By far the most common complaint that we see over the festive season is tummy upsets, diarrhoea and pancreatitis.
With all the excess food and leftovers at this time of the year, owners often feed their pets the table scraps. And while many dogs are able to handle these rich foods in moderation, an excess can upset their digestion and in some cases even kill them.
Pancreatitis is a disease of usually small to medium breed dogs with Schnauzers, Jack Russells, Spaniels and Dachshunds showing an over–representation.
In response to excess fatty foods, the pancreas begins to secrete too many digestive enzymes. These enzymes can leak out of the pancreas and start to ‘digest’ other organs in the abdomen such as the liver and kidneys.
It is a serious and painful disease. Treatment includes hospitalisation, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, pain control and feeding but survival is not guaranteed.
Another problem we frequently encounter is bone obstipation and constipation due to the feeding of left over roast bones and turkey carcasses. Passing faeces containing sharp bone shards can be seriously painful so a lot of dogs would just rather not defecate, leading to constipation. This often needs a remedy of sedation and repeated enemas but if ignored can be fatal.
Ultimately prevention is better than cure so, please, think twice before over-indulging your pets this festive season