Pancreatitis in dogs: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention


Whether chronic or acute,inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis can cause irreversible damage. From the first symptoms, it is therefore essential to take your dog to the veterinarian without delay. What are the main clinical manifestations that can suggest the presence of pancreatitis in dogs, how is this disease treated and can it be avoided?

Pancreas: a vital organ

To understand why pancreatitis warrants urgent care, you have to know what the pancreas.

This vital organ small size has two fundamental functions for dog health, an endocrine function and an exocrine function. To put it simply, let’s say that the pancreas secretes different hormones (glucagon, somatostatin and insulin) involved in the regulation of blood sugar. These hormones therefore participate in the metabolism of sugars. It also manufactures gastric juices essential for digestion which are poured into the small intestine by the pancreatic duct.

Because of its two distinct functions, the pancreas is considered a mixed gland. Its malfunction can therefore lead to very serious problems health.

Pancreatitis in dogs: symptoms

The symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs, which vary depending on the severity of the disease and the extent of the lesions, are as follows:

  • A more or less high fever,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Great fatigue,
  • Abdominal pain which can be very intense,
  • An increase in thirst and therefore in water consumption which leads to more abundant urine and more frequent urination,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Vomiting sometimes hemorrhagic,
  • A yellow coloration of the mucous membranes (jaundice).

On palpation of the abdominal region where the pancreas is located, it is in some cases possible to perceive a mass.

Symptoms appear suddenly when the animal suffers from acute pancreatitis. The management must be immediate because the consequences of the disease are serious. Fortunately, if the dog is treated quickly, there is a real chance of recovery. As for symptoms due to chronic form of the disease, they begin to appear when the pancreatitis has already progressed well. Sneaky, she is silent at first which does not prevent her from wreaking havoc. Because it is usually diagnosed too late, it has already caused irreversible damage when the vet examines the animal.

Pancreatitis in dogs: diagnosis and treatment

After a clinical examination, the dog is subjected to Additional tests so that the diagnosis of a pancreatic can be confirmed or denied. This is usually an x-ray or ultrasound, blood work, and biopsy. The latter consists of a sample of pancreatic cells which are then examined under a microscope. Obviously, the biopsy is performed under anesthesia.

The veterinarian should start with identify the cause of pancreatitis to set up the appropriate care protocol. The treatment, decided on a case-by-case basis, can be based on antibiotics, antivomitives, painkillers… The dog can be placed on an infusion. Sometimes plasma transfusions are necessary. Finally, it is also possible that the veterinarian opts for the surgery.

Thereafter, a follow-up of the dog is essential. This makes it possible to check the effectiveness of the treatment and to readjust it if necessary.

Pancreatitis in dogs: prevention

To prevent pancreatitis, as is the case with many other diseases, it is recommended that you give your pet a food adapted to its needs, without excess fat, perfectly balanced and high quality. At the same time, the dog must to spend on a daily basis whatever its breed, even if it is part of the category of so-called apartment dogs. No canine should stay locked up all day: it is for his health. Finally, the master must imperatively deworm his animal once or twice a year and ensure that the vaccination of his little companion is up to date.

To limit the risk of irreversible damage, it is obviously essential to have your dog treated urgently if he presents one or more symptoms that suggest pancreatitis. The more the diagnostic East precocious, the greater the chances of healing increase.

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