The best way to show your pets how much you care about them this Thanksgiving is by keeping them away from the human food. Many pets develop acute pancreatitis from eating rich, fatty foods. Most food on Thanksgiving is much too rich and fatty for your pets, regardless of their size or breed.
What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. This occurs when the pancreas is overloaded or irritated by certain foods. The pancreas creates insulin and enzymes that help break down your pet’s food. Pancreatitis can be fatal if not taken care of quickly.
Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatitis
Even if you, as the pet owner, never feed your pet high-fat foods, guests and children may do it. It only takes a small amount to irritate the pancreas and cause your pet to exhibit these symptoms:
- Recurrent vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Distended abdomen
- Hunched over posture (indicating a painful abdomen)
Diagnosis of Pancreatitis
Pets cannot verbalize to us how they feel or if they ate something they shouldn’t have. To properly diagnose pancreatitis in your pet, our veterinarians will conduct tests and may order abdominal x-rays and CT scans. If your dog is exhibiting signs of pancreatitis, we will do a canine pancreatic lipase. This is a blood test for an enzyme that will tell the veterinarian the state of the pancreas.
Treating Your Pet’s Pancreatitis
If pancreatitis is caught early, it is very treatable. The most important thing we can do is make your pet comfortable with IV fluids while their treatment takes effect. IV fluids can restabilize their electrolytes and other bodily functions. We will prescribe anti-nausea and pain-relief medications to ensure the animal is not in distress. Additionally, our veterinarians will likely prescribe no food or water for 24 hours to allow the pancreas to reset. With IV fluids and care, your pet will be feeling better in no time.
Safe and Unsafe Foods For Your Pets
Vegetables are an excellent snack for dogs if they enjoy them. Feed your pets treats they enjoy that will not harm their bodies during the holiday season by avoiding high-fat treats. Turkey skin, gravy, biscuits, stuffing, and other Thanksgiving classics can make your pets ill. Only feed them raw vegetables like carrot sticks or their regular pet treats.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!