With Thanksgiving approaching, there may be a tendency for many pet owners to offer an abundance of leftovers and turkey bones to their furry family members. Of course they will be taken with no hesitation and gladly gobbled down. However, you could be doing more harm than good in offering these “treats” to your pets. In dogs, the ingestion of a fatty meal, like meat trimmings, can result in the inflammation of the pancreas, also known as pancreatitis. The pancreas has two main jobs – the secretion of digestive enzymes (helps to break down the food that has been ingested) and the secretion of insulin and glucagon (to regulate sugar metabolism). With pancreastis, the digestive enzymes that are secreted from the pancreas are released prematurely (when there is no food passing through) and they begin to digest the body itself, resulting in the inflammation and tissue damage of the surrounding living tissue. Common signs include vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, depression and dehydration. In cats, the cause of pancreatitis is rarely uncovered, however there are a number of factors that could contribute to it like certain medications, and an inflammatory bowel disease association. In regard to bones, owners beware!! Bones can cause a number of injuries to your pets including blockage of the esophagus or wind pipe (if they inhale a small bone or splinter from a larger bone), blockage of the intestines (may lead to surgery), mouth and gum injury, and broken teeth. For further information please see No Bones About it: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog.
Sep 11 2014