Pancreatitis in Cats

Pancreatitis in middle to older aged cats is on the increase with a prevalence of approximately 30%. The affected cats quite often show vague symptoms of lethargy and loss of appetite. But as the disease progresses they will often become very dehydrated, vomit and exhibit lots of abdominal pain.

Many cats will also develop liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease. The pancreas lies just below the stomach and is responsible for producing insulin and digestive enzymes. It plays a vital role in glucose utilisation and digestion of food.

The causes of pancreatitis include infections, trauma, poisons and immune system flare-ups. In many cases the cause maybe unknown.

Diagnosis involves a physical examination, blood tests and, in some cases, abdominal ultrasound. Affected cats will be admitted to hospital for intensive treatment which includes intravenous fluid therapy, pain control, antibiotics and antinausea medications. Most cats will recover within a few days; however, some can develop a chronic condition which requires long term management with a special diet and pain control.

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Diagnosis involves a physical examination, blood tests and, in some cases, abdominal ultrasound. Affected cats will be admitted to hospital for intensive treatment which includes intravenous fluid therapy, pain control, antibiotics and antinausea medications. Most cats will recover within a few days; however, some can develop a chronic condition which requires long term management with a special diet and pain control.

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