This article is designed to help you better understand your pet’s condition. This is not a substitute for a veterinary diagnosis; it intended for reference purposes and to supplement an existing diagnosis after a veterinary examination. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at 740-432-5980. It is absolutely vital to have a veterinary diagnosis prior to following any of the instructions provided here.


What causes animals to get Pancreatitis?


Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the Pancreas due to high fat content in the blood known as Hyperlipidemia that is the direct result of eating a meal high in fat.  The fat content in many human foods is much higher than our pets bodies can tolerate.  Examples of human food with a high fat content are dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream) and pork products (bacon, ham, pork chops); these items should NEVER be given to your pet!  It is important to remember our pets’ digestive systems are much different than our own and although these foods may be quite tasty for them they can also make them very sick.

Understanding Pancreatitis

It is also important to note that (just like humans) some animals’ digestive systems can tolerate certain foods better than others.  Every dog is different.  Also a dog’s weight can determine whether or not what you are feeding them will make them sick.  A Great Dane can tolerate a single hot dog much better than a Yorkie can, for example.  To add insult to injury, not only do animals digestive systems have a lower tolerance for high fat foods, people often do not think of the shear difference in mass!  For example a 25 pound beagle is 1/8 the size of the average 200 pound man; if you feed that beagle 1 cheeseburger its like a man with irritable bowel syndrome eating 8 cheeseburgers in one sitting.  It will not turn out well!

What are the signs of Pancreatitis?

The signs can vary from mild gastrointestinal upset to collapse and death. Most animals present with common gastrointestinal signs of upset, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Not eating
  • Painful abdomen, hunched appearance (more common in dogs)
  • Fever or below-normal body temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Dehydration, evaluated by noting sunken eyes, dry mouth, and increased skin turgor (skin tents when pinched)

Guernsey Veterinary Clinic, Cassie Gombeda RVT

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Please feel free to call with any questions!  We want you keep our clients well informed and our patients healthy and happy!  740-432-5980


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