Prognosis for Pancreatitis in Dogs

Pancreatitis in dogs is the diagnosis given when the pancreas is swollen. Pancreatitis is a condition that may not always be detected, as there may be no symptoms or even if present, the symptoms can be misleading. The prognosis for dogs with pancreatitis will depend on the time of the detection, the causing factors and the seriousness of the disease.

Causes of Pancreatitis

The causes of pancreatitis in dogs may influence the prognosis. The pancreas is a vital organ that secrets insulin (to assimilate glucose) and will also produce the digestive enzymes that are essential for the digestive process. If the pancreas is affected, it will no longer be able to perform its functions and additional problems may arise, such as diabetes or digestive troubles.

The causes of pancreatitis in dogs are thought to be viruses and parasites. A mild infection will cause acute pancreatitis and this can be easily treated. If the infection is severe, the pancreatitis may be chronic and this can influence the prognosis of the dog.

Detection of Pancreatitis

The detection of pancreatitis can influence the prognosis. An early detection can eliminate the infection and prevent additional health complications. If the disease is not detected in a timely manner, the dog's condition can worsen and his life expectancy will be affected. You should watch out for symptoms like:

  • Stomach pain and inflammation, bloated appearance
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to eat
  • Hypothermia
  • Increased thirst and urination, if the liver is affected or if the condition develops into diabetes
  • Jaundice
  • Kidney failure

The disease may be asymptomatic, so it is important to have regular vet visits to be able to detect problems as early as possible. Blood tests and x-rays can give a clear picture of the problem affecting the dog and the vet will apply suitable treatment.

Prognosis for Pancreatitis in Dogs

The prognosis for canines with pancreatitis will depend on several factors, including the type of treatment and the stage of the disease.

If the pancreatitis is caught from an early stage and the infection is handled or the parasites are removed, the dog will have an excellent prognosis. The recurrence of pancreatitis is not likely if the treatment is administered in a timely manner and if the causes of the pancreas inflammation are detected.

If the condition is severe, the dog may develop diabetes, kidney damage, liver damage or digestive issues. Diabetes is not a deadly disease, provided it is managed properly. However, if the diabetes is not detected, the dog's prognosis may be poor. Kidney and liver damage are serious conditions and may be reversible if the damage is not advanced. The prognosis will be affected by the severity of the dog's condition.

If the pancreatitis is not detected and treated, the dog may eventually enter into shock, and this can be fatal.