Billings_iStock_000076272325_Large.jpgAfter indulging in a chocolate cronut or an extra helping of mashed potatoes, most of us can just reach for some green papaya capsules or an antacid if we’re feeling uncomfortable. Luckily, many people can embrace a rich, delicious treat now and then without major repercussions. But can the same be said for your four-legged friend?

Sadly, no pet’s dinner menu should include cronut-inspired dishes. While those pleading eyes are hard to resist, he or she could develop pet pancreatitis from even one bite of something rich and fatty.

‘Tis the Season

We’re fast approaching the holidays, and that typically involves at least one type of gravy or slice of pie. We know it can be tempting to share a tasty tidbit with your best pal, but a better way to show you care is to either abstain entirely or offer healthy treats designed just for him or her.

What is Pet Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes severely inflamed. A major component of your pet’s digestive system, the pancreas is responsible for producing insulin and secreting special enzymes into the gastrointestinal tract. When afflicted, the enzymes leak out of the pancreas and start digesting the pancreas itself. Besides a swollen pancreas, obvious symptoms of pet pancreatitis include:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the abdomen (the pancreas is just past your pet’s stomach, next to the first part of the intestine)
  • Weakness or immobility
  • If you notice any of these warning signs, please give us a call. Delaying an examination may exacerbate your pet’s painful symptoms.


    Pet pancreatitis usually results from eating certain types of dangerous people food. Items that have a high fat concentration are often to blame, but pancreatitis can also be caused by or result from the following conditions:

  • Obesity
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Long-term cortisone treatments can also leave a pet predisposed to developing pancreatitis.

    A Magnifying Glass

    If pet pancreatitis is suspected, rapid blood tests will reveal elevated levels of amylase and lipase, which are two digestive enzymes that are responsible for many of the symptoms. Sometimes, test results are inconclusive, but with advanced diagnostic technology (such as ultrasound or digital x-rays), we can evaluate the pancreas and look for any blockages in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.


    Although treatments for pet pancreatitis vary depending on the severity of the situation, we typically include:

  • IV fluid support
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain management (such as laser therapy)
  • Limiting food and water for a brief time to allow the pancreas to recuperate
  • Keeping Healthy

    Pet pancreatitis can be fatal if not detected and treated early, and it can cause irreparable damage to the pancreas. This can ultimately affect the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin sufficiently, leading to diabetes mellitus.

    The perils of pet obesity also include pancreatitis. Overweight or obese pets are at an increased risk for the condition, and any pets that have suffered from previous symptoms can have another episode following just one taste of something fatty.

    Your pet’s wellness is our main concern. Please let us know if your have any questions or concerns about pet pancreatitis.