All I Want for Christmas is a Tummy Ache? Avoiding Pancreatitis in Pets This Holiday Season

Preventing pet pancreatitis this holiday season.

The pancreas is a bit of a dramatic organ, flaring out of control sometimes at the drop of a hat. The pets of Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital can attest, too, that when the pancreas is angry, it can be quite unpleasant. Pancreatitis in pets is not any fun, and while it tends to be prominent during the holidays, with a little care, you can prevent your pet from dealing with it this holiday season.

The Picky Pancreas

The pancreas is an important body part, and it plays a key role in the digestion of food and the production of insulin. While it has some very essential functions, it can also be a bit of a pain at times (quite literally).

When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the medical condition is termed pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can occur when the organ itself is physically traumatized, is affected by chronic inflammatory conditions such as obesity, or is affected by certain medications. Most often, though, pancreatitis in pets occurs when the pancreas is overstimulated by a rich, fatty meal.

Pancreatitis can be very painful and lead to extreme consequences at times. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased or absent appetite
  • Painful abdomen
  • Dehydration
  • Fever

Pets exhibiting these symptoms may be affected by a wide variety of conditions, and concerned pet owners should call us right away so that we can perform diagnostic testing and start appropriate treatment right away. 

Avoiding Pancreatitis in Pets This Holiday Season

It’s no wonder that the holiday season is peak time for pancreatitis in pets. Our homes tend to be filled with special treats and indulgent meals along with houseguests who may not be able to resist those pleading eyes. 

So how can you steer clear of a pancreatitis episode in your pet during the festivities this year?

We have a few helpful tips to keep you out of our emergency room:

  • Avoiding feeding your pet from the table whenever possible
  • If you do decide to treat your pet, share things like a small serving of unbuttered veggies or lean meat instead of gravy, fat trimmings, and butter-laden dishes
  • Choose a pet-friendly holiday treat 
  • Be sure to let guests know not to feed your pet
  • Consider keeping your pet in a safe area like a crate during meal times and parties
  • Be sure garbage is kept in a place inaccessible to animals who may not be able to resist

Sometimes despite our best efforts, pancreatitis strikes. Rest assured that if your pet becomes ill, they are in great hands with one of our doctors. Thankfully, many pets do recover from pancreatitis. Even so, it is best to avoid it when possible! We wish you and your four-legged family a safe and happy holiday season.