Pancreatitis In Cats
Signs Of Pancreatitis In Cats
Estimated Read Time: 4 ½ minutes
Summary: In this blog, we learn all about pancreatitis in cats. We’ll learn what pancreatitis in cats is, what causes it, what the symptoms of pancreatitis in cats are, and how to treat pancreatitis in cats at home…
What Is Pancreatitis In Cats?
Pancreatitis is when the pancreas of a cat becomes inflamed and can range from mild to severe.
The pancreas sits very close to the stomach and helps the body process food by releasing enzymes (called lipase and amylase) that aid the digestion of fats and starches. These enzymes don’t (and shouldn’t) become active until they’ve reached the intestines. However, when the pancreas becomes inflamed, these enzymes become active in, or on immediate release, from the pancreas which can cause pain and discomfort for a cat. Essentially, the pancreas starts digesting itself and can cause nearby organs like the liver to become inflamed as well.
In cats, a condition called triaditis is also similar to pancreatitis. This condition sees chronic pancreatitis in conjunction with inflammatory bowel disease and cholangiohepatitis (inflammation of the biliary system and liver).
What Are The Symptoms Of Pancreatitis In Cats?
Signs of pancreatitis in cats are primarily a lack of appetite and lethargy. In some cases, these may be accompanied by:
- Abdominal pain
- A change in body temperature
In some cases of pancreatitis, if the bout is severe and sudden, it has been known to cause deaths and shock in cats. Therefore, if you spot any of these signs, it’s important you get your feline friend assessed by your vet as soon as you can.
What Causes Pancreatitis In Cats?
In dogs, pancreatitis is usually put down to a fatty diet but this doesn’t seem to trigger the same reaction in cats. Pancreatitis in cats tends to appear suddenly and without obvious reason. And whilst it doesn’t seem to have a specific cause, it is thought to be a condition that comes about more often in cats that have inflammatory bowel disease or are diabetic.
Pancreatitis In Cats Treatment
The quicker you obtain a diagnosis from your vet, the quicker they can be treated properly and effectively with the right medication and intervention. A cat with pancreatitis will be diagnosed via blood tests or in some cases, radiographs, and ultrasounds.
If the pancreatitis is fairly mild, the quickest way to fix the issue is by resting the pancreas of work, so your vet will put them on an intravenous drip to maintain the body’s fluids and electrolytes whilst they’re taken off of food and drink. For pain relief, your kitty may be given analgesics, anti-sickness or anti-diarrhea medication, and potentially antibiotics if a concurrent infection is also spotted.
Most cats with pancreatitis are kept with their vet for 2-4 days whilst they recover and are monitored over the reintroduction of food. In severe, acute cases of pancreatitis in cats, they may need to be admitted to intensive care if the body has gone into shock.
Most cats recover from pancreatitis with no long-term problems. If they get pancreatitis a few times your vet may suggest trying a highly digestible, moderate-fat diet and a hypoallergenic diet may be recommended with cats who also have inflammatory bowel disease.
Pancreatitis In Cats: When To Euthanize
If your cat suffers from chronic and frequent pancreatitis, a significant number of cells that produce digestive enzymes can be destroyed and cause irreversible digestive issues. This is known as “exocrine pancreatic insufficiency”. This can be managed with daily enzyme tablets or powder.
In some recurrent, severe cases of pancreatitis in cats, a significant number of cells that produce insulin are destroyed which can result in a cat developing diabetes. This condition is managed with regular insulin injections.
A cat is able to lead a happy life with these conditions if they’re managed properly with the right medication. If your cat isn’t insured though, this can put some owners in severe financial difficulty as a vet and medication bills climb higher and higher…
If you find yourself in this situation, talk frankly to your vet about what the best solution for your cat is. If you can’t afford regular medication because pancreatitis has caused another condition like diabetes or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, then euthanizing your cat may be the kindest option. This is why you should always insure your pets from the moment you bring them home. This will make sure your fur baby’s medical bills are covered, before any potential illnesses and long-term conditions (like recurrent pancreatitis) arise.