Loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms of canine pancreatitis, according to petMD. Fever, dehydration, weight loss and abdominal pain are other possible symptoms of the condition. The dog may appear depressed, fatigued and sluggish; have breathing difficulties; and experience an elevated heart rate.
Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, often develops suddenly, and it can resolve quickly or linger, notes WebMD. Certain dog breeds, such as Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, are more likely to develop pancreatitis, and older dogs and overweight dogs are prone to the condition, says petMD. Female dogs are more likely to develop pancreatitis than males. Trauma to the pancreas; a scorpion sting; certain medications and toxins; and high levels of fat or calcium in the blood can also lead to pancreatitis.
Veterinarians treat pancreatitis by administering fluids, electrolytes and potassium supplements, states petMD. They also prescribe medications as necessary to control pain, infection and persistent vomiting. Some dogs must undergo surgery to remove blockages, excess fluids or damaged tissues. Until the condition resolves, the dog must consume bland, easily digested foods that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates.
Veterinarians can treat many cases of pancreatitis successfully and prevent permanent organ damage, according to petMD. A long-term bout of pancreatitis left untreated can lead to damage to the pancreas, liver, kidneys and brain. If inflammation in the pancreas causes bleeding, shock and death may occur.