Pancreas Problems in Dogs

The pancreas is an essential organ in the dog’s body. Pancreas problems may arise due to obesity or aging. Pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus are the most common pancreas problems in canines and it is a dangerous condition if left untreated.

Functions of Pancreas

The pancreas is an organ in the dog’s body that will have 2 main functions including:

  • The production of digestive enzymes which are essential for the small intestine and the stomach
  • The production of insulin, which is a hormone that will keep the glucose levels within a normal range

If these functions are not fulfilled, the dog will be sick.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis

If the pancreas is inflamed, the dog has pancreatitis. This is caused by the digestive enzymes that will start destroying the pancreas. This disease is more frequently met in obese dogs.

If the dog is affected by pancreatitis, he will display a number of symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach pain
  • Shock and sudden collapse in more severe cases

These symptoms are present after the dog has eaten, especially if the meal has contained a lot of fatty ingredients.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus can be considered a problem of the pancreas. If the pancreas fails to produce sufficient amounts of insulin, the glucose levels will be elevated but may not be used by the body as a source of energy. When the dog has diabetes, he will display a few symptoms:

  • Increased thirst and more frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath or halitosis
  • Increased appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Eye cataracts if the disease advances and is not discovered

Detection of Pancreas Problems

If you notice diabetes or pancreatitis symptoms in your pet, you should go to a vet to get a clear diagnosis. The vet will run a few tests and determine if the pancreas functions properly.

Treatment for Pancreas Problems

The diabetes mellitus is not a disease that can be treated, but is manageable by administering periodical insulin to supplement what the pancreas fails to produce.

If obese, the dog should be put on a diet to lose some weight.

The dog will have to be monitored and periodical blood tests will be needed to check the glucose levels in the blood.

If the dog is affected by pancreatitis, he will require IV fluids and hospitalization. Antibiotics can be administered along anti inflammatory drugs. A low fat diet is recommended until the dog’s condition is stabilized.

Preventing Pancreas Problems

Pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus may be prevented in some cases by administering the dog a high quality diet that is low in fat and rich in fibers. Avoid feeding table scraps to your pet. Don’t give your dog too many treats, as this may lead to obesity. Opt for natural treats such as carrots or apples.

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise, so that he won’t become obese.