Ouch, My Belly Hurts!

Everything You Need to Know About Pancreatitis

With the holidays just around the corner, our animal family members tend to take advantage of the hustle and bustle. They can get into the garbage when we’re not looking, or family members can feed them excessive treats because they are just so cute.

No matter how hard you try, sometimes animal emergencies happen. One of the common animal emergencies we see during the holidays is pancreatitis.

What is Pancreatitis?

The pancreas is a glandular organ, located just below the stomach. It is responsible for secreting digestive enzymes and the production of insulin and glucagon. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas.

What are some of the major causes of pancreatitis and how can it be avoided during the busy holiday season? Here are some of the major causes of pancreatitis – so of which can be avoided by paying close attention to what foods, snacks, and treats your dog eats!

Causes of pancreatitis are:

  • a sudden high-fat meal
  • trauma
  • a tumor
  • hormonal imbalances
  • pre-disposed breeds i.e. Miniature Schnauzers.

How might you be able to recognize if your dog is suffering from pancreatitis? Be on the lookout for the following signs. If you suspect that your dog may be exhibiting any of the signs below, please be sure to follow up with your regular veterinary practice, or call Walker Road Animal Hospital at

Signs of pancreatitis can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Painful abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

Fortunately, pancreatitis can be treated – especially if caught early. Here are some of the practice sets your veterinary team can implement to help your pup recover in time for the holidays!

Diagnostics for pancreatitis can include:

  • Bloodwork
  • Ultrasound
  • Radiographs

Sometimes, your veterinarian may require one or more diagnostic tests as other diseases can mimic pancreatitis.

The treatment of pancreatitis can include:

  • Hospitalization care
  • IV fluids
  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Pain medication
  • Antibiotics

Remember, if caught early, pancreatitis can be treated and your pet can make a full recovery. As they are recovering, there are steps that can be taken to avoid overstimulating the pancreas and prevent a pancreatitis flare-up.

These steps include feeding low fat diets, either temporarily or permanently, as well as being cautious when giving pets treats or human food. Pancreatitis can range between being a mild to even life-threatening disease.

If you suspect that you pet may be suffering from pancreatitis, it is critical to visit your regular veterinarian or after-hours emergency animal hospital as soon as possible.

As Walker Road Animal Hospital has an in-house laboratory, digital radiographs, ultrasound and 24-hour care, we are fully equipped to diagnose and treat pancreatitis.

To learn more about pancreatitis and your pets, please see this helpful resource made available through Veterinary Partners.