ACUTE PANCREATITIS

The pancreas is an organ that sits really close to the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. It is all about secretion! It secretes enzymes to help us digest the food our pets eat and secrete insulin and glucagon to regulate our pets blood sugar levels. The digestive enzymes are secreted in an inactive form and then are activated at the site of digestion.⁣

Acute pancreatitis is a sudden onset of inflammation within the pancreas. With inflammation, the inactive digestive enzymes that are normally stored in the pancreas, are activated before they are release. This causes digestion of the pancreas, further inflammation, and, eventually, a wide spread inflammatory response. The exact cause of this can vary. But, in dogs, we commonly see it in dogs that are overweight, are schnauzers, have a pancreatic tumor, have an abnormal hormone imbalance, or have recently ingested a high fat meal.⁣

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? ⁣


Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, dehydration, fever, lethargy, +/- diarrhea.⁣

HOW DO WE DIAGNOSE? ⁣

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs in combination with a positive canine Pancreatic Lipase blood test and/or inflamed pancreas on ultrasound (see image hypoechoic pancreas with hyperechoic peripancreatic fat). ⁣

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?⁣

IV fluids, pain medication, anti-nausea medication, and encourage the pet to eat.⁣

Long term, the dog will be at increased risk to get pancreatitis again in the future. If possible, dogs with increased risk, should be fed a low fat diet (diet with <7% fat on a dry matter basis).⁣

Typically, with uncomplicated pancreatitis, pets do recover quite well with intensive, in-hospital care.⁣

#acutepancreatitis #vetgirl #dogs

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