Medical records of 80 dogs diagnosed with acute pancreatitis during a 4-year period were evaluated regarding history, breed predilection, clinical signs and additional examination findings. Cases were selected if compatible clinical symptoms, increased serum activity of amylase or lipase and morphologic evidence of pancreatitis by ultrasonography, laparotomy or necropsy were all present. Like in other studies, neutered dogs had an increased risk of developing acute pancreatitis. Although breed predilection was consistent with earlier reports, some notable differences were also observed. Apart from Dachshunds, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels and Fox Terriers, the sled dogs (Laikas, Alaskan Malamutes) also demonstrated a higher risk for pancreatitis according to our results. Concurrent diseases occurred in 56 dogs (70%), diabetes mellitus (n = 29, 36%) being the most common. Clinical signs of acute pancreatitis were similar to those observed in other studies. The study group represented a dog population with severe acute pancreatitis, having a relatively high mortality rate (40%) compared to data of the literature. Breed, age, gender, neutering and body condition had no significant association with the outcome. Hypothermia (p = 0.0413) and metabolic acidosis (p = 0.0063) correlated significantly with poor prognosis and may serve as valuable markers for severity assessment in canine acute pancreatitis.
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