Pancreatitis in Dogs

Most causes of pancreatitis in dogs is unknown. However, several risk factors have been discovered. It appears that Miniature Schnauzers have a genetic predisposition to pancreatitis and other studies have show this tendency in Yorkshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Poodles, sled dogs, as well. An indiscretionary diet is believed to be a common risk factor in these dogs.  High triglycerides (which lead to a hardening of the arteries and heart disease) is also considered a common risk factor for pancreatitis, in these breeds.


If you suspect that your pet is experiencing Pancreatitis,
get help immediately:


Hyperadrenocortiscism (Cushing’s Disease) has been cited as a potential cause, catalyst or as a risk factor in some studies for pancreatitis in dogs. Severe blunt trauma, like can be experienced in a traffic accident or in cats with high-rise syndrome, can also cause pancreatitis. Surgery has been considered another risk factor; however, most postsurgical cases of pancreatitis are now believed to be due to pancreatic hypoperfusion during anesthesia, and NOT the surgical procedure itself. Infectious diseases have been implicated, but the evidence for a cause and effect relationship is weak in most cases.

In dogs, pancreatitis has been reported with Babesia canis or Leishmania infection. In cats, Toxoplasma gondiiAmphimerus pseudofelineus, and feline infectious peritonitis are considered most important.


Many drugs have been implicated in causing pancreatitis in people, but very few have been confirmed in dogs and cats. In general, most drugs should be viewed as potential causes of pancreatitis, but the following are most important:

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Belly pain

Other symptoms are:

  • Change in normal body temperature (high OR low)
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat

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