slowly build up and be an on-going complaint (chronic pancreatitis).
Pancreatitis in simple terms, is an overloaded and traumatized pancreas. The pancreas is an organ essential in food digestion by secretion of enzymes, and it also produces hormones such as insulin to control the up-take of sugars and amino acids. Thus, pancreatitis in dogs means pancreas malfunction and a very very sore stomach in your best friend.
For reasons unknown to us animal professionals, some dogs are more susceptible to pancreatitis than others. Most susceptible are: Miniature Schnauzers, Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers and Cocker Spaniels. Dogs least likely to have trouble with pancreatitis are Poodles and Labradors. So, what are the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs and could YOU be the cause?
Contents at a Glance
- Pancreatitis in Dogs Symptoms
- Pancreatitis in Dogs Causes
- Pancreatitis in Dogs Diet
- Pancreatitis in Dogs Bloody Diarrhea
Pancreatitis in Dogs Symptoms
You will know if your dog is ill so check carefully for these symptoms. Diarrhea will be certain and with pancreatitius in dogs bloody diarrhea can be expected along with vomiting.
You dog will be lethargic, sleepy and may even have trouble walking. Your dog will likely be dehydrated so its eyes will be dull and sunken. Your dog will have no appetite and may drink more water than usual which will result in vomiting soon after.
Although a huge rise in temperature is not always present, your dog is likely to be hotter than normal. Dogs commonly take up a curled or hunched position as if to protect their stomach due to the pain.
In acute pancreatitis in dogs symptoms may come on fast. If this is the case, get your dog to a vet fast as Fulminant Necrotizing Pancreatitis will cause your dog to go into shock and can be fatal. So what causes pancreatitis in dogs?
Pancreatitis in Dogs Causes
Scientists have not found a conclusive reason for pancreatitis in dogs causes, however there is much evidence to suggest that chronic pancreatitis (long-term) can been linked to diet.
Dogs who are overweight or eat a diet high in fat are susceptible as their pancreas has to work harder to process these foods. Statistics show that pancreatitis is more prevalent in middle aged female dogs and in the breeds; Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier and Cocker Spaniel.
Allergy to drugs has been linked to pancreatitis in dogs, and it is also known to onset after trauma or infection. If your dog is suffering from chronic (long-term) pancreatitis causes may well be avoided by diet.
Pancreatitis in Dogs Diet
A specific diet can prevent the likelihood of pancreatitis occurring, and diet can also reduce the symptoms if your dog is already a pancreatitis sufferer. As I mentioned earlier, YOU could well be the cause of the illness!
Pancreatitis in dogs diet is generally high in fat and low in fibre. If your dog is a ‘table grazer‘ who is often given tasty scraps and fatty parts of meat to eat, then it is likely that diet is the main cause of the problem. Pacreatitis in dogs can also be developed by dogs who get into rubbish bins, where they eat food not intended for consumption as well as toxins.
A dog suffering from acute pancreatitis needs to give its pancreas a break – fast. In most acute cases dogs will be hospitalized and fed electrolyes intravenously for 5 – 10 days. In less severe cases, or with chronic (reoccuring) pancreatitis in dogs diet must become a strict regime.
As pancreatitis is caused by inflammation of the pancreas, to rest the organ, only small meals three times a day should be eaten. These meals must be low in fat. Developing a healthy diet for your dog is no different from developing a good human diet! Dogs do not have to live on meat alone. Pancreatitis in dogs diet should include both fat and fibre, and can include the dog super foods: melon, berries, peanut butter, cheese, bananas and baby carrots along with lean meats.
Pancreatitis in Dogs Bloody Diarrhea
With pancreatitis in dogs bloody diarrhea is caused by extreme swelling and infection of the pancreas with blood leaking into the stomach and intestines. Although it is common in acute pancreatitis, always pay a visit to your veterinarian in these cases. They will test for Fulminant Necrotizing Pancreatitis (which can be fast and fatal), and put your dog on intravenous saline and electrolytes along with an antibiotic to clear any internal infection.
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