Treatment for Pancreatitis in Dogs
Inflammation of the pancreas can often be treated in your veterinarian's office and will include fluid therapy, substances to help move blood flow in the veins and arteries (colloids), electrolyte supplements, and potassium supplements, as potassium levels often drop when the animal is experiencing this medical condition. If the inflammation is being caused by a medication your dog is taking, the medication will be withdrawn immediately.
It is important to restrict your pet’s activity level following any treatment to allow for healing. Food and fluids will be stopped for a few days to give the pancreas time to rest, and to slow the production of digestive enzymes. Your veterinarian may need to prescribe fluid therapy during this time to prevent dehydration.
If vomiting is persistent, drugs will be prescribed to help control it, and if your dog is experiencing severe pain, pain relievers can be given. (Pain medication should only be given with supervision from your veterinarian.) It may also be necessary to give your pet antibiotics as a preventive against infection. In some serious cases, surgery will be used to remove any blockage that is causing the inflammation, to remove large accumulations of fluid, or to remove severely damaged tissue.
When food is resumed, bland, low fat, high carbohydrate, easily digestible food will be recommended until the condition has cleared thoroughly. If the pancreatitis was severe, or is chronic (recurring), this food plan may need to be fixed permanently to protect your dog’s pancreas and internal organs.
Living and Management
Diets that are high in fats should be limited long-term, as well as diets that are high in proteins. Hydration is one of the biggest concerns and should be monitored within 24 hours of therapy, and then until the animal has fully recovered. Your veterinarian will also want to perform occasional in office examinations to ensure that progress is being made towards healing.
Prevention of Pancreatitis in Dogs
While these preventative measures will not ensure that your dog does not develop this inflammation, they may help to avoid the medical condition. These measures include:
- A reduction in the dog's weight (if it is overweight), and proper on-going weight management
- Avoidance of high-fat diets
- Keeping your dog as close to its ideal weight as possible
- Avoidance of drugs that may increase inflammation
A gland that aids in both digestive and insulin functions
A medical condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed
A medical condition in which there is a great deal of fat in the blood
The whole system involved in digestion from mouth to anus
A medical condition in which the body has lost fluid or water in excessive amounts
The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.
A hormone created by the pancreas that helps to regulate the flow of glucose