The pancreas is an abdominal organ located just below the stomach. It is responsible for breaking down protein, dietary fats, and carbohydrates. This organ also produces insulin, which gives your pet energy. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it causes a condition called pancreatitis. This condition can make your pet ill and can be life-threatening. At Concord Veterinary Clinic, we have years of experience treating pancreatitis.
Causes of Pancreatitis
The most common cause of pancreatitis in pets is a high-fat diet. If you often feed your pet off of your plate, you are putting them at risk for pancreatitis. When you feed your pet fatty foods from your plate, it causes the sudden release of a pancreatic enzyme called lipase. Lipase is essential for fat digestion, but too much can cause inflammation in the pancreas as well as tissue damage. Some breeds, such as the mini-schnauzer, are more likely to develop pancreatitis than others due to altered metabolism.
Symptoms of Pancreatitis
The most common symptoms of pancreatitis in pets include:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with our vet immediately.
If our vet suspects that your pet's symptoms are due to pancreatitis, we will order blood tests to measure the amount of lipase being released by your pet’s pancreas. We may also run a blood test to check your pet’s amylase levels, which can help rule out other issues such as dehydration, intestinal perforation, and kidney disease.
Our veterinarian may also order an abdominal ultrasound to get a good look at the pancreas. Fortunately, anesthesia is not necessary for this test. Most pets rest while the test is being performed.
If your pet is suffering from pancreatitis, our veterinarian will want to keep them at the office. During this time, we will aggressively rehydrate your pet using IV fluids. To treat your pet's symptoms, we may also order anti-diarrheal medications and anti-vomiting medications. If your pet is in pain, we will use pain medication to keep your pet comfortable.
Veterinarian in Concord, CA
If you suspect your pet is suffering from pancreatitis, Concord Veterinary Clinic is ready to assist you. Our vet will perform a complete physical exam and run tests to determine if your pet has pancreatitis. If necessary, we will begin treatment immediately. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (925) 338-2375.