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What is Pancreatitis in Cats and How is it Treated?

 05/07/2019

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An integral part of the endocrine and digestive system, the pancreas is responsible for the production of enzymes that digest food and also for the production of insulin. The inflammation in pancreas inhibits the flow of enzymes to the digestive tract, as a result, the enzymes move towards the abdominal area.

In such cases enzymes then start digesting fat and proteins of the organs of the body; the body begins to digest itself. Since liver and kidney are also located close to pancreas there is a chance of them getting affected along with the inflammation in the abdomen. In worst cases, bleeding in the pancreas can put the body in shock and the consequences can be life taking.

This inflammation of the pancreas is called Pancreatitis. The condition should be treated in the early stages to avoid any permanent damages to any body parts. In later stages the treatment becomes difficult and the inflammation can damage body organs including the brain can occur.

Owing to the time dependency of the treatment of pancreatitis you need to have knowledge about the symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Causes Of Feline Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is becoming common in cats especially in Siamese cat. Although there are several possible causes of inflammation to the pancreas, we have mentioned a few of them below.

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Exposure to organophosphate insecticides
  • Infections such as toxoplasmosis or feline distemper
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Concurrent inflammatory bowel disease or liver disease is known as Triaditis
  • The venom from scorpion stings can cause inflammation in the pancreas

Symptoms Of Feline Pancreatitis

There are various symptoms

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue and sluggishness

Diagnosis Of Feline Pancreatitis

Vets may carry out various tests to check for the inflammation.

Ultrasound With Needle Biopsy to check for the tissue growth or cysts formation.

Tests to determine the presence of gallstone and reflux will be carried out by the vets.

Blood tests to check the nutrient imbalances and X-ray to look for damages to the pancreas.

Also, the level of pancreatic and liver enzymes will be measured in the bloodstream.

Your vet may also check the level of insulin because the insulin level may be affected because of the damages caused to insulin-producing cells that may lead to diabetes. 

Pancreatic tests like fPLI or SPEC-FPL can diagnose many cases of feline pancreatitis.

Treatment Of Feline Pancreatitis

The treatment is mainly symptomatic and supportive. Fluid therapy to prevent dehydration, pain relief treatments to relieve pain, treating nausea and vomiting, giving antibiotics and plasma transfusion are some of the ways to treat Inflammation of the pancreas.

Corticosteroids may also be suggested by your vet before the final diagnosis. Make sure that your cat doesn’t move around much during the treatment to let the organs heal.

In critical conditions you vet may recommend surgery to remove the blockages that are causing the inflammation, accumulations of fluid, severely damaged tissue. Your cat will be kept under observation in serious cases.

A tip from Vet- To avoid pancreatitis you should manage your cat’s weight and make sure that she doesn’t go overweight. And refrain from treatment that may cause inflammation in pancreatitis.

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