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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Recognition of known risk factors for disease is an important part of the diagnostic process, and also should be a factor in determining the most appropriate therapy for a patient.

For pancreatitis the following risk factors have been identified and the presence of  more than one  should alert the clinician to avoid exposing the animal to another. For example, the use of corticosteroids in an old, castrated, obese  miniature schnauzer with intervertebral disk disease should probably be avoided, and an alternative therapeutic agent should be sought.

Risk factors include* :

  • Advancing age
  • Breed
    • Dogs - Briard, Miniature Schnauzer, Sheltie
    • Cats - Himalayan
  • Diet - high fat ration (over 20% fat on a dry matter basis)
  • Drugs - azathioprine, corticosteroids, L-asparaginase, organophosphorus insecticides
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus due to ischaemia
  • Hypercalcaemia - hyperparathyroidism, intravenous calcium injection 
  • Hyperlipidaemia (Miniature Schnauzers and others)
  • Intervertebral disk protrusion
  • Liver disease - feline suppurative cholangiohepatitis
  • Neutered animals - castrated males and spayed females
  • Obesity

(* Modified after Hand, Thatcher, Remillard and Roudebush - Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 4th Edition 2000)


Updated October 2013