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Pancreatitis in Dogs

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RileyLong time client Riley hadn’t been feeling well for a few days, so his mom took him to the vet.  After a few tests, it was determined Riley was suffering from pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.

This illness can either be mild or severe.  The cause is not really known, but pancreatitis seems to occur most often in middle-aged overweight dogs.

Symptoms to look for include sudden intermittent diarrhea or vomiting, weakness, reluctance to walk, and loss of appetite.  In Riley’s case, he stopped eating, became very weak and lost weight.

Once pancreatitis has been diagnosed, dogs are not given solid food, but are given electrolytes and fluids for maintenance and to give the pancreas a break.  Antibiotics are also given to prevent infection and inflammation.

A dog diagnosed with pancreatitis can have subsequent attacks.  To minimize the chances of this, feed your dog 3-5 small meals a day to prevent overworking the pancreas.  Feed food at room temperature to further help with digestion.  Walking your dog can also help aid with digestion and help with weight loss or maintenance.  If your dog is overweight, consult your veterinarian to determine the best weight loss program.

If your dog is showing symptoms like those mentioned above, please take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Source:  Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, Fourth Edition

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