When people hear pancreatitis they tend to assume that it is strictly a human disease. However, this is not true and many different animals, including household cats and dogs, can suffer from this disorder. This can be especially damaging to a family when they have to see their dogs go through enormous amounts of pain, and more so if the disorder is chronic and recurs more often than what people expect. Fortunately, there is enough known about all aspects of pancreatitis, including how to treat the symptoms and the disorder.
Pancreatitis in dogs is commonly caused by large amounts of fat in a lower protein diet. Many times canines will experience pancreatitis when there is a sudden increase in the fat that the animal takes in during a single event. As a result, many dogs are affected by pancreatitis around the major holidays because people offer them more table scraps.
Thankfully, pancreatitis isn’t necessarily a death sentence to animals anymore. This wasn’t always the case as many cases were solved by putting the animal down or letting the disorder run its course. Because of the “wait and see” technique, many animals have been lost to this disorder. However, with advancements in understanding the problem and medications that are effective on dogs, the disorder can be treated simply with a painkiller and electrolyte therapy to maintain proper fluid and electrolyte levels.
In many cases you may want to ask for a referral to a critical care veterinarian because they are generally more likely to treat the issue aggressively. This means that they will use intravenous fluids infused with a painkiller to keep the animal more comfortable. In some cases antibiotics will be necessary for a full recovery, but in most cases they are unneeded.