Pancreatitis is a life-threatening condition that is caused by inflammation in the pancreas. The pancreas secretes digestive juices and insulin. Pancreatitis can be caused by a number of things, with the most common being eating something unusual, especially something high in fat. The most common culprits are pork meat or trimmings, getting into the garbage, and table scraps. A lot of people think food from the table is ok, and some of it is. But as a rule, unless your dog is on a specially balanced diet made from a recipe intended for dogs, food from the table may do more harm than good. We already talked about overweight pets, which is one hazard of table scraps, but pancreatitis is much more serious immediately. Many dogs die from pancreatitis! What happens is the pancreas becomes inflamed, and the digestive juices that are normally sent into the small intestine via a small duct are instead released within the cells of the pancreas. This causes almost a "self-digesting" problem which is damaging and very painful. It is important to start treatment right away, which is generally IV fluids and medications to protect the digestive tract and control pain. The most common signs of pancreatitis are vomiting, not wanting to eat, and a painful belly. There is a blood test that can be run to diagnose this disease, as well as tell us how severe the damage to other organs is. One possible sequele to pancreatitis is diabetes, which is a topic for another day. The bottom line is be cautious about what your dog eats, and seek immediate help if your dog does become sick.