Pancreatitus in Dogs by Julia Ramsey

by Julia Ramsey

As a team we like to keep ourselves educated in the event that your dog has a medical emergency in our care, and we wanted to share some of this knowledge with you as well!  This week’s blog post will be about Pancreatitis in our fur babies.


Pancreatitis is fairly common in dogs and is almost always caused by eating something they shouldn’t. This causes the pancreas to swell and cause major discomfort. Signs of acute pancreatitis are: vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, dehydration, anorexia, and abdominal pain that could result in your dog having difficulty sitting down.  


 In more severe cases of pancreatitis, your dog may experience Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC). DIC is a bleeding condition within dogs that will affect their ability to clot; it occurs when the clotting system malfunctions. This will cause small blood clots to form throughout the body which can, ultimately, result in uncontrollable bleeding and therefore be life threatening.  Symptoms of DIC include weakness, bruising, and blood in the urine, stool, vomit, mouth and/or gums.  If you notice these signs in your dogs it is best to take them to your local veterinarian, or emergency veterinary hospital immediately.   


The course of treatment for pancreatitis will vary depending on severity. Most commonly your vet will prescribe some sort of pain medication, along with an anti-nausea medication. The more severe cases will result in your dog receiving IV fluids and a modified diet. The milder cases will last for about 2-3 days, but the more severe cases will require a hospital stay, and possibly surgery if there is an abscess that forms on the pancreas.  


 There are lifestyle changes you can take to help prevent your dog from getting pancreatitis. The first tip is to monitor your dog’s food intake. It is important to avoid foods and treats that are high in fat, like many human-grade food items are.  If you have a dog that regularly gets into the trash, or steals food from your tables and countertops, it’s important to take steps to prevent this from happening. Small amounts of non-toxic human food in moderation are tolerable for dogs, but a diet composed of too much “people food” will likely cause illness over time.  

Dog food more.  Human food less.
Wag more. Bark less.

Are there any other canine illnesses or ailments you would like to learn more about?  If so, leave us a comment or shoot us an email:



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