I heard there was this really bad disease dogs can get from eating too much people food all at once… what is that about?
Overindulgence can be rough on the guts just because the system gets overloaded; when there is too much to process all at once, vomiting and diarrhea are the messy result.
But for an actual disease, it is probably Pancreatitis you heard about. Vet Clinics see plenty of this right after feasts, when a few too many people have slipped “goodies” to the dog.
It is thought that the cause may be little globules of fat absorbed from the food into the blood vessels, causing little blockages. A tiny blood vessel blockage means a few cells at a time get cut off from nourishment/oxygen and die. In the pancreas, this starts a “wildfire” effect: as one cell dies, the digestive enzymes it was busy manufacturing leak out of it. These enzymes go on to digest the cell’s neighbours; which makes them leak out their enzymes; which spreads the damage further and further.
A dog with pancreatitis is super painful, and vomits a lot; especially if he sees or smells food.
These dogs need to spend some days on IV fluids, with heavy duty pain control and treatment for nausea. So however big and sad the puppy dog eyes are, remind your guests not to share the feast with the dog!