One of our readers has just asked why, in a recent post, I wrote don’t feed your Morkie table scraps and especially not fatty meat trimmings.
I responded that too much fat in a small dog’s diet can lead to pancreatitis, a disease that ranges from mild to deadly.What does the pancreas do?
In all mammals the pancreas performs a dual role: it releases enzymes to help you digest food and it releases hormones including insulin, that regulate your blood sugar.
When the pancreas stops working…
If the pancreas becomes inflamed, those digestive enzymes can leak out into the gut. The enzymes begin in effect, to “digest” other organs in the body. That can result in permanent scar tissue – too much scaring and the pancreas can no longer help the body digest food. The sufferer loses weight, and suffers.
Acute or chronic – it’s all bad
An attack of pancreatic causes severe abdominal pain, cramping and tenderness. In a severe attack, your dog’s pulse may become weak and very rapid. He needs immediate care to prevent shock and potential death.
Pancreatic attacks can be sudden or can come on slowly. They can dissipate or be long-lasting. In all cases, it’s important to get your dog to a Veterinarian fast!
Symptoms of pancreatitis
Your Morkie may:
- lose interest in food
- be weak
- be feverish and panting
- vomiting, diarrhea
- have a tender abdomen
In severe cases, he’ll cry out in pain, have trouble breathing and may gag a lot. Although these symptoms can all point to something else, it is vital to get medical attention for your Morkie right away.
Breeds more susceptible to pancreatitis
Mini Schnauzers seem to have a genetic predisposition for pancreatitis, and other breeds tend to suffer from it more often. They include Dachshunds, Yorkshire Terriers, Silky terriers and Skye terriers.
Although scientists don’t know exactly what does cause this disease, it is known that you can take steps to help ward off pancreatitis:
- keep your dog at a healthy weight by managing his food and getting him exercise
- ensure he gets a good quality diet; Dr. Dobias’ Natural Healing site, for example, attributes one possible cause of pancreatitis to feeding nothing but processed kibble
- avoid high fat foods for your Morkie
- keep him out of the garbage (including the compost pile, which seems to be attractive to some dogs)
DOG SYMPTOM CHECKER – this is a great tool to bookmark: www.petmd.com/dog/dog-symptom-checker
Want to learn more about how diet can keep your Morkie healthy?
Check out my e-book, The Complete Guide to Feeding Your Morkie.
You’ll read about the different choices: commercial food, homemade, the RAW diet, holistic and more.
You’ll get valuable information on how to decode commercial food labels – and watch out for potential POISONS in your Morkie’s food!!