The pancreas is a gland in the abdominal cavity near the stomach and liver that produces enzymes which aid in the digestion of food. The gland also secrete insulin, a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. A lack of adequate insulin results in diabetes. When the pancreas becomes diseased it will often release its digestive enzymes into itself rather than into the intestine where they normally go. The resultant tissue destruction is because the gland is digesting itself.

1. Poor appetite
2. Fever
3. Pain / reluctance to walk or move
4. Vomiting
5. Diarrhea
6. Weakness / Dehydration

There are many different causes of pancreatitis. Excessive levels of fat or cholesterol in the blood can contribute to the problem. Obesity (overweight condition) also predisposes <> to pancreatic disorders. Infectious diseases can be the cause of the problem. Ingestion of rich or fatty foods is the most common cause of pancreatitis is pet animals. When pets are fed from the table (leftovers, etc.), get into the garbage, or are given numerous treats by well meaning house guests, pancreatitis may be the result.

Diagnosis is Based on the Following:
1. Presence of the above symptoms
2. Blood tests

In some cases, the following may be required:
3. Urinalysis
4. Radiographs (x-rays) of the abdomen
5. Exploratory surgery (for severe or chronic cases)
6. Ultrasound

The most important therapeutic measure is to withhold all food and water for the first 1-3 days (in dogs). If this is not done, the pancreas will continue to spill its digestive enzymes into itself “thinking” it is trying to digest food. Providing supportive care for a pet with pancreatitis is important. Hospitalization for IV fluids is usually required to prevent dehydration and to help correct electrolyte imbalances, along with anti-vomiting medication and pain medication being administered. Pancreatitis is very painful so pain medication is important. Antibiotics are generally not helpful and are rarely used in pancreatitis read this article. Some pets can become so ill that they may develop temporary or permanent diabetes and need special treatment for this. Prescription foods are very important after the initial withholding period. These special diets may be recommended for the rest of the pet’s life if a chronic condition is suspected.

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