When we first pick up our new puppy, we may have it in our minds that they will live forever. Unfortunately, we know that’s not the case.
Just like all other living things, there comes a time when a dog’s health diminishes. The decrease in health is often due to medical concerns in a particular part of the body. Whether it be internal bleeding or some other illness, their passing can come suddenly or gradually over time. It may be isolated to one issue, or it may be a result of several underlying concerns.
Of course, sicknesses don’t always end up being lethal for dogs. It can be just some they deal with for a short while and then eventually recover from. Much of it depends on how early the disease is caught and how effective the treatments are.
One such illness that can plague dogs quite frequently is pancreatitis. It’s a condition that can come quickly or develop slowly over time. Either way, it’s a severe illness that requires care quickly and efficiently.
If your dog has pancreatitis or if you’re concerned about your dog getting pancreatitis, we’re here to help set the record straight. Next, we share a few things to know about the dog pancreatitis death rate and what you can expect should your dog ever develop it.
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What is Pancreatitis in Dogs?
As the name implies, dog pancreatitis is a medical condition of an inflamed pancreas. The pancreas is the important organ that helps in the digestion of food and also helps to control blood sugar to safe levels. During this medical condition, an enzyme within the pancreas causes the pancreas to digest itself, causing severe pain in some cases.
An interesting characteristic of pancreatitis is that it can come up suddenly and rapidly or gradually over time. Conditions may appear all at once and intensely.
Or, they may slowly develop over time and in moderate amounts. Especially at the beginning, you may not even notice that they are suffering from any other ailments. It may easily go away on its own or it may linger, fester and eventually cause some serious consequences.
As the development of pancreatitis is strongly aligned with what foods are consumed, at times the consumption of an unhealthy meal filled with saturated fats and other ingredients can spur on a condition like pancreatitis. It may also come as a side effect from some other surgery performed in the same region of the dog’s body.
While the actual cause for dog pancreatitis is not all that well-known, there are some breeds and pre-existing conditions that may make them more likely to develop pancreatitis than others.
Schnauzers, in particular, may be more susceptible to developing pancreatitis. Dogs who also suffer from being overweight or are at an advanced age
What Are The Symptoms of Pancreatitis?
In knowing if your dog has developed pancreatitis, there are a few helpful symptoms to keep an eye out for.
For example, common symptoms of pancreatitis include things like a loss of appetite or other digestive concerns such as vomiting or severe nausea. They will also have uncomfortable stomach issues that may make them not like themselves.
In addition to those very common trigger signs, other things to keep an eye out for in your dog are escalated digestive issues like diarrhea and resulting dehydration. As a result, they may feel very lethargic and feel as if they have no energy.
They may develop a fever, which is their body’s way of fighting against the inflammation they are experiencing in their pancreas.
Additionally, they may have issues in other areas of their body, including having a hard time breathing or developing an irregular heartbeat. You may also be able to feel or see that the area around their pancreas is swollen, indicating a concern in their digestive system.
These symptoms often arise during an “attack” of pancreatitis. This is a sudden onset of pain in which your dog really feels the inflamed pancreas.
They may position themselves in a position with their rear end up in the air with the front part of the body on the floor. This is a common position for dogs suffering from pancreatitis, and it’s helpful to be able to notice this position to identify what is ailing them.
These symptoms, along with your dog’s overall health and wellness, can be key signs that your dog may have developed a condition like pancreatitis. While some dogs may just have an off day, if their symptoms last for longer, it’s worth connecting with your veterinarian.
They will be able to help diagnose whether it is pancreatitis or some other related medical concern. In making a proper diagnosis, your veterinarian may choose to also conduct a blood test to ensure their suspicions are correct.
What is The Dog Pancreatitis Death Rate?
The level of severity varies based on what kind of case of pancreatitis a dog is experiencing. In mild cases, most dogs are able to make a full recovery with adequate treatment and care. It’s also important to detect an issue early on in your dog’s life to prevent the inflammation of the pancreas to worsen severely.
In more severe cases, however, the results may not be so fortunate. These cases tend to be more acute, meaning that the symptoms develop rapidly rather than slowly over time. When not detected and treated properly, pancreatitis in dogs can have a mortality rate of about 40% or more.
Again, this percentage is heavily dependent on the severity of the case and how early it is detected. Your dog’s overall health is also an important factor in determining its chances of survival. Older dogs or those struggling with obesity may have a more difficult time recovering than dogs who are at a healthier level.
Treating Dog Pancreatitis
While there is the potential for pancreatitis to turn deadly, there are some treatment options to consider as you work to care for your dog’s health at all times.
Steps for alleviating pancreatitis include making the pancreas rest and recover, which means no food or water for a period of time. Instead, they can be injected with IV fluids to get the nutrients they need without making the pancreas work for it.
After your dog returns home from the veterinarian after spending about a day there, they’ll need to stay hydrated, which means lots of water. If they are nauseous or are often vomiting, they may be able to have medication to alleviate those symptoms.
In moving forward in prevention and care, a healthy, wholesome, and nutritious diet can help to work against an inflamed pancreas. Especially in chronic cases, pancreatitis can be moderated with a healthier diet. It’s also important to limit or eliminate entire food designed for humans, such as bacon, meat, or other fatty foods.
For these mild cases, treating pancreatitis can be as simple as changing up their diet long-term. However, in more severe cases, they will need much more intensive care.
They may need additional resources besides IV fluids and medication to stop nausea. Your veterinarian will walk you through the appropriate next steps to take, depending on the severity of the case.
Equipping Your Dog to Survive Pancreatitis
Whether your dog already has pancreatitis or it’s just something you’re concerned about, there are steps you can take now to treat and further prevent the symptoms from worsening. Providing a healthy diet that doesn’t contain too many unhealthy fats can be a great start.
A focused diet on whole foods and low-fat ingredients that are easy to digest can help alleviate this concern and get your dog on a path toward better health.
Being aware of the symptoms of pancreatitis and some triggering factors of it can empower you to care for your dog with attention and love. Help them live their best life and provide a healthy diet for your dog.
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