Can I Share Thanksgiving Dinner with my Dog?

Q

Can I share Thanksgiving dinner with my dog?

A

For some of our canine friends, sampling a bit of turkey will not cause a problem. But, for a great many dogs, eating holiday fare such as ham and turkey may cause vomiting, diarrhea or possibly pancreatitis.

The pancreas is an organ with many functions. Among these is the production of digestive enzymes. When the pancreas gets inflamed (i.e. pancreatitis), it secretes these enzymes in such quantities as to start “digesting” itself. This in turn causes more inflammation and enzyme release and can snowball into a huge problem.

Signs of pancreatitis are vomiting, diarrhea and varying degrees of abdominal pain. The line between pancreatitis and simple gastritis can be fuzzy, even with routine blood work.  Also, certain breeds are more prone to it, especially Schnauzers.  If your pet shows any of these signs, especially after eating something he is not used to, it is best to have him assessed by a veterinarian.

Treatment for pancreatitis, for the most part,  would include fluid therapy, anti-vomiting medications, and antibiotics. Your pet will likely not be allowed to eat or drink until the vomiting is under control. Most cases respond favorably within 24 to 48 hours. Long term care includes feeding only diets which are low in fats.  If you have any questions or would like your pet assessed for pancreatitis, please call Hudson Veterinary Hospital at (330)650-2929.

Dr. Mark