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To assess the immediate postoperative complications associated with pancreatic biopsy in dogs and cats and review the clinical relevance of biopsy findings.Retrospective review of clinical records from two referral institutions for cases undergoing pancreatic biopsy between 2000 and 2013.Twenty-four dogs and 19 cats that had surgical pancreatic biopsy had sufficient detail in their clinical records and fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Postoperative complications were seen in 10 cases of which 5 were suggestive of post-surgical pancreatitis. Two patients were euthanased within 10 days of surgery because of the underlying disease; neither suffered postoperative complications. Pancreatic pathology was found in 19 cases, 7 cases showed no change other than benign pancreatic nodular hyperplasia, and no abnormalities were seen in 18 cases.Complications may be encountered following surgical pancreatic biopsy, although the risk should be minimal with good surgical technique. Pancreatic biopsy may provide a useful contribution to case management but it is not clear whether a negative pancreatic biopsy should be used to rule out pancreatic disease. Dogs were more likely to have no significant pathology found on pancreatic biopsy than cats, where chronic pancreatitis was the most common finding.