Recent studies suggest that pancreatitis is far more common in dogs and cats than previously believed.
Some patients, especially dogs, have clinical signs, such as vomiting and abdominal pain, which are classically associated with acute pancreatitis. However, other patients have less pronounced clinical pictures or even subclinical disease. Diagnostic tests are crucial to determining the correct diagnosis.
Many tests have been evaluated for diagnosis of pancreatitis in small animal patients and are discussed in detail elsewhere.1 This discussion will focus exclusively on Spec cPL, SNAP cPL, and Spec fPL (idexx.com); this set of diagnostic tests became available over the last 2 years. While these are the most sensitive and specific tests available for diagnosis of pancreatitis in dogs and cats, sound medical judgment and evaluation of all available data allow a practitioner to make an accurate diagnosis.