The long-term outcome for a dog with pancreatitis can be difficult to predict. Severe pancreatitis can cause life-threatening damage to the body, including causing kidney failure, diabetes , and intestinal obstruction. If a pet recovers from an episode of acute pancreatitis, there may be concern that the problem will recur and become chronic. Sometimes, a permanent diet change to a reduced-fat diet may be recommended. Pet owners may also be advised to discontinue any table food or other items that may contribute to future episodes of pancreatitis.
The mainstay of pancreatitis treatment is aggressive, supportive care including intravenous fluids, antibiotics, anti-nausea and anti-vomiting drugs, and pain medication. Another aspect of treatment may involve “resting” the stomach and intestines to give them time to heal and rebound. Your veterinarian may recommend withholding food and water until the pet is no longer vomiting . During that time, the patient can receive fluids by injection; some veterinarians provide additional nutrition through intravenous feeding (directly into a vein) or placement of a feeding tube. If the pet does not respond to medical treatment, there are also surgical procedures to treat pancreatitis.
Your veterinarian will also check for the presence of gallstones , and for a condition referred to as reflux . A fill blood work up will be ordered to see if there are any nutrient imbalances, and X-ray imaging will be used to look for evidence of any blunt damage to the pancreas. Pancreatic and liver enzymes will be measured to analyze for increases of either in the bloodstream. Insulin will me measured to check for normal levels, since inflammation can cause insulin producing cells in the pancreas to be damaged, possibly leading to diabetes. Diabetes is rare, but can occur, especially with dogs.