Pancreatitis in Dogs | Diagnosis and Tests
PetWave | Dog & Cat Information

Diagnosing Pancreatitis in Dogs

Diagnostic Procedures

Many dogs that develop pancreatitis are overweight, are fed a high fat diet, recently ate a single especially fatty meal or are being given a medication that has been linked to pancreatitis. The attending veterinarian will take the dog’s history, conduct a thorough physical examination and assess the dog’s presenting symptoms. All of these findings will be taken into consideration when diagnosing pancreatitis. Often, these factors will lead to a presumptive diagnosis of pancreatitis, which can be strengthened by the results of blood work. The results of a routine serum chemistry profile and complete blood count are usually unremarkable in dogs with pancreatitis. Serum amylase and lipase levels can be suggestive of pancreatitis, but are not diagnostic. Newer blood tests, such as the canine serum pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (PLI) concentration and the trypsinogen activation peptide (TAP) tests, are now commercially available to assist with the definitive diagnosis of this disease.

Abdominal radiographs (X-rays) will not reveal inflammation of the pancreas. However, they can be helpful to rule in or out other causes of severe abdominal pain. Abdominal ultrasound is also a useful diagnostic tool, because it can disclose enlargement of the pancreas, fluid accumulation and other diagnostic indicators. Ultrasonography can be expensive, and the accuracy of the results depends almost entirely upon the skill of the ultrasonographer and the quality of the ultrasound equipment. The pancreas also can be biopsied. However, biopsy is not often used to diagnose pancreatitis, because most dogs with pancreatic symptoms are too ill to undergo this surgical procedure.

Special Notes

Pancreatitis in domestic dogs is being diagnosed with increasing frequency. Because its symptoms can mimic those of many other painful gastrointestinal disorders, it is important that the appropriate steps be taken to confirm a definitive diagnosis of pancreatitis.

Source: PetWave


Pregnancy Miscarriage in Dogs (Canine Abortion)

Pregnancy Miscarriages in Dogs: Learn about canine miscarriage including how it can affect your dog,...

Gas in Dogs (Canine Flatulence)

Gas in Dogs: Learn about Gas, including how it can affect your dog, and what...

Infectious Hepatitis in Dogs

Infectious Hepatitis in Dogs: Learn about Infectious Hepatitis, including how it can affect your dog,...

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) in Dogs

Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Dogs: Learn about Patent Ductus Arteriosus, including how it can affect...

Dermoid Cysts (Lump Under Skin) in Dogs

Dermoid Cysts in Dogs: Learn about Dermoid Cysts, including how they can affect your dog,...


Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

Ask a Vet

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Adoption | Cat Food & Diet

Advertise on - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter Email Friend about Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2015 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.