Pancreatitis in dogs and cats – similarities and differences
Pancreatitis is a commonly diagnosed problem in dogs that occurs in severe and mild forms, and with acute and chronic inflammation; it is also being increasingly recognized in cats. Chronic pancreatitis is associated with fibrosis of the pancreas and is more challenging to diagnose in both dogs and cats using non-invasive techniques. Chronic pancreatitis is also more difficult to treat, and treatment is usually only indicated if there are clinical signs due to acute flare-ups, or exacerbations of concurrent diseases like diabetes mellitus. Acute pancreatitis (AP) has similar signs in dogs and cats, but cats tend to have more liver complications, and thus diagnosis and treatment is similar. The main treatment approach for AP centres on analgesia, hydration and nutrition. The main differences between dogs and cats with AP are the difficulty in assessing pain in cats and the higher association of bacterial involvement in cats with AP.