Sometimes, our furry friends do things we cannot explain. Dog owners are expected to keep an arsenal of knowledge in their back pocket; they must know when these unexplained behaviors become harmful to their pet. As one of the more sinister conditions, pancreatitis is important to know about. This knowledge will help to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.
What is Pancreatitis?
The pancreas has two functions: the endocrine process, which produces insulin, and the exocrine process, which produces enzymes that aid in digestion. Pancreatitis affects the exocrine process. In a dog with pancreatitis, the enzymes are produced and released at a more rapid rate. Their pancreas will become inflamed, and the additional enzymes may even begin to eat away at the pancreatic tissue.
Causes of pancreatitis are hotly contested. Because it appears so suddenly, many brush it off as something that “just happens.” However, experts suggest that a fatty diet can increase your dog’s chances of contracting pancreatitis.
What Are the Symptoms?
There are many indicators of pancreatitis, but in most cases owners notice a loss of appetite first. Usually, a dog with pancreatitis will show other symptoms of stomach discomfort, such as a hunched back or decreased mobility. They may vomit or have diarrhea. Due to the changing environment within their body, they may also become dehydrated or run a high fever. Although these are all common symptoms, in conjunction they can be scary to watch.
How is it Diagnosed?
If you notice these signs, you should contact your vet immediately. Your vet will probably run blood tests in order to monitor pancreatic enzymes. They may also run other tests such as an ultrasound in order to rule out other conditions.
How is it Treated?
There is not necessarily a cure for pancreatitis, but it is treatable through therapeutic care. Depending on severity, your dog may need to be hospitalized. Because many dogs with pancreatitis will refuse to eat, they may be put on an IV drip to regulate fluids. They may receive medications through injection. All of these measures treat symptoms, not causes.
At Claws N Paws in Fountain Valley, CA, your pet’s needs are always our first priority. Your dog or cat can find professional grooming services at our full-service salon, or your cat can find quality care in our cats-only boarding facility. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at 714-962-1005.