I think we can all agree that this is the time of year when we’re all guilty of over eating. What with the plethora of Holiday parties and family get-together’s, coupled with the colder weather – I mean, it just seems natural to eat a bit more, right?!
Adding a few more Swedish meatballs to your hors d’oeuvres plate, or having another serving of plum pudding for dessert may do nothing more to you than pack on the calories, but if your pet should happen to splurge on super rich food, the consequences could be much more dire. That’s because they could develop a life threatening condition known as pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is an ailment where the pancreas (an organ which aides in the digestion and absorption of key nutrients from food) becomes inflamed. The gland’s major role is producing insulin, and digestive enzymes. If these enzymes are triggered prematurely, they can begin to digest their own glandular tissues, thus creating pancreatitis.
In dogs, pancreatitis can come in two forms. It can either be chronic or acute – both of which can occur because of dietary indiscretion. Genetic predisposition can be a factor in this disease, but frequently obesity and a diet rich in fatty food are the culprits.
Symptoms of pancreatitis can range from mild to severe. Likely, the more severe cases would require hospitalization and aggressive treatment, but even mild cases necessitate medical intervention to prevent worsening symptoms, which can be (but are not excluded to):
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, get them into the vet as soon as possible. Certain tests can be run to determine pancreatitis, and naturally it’s better to catch this early.
So here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season for you and your pets alike… And remember, should you feel guilty for not sharing your pot roast with your furry four legged friend, believe me – they would much rather be at home with you (even if they are wearing a ugly sweater that you put them in), than at the vets wearing the dreaded cone of shame!