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Vet J. 2013 Jan;195(1):73-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.06.034. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Chronic pancreatitis in dogs: a retrospective study of clinical, clinicopathological, and histopathological findings in 61 cases.

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Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474, USA.


The objective of this study was to characterize the clinical, clinicopathological, and histopathological findings of dogs with chronic pancreatitis. The necropsy database at Texas A&M University was searched for reports of dogs with histological evidence of chronic pancreatitis defined as irreversible histologic changes of the pancreas (i.e. fibrosis or atrophy). A reference necropsy population of 100 randomly selected dogs was used for signalment and concurrent disease comparisons. Cases were categorized as clinical or incidental chronic pancreatitis based on the presence of vomiting, decreased appetite, or both vs. neither of these signs. All archived pancreas samples were scored histologically using a published scoring system. Sixty-one dogs with chronic pancreatitis were included. The most frequent clinical signs were lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Compared to the reference necropsy population, chronic pancreatitis cases were more likely to be older, neutered, of the non-sporting/toy breed group, and to have concurrent endocrine, hepatobiliary, or neurological disease. Clinical cases had significantly higher histological scores for pancreatic necrosis and peripancreatic fat necrosis, and were significantly more likely to have hepatobiliary or endocrine disease as well as increased liver enzyme activities, or elevated cholesterol and bilirubin concentrations. In conclusion, clinical disease resulting from chronic pancreatitis might be related to the presence of pancreatic necrosis and pancreatic fat necrosis. The signalment, presentation, and concurrent diseases of dogs with chronic pancreatitis are similar to those previously reported for dogs with acute pancreatitis.

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