Hi, I’m Mat from Pure Pet Food. At Pure, we
make a range of natural air-dried and freeze-dried dog and cat foods and were passionate about
all things pet health. As we get asked a number of questions about all sorts of ailments and
intolerances, we have decided to produce a video series to answer those very questions.
Today we are going to be talking about pancreatitis. We’ve got Andy, the vet who is coming in to
answer all questions around this topic for you. Andy, are you okay to just introduce
yourself for us? I am a small animal first opinion vet. I’ve
been working in across Yorkshire for the past 10 years since I graduated. I see mainly dogs
and cats and nutrition forms a large part of that work. What we would like to cover today is one of
the main topics that we actually get asked about is pancreatitis and how that relates
to diet. What I thought would be good is just to go into a little bit more about pancreatitis,
a little bit about what it is and then go into some of the symptoms and some of the
things people can watch out for them in their dogs. First of all, can you just give us a
bit of an overview of kind of what pancreatitis is and actually how it’s caused? Yeah, sure. So pancreatitis is a condition
that affects the organ, the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing enzymes
which break down food once it’s ingested and allows the intestines to then absorb the nutrients.
It is specifically involved in breaking down fats and fatty foods as well. Pancreatitis is when the pancreas will get
inflamed and swollen and can often lead to some pain and various other symptoms as well. And if I was an owner and I had a dog who
I suspected could have something wrong with him, what are the key things that I would
probably see if my dog potentially had pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can be a little bit tricky to
diagnose mainly because it gives some sort of vague symptoms. But some of the few things
that owners will notice at home is sometimes their dogs will be a bit more lethargic than
normal. They might be off their food. They lose their appetite. They might show you some
abdominal pain; sort of seem a bit restless, unable to get sort of settled. Sometimes they
adopt what we call the prayer position where they will lean forward on their front legs
and with their back legs stood firmly. Occasionally, they will have some vomiting and diarrhoea.
Those are the sort of symptoms that you would see which would prompt owners then to take
their dog to the vet. One of the things we sometimes find is when
people are going through this they will actually label it as either acute or chronic pancreatitis.
What are the key differences between those two? Acute and chronic basically refers to the
timeline. Acute is a sudden onset of the condition and it tends to be a bit more severe, whereas
chronic is a more long-standing condition where it gradually sort of appears. Again, that can be quite tricky to sort of
appreciate until it’s diagnosed. What would you, would you give advice to an
owner who has a dog with pancreatitis? I’m sure there are some medical things that they
will have to follow and probably some things that they have to take, but is there any kind
of lifestyle changes that they can make? Yeah, I think it’s one of these conditions
where you must take your dog to the vet. One, to be able to get diagnosis because you can’t…
Because these symptoms are quite common in a wide variety of different conditions. Really, it does take some investigations to
try and get to a diagnosis of pancreatitis, but once that’s confirmed, then treatment
would need to be started. We quite often use some pain relief and some medications that
will stop the dog feeling sick. Sometimes we use some anti-inflammatories. Occasionally,
in the more severe cases, the acute cases, then they will need to stay in the practice
on an intravenous drip as well. Once the initial condition has been treated, then we will discharge
the dog and we will send them home on some long-standing treatment to try and minimize
the risk of it recurring. One of which is to feed a low-fat diet. As we said before,
the pancreas is very important in allowing the dog and the intestine to digest fat. So
the more fat they have to digest, the more work the pancreas has to do. If we reduce
that fat in their diet, then hopefully we can just settle the pancreas and reduce the
risk of pancreatitis. Perfect. Is there anything before we wrap
this up that you think we have not covered that you might want to do or you might want
to ask? Yeah. I think with most conditions in dogs,
some breeds are more predisposed to this condition than others. The classic breeds are predisposed
to things. Like Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers, Dachshunds and Poodles seem to
be more at risk. Once a dog has had this condition, he is then
more likely to get it again, which again is why we recommend some lifestyle changes. For
some reason as well, sort of overweight female dogs are more at risk. In the vast majority
of cases, the prognosis is good. Some cases, unfortunately, can be quite severe and can
be quite serious. But like I said, the majority of cases the prognosis is good and hopefully,
they will make a full recovery. Perfect. Thank you for your time, Andy. Thank you. If anyone has any further questions, they
can either comment in the comment section below or they can get in touch with us and
we can always get in touch with Andy and we will be able to answer your questions in a
pretty quick, pretty speedy time. Thanks, everyone.