cat on thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving day is almost here. We loosen our belts and prepare to feast with all our favorite dishes on the table. While catching up with family and friends, it can be easy to forget your pets are nearby hoping for some scraps. There are a lot of Thanksgiving foods that can mean health problems for your pets, however.

Pets Want a Bite of Turkey, Too

A nibble here, an “Oops, I dropped it,” there, and pretty soon, your pets have eaten more than their share of tasty Thanksgiving foods. 

Pumpkin pie, whipped cream, buttery, garlic mashed potatoes with gravy are rich foods that can delight and hurt your pets. Fatty foods are not safe treats for your pets.

Pancreatitis and High-Fat Foods

The pancreas releases enzymes that help digest the foods we eat, but not until the foods reach the small intestine. If the enzymes are released outside of that perfectly safe environment, they go to work on whatever is handy, causing inflammation and organ tissue damage. 

High-fat foods are one of the most common culprits of pancreatitis in pets.

What Are the Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs?

Noticing the signs of pancreatitis in dogs helps you get treatment fast. Dogs suffering from pancreatitis will often have:

  • Vomiting–frequent lasting several days
  • Abdominal pain, distended abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration from vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?

A severe pancreatitis attack can kill your dog. Contact us immediately at (865) 609‑0311 if you think your dog could be suffering from a pancreatitis episode. Our staff at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital will advise you about how to best transport your pet, and we’ll be prepared for your arrival.

  • If your dog shows multiple symptoms, call us right away.
  • If your dog is in a kneeling position—hindquarters up, head down—he’s in severe abdominal pain. This is a health emergency and requires immediate attention.

The sooner we see your pet, the sooner we can begin treatments. Pancreatitis in dogs is terrible for them, but recovery is possible when diagnosed early. Don’t be cautious if you think your dog might be suffering from pancreatitis. We want to see your pet as soon as possible.

What Can I Do To Help Prevent Pancreatitis in My Pet?

The number one prevention measure you can take is to feed your dog veterinarian recommended food and snacks and the following:

  • Don’t feed table scraps to your dog
  • Don’t let your dog get into the garbage
  • Do feed your dog veterinarian-approved food and treats
  • There are many healthy human foods your dog can have. Ask us about pet nutrition.
  • Ask family members and visitors not to share food with your dog

When Do Vets See the Highest Number of Dogs with Pancreatitis?

You guessed it, right after the holidays. It’s so easy to forget that food is accessible when left on counters, end tables, and dining room tables. All those high-fat foods we love are downright dangerous for pets!

Do Cats Get Pancreatitis?

Cats do develop pancreatitis, but the causes are usually unknown. You can help to prevent pancreatitis in dogs, but probably not in your cat. However, it is always smart to avoid giving your cat any human food, especially the ones listed above.

We’re Here for Your Pets When They Need Us

We encourage regular wellness visits so we can help your pet stay healthy. If your pet isn’t current on vaccinations or is due for a checkup, please make an appointment soon.

And when your pets are sick, that’s when they need us the most. We have the expertise and services to diagnose and treat your pets if they are sick or injured.

Call us at (865) 609‑0311 with pet care questions. We’re here for all our animal families!