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That Christmas Ham - More Harmful Than We Thought

That Christmas Ham - More Harmful Than We Thought

Annelise Enslin (BVSc. BSc)

This year has raced with speed, and another Christmas is coming up soon. We all know what that means; ham, roast and all sorts to satisfy the taste buds.  Of course Fluffy (our dearest little 4 footed best friend) is staring up at us with big sad eyes begging for his/her morsel. We reach for the knife to cut a piece from the side of that ham, Fluffy’s mouth is drooling, but STOP!!!

This seemingly harmless mouthful might not be so harmless this time.....

Pancreatitis is a condition where inflammation of the pancreas can cause Fluffy to spend Christmas at the vet and the present that you thought wasn’t expensive, all of a sudden is.

The pancreas is a gland that produces digestive enzymes which break down proteins, fat and sugars into molecules that can be absorbed by the body.  Sometimes a very fatty meal can trigger this inflammation and where the pancreas’s enzymes usually get excreted into the intestines, it now leaks into the abdomen where they have a digestive effect on surrounding tissue.

Fluffy could show any OR all of the following symptoms:

·         Not eating (anorexia)

·         Vomiting

·         Diarrhoea

·         Uncomfortable/painful in the abdomen

·         Adopting a prayer position, with his/her bum in the air and elbows down

·         Collapsed (if severe)

Pancreatitis as a condition affects multiple systems in the body, not just the one gland and therefore treatment can become costly. It usually involves several days in hospital on intravenous fluids and an array of medications to treat both the symptoms and possible complications.

Unfortunately in some cases even appropriate treatment, no matter how vigorous might not be enough to save Fluffy.

So when reaching for that piece of fat trimming, STOP, REMEMBER, and rather reach past it and grab a biscuit from Fluffy’s treat jar!




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