Pancreatitis Can Be Very Serious in Dogs

An expert answers your canine healthcare questions.

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Some dogs develop chronic pancreatic disease or dangerous complications such as pancreatic abscesses. In prolonged or severe cases, the organ may cease to function, leading to food digestion and absorption difficulty and/or diabetes mellitus. I have never seen these complications following a single pancreatitis attack; the likelihood that you will is slim.

You should maintain the dog's appropriate physical condition and avoid sudden diet changes and risk scenarios mentioned above. When you find a diet that your dog tolerates, stick to it. Diets low in fat and with moderate fiber may be most helpful. I have not seen rawhide chews contribute to pancreatitis. Be sure to introduce them slowly and monitor for problems. Watch for signs of pancreatitis, particularly changes in drinking and urination habits, and in stool characteristics. Immediately notify your veterinarian of any changes.

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