Article of the Week


We will be posting commentaries on articles relating to internal medicine and endocrinology that we think are of interest.


June 16th, 2022


New insights into the etiology, risk factors, and pathogenesis of pancreatitis in dogs: Potential impacts on clinical practice


While most cases of pancreatitis in dogs are thought to be idiopathic, potential risk factors are identified. In this article we provide a state-of-the-art overview of suspected risk factors for pancreatitis in dogs, allowing for improved awareness and detection of potential dog-specific risk factors, which might guide the development of disease prevention strategies. Additionally, we review important advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology of pancreatitis and potential areas for therapeutic manipulation based thereof. The outcome of pathophysiologic mechanisms and the development of clinical disease is dependent on the balance between stressors and protective mechanisms, which can be evaluated using the critical threshold theory.


The etiology and pathogenesis of spontaneous pancreatitis are poorly understood in both humans and dogs and data is largely extrapolated from experimental models and observations in clinical disease. Experimental models provide mechanistic insights; however, spontaneous disease is likely far more complex and dependent on multiple genetic and environmental factors, some of which might be unknown. Additionally, animal models provide species-specific or etiology-specific data, which might not be directly relevant to spontaneous disease. Clinical observations are also not without limitations, and the complexity of spontaneous disease often limits determination of causation. Furthermore, discrepancies in diagnostic standards and evolution of these criteria over time likely further complicate interpretation of observational data in companion animal species. In this review we will utilize a combination of data types to review the latest understanding of the etiology, risk factors, and pathogenesis of pancreatitis in dogs and their relation to clinical disease.