Pancreatitis in Pets Is No Laughing Matter!

As we move into the final months of the year, reminders to safeguard animal health and wellness become more pressing. Between Halloween and New Year’s Eve, pets have immeasurable access to all things savory and sweet. Sure, many pets have incredible impulse control. Others? Well, let’s just say they can’t even be in the same room as a gravy boat. Holiday indulgences cause cases of pancreatitis in pets to rise sharply, but it is entirely avoidable.

You Can Still Celebrate

Many animals won’t jump on the table or countertops on their own volition, but few can resist a tempting morsel if it’s being offered by a human hand. Planning on hosting a family dinner sometime this holiday season? Please be sure that your pet isn’t lingering beneath the table for any fallen bits, and ask your guests not to feed your pets even if they beg for a taste.

If you think your pet would be safer this holiday season, please consider boarding them with us for a night or two.

Control the Environment

If your pet is the type to take advantage of your wavering attention in the kitchen or dining room, it might be best to encourage them to remain a room away from the festivities. Fix a plate of steamed veggies, such as green beans, baby carrots, unsweetened yams or sweet potatoes, and a small amount of unsweetened pumpkin puree. That way, they’ll have a belly full of goodness and won’t beg for food.

High fat snacks of bacon, poultry skin, dark meat, gravy, buttery, cheesy, or greasy side dishes, and sugar-laden desserts round out the list of foods to avoid.

Pancreatitis in Pets

Aside from unnecessary calories, indulging in holiday foods is bad for pet is because of the increased risk of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis in pets can also result from diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism, and genetic predisposition. There is no cure for this painful condition.

The Details Into Focus

The pancreas produces digestive enzymes. When it becomes inflamed, the enzymes leak into the tissues and organs surrounding the pancreas, harming them as well as the pancreas itself.

Pancreatitis in pets is a medical emergency. Symptoms include:

  • Hunched over
  • Abdominal distension
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Fever

The only way to treat this painful condition is with IV fluid therapy, nausea-control medication, and pain medication. Resting the system until vomiting subsides is critical, followed by a bland, low-fat diet. It can take a few days for an animal to recover.

Acute pancreatitis affects both cats and dogs and can develop into chronic pancreatitis after an initial episode. While you cannot control genetics, you can definitely restrict a pet’s access to human foods.

If we can assist you with further questions or concerns about pancreatitis in pets, please let us know. Blue Valley Animal Hospital is always here for you!