Did you know that there are many toxins that can cause pancreatitis in dogs? In fact, the list of potential toxins is long and includes everything from over-the-counter medications to pesticides. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at each of these toxins and explore how they can lead to pancreatitis in our furry friends.
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What is pancreatitis? How would a doctor explain it?
Pancreatitis is a condition that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. When there are significant lesions or damage to the pancreas, this inflammation can cause a host of other problems and symptoms.
There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Acute pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes suddenly inflamed and can often resolve itself without treatment. Chronic pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes chronically inflamed and can lead to long-term health problems.
There are many potential causes of pancreatitis, but one of the most common is exposure to toxins. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common toxins that can cause pancreatitis in dogs.
1. Over-the-counter medications
There are many over-the-counter medications that can cause pancreatitis in dogs if they are not used properly. The most common of these is acetaminophen, which is found in many over-the-counter pain relievers. If a dog ingests too much acetaminophen, it can lead to liver and pancreas damage and eventually pancreatitis.
Other over-the-counter medications that can cause pancreatitis include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. It’s important to never give your dog any of these medications without first consulting with your veterinarian.
2. Prescription medications
There are also many prescription medications that can cause pancreatitis in dogs. The most common of these is prednisone, a steroid that is often used to treat allergies and other conditions. If a dog takes too much prednisone, it can lead to liver and pancreas damage and eventually pancreatitis.
Other prescription medications that can cause pancreatitis include certain cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, and some heart medications. As with over-the-counter medications, it’s important to never give your dog any of these medications without first consulting with your veterinarian.
Pesticides are another common toxin that can cause pancreatitis in dogs. These toxic chemicals can be found in many household products, such as insecticides, herbicides, and rat poison. If a dog ingests even a small amount of these chemicals, it can lead to liver and pancreas damage and eventually pancreatitis.
4. Household cleaning products
Household cleaning products are another common source of toxins that can cause pancreatitis in dogs. These products often contain harsh chemicals that can damage the liver and pancreas if ingested. If you use any household cleaning products in your home, be sure to keep them out of reach of your dog and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Food additives
Food additives are another potential source of toxins that can cause pancreatitis in dogs. These additives can often be found in processed foods and include things like preservatives, flavorings, and colorings. If a dog ingests too much of these additives, it can lead to liver and pancreas damage and eventually pancreatitis.
Alcohol is another toxin that can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Just like in humans, alcohol consumption can lead to liver and pancreas damage in dogs. If a dog ingests even a small amount of alcohol, it can cause pancreatitis.
7. Cigarette smoke
Cigarette smoke is another toxin that can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes contains many harmful chemicals that can damage the liver and pancreas. If a dog is exposed to cigarette smoke on a regular basis, it can lead to pancreatitis.
Mold is another toxin that can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Mold spores are often found in the air and can be inhaled by dogs. If a dog inhales too many mold spores, it can lead to liver and pancreas damage and eventually pancreatitis.
What toxins cause pancreatitis in dogs?
- L-asparaginase: A chemotherapy drug given to treat certain types of cancer.
- Azathioprine: An immunosuppressive drug used to treat auto-immune diseases such as immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, inflammatory bowel disease, and some types of liver disease.
- Phenobarbital and potassium bromide: Commonly used to control seizures in dogs.
- Potentiated sulfonamides: A class of antibiotics used to treat a variety of infections.
- Organophosphates: A class of insecticides used to control fleas and ticks.
- Corticosteroids: A class of drugs used to treat a variety of conditions, including allergies, arthritis, and some forms of cancer.
- Furosemide: A diuretic used to treat heart failure, kidney disease, and other conditions.
- Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)
- N-methyl-glucamine (Meglumine)
What are the Risk factors for pancreatitis in dogs
Obesity and rapid weight loss are risk factors for pancreatitis in dogs. Dogs who consume a high-fat diet or table scraps are also at increased risk.
Ingestion of unusual food items or table scrap:
Dogs who consume garbage, chocolate, coffee grounds, raw eggs, or other unusual food items are at increased risk for pancreatitis.
Excessive alcohol consumption:
Dogs who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are at increased risk for pancreatitis.
Some medications can increase the risk of pancreatitis in dogs, including certain chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, diuretics, and antibiotics.
Underlying medical conditions:
Certain underlying medical conditions can increase the risk of pancreatitis in dogs, including diabetes, cancer, and liver disease.
Injury or trauma to the pancreas:
Dogs who suffer from an injury or trauma to the pancre
- High-fat diet
- Ingestion of unusual food items
- Ingestion of table scrap
- Ingestion of trash5
Another risk factor for pancreatitis in dogs is endocrinopathy. This is when there is a problem with the endocrine system, which controls hormone production in the body. Endocrine diseases such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease can increase the risk of pancreatitis. This can be presented as;
- Diabetes mellitus
Another risk factor for pancreatitis in dogs is lipid disorders. Lipid disorders, hypertriglyceridemia, are when there is an imbalance of fats in the blood. Dogs with high levels of triglycerides or cholesterol are at increased risk for pancreatitis.
Some dog breeds are predisposed to pancreatitis, such as miniature schnauzers, Yorkshire terriers, and cocker spaniels. Other breeds that may be at increased risk include boxers, Boston terriers, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and poodles.
- SPINK 1 mutation
- Acute: Terrier breeds, miniature poodles, dachshunds, cocker spaniel, Alaskan malamute, laika, miniature schnauzer
- Chronic: Cavalier King Charles spaniel, collies, boxers
Other risk factors
- Babesiosis: A tick-borne disease caused by the protozoan Babesia canis.
- Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis
- Schistosomiasis (Heterobilharzia americana)
- Honeybee envenomation
- Organic acidemias
- Immunoglobulin G4-related disease
- Increasing age
- Obesity/overweight status
- Neutered status
- Previous surgery
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Hi there! My name is Ben Domb, an owner of two pets and I am one of the co-founders of OurPets HQ. I have several years of experience as a pet care professional in the New England region having spent time in various roles including a stint at a veterinary hospital in Upstate New York, Syracuse area. I am a certified pet care professional and mostly spend my time researching pet nutrition and sharing my thoughts in various blogs and columns. With quarantine and COVID restrictions, I have been spending a lot of time a lot with my dogs and cat and loving it! I also run a small consulting business providing advice to parents on pet nutrition, and especially safe homemade options to try. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org