After a very unsettled night and several episodes of vomiting the following morning, Harvey’s owners knew that something was amiss.

Harvey the 8-year-old Cavoodle was promptly brought to the NWVC team for examination. While mostly unremarkable, his exam revealed a painful abdomen and slightly tacky gums – often an indication of dehydration. At home, Harvey received a balanced diet of Hills Prescription J/D (to help with his arthritis), along with rice, and the occasional addition of cooked chicken – of which he had received over the weekend.

With the convenience of our in-house lab, blood tests revealed elevated pancreatic enzymes and inflammatory markers, indicative of Pancreatitis. Harvey was admitted to hospital for IV fluid therapy, anti-nausea medications and appropriate pain relief. A low-fat diet was also prescribed.

Harvey responded well to treatment. The vomiting resolved overnight, and he had a healthy appetite the next morning. His blood tests were repeated, with results indicating dramatic improvement. Harvey was reunited with his family that evening.

A revisit exam was performed two days later, and we’re pleased to report that little Harvey has remained well since!

Pancreatitis is a condition whereby the Pancreas becomes inflamed. The pancreas is a vital organ that can be found on the right side of the abdomen, adjacent to the stomach. The pancreas produces enzymes that assist in food digestion, and hormones such as insulin – which help to regulate blood sugar and glucose metabolism.

It’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of Pancreatitis. Potential risk factors include the ingestion of a fatty meal, bacterial infections as a result of eating spoilt food, long term use of corticosteroids, direct trauma to the pancreas as well as pancreatic tumours.  

As seen in Harvey’s case, signs of Pancreatitis can include vomiting, dehydration and abdominal pain. Patients may also have a decreased appetite, diarrhoea, and may be lethargic and reluctant to walk. If your pet displays any of these symptoms, veterinary advice should always be sort.