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Cats and Pancreatitis

The pancreas is an organ in the body that helps to metabolize sugar and regulate insulin.  Pancreatitis basically means neither of these are able to happen because the pancreas has become inflamed.  This can be incredibly painful and it can be a lethal disease if it is not treated in a timely manner.

There are many health issues that can contribute to pancreatitis occurring in your cat.  If your cat has taken antibiotics, that can be an issue.  Also, anti-cancer drugs and ingestion of insecticides can make things worse.

Inflammatory bowel disease, abdominal surgery, and abnormally high calcium in the blood play a part in this disease.

Of course, sometimes genetics (Siamese cats) are more susceptible to getting this disease.

Here are some symptoms that your cat may exhibit if they have this disease.  This is just a short list and there can be many other symptoms present:

  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Not as common a symptom, but some cats who get this disease will vomit frequently.
  • Abdominal pain (if you try to pick up your cat, they may growl and hiss as the pain can be excruciating.  Remember, cats are prideful animals and hate to show when they are ill, so if this is something that they do, you should see your vet).
  • Jaundice
  • Increased heart rate/abnormal heart beat
  • If your cat has an advanced case, they can develop sepsis (a total body infection).

Getting your cat to the vet immediately is the best way to fight this disease.  They will perform a blood count and urinalysis to determine if this is what your cat is suffering from.

To treat your cat, the vet will rehydrate, give pain relief, keep watch on nutrition and prevent anything worse happening.

If your cat is vomiting profusely, medications may be given to stop this, and food will probably be withheld for 24 hours so that the pancreas has time to not have to metabolize anything and relax.

To find out more, usual prognosis, and further long term treatment, this article will explain it all.