It’s coming up to that special time in a dog’s year. The time when gravy flows like rivers, and toddlers throw entire turkey legs onto the floor. That’s right, it’s Pancreatitis time.
(Did you know that Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for Pancreatitis related Emergency Vet visits?)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Pancreatitis, it is what happens when the Pancreas becomes inflamed.
It is a small organ located under the stomach that does two really important things.
The Perfect Storm
The most common cause of Pancreatitis in dogs around the Holidays is the one time consumption of a high fat meal. (Table scraps, nosing through the trash, licking the plates) The humans are super busy, no one is watching what the pets are doing. A cycle now begins. The Pancreas tries its hardest to start overcompensating for the meal. The organ starts to stress out, and becomes inflamed. Those digestive enzymes get into the fight, but because they were released ahead of schedule, they start to digest the body itself. This causes swelling, bleeding, and tissue death. Once that happens, the production of chemicals start, and when they meet up with the digestive enzymes, this dynamic duo travel through the bloodstream wreaking havoc along the way.
Worst Case Scenario
Pancreatitis can cause:
All of these are terrible, but certain combinations of these can be deadly.
None of this is meant to scare you. Most dogs, after about a week, recover. That is, with the help of a wonderful veterinarian, plus
For owners however, recovery may take a bit longer. I suggest
All joking aside folks, it is one terrifying experience. Most especially for the pet. It’s not a bad idea to have a plan, even if it is as simple as making a friendly announcement before dinner.
(To not feed the pets from the table, but more importantly, to tell the group that the relative responsible for the incident gets to pay the vet bill. That should sit them up straight.)