Remember, it’s best not to share your holiday feasts with your pets. Rich, fatty foods can easily cause pancreatitis in cats and dogs.
The pancreas is a small organ that has two major functions: to produce insulin to aid in the absorption of glucose and other carbohydrates, and to produce enzymes to aid in the absorption of fats and proteins. An inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic, and while acute cases tend to be more severe, they may also resolve.
Symptoms in dogs include anorexia, vomiting, weakness, abdominal pain, dehydration and diarrhea. Clinical signs in cats are less specific, and include lethargy, anorexia, dehydration, vomiting and abdominal pain. Pancreatitis is often very painful for pets, and can lead to fatal side effects, so do not let the symptoms go unheeded.
Most cases of pancreatitis are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. In dogs, dietary indiscretion is one of the most common risk factors.