The pancreas is responsible for a range of functions, including the production of insulin, which is responsible for controlling blood sugar levels, and the production and secretion of digestive enzymes, which is essential for food digestion. When a problem occurs that causes inflammation of the pancreas, it may interfere with the flow of the enzymes into the digestive tract, which leads to inflammation (pancreatitis)-resulting in swelling and pain in the pancreas and the pancreas begins to digest itself. If you notice any symptoms of pancreatitis in your pet, you should seek assistance from our emergency veterinarian in Millard and Omaha, NE.
The most common symptoms of acute pancreatitis include vomiting and loss of appetite as well as extreme pain. Other symptoms of pancreatitis in pets may include:
- Arching of the back/abnormal posture
- Swollen abdomen
- Unable to get comfortable
There are a variety of possible causes that may lead to inflammation of the pancreas. Some of the most common factors are nutritional, such as high levels of calcium in the blood, high fat levels in the blood, a trauma to the pancreas and certain toxins or drugs. Obesity has also been shown to be a risk factor for pancreatitis. Although any breed of dog or cat may experience pancreatitis, it tends to occur more frequently in miniature poodles, miniature schnauzers, and cocker spaniels. Pancreatitis is also more common in females and elderly dogs.
If you suspect an inflammation of the pancreas in your pet, it should be treated by Urgent Pet Care Omaha or your emergency veterinarian in Millard and Omaha, NE immediately. Treatment for an inflamed pancreas may include:
- Fluid therapy
- Electrolyte supplements
- Potassium supplements
- Substances to help move blood flow to veins and arteries
If nutrition is the primary cause, your veterinarian will generally recommend a change in their diet, specifically to include fewer fats. In many situations, resting the pancreas is the first type of treatment and often remedies the problem. Resting the pancreas generally includes limiting or stopping food intake for a day or two and increase fluid intake. Pain medications will often be prescribed to help control your pet’s pain. In serious cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a blockage that is causing the inflammation.
While preventative measures may not always ensure your pet does not develop an inflammation of the pancreas, there are certain things you can do to help reduce the risk, including avoiding a high-fat diet, avoiding medications that may increase inflammation, and keeping your pet as close to their ideal weight as possible.
For more information about pancreatitis in pets, contact Urgent Pet Care. Our veterinarians in Millard and Papillion are happy to answer any questions you may have about your pet’s health. To contact our Papillion emergency veterinarians, call 402-597-2911 or for our Millard emergency veterinarians, call 402-991-9444.