Pancreatitis In Golden Retriever Dogs : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Pancreatitis In Golden Retriever Dogs2Pancreatitis In Golden Retriever Dogs

Pancreatitis in Golden Retriever dogs can be a life-threatening condition, but early recognition and treatment can improve chances of recovery.

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis in dogs is simply an inflammation of the pancreas. So what’s a pancreas? It’s a little gland located near the stomach.

This gland (pancreas) has two main jobs. Its first job is to produce enzymes that help digest food. Its other job is to produce insulin, which regulates the blood sugar level.

Types of Pancreatitis In Dogs

Dog’s pancreatitis is usually divided into chronic and acute cases.,In general symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are milder and are often mistaken for other illnesses.

While chronic pancreatitis in Golden Retriever dogs is the milder form of the two, it’s a continuing inflammatory disease that’s often accompanied by slow, irreversible damage.

Acute pancreatitis in odgs is usually more severe, but when it’s over, there’s no remaining damage to organs.nSo principally, pancreatitis in dogs can be acute and only occur once in a dog’s lifetime or it can bec

ome chronic and keep returning over and over again. It can be a rapidly life threatening illness or a mild attack of pain that resolves in a few hours or a day or so.

There’s another very severe form of this condition called necrotizing pancreatitis, in which the damage is so severe that portions of the pancreas are actually destroyed. Some authors refer to this as hemorrhagic pancreatitis.

This form of canine pancreatitis can be fatal and requires early intervention and aggressive treatment.

Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

what is Pancreatitis In Golden Retriever Dogs

In a large number of cases, the cause of pancreatitis in Golden retriecer dogs remains unclear. However, there are certain things that we know are associated with the disease.

The most important factor is what your Golden Retriever eats.

Golden Retrievers with diets high in fat, and dogs who have recently gotten into the trash or have been fed greasy table scraps, seem to have a higher incidence of the disease.

A single high fat meal can cause pancreatitis in a dogs whose normal diet is moderate or low in fat.nThat’s why there’s a rash of canine pancreatitis cases at vet clinics around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter every year. People just can’t resist sharing their high fat leftovers with the family dog.

Some other factors contributing to the development of pancreatitis in Golden Retriever dogs include:

  • Obesity.
  • Trauma.
  • Liver disease.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Certain medications.
  • Cushing’s disease.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Recent abdominal surgery.
  • Blood clotting disorders.
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids.
  • High calcium levels in the blood.
  • High triglyceride and/or cholesterol levels in the blood.

Which Breeds Are At Risk For Pancreatitis In Dogs?

Which Breeds Are At Risk For Pancreatitis In DogsAs with most diseases or conditions, certain Golden Retriever dogs breeds are more susceptible to canine pancreatitis than others. Miniature Schnauzers have a genetic susceptibility to the disease.

Other dogs that seem to be more predisposed to this condition are Yorkshire and Silky Terriers, Dachshunds, Miniature Poodles, and Cocker Spaniels.

pancreatitis in dogs occurs usually in middle aged to older Golden Retriever dogs, and overweight dogs are at a higher risk. It seems to affect females a little more frequently than males. Dogs with diabetes are also more at risk than others.

Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatitis In Dogs

The most common symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs are:

  • fever.
  • lack of appetite.
  • depression.
  • vomiting.
  • signs of abdominal pain.

Other canine pancreatitis symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Yellow, greasy stool.
  • Dehydration.
    • sunken eyes.
    • dry mouth.
    • dry skin.
  • Lethargy.
  • Depression.
  • Weakness.
  • Irritability.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Redness of the gums.
  • Signs of shock.

Diagnosing Pancreatitis In Golden Retriever Dogs

Diagnosing Pancreatitis In Golden Retriever DogsCanine pancreatitis mimics several other conditions, making diagnosis difficult. Some of these most common “look alike” conditions are:

  • Acute gastroenteritis.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Intestinal obstruction.

While there is no definitive test for canine pancreatitis, your veterinarian will try to make a diagnosis through information obtained from:

  • Medical history (especially what your dog eats).
  • Physical exam.
  • Laboratory tests.
  • Radiographs (X-rays).
  • Abdominal ultrasound.
  • CAT scan.
  • Biopsy (occasionally).

Treatment For Pancreatitis In Dogs

The treatment your veterinarian selects will depend on the severity and duration of the illness. Golden retrievers with a mild case of chronic pancreatitis may be treated at home, while those with a severe case of acute pancreatitis will require hospitalization and intensive care.

Resting the pancreas and gastrointestinal system is the most important key to your dog’s recovery. That means no food or water by mouth for at least 24 hours to 48 hours.

The second major part of the treatment is the administration of large amounts of intravenous fluids.

Most dogs with pancreatitis are dehydrated from recurrent vomiting and diarrhea.

Other treatment measures include drugs to control vomiting, pain medications, and sometimes antibiotics to control or prevent bacterial infection.

Once the patient seems to feel better, he’s allowed to drink a bit of water. If he doesn’t vomit in the next 12 to 24 hours, he can graduate to solid food. He’ll probably be given small meals of a bland, easily digestible, low-fat food.

Over the course of a week or more, the amount of food can be gradually increased. Most dogs can go home once they’re able to eat and drink again.

Complications of Pancreatitis In Dogs

Dogs with severe pancreatitis can recover, but may also develop fatal complications, including:

  • Shock.
  • Abnormal bleeding and clotting.
  • Heart arrhythmias.
  • Liver or kidney damage.
  • Abdominal inflammation and fluid accumulation.
  • Sepsis (internal infection from bacteria and toxins).
  • Breathing difficulties.

Preventing the Recurrence of Pancreatitis In Golden Retriever Dogs

Preventing the Recurrence of Pancreatitis In Golden Retriever DogsPancreatitis can be a very unpredictable disease. In most cases, if the attack was mild and the dog only had one episode, chances of recovery are good. Simply avoiding high fat foods may be all that’s needed to prevent another attack and/or complications.

Most vets generally prescribe a low-fat, high-fiber diet for pancreatitis, to help speed recovery and to prevent future episodes.

Depending on your Golden Retriever dog’s situation, the diet recommendations may be for life or he may be able to gradually return to his former food, if it’s low enough in fat.

Although most Golden Retrievers can eat an occasional high-fat meal without a problem, once a dog develops pancreatitis, a high-fat meal will often cause another episode.

High-fat treats should be avoided. So, Keeping your dog away from the table during holiday meals can be very helpful, too. And make sure he can’t get into the garbage!

In addition to eating low-fat dog food, your Chunky Charlie needs to get on a serious weight loss program and join you on the jogging trail. Keeping him slim and trim will ward off future pancreatitis problems–and make him feel better, too!





 

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