Friday, November 19, 2010

Something I Ate...

The American dream: a roof, three squares, a car, and scraps for the dog.  Sounds ideal, right-- but what does it mean for our pets?  More is definitely not better.  One in twenty dogs (one if fifty cats) seen at clinics in 2010 may have some degree of pancreatitis.

The pancreas produces protein and fat digesting enzymes at each meal.  Inflammation (pancreatitis) occurs with trauma, cancer, chemical ingestion, hyper stimulation (high fat, high protein foods), and other diseases.  Symptoms range from minor belly aches to shock.  Severe cases can be deadly.

Many pets get pancreatitis as a result of scrap feeding.  Our pets' efficient systems were never designed to eat the high fat, salt and protein levels in human foods.  Temers, Schnauzers, and many small breeds are especially susceptible, but any dog or cat can be affected.

Good news:  the risk can be greatly reduced by feeding formulated diets instead of scraps.  Avoid the steak trimmings or slab of bacon.  Instead, truly reward your pet by putting their health first.  Ask your veterinarian today about balanced nutrition and what it means for your loved ones.

This article honors Zelda, a four-year-old Schnauzer whose belly ache battles and hospital stays ended when she gave up scraps.  Good girl!

~~Lisa Hatfield, DVM

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