Avoiding a Holiday Horror

After the laundry list of cringe worthy moments of 2020, a little preparation and seasonal cheer can help create a holiday season still filled with joy! For those with pets, be sure to plan accordingly for your quarantine crew. Pets have kept us company during some dark days this year so it’s natural that they would be included in holiday traditions (…whatever those may look like). Before serving up an extra plate of your holiday feast, consider a more pet friendly treat. Indulging in foods high in fat can lead to a holiday horror for pets: acute pancreatitis.

Simply put pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, an organ responsible for producing insulin and digestive enzymes. Under normal circumstances the digestive enzymes are released into the intestines where they assist the body by breaking down food particles.

In a case of acute pancreatitis, the digestive enzymes not only are excreted into the intestines, but also exert their effect on the pancreas and surrounding tissues. This can be very painful!

Signs & Symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Abdominal pain

Although acute pancreatitis can many times be treated successfully, without prompt medical care it can be life threatening.

Supportive care (intravenous fluids, pain medications and anti-nausea medications) to provide comfort and hydration are usually needed to give the pancreas time to heal. Low fat diets may also be prescribed to ease the work load of the pancreas.

The best medicine is prevention this holiday season. So skip the plate of Thanksgiving trimmings and instead give your pet a safer tasty treat. Have questions? Chat with your veterinary staff about an appropriate pet friendly treat or skip the extra treat completely and snuggle up for some quality time with your pal.