The pancreas is a digestive gland that helps to digest food and regulate blood sugar levels. When the pancreas becomes overworked, it may lead to pancreatitis. Pancreatitis in dogs may be acute or severe, and the symptoms of pancreatitis may vary depending on the severity of the infection. The main causes of dog pancreatitis include:
– Diseases such as hypercalcemia or Cushing’s disease
– Poor diet high in carbohydrates, sugar and fats
– Certain breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds and Schnauzers
– Trauma or surgery to the pancreas
Acute pancreatitis in dogs is usually quite sudden and can range from mild to severe. The severity of pancreatitis in dogs depends on the body’s general reaction to the infection. When acute pancreatitis strikes, it can make your dog very ill, but usually does not have any lingering effects on other organs.
Chronic pancreatitis in dogs is actually not as severe as acute pancreatitis. However, chronic pancreatitis is usually continual and may cause irreversible damage to not only the pancreas, but other organs as well. Often times, chronic pancreatitis is mistaken for other illnesses, because the symptoms are not as severe as those of acute pancreatitis.
Symptoms of dog pancreatitis
Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs may range from mild to severe as time goes on. One day you may notice mild symptoms such as fever, and the next day your dog could be in serious pain. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs:
– Lack of thirst and appetite
– Bloated stomach
– Irregular heartbeat
– Abdominal pain
– Feces that is greasy, and yellow or green in color.
If left untreated, other organs may begin to swell as well. Pancreatitis that is not treated by a veterinarian may lead to fulminant necrotizing pancreatitis. This causes internal hemorrhaging.
Treatment for dog pancreatitis
If your dog has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, it is important to seek treatment. Treatment for pancreatitis in dogs is extremely important because if left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications, and may become a recurring illness. There are no vaccinations for pancreatitis, and there are no direct medical remedies. Treatment for pancreatitis in dogs includes supportive medication to fight of secondary infections, ease pain and reduce inflammation. The most common forms of pancreatitis treatment include:
– Electrolyte fluids
– Pain medication
– Anti-nausea medication
The most important part of treatment is to reduce swelling of the pancreas. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to drain the infected pancreas. In very serious cases, blood transfusions may be required as well. Diet is an important part of the treatment process, and dogs with chronic pancreatitis will likely need to stick to a strict diet for the rest of their lives.
For more information about dog pancreatitis, dog colitis, symptoms and treatments of each and more, visit www.pancreatitisindogs.com