The doctor diagnosed my dog with pancreatitis. What does that mean? Now what?
Meet Jagger. He’s a sweet basset mix boy being treated for pancreatitis. Jagger is Dr. Amanda Gilmour’s patient. He’ll be with us for a couple days for treatment. Lucky for Jagger his case of pancreatitis is not severe and a couple days in the hospital on IV fluids and some medications should have him feeling much better and he’ll be able to go home.
What is pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas. The pancreas is very important in the digestion process. It secretes digestive enzymes to help break down food. Dogs with pancreatitis will many times be uninterested in their food, vomit, have diarrhea, become lethargic, and may have varying degrees of abdominal pain.
How do you diagnose pancreatitis?
When a dog is vomiting and/or having diarrhea the doctor will order a basic lab panel that we can do here in the hospital and also a test that checks specifically for pancreatitis. Sometimes x-rays will also be performed to rule out a foreign body obstruction.
How did this happen and how do I keep it from happening again?
Oftentimes the cause of pancreatitis is unknown but one predisposing cause is feeding table scraps or other high fat foods. In some cases the doctor may change the dogs regular diet to a food with a lower fat content.
What do I do about it?
Pancreatitis requires hospitalization with IV fluid therapy, pain management and medications to control vomiting and diarrhea. Hospitalization and monitoring are also very important in helping to prevent serious secondary complications.