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Say No to Gravy: Rich, Fatty, Indulgent Foods Can Trigger Painful Pancreatitis in Pets

Pancreatitis in pets should be considered a pet emergency

Americans love Thanksgiving because of family traditions. Some play or watch football, others volunteer. Collectively, we all love the together time of the holidays, but let’s be honest. It’s the food that seals the deal. In other words, our nationally consistent table traditions keep us coming back for more (and more) until the leftovers are packed up for Black Friday snacks.

Everyone wants a Thanksgiving to remember, but certainly not at the expense of the family pet. With abundant ways for them to find trouble, we want to remind everyone of the dangers of pancreatitis in pets and how you can prevent it this holiday season.


Common Occurrence

Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons for pet emergency care this time of year is pancreatitis in pets. When the pancreas, the organ that secretes insulin required for blood sugar regulation, as well as produces enzymes that aid in digestion, becomes inflamed, symptoms can range from mild to severe:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Drooling
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Decreased appetite
  • Repeated vomiting with or without diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain, bloating, or distension
  • Restlessness
  • Hunched posture

We don’t know the exact cause of pancreatitis, but limiting exposure to rich, fatty foods certainly decreases the risk.

Previous episodes of pancreatitis all but guarantee re-occurrences, leading to chronic pet pancreatitis. Also, the following health conditions may impact pets already at risk:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Use of certain medications (like antibiotics, cancer drugs, etc.)

Thankful for Emergency Care

The prompt diagnosis and proper care of pancreatitis in pets is essential to prevent the inflammation from affecting other vital organs. Blood tests and other diagnostics can help us diagnose and treat pets. In mild cases, special instructions for feeding and oral medication may get the job done, otherwise hospital care, IV fluids, and supportive medications are required. If insulin production has been affected, we will address this in the treatment plan, as well.

Preventing Pancreatitis In Pets

Since the exact cause is unknown, and there is no cure for pancreatitis in pets, it’s critical to prevent this from happening to your buddy.

  • Do not feed your pet any scraps from the holiday dinner table (and ask that no one else does, too)
  • Restrict your pet’s exposure to bacon, chicken or turkey skin, dark meat, gravy, and anything swimming in butter
  • Crate or board your pet during the holidays to ensure their safety, comfort, and well being
  • Keep trash cans covered, and garbage bins sealed at all times
  • Clear countertops of anything even remotely enticing to your pet

Our veterinarians and staff love seeing you and your pet – and are always available when you need us. However, we truly hope you can avoid a pet emergency this holiday season.

The post Say No to Gravy: Rich, Fatty, Indulgent Foods Can Trigger Painful Pancreatitis in Pets appeared first on West Park Animal Hospital Blog.