It's not just REALTORS® and retailers who are busy on "Black Friday." Veterinarians get more emergency calls on the day after Thanksgiving from dog owners than any other day of the year. The cause?
Yup. Dogs can get pancreatitis from eating foods too rich in fat that they aren't used to. Like turkey skin. Dark turkey meat. Dressing. Pan drippings. All those things that Uncle Elmer slips your dog under the table or after the meal. All those things that make our Thanksgiving feast a feast.
High-fat foods irritate a dog's pancreas, which is an essential organ in the digestive tract and it becomes inflamed. The inflammation disrupts the natural flow of enzymes secreted by the pancreas, resulting in an interruption in the normal digestion of food. The longer pancreatitis goes untreated, the worse the effects. If caught early, this disease can be treated with little long-term damage. However, if left untreated, the result can be fatal.
If you are hosting Thanksgiving, or any holiday this season, these are the symptoms you should watch for the day after the holiday:
- Painful or distended abdomen
- Decrease in appetite
- Decrease in water intake
- Vomiting or diarrhea
If any of these symptoms are present, check your dog's gums. Gums that are pale or discolored, or tacky to the touch instead of wet with saliva indicate poor blood flow and dehydration. A visit to your vet is in order.
If your dog has experienced vomiting and diarrhea, your pet will be dehydrated and drained of proper nutrients. The most likely treatment for your dog includes IV fluids and a stay at the vet's for at least a few hours. The vet will probably have you feed your dog a bland diet. A bland diet will allow their pancreas to rest, and will help restore normal digestion to your dog’s body.
So please be careful this holiday season. Keep Fido safe and healthy. Those fatty treats are meant just for us humans.