Iowa State University Veterinarian

Article Title

Chronic Pancreatitis


Iowa State University Veterinarian Records, RS 22/6/0/9, University Archives, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University, http://www.add.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/arch/rgrp/22-6-0-9.html

Call Number

SF601 V65

Document Type



The pancreas consists of secretory cells and islts of Langerhans. The secretory cells produce an exocrine secretion abundant in enzymes which effect the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The islets of Langerhans are endocrin organs and furnish one hormone governing sugar metabolism, insulin; and one concerned with lipid metabolism, lipocaic. Chronic pancreatitis is probably caused by such things as extension of acute pancreatitis, blockage of pancreatic duct by tumors or calculi or chronic infections in the gland. The condition is characterized by an atrophy of the pancreas, usually of just the secretory cells, thus causing an upset in digestion, due to the lack of pancreatic enzymes. In a few cases, the islets of Langerhans are also involved in the atrophy, thus causing symptoms of diabetes mellitus along with the upset digestion. Since the atrophy of the pancreas can't be corrected, the patient must be given pancreatic enzymes the rest of its life, in order to have normal digestion. Since the pancreas may continue to slowly atrophy over a period of months, the dosage of pancreatic enzymes may also have to be increased. Along with the enzymes, it is a good policy to keep the dog on a well balanced diet, either a commercial food or a home made diet. It is wise to add multiple vitamins, especially fat soluble vitamins, to the diet.