Throughout the year, I see many dogs in the ER because of stomach problems. Birthday parties, summer barbeques and winter holiday dinners are prime times for dogs to not only score more food than usual, but often, food that doesn’t agree with them. This indulgence can set them up for the development of pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening disease.
What Is Pancreatitis?
Let’s start with the pancreas. The pancreas sits just under the stomach and along the first part of the small intestine. The pancreas has two main jobs. The first is the secretion of digestive enzymes to help break down food in the small intestine, and the second is the secretion of insulin and glucagon to regulate the body’s blood glucose (sugar) levels. When a dog develops pancreatitis, the digestive enzymes are the problem.
Put simply, pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can be either…