Feline pancreatitis is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is tasked with production of digestive enzymes and hormones to regulate blood sugar. The condition can be either acute or chronic. Acute cases occur suddenly and unexpectedly, while chronic progresses over time.
There are many different causes of pancreatitis in cats. Some of the most common include injuries, poor diet, and various infections. Cats can also have an adverse reaction to various medications or anesthesia and develop the condition. Diseases that affect the small intestine or bile duct can also cause cat pancreatitis. Other offending infections include toxoplasmosis and feline calicivirus.
The most common signs of feline pancreatitis include loss of appetite, dehydration, and lethargy. If the disease is allowed to progress, your cat may start to lose weight or have trouble moving around. Severe cases that are left untreated can also be fatal.
Pancreatitis in cats can be difficult to diagnose correctly since cats can produce various symptoms. An ultrasound and x-ray can help determine if there is any abnormality in the pancreas. The vet will also need to perform a physical exam, medical history, and a blood test to check for pancreatic enzyme levels.
Once diagnosed, feline pancreatitis is treated via supportive care. Cats can easily experience imbalanced electrolytes and dehydration. Therefore, your cat may need to be given fluids intravenously or subcutaneously. If secondary infections occur, they will need to be treated with antibiotics.
The prognosis of pancreatitis in cats is generally good if the case is only mild. However, sometimes the condition recurs more severely after an apparent successful treatment. Also, cats suffering from other conditions have a worse prognosis. Other conditions that can cause problems include diabetes mellitus or diseases that affect the small intestine or liver.