* Petmoo is reader-supported. When you buy products via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs

Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs

What Is Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs?

Pancreatic pseudocysts are cysts filled with peripancreatic fluid (mainly the digestive enzyme amylase) or semisolid matter in a walled-off fibrous tissue that is not lined by epithelium. It is defined as a localized collection of pancreatic enzymes restricted to a retro-peritoneal area by a fibrous membrane lacking epithelium.

“Pseudo” means ‘superficially appears to be’ or false. A pseudocyst looks like a true cyst but the wall of the sac is not composed of a specific epithelium lining of cells characteristic of a true cyst.

Pancreatic pseudocysts are complications of acute or chronic pancreatitis.

Pancreatic pseudocysts most often follow a bout of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Pancreatic pseudocysts are mostly benign. They are caused by a blockage in the pancreatic ductal system due to calculi, protein plugs, or stenosis followed by pancreatic ductal pressure or because of pancreatic necrosis after an attack of acute pancreatitis.

The etiology of pseudocyst corresponds to that of pancreatitis closely, although pseudocyst formation is more in chronic pancreatitis cases than in acute pancreatitis.

Symptoms Of Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs

Pancreatic cysts associated with acute pancreatitis are rare and symptomatic:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Severe Lethargy
  • Recurrent Vomiting
  • Severe Dehydration

Pancreatic cysts associated with chronic pancreatitis:

  • Decreased Appetite
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Treatment Options For Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs

  • In more severe cases, hospitalization at 24-hour intensive care and monitoring.
  • Pain Medications
  • Intravenous Fluids
  • Antibiotics, if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected.
  • Anti vomiting Medication (Antiemetics)
  • Pancreatectomy: Surgery to remove all or part of the pancreas.

Other drugs and the need for surgery will be entirely at your vets’ disposal after determining the severity of cysts.

Home Remedies For Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs

Check with your veterinarian or Veterinary oncologist for the post-surgical checks, usually once a month to ensure the health of the dog and to check for any infection.

Until the post-operative recovery period is over, do not allow your dogs to play outdoors. This will reduce the risk of infection and injuring the surgical site.

Prevention Of Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs

Prevention is not possible for pancreatic cancer as the causes in dogs is varied. Treatment and survival rates vary depending on the grade and stage of cancer.

Good overall health and early detection are the only ways to prevent adenocarcinoma.

Check your dog on a regular basis and consult your veterinarian immediately if you find any odd lumps or lesions.

Affected Dog Breeds Of Pancreatic Pseudocyst

Middle Age Dogs, Senior Dogs, Boxer, Collie, Dachshund, Miniature Schnauzer, Miniature Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier, Skye Terrier, Sled Dogs

Additional Facts For Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs

  1. Causes:
  • Pancreas Infection
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pancreas Injury Autoimmune Diseases
  • Hypercalcemia - Elevated Blood Calcium Levels
  • Increased levels of blood fats (cholesterol).
  • Damage to pancreatic functions due to improper usage of medicines.
  • Hereditary conditions that harm the pancreas, such as cystic fibrosis.
  1. Types:

Pancreatic Cysts Associated With Acute Pancreatitis: This is the active form of pancreatitis, in which the symptoms come on unexpectedly. A mild form of acute pancreatitis is temporary and the dogs usually recover on their own. However severe forms require hospitalization.

Pancreatic Cysts Associated With Chronic Pancreatitis: This is a long-term condition that originates from frequent damage to the pancreas. However, acute pancreatitis can also be a risk factor for chronic pancreatitis.

  1. Morbidity:

In dogs with acute pancreatitis, infected necrosis (rather than pancreatic abscess) represents a major cause of mortality and morbidity. This can result from an infection of either an area of walled-off necrosis (WON) or acute necrotic collection (ANC).

Recognized complications of acute pancreatitis in dogs include acute fluid collections (i.e., pancreatic abscess or pseudocyst), diabetes mellitus, diabetic ketoacidosis, and extrahepatic bile duct obstruction.

  1. Mortality:

The mortality rate of acute pancreatitis has remained at about 10-20%. Although the mortality rate of chronic pancreatitis is not available, it causes severe damage to your pancreas. So typically the survival Rate will be reduced if not treated properly.

  1. Diagnosis:
  • Routine Hematology, Urinalysis
  • Glucose Level Exams
  • Test for hypoglycemia.
  • Tissue Biopsy
  • Abdominal Radiographs, Ultrasound, or CT Scan
  1. Differential Diagnosis:

Pancreatic Diseases:

  • Acute & Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
  • Pancreatic Artery Pseudoaneurysm
  • Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasms

Extrapancreatic Diseases:

  • Peptic Ulcer Disease & Gastric Cancer
  • Acute Cholecystitis & Gallstones
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Intestinal Ischemia
  • Ovarian Cysts & Cancers
  • Bowel Obstruction
  1. Prognosis:

Following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in dogs, life expectancy is related to the development of postoperative complications.

Life expectancy is greatly reduced for dogs that are not good surgical candidates or for owners who are not interested in surgery and opt for medical management.

When To See A Vet For Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs?

Time to visit the vet clinic for an examination, if you notice any of the following:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Severe Dehydration
  • Recurrent Vomiting

If not, possible complications include:

  • Cyst Hemorrhage
  • Cyst Infection
  • Cyst Rupture
  • Portal Hypertension
  • Blockage of the bile duct.
  • Gastric Outlet Obstruction

Food Suggestions For Pancreatic Pseudocyst In Dogs

  • Diet high in protein, fat, and complex carbs.
  • Protein: High protein diet comprising 40% of the dog's calories.
  • Fats: Omega-3 and other healthy fats.
  • Complex Carbohydrates: Fibers and starches (Whole Grains, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes).
  • Overweight Dogs - Lower calorie diets, for underweight dogs- Higher calorie diets.
  • Feed foods have a lower ( or moderate) Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load than others.


When there is an underlying reason for your pet’s pancreatic cysts, such as a disease, infection, or traumas, then your vet may recommend further diagnosis as that condition must be treated in addition to the pancreatic cysts themselves.

Mostly, cysts in the pancreas are treatable and are not fatal to the dog. However, untreated cysts may lead to other complications like Blockage of the bile duct.

dog care
dog health
dog breeds
dog food
dog training
dog insurance
Petmoo Tools
Essential Tools for Pet Owners
Top Rated Services In Your Neighborhood