Canine Pancreatitis Symptoms and Treatment

Canine pancreatitis is a disease that causes a dog's pancreas to become inflamed. The pancreas produces insulin to aid in metabolizing sugars, and it secretes enzymes that help in digesting food, so any problems with it pose a serious threat to your dog's health. Knowing the symptoms of canine pancreatitis can help you be aware of pet health issues so you can get to the veterinarian. If your dog has pancreatitis, medical intervention will be necessary.

Symptoms of Canine Pancreatitis
Your dog will seem very ill, with a painful, distended abdomen. He may hunch his back to try to relieve the pressure. He may experience vomiting, develop yellow diarrhea, run a fever, be dehydrated and depressed and lack an appetite. If it becomes severe, there could be an irregular heart rhythm, labored breathing and a systemic infection. Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if he shows any of these symptoms or a combination of them.  

Assessing the Problem
Your veterinarian will check your dog's blood levels for pancreatic enzymes and liver enzymes. He may also use an ultrasound to look at the dog's pancreas. There will also be a physical assessment of the dog to help diagnose the illness.

Treatment for Canine Pancreatitis
Since many dogs with this condition are dehydrated, fluids will be given intravenously or under the skin. Medications will be given to stop diarrhea and vomiting. A course of antibiotics and medication for pain management will be given as well, to prevent infection and make the dog more comfortable. Your dog's diet will be restricted to liquids at first, and then bland foods, a little at a time. The dog's digestive system needs time to rest and heal.

There are dietary supplements that can promote pancreatic health. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about herbal and homeopathic supplements.

Prevention
Canine pancreatitis doesn't have a solid cause. It is thought to be associated with high-fat diets and obesity in middle-aged dogs. The best prevention is to make sure your dog gets a healthy diet that's low in fats, as well as plenty of time to exercise and play.

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