Acute pancreatitis can trigger a buildup of fluid, particularly in abdominal and thoracic (chest) areas, acute renal failure, and cause inflammation in arteries and veins. The inflammation triggers the body's clotting factors, possibly depleting them to the point of spontaneous bleeding.It is this form which can be fatal in animals and in humans.
Although the exact cause of pancreatitis is often unknown, there are several contributing factors.
Hyperlipemia: Hyperlipemia (high blood fat content) is a condition in which the amount of fat in the blood is elevated. Hyperlipemia occurs normally for a short period after a meal then returns to the correct level. However, some pets, like some people, have a metabolic problem which prevents the proper clearing of the fat from the blood stream. Some research studies have shown recently that hyperlipemia contributes to the development of pancreatitis.
Obesity: Many dogs with pancreatitis are overweight. Dogs also are more likely to develop pancreatitis after eating a meal with a high fat content, especially fatty table scraps. Therefore, dietary fat intake and the nutritional status of the animal are important factors in this disease.
Infectious Disease: Bacterial or viral infections can contribute to the development of pancreatitis in the dog or cat. Bacterial infections are often contracted by consuming spoiled or contaminated food or water. Viral infections usually result from contact with other infected animals.
Trauma: Any trauma or injury that involves the abdomen in the dog or cat can contribute to the development of pancreatitis. For example, pets injured in automobile accidents commonly develop pancreatitis.
Most animals present with common gastrointestinal signs of upset, such as:
Painful abdomen, hunched appearance (more common in dogs
Fever or below-normal body temperature
Dehydration, evaluated by noting sunken eyes, dry mouth, and increased skin turgor (skin tents when pinched)
The majority of dogs that develop pancreatitis are middle aged or elderly. (although the problem may have been brewing earlier in their lives) It is not unusual for a single pet to have multiple digestive tract problems in addition to pancreatitis. Pets that are already suffering from diabetes, Cushing's disease or hypothyroidism are more prone to pancreatitis.
When your pet is suffering from the
shock of a sudden case of severe pancreatitis, your veterinarian will
concentrate on stabilizing it first. Treatment for shock from any cause is
quite similar. So even if your veterinarian is still unsure of the
diagnosis, the initial treatment plan will be quite similar. That plan
will concentrate on keeping your pet’s circulatory system functioning
adequately, maintaining your pet’s body temperature and providing its
tissues with adequate oxygen. This will require intravenous fluids and,
perhaps, oxygen and other heroic efforts.
Dogs who are experiencing pain can be
treated with pain relievers such as meperidine or butorphanol. In
addition, some pets will receive treatment for DIC, bicarbonate,
potassium, corticosteroids, and even transfusions.
Medications are often given to decrease the amount of vomiting. If vomiting is severe, food, water, and oral medications are withheld for at least 24 hours. Depending upon the dog's response, food intake can be started again after a day or more. The dog is generally fed small meals of a bland, easily digestible, high-carbohydrate, low-fat food. In some cases, it may be necessary to use tube feeding to provide proper nutrition.
If the pancreatitis was caused by a medication, the medication should be stopped. If it was caused by a toxin, infection, or other condition, the appropriate therapy for the underlying condition should be started.
In rare instances where there are intestinal complications or the development of a pancreatic abscess, surgery may be necessary.
Visit our message board by clicking on the little dog.
Looking for other Yorkie owners to talk to?
Join our list:
Join our list:Yorkieviews list
Because of robots searching for mail links to use for spam mail, there is NO link to my email address You will have to copy & past the address into your mail program