Of All the Dangers of the Dinner Table, Pet Pancreatitis Reigns Supreme

Our family gatherings may be different this year – if they happen at all. With so many of our traditions up in the air, we may attempt to hold on to the one thing we can safely enjoy: Food. This means that turkey and all the fixings (plus dessert) loom large, whether we cook for friends and extended family or simply those we live with. 

Aside from the potential for indigestion, Thanksgiving dinner is fairly harmless for humans. Pets, on the other hand, are at risk of serious complications from ingesting fatty or greasy holiday foods. Pet pancreatitis is a significant danger that requires immediate attention and action.

Rising Pancreatitis Incident Rate

With so many opportunities to eat risky foods, it’s no wonder that cases of pet pancreatitis rise steadily around the holidays. Even if an owner is diligent about keeping dangerous foods away from their pets, accidents happen. The hope is that the more pet owners know about this illness, the safer the holidays can be.

Getting Into It

The pancreas plays an important role in the digestive system. Tasked with producing enzymes necessary for complete and effective digestion, the pancreas is not immune to inflammation from certain foods. As a result, digestive enzymes are released into the surrounding tissues and organs, causing damage in and around the pancreas.

Know the Signs of Pancreatitis

Pet pancreatitis should be addressed promptly. Please seek emergency veterinary care if you see any of the following signs of this dangerous illness:

  • Hunched posture
  • Repeated vomiting (possibly with diarrhea)
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal distension
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Weakness

Acute pancreatitis is fairly common in dogs, but it can also affect cats. Previous episodes of pancreatitis increase the risk of developing a chronic condition. As a result, prevention of this sickness is imperative to long term health.

Strictly Off-Limits

Pet pancreatitis can be a bit tricky to navigate as there is no specific cause of the inflammation. That said, however, there is strong evidence to support the connection between rich, fatty foods and the increased risk. 

The following items should never be offered to pets, or left out for them to discover on their own:

  • Poultry skin or fat
  • Gravy
  • Bacon
  • Buttery or cheesy side dishes
  • Grease
  • Sugary foods

Pet pancreatitis requires supportive care, such as IV fluid therapy, pain management, and rest. It can take several days for a pet to feel better from the effects of pancreatitis.

Prevent Pet Pancreatitis

No pet owner feels good about excluding their little fluff ball from the holiday festivities. You can dish them up healthy foods from the buffet that include:

  • Steamed vegetables like carrots or green beans
  • Cooked, unsweetened potatoes or yams
  • Unsweetened pumpkin
  • Small piece of white meat (no skin, fat or bones)

The holidays are always much happier without a pet emergency. If our staff can assist you with any questions about pet pancreatitis, please let us know