Pancreatitis in Dogs

by admin on February 28, 2012

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Pancreatitis in Dogs is inflammatory and swelling of the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for aiding in the metabolism of sugar and the digestion of nutrients by producing insulin and pancreatic enzymes.

Although there is still a lot unknown about pancreatitis in dogs it has been linked to having preexisting medical conditions such as Cushing’s Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypothyroidism, Hypercalcemia, Age, Breed specific (Yorkshire terriers and Miniature Schnauzers), Diet. Taking corticosteroids and certains antibiotics have also been linked to increased risks of developing pancreatitis.


  • Severe Pain in Abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Shock


Pancreatitis in dogs can be diagnosed with a physical blood work. Your vet may want to get an ultrasound of the abdomen and/or blood work showing elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes.


This condition can is life threatening and will require immediate medical attention. Immediate treatment includes restricting food, water, and any other medications for the first few days. This allows the overworked pancreas to take a break from breaking down and digesting any substances. To balance and prevent dehydration an intravenous saline solution will be given during this time. If needed antibiotics may be given to prevent any secondary infections caused by ulcers or abscesses.

Pancreatitis in Dogs: Prevention

Once a dog has experienced pancreatitis they are more at risk of a reoccurrence.  There are some preventative changes that can be made to better management overall health.

Healthy Weight: If your dog is overweight getting to a healthy weight will put less stress on the pancreas. This includes restricting high amounts of fat and table scrapes.

Meals: By feeding smaller amounts more frequently it will ensure that the pancreas does not become overwhelmed with the amount of work needed to break down and digest.

Supplements: It can be a good idea to make sure your dog is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to be healthy.


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