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Thanksgiving Time: Operation Dog Pancreatitis Prevention

by Lori Hehn - Nov 23, 2016 8:00:00 AM
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Every year at this time, I start to think about dog pancreatitis for obvious reasons. Lots of delicious food and soon to be holiday parties taking place.

And as the old saying goes, and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! This is especially true with dog pancreatitis prevention, as this can be a very serious and even life threatening disease for dogs.

Take the time to remind your veterinarian clients about the dangers of various Thanksgiving food for dogs when they come in to the clinic, and potentially even have a handout or e-mail for them as a helpful reminder.

While some dogs may easily tolerate some plain turkey meat, others can become seriously ill. The most common thing that I see in practice is a dog with pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset because of things the GUESTS give the pets without the owner knowing!

Multiply that across multiple guests and it can make for a bad combination. So besides educating your clients, who may know what their dogs can and cannot tolerate, remind them to tell their guests- politely but firmly- that they must not feed the pets without permission, or better yet not at all. Otherwise...they can pay the vet bills!

Here are a few things that you should keep away from your pets:

turkey-png-8.pngCooked bones/turkey carcass

While dogs can digest bones, cooked bones can easily splinter. Turkey and chicken bones especially cause a danger. Raw turkey or chicken is a high danger for salmonella poisoning.

Dough.pngBread Dough

Raw dough contains yeast, and besides the danger of fermentation, the dough as it rises can expand and cause a GI obstruction!

Apple-Pie.pngPies and baked goods

Too much sugar is not a good idea and while sugar itself is not dangerous, some candies or desserts may contain artificial sweetners that can be dangerous. Xylitol is a life threatening sweetener for pets.


Chocolate may be toxic if enough is ingested. Baker's chocolate or dark chocolate poses the highest risk.

Macadamia_18803761_m.pngMacademia nuts

These are toxic to dogs and ingestion can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, or tremors.

20141106-sous-vide-turkey-recipe-21.jpgTurkey skin

The skin is often rubbed with butter, oils, herbs, etc. It is higher in fat and may upset the pancreas! The same goes with mashed potatoes, or other dishes with oils and butters.


Tin foil, plastic wrap, etc. may have the food flavor on them and pets may become sick or obstructed if they eat them so be sure to keep these out of reach.

We wish you all a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!
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About Lori Hehn

Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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