Gastrinoma in Dogs

Overview of Gastrinoma in Dogs

Gastrinoma is a malignant tumor of the pancreas that secretes a hormone called gastrin that stimulates acid secretion in the stomach and in turn causes gastrointestinal ulceration. In human medicine gastrinomas are referred to as the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

There is no specific known cause or risk factor that is responsible for gastrinomas. This cancer is not very common in veterinary medicine and is seen more commonly in dogs than cats. Middle-aged to older dogs are most commonly affected. There does not appear to be a gender or breed predisposition.

What to Watch For

Although some dogs may have no clinical signs, some may have life threatening manifestations.

Diagnosis of Gastrinoma in Dogs

Treatment of Gastrinoma in Dogs

Treatment of gastrinoma dogs should be directed at surgical excision of the tumor and control of excess gastric acid secretion.

Home Care and Prevention

Long term prognosis is poor because of the likelihood of malignancy with these types of tumors. Administer all medication and dietary recommendations as directed by your veterinarian. If your dog becomes weak, pale, or if he collapses or vomits blood, seek veterinary attention at once.

There is no preventative care for gastrinomas.

In-depth Information on Gastrinoma in Dogs

Gastrinomas are malignant tumors of the pancreas that often become progressively worse and result in death of the patient. These tumors secrete the hormone gastrin that stimulates stomach acid secretion and in turn, causes gastrointestinal ulceration. In human medicine gastrinomas are referred to as the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. These tumors commonly metastasize, or spread to other organs, early in the disease process.

Gastrinomas are fairly uncommon in veterinary medicine, although have been reported in both dogs and cats. Signs can be extremely variable from patient to patient. Some patients may have no clinical signs, while others may be in immediate need of intensive support and hospitalization, to include very close monitoring and even blood transfusions.

Gastrointestinal ulceration has many other causes besides gastrinomas. It is important to realize that while some cases of ulceration are clear cut when reviewing the history, physical examination and diagnostic findings, it is sometimes more difficult to identify a gastrinoma as the primary cause.

Many diseases/disorders cause similar clinical signs to patients with gastrinomas.

In-depth Information on Diagnosis

A diagnosis of a gastrinoma can be made more easily in some cases than in others, depending on the individual case and stage of disease. It is extremely important that your veterinarian obtain a full diagnostic work up.

Your veterinarian may recommend additional tests to insure optimal medical care. These are selected on a case-by-case basis.

In-depth Information on Treatment

Management of gastrinomas in dogs focus on treatment of the tumor, inhibition of acid secretion, and, if necessary, control of hemorrhage. In cases of GI ulceration secondary to gastrinomas, initial symptomatic therapy might be of benefit. These treatments may reduce severity of symptoms or provide relief for your pet. However, conservative, symptomatic therapy is not a substitute for definitive treatment of gastrinomas.

Follow-up Care for Dogs with Gastrinoma

Optimal treatment for your dog requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your dog does not rapidly improve. Administer all prescribed medication and diet as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your dog.

Discontinue/avoid any medication or substance that may be causing or exacerbating the ulceration.

Return to your veterinarian for reevaluation and monitoring of certain tests, specifically for anemia and changes in the biochemical profile.

Gastrinomas are malignant tumors that carry a very poor long-term prognosis.