Try­ing to find the cause of your pet’s pan­cre­ati­tis

The Wokingham Paper - - LESIURE - With Claire Turner

PAN­CRE­ATI­TIS is a con­di­tion we see in cats and dogs where their pan­creas be­comes in­flamed and starts to cause trou­ble. It can be dif­fi­cult to find the cause of pan­cre­ati­tis. Some­times it is stress or trauma re­lated and may also be diet re­lated.

Of­ten in dogs it can oc­cur after they scav­enge some­thing that is high in fat. Cer­tain dog breeds are pre­dis­posed for in­stance minia­ture schnauzers, poo­dles, cocker spaniels, dachshunds and York­shire ter­ri­ers.

Pan­cre­ati­tis can be a long term wax­ing and wan­ing dis­ease or can be very sud­den in its on­set.

The symp­toms can range from a mild grum­bling stomach with a re­duced ap­petite to very se­vere vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea with de­hy­dra­tion, ab­dom­i­nal pain and lethargy. In its se­vere forms pan­cre­ati­tis can cause dam­age to other or­gans in the body and may even be fa­tal.

If your an­i­mal has se­vere gas­troin­testi­nal symp­toms please con­tact your vet as soon as pos­si­ble.

Equally, if you feel they are get­ting re­cur­rent episodes of lethargy, mild gas­troin­testi­nal signs or pe­ri­ods where they seemed hunched or sore on their ab­domen then also talk to your vet.

There are dif­fer­ent causes of th­ese symp­toms in dogs and cats but pan­cre­ati­tis is def­i­nitely on our list.

Pan­cre­ati­tis is di­ag­nosed by a spe­cific blood test and we will of­ten run a gen­eral blood screen with this to check for other dis­eases and asses gen­eral or­gan health. De­pend­ing on the an­i­mal we may also want to take x-rays and oc­ca­sion­ally an ul­tra­sound of their ab­domen.

Pan­cre­ati­tis an­i­mals can oc­ca­sion­ally have a pan­cre­atic ab­scess or tu­mour which can make treat­ment more com­pli­cated and the prog­no­sis worse.

Treat­ment de­pends on the sever­ity and chronic­ity of the dis­ease. In some cases, es­pe­cially dogs, a diet change to a low fat highly di­gestible diet is all that’s needed. How­ever they may also need pain re­lief and anti-nau­sea med­i­ca­tion. The se­vere cases will re­quire hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and ag­gres­sive in­tra­venous fluid ther­apy to help pull them through.

Claire Turner is a Vet­eri­nary Sur­geon at St Vin­cents Vet­eri­nary Surgery, a fam­ily-owned prac­tice pro­vid­ing per­sonal care for all your pets in and around Wok­ing­ham

If your pet has se­vere gas­troin­testi­nal symp­toms please con­tact your vet as soon as pos­si­ble

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