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Pancreatitis in Dogs: What it is?

What is pancreatitis?

The pancreas is the large gland beside the stomach which produces and releases enzymes into the digestive tract to help digest food. The pancreas is also responsible for producing hormones. In a healthy pancreas, these digestive enzymes are released into the digestive tract where they activate and begin the digestion process. Pancreatitis means inflammation of the pancreas; the enzymes are activated early, within the pancreas, resulting in organ “auto-digestion”.  Pancreatitis can present as acute or chronic and of variable severity.

While all dogs can develop pancreatitis, some breeds have shown a higher likelihood of developing the condition, namely Miniature Schnauzers, Miniature Poodles, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles, Collies and Boxers. Older dogs and those that are overweight are also more likely to suffer.

It is important that dogs with suspected pancreatitis are fed highly digestible, low fat diets and are not fed high fat human foods/pet treats and are prevented from scavenging.  


What are the symptoms?

The most obvious sign that your dog might be suffering with pain will be in their behaviour; perhaps they aren’t as lively as usual or walk in a hunched position. A loss of appetite and vomiting are other common symptoms of the disease.

If you have any concerns that your dog is unwell and may be suffering with pancreatitis, we recommend that you seek Veterinary advice immediately.