|$ $ Outpatient Treatment: $200 - $1K||$ $ $ Hospital Treatment: $1,5K - $3,5K|
Dogs, like humans, can suffer from pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas.
This gland is present in all vertebrates and is responsible for two major things in our bodies: it produces the hormone insulin that regulates blood sugar, and it generates enzymes that help with food digestion.
As you can imagine, it’s a very important gland in our bodies and the bodies of our dear dogs, so when something is wrong, the symptoms and consequences could be serious.
Let’s talk about pancreatitis in dogs, its causes, symptoms, and treatment, as well as how much you can expect to pay for it.
Table of Contents
Pancreatitis In Dogs
The inflammation of the pancreas occurs when the digestive enzymes are activated while there’s a blockage or injury of the outflow duct, therefore making the enzymes start destroying the pancreas.
There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic.
Acute Dog Pancreatitis
When pancreatitis is acute, it means that it happens abruptly.
The dog didn’t have any symptoms or discomfort before and now all of the sudden is suffering from this condition.
It’s usually mild, so there are no permanent changes to the pancreas, but it can also get worse and become a severe case (chronic).
Chronic Dog Pancreatitis
In this case, the changes that have been made in the pancreas are permanent.
This type of pancreatitis develops over time, generally without symptoms, and it can also be the consequence of repeated acute pancreatitis.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the signs of chronic pancreatitis, as well as loss of the production of digestive enzymes.
What Causes Dog Pancreatitis?
There is no unique cause of pancreatitis in dogs, but according to several research studies, there are some factors that could be causing it.
Scavenging or going through the garbage, eating a big meal with a high-fat percentage, or a continuous diet with the same characteristic, some medications like cortisone, obesity, diabetes, and even trauma, like getting hit by a car.
There have also been studies that indicate that neutered dogs have a higher risk of developing pancreatitis over time.
Some breeds tend to have this disease more than others: Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Fox Terriers, Poodles, Laikas, and Alaskan Malamutes.
What Are The Symptoms?
The most common symptoms of pancreatitis are constant vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, abdominal pain, weakness or lethargy, and dehydration.
If your dog seems to be drinking water all the time, it could be a sign of pancreatitis, but these symptoms tend to present themselves together.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Pancreatitis?
If your dog has some or all the symptoms previously mentioned, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible.
There, the vet will perform different tests, such as urinalysis, blood count, and biochemical profile, abdominal ultrasound, and a cPLI test (Canine Pancreatic Lipase Immunoreactivity test).
This last test has proven to be highly accurate, but it doesn’t rule out concurrent diseases; that’s why it’s so important to have other tests as well.
What Is The Treatment?
As with any other disease, the treatment is going to depend on the severity of the case.
On some occasions, vets can advise not to give any food or water to the dog for at least a day.
This will give time to the pancreas to be still, and not produce any more vomiting.
After, the vet will recommend a low-fat diet that could be permanent.
Pain and general discomfort are usually treated with medications.
If the case is severe, the dog will have to be hospitalized so they can administer antibiotics and fluids to keep it hydrated.
How Much Does Dog Pancreatitis Treatment Cost?
The cost of the treatment will vary according to the severity of the condition, the city where you reside, and if the dog needs to be hospitalized.
If it’s treated as an outpatient, the cost can be from $200 to $1,000.
But if the dog has to spend at least a day in the hospital with intravenous treatment, the cost will go up from $1,500 to $3,500.