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Think Twice Before Feeding Your Dog Ham

If you’re like most people, you will be having a nice Christmas meal and there’s no doubt your dog will be included. Letting your four legged pal have a taste of dog friendly food on a special occasion is not a big deal, but sometimes accidents do happen and your dog may ingest some non-dog friendly foods. Ham is a commonly served food for Christmas dinner, but it’s best to not allow your dog to have any or eat any leftover table scraps.

Ham has a high sodium and fat content. While us humans are able to process ham, it’s not so simple for dogs. Sodium can be toxic to dogs leading to lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea. In large quantities it can cause kidney damage and even possibly lead to death. Too much fat can lead to pancreatitis. The pancreas releases enzymes that aid in digestion, and when the organ is working normally, the enzymes are only active when they reach the small intestine. In a dog suffering from pancreatitis, the enzymes are active when they’re released which causes inflammation and damage to the pancreas as well as all surround tissue and organs. This is extremely painful for your pooch and can be life threatening.

It may be difficult to say “no” to your dog’s adorable face, but your dog is better off not having any ham at all. Having some special treats just for your dog is a great alternative.  The major cause of pancreatitis in dogs is due to receiving a large helping of food with high amounts of fat in one sitting. Ham is a great example of this. What should you do if your dog has helped themselves to some ham or accidentally got their paws on some? Keep an eye on him or her and call the Veterinarian if any combination of these symptoms are shown:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Hunched Back
  • Fever

Pancreatitis is a very serious, potentially life threatening condition. Quick action and professional treatment will be key in helping your dog.A Veterinarian will be able to diagnose your dog based off his or her medical history, blood tests that measure pancreatic enzymes, as well as by a physical exam of the stomach, gums, or heart. If your dog is diagnosed with Pancreatitis, treatment may include IV fluid therapy, monitoring, as well as medication.

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