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Pancreatitis. Anyone familiar?

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  • Pancreatitis. Anyone familiar?

    My kitty is on his second hospitalization in six months for a suspected bout of pancreatitis. He goes off of food and water, vomits, and acts sensitive about his abdomen. The first time around we did do an ultrasound which showed minor inflammation of his pancreas.

    This time we skipped the ultrasound and just pulled blood to check his liver function before starting treatment as he was following exactly the same pattern as before. His bloodwork was normal. Unfortunately, he didn't resume eating while on the prednisone as an outpatient, so he's in hospital board getting supportive care and hopefully today he will be started on appetite stimulants which worked well for him earlier this year.

    If the vet feels it is warranted, we'll do another ultrasound. He had just finished growing his tummy hair back!

    I love my kitty and his doctors are amazing. I wish my doctors were as good as my cat's doctors, actually! And while I fully plan on having a good conversation with them about his long term care and anything preventative that I can do to keep him as healthy as possible, I'm wondering if there are any COTHers out there who have dealt with this condition who may have some experience to share with me.

    Thanks in advance. Jingles would be appreciated too, as he has not yet started eating.

  • #2
    Do they have any idea what is kicking this off? I've dealt with it with my dog (a lot) but it was all really due to increased sensitivity while on a certain medication.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment


    • #3
      My young dog has it.

      It sucks, no ways around it.

      Just try to stay on top of its condition, and if when it starts to turn south, go to the vet pronto.

      ~Emily
      "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

      Comment


      • #4
        no suggestions but after having two friends that were diagnosed with pancreatitis, i can tell you that it's very painful and takes a long time to recover from. one friend was diagnosed 3 months ago and is only now starting on some solid food (very bland, no fat). he was surviving on ensure through a feeding tube. i can only imagine that your kitty may be feeling the same pain and nausea when he/she eats. sending healing thoughts.
        R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
        36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever
        5/5/75-7/5/11

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
          Do they have any idea what is kicking this off? I've dealt with it with my dog (a lot) but it was all really due to increased sensitivity while on a certain medication.
          No, no ideas yet. He's not on any medications (just Frontline) and is otherwise a healthy cat as far as we can tell. During his first episode they did x-rays and an ultrasound on top of the bloodwork, and with the exception of the ultrasound showing the slight inflammation, everything has been normal. He's had no other problems in his seven years, aside from the occasional upper respiratory or weepy eye.

          He just slowly goes off of his food (I notice more in the bowl,) then stops eating his wet food (my other cat actually gets to eat some,) and then the vomiting starts. Since this is the second time now and there is now a pattern in his behavior, I'll be able to catch it even earlier next time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, we know that excessive fats and some new proteins can kick it off. Is there any chance he's getting into something?
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
              Well, we know that excessive fats and some new proteins can kick it off. Is there any chance he's getting into something?
              He won't eat anything but his food and kitty grass. He does not like treats. He does not want people food, except for dairy. But I suspect he's lactose-intolerant, as that comes right back up immediately, so extra special care is taken in my house to keep his nose out of the yogurt.

              Interesting that you mentioned the "new proteins." In January, nothing had changed in his diet for 2+ years. I had read that a low fat diet would help and was planning on a conversation with the vet that specializes in nutrition at the practice. He's currently on the weight management EVO dry (down from the normal version) and I switched him to the Chicken Soup low-fat wet food after January's bout, but perhaps further steps need to be taken.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd get him off the EVO. I know that Proctor and Gamble swears up and down that they have not changed it and are not going to change it, but I'm pretty damned sure they've changed it.

                I switched my dogs to Pinnacle Peak and the cats to Before Grain 96% Chicken Canned. I only feed the cats canned.

                And, as an aside, my tricky cat who is picky and has very, very minor CRF had all but stopped eating the EVO 95 % chicken/turkey. We thought her disease had progressed and upped her appetite stimulant and started her on sub q fluids. When I switched to the Before Grain, she started eating again and is up 10 ounces. We've been able to stop the appetite stimulant and the sub q fluids, and I have NEVER seen her eat so well or be so enthusiastic about her food.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                  I'd get him off the EVO. I know that Proctor and Gamble swears up and down that they have not changed it and are not going to change it, but I'm pretty damned sure they've changed it.
                  Interesting. I had JUST bought a new bag the previous weekend. I buy the big bags, so it takes my two a while to eat through it since they are also fed wet food and are the feline equivalent of air ferns.

                  I love the looks of the Before Grain and will be sending the info to a friend of mine looking for a good food, but per his vet (who just called) we should be looking at low-fat foods which is hard to get with the high-protein diets I would prefer. I was considering the Innova low-fat formula but now I'm a little freaked out that that will have gone downhill.

                  More research to do, I guess.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Simkie, always looking for help with CRF issues, though my worst-off kitty just died. Reading about the Before Grain canned for sale through Amazon, but product details state that "Before Grain cans are intended for supplemental feeding only and are not intended for use as a complete and balanced diet." Is that incorrect?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      MizzouMom, it is--they've changed their formulas to make them complete. Their website says:

                      We've transitioned the Before Grain can line from 100% meat supplemental feeding formulas to complete and balanced diets. All of our popular Before Grain flavors are now 96% meat with all the vitamins and minerals your pet needs, and join our Before Grain dry flavors with sensible protein baselines, to offer complete grain-free nutrition.
                      As long as you're purchasing the 96% meat version and not the 100% meat version, it should meet all nutritional needs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by redkat View Post
                        Interesting. I had JUST bought a new bag the previous weekend. I buy the big bags, so it takes my two a while to eat through it since they are also fed wet food and are the feline equivalent of air ferns.

                        I love the looks of the Before Grain and will be sending the info to a friend of mine looking for a good food, but per his vet (who just called) we should be looking at low-fat foods which is hard to get with the high-protein diets I would prefer. I was considering the Innova low-fat formula but now I'm a little freaked out that that will have gone downhill.

                        More research to do, I guess.
                        My pet food store will take bags back--even open bags--so it might be worth asking about where you purchase yours.

                        I am seriously bummed about the P&G purchase of Natura Pet, as I have fed their various foods for 15 odd years or so. I've always loved it--but the older Ridgeback developed very, very quick moving lymphoma a month ago on EVO dry dog food and the cats started picking at the EVO canned about 8 weeks ago--right about the same time it started LOOKING different. I have no idea if the lymphoma is food related at all, but the cat cans do appear to have changed (while the ingredient list has remained the same)--so it was a good time to jump ship.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Kitty pancreatitis is tough. They don't have that strong association between diet and instant inflammation of the pancreas like dogs do. Sometimes it is immune-mediated, or sometimes it is a result of inflammation in the intestines and liver as well (the infamous "triaditis").

                          Jingles you get this bout under control! Antibiotics, fluids, and lots of pain meds and time... that's all you can do sometimes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No experience with kittys, but sending many jingles your way! Your kitty is very lucky to be so loved!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Has your vet done the feline specific pancreatic lipase test yet? IDEXX has it and you can either send it to them or there is now an in house snap test for it.

                              Pancreatitis in cats can be hard to diagnosis since they don't do what dogs do. (Cats never do what other species do!!)

                              Ditto Pancakes prescribed treatment. Pain control is vital. EFFECTIVE pain control. I don't know what your vet(s) use for pain control but a shot of torb (butorphanol) a couple times a day is not adequate pain control. I hope they use something more effective.
                              Keep an eye on her electrolytes too.
                              Putting in a nasogastric tube helps alot of these patients too. You can suction their stomach--you wouldn't believe what sort of nasty stuff sits in there when they are not eating and this nasty stuff makes them really not want to eat!!--and can also trickle feed them too. Remember cats and hepatic lipidosis.

                              Good luck and keep us posted.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by MeghanDACVA View Post
                                Has your vet done the feline specific pancreatic lipase test yet? IDEXX has it and you can either send it to them or there is now an in house snap test for it.

                                Pancreatitis in cats can be hard to diagnosis since they don't do what dogs do. (Cats never do what other species do!!)

                                Ditto Pancakes prescribed treatment. Pain control is vital. EFFECTIVE pain control. I don't know what your vet(s) use for pain control but a shot of torb (butorphanol) a couple times a day is not adequate pain control. I hope they use something more effective.
                                Keep an eye on her electrolytes too.
                                Putting in a nasogastric tube helps alot of these patients too. You can suction their stomach--you wouldn't believe what sort of nasty stuff sits in there when they are not eating and this nasty stuff makes them really not want to eat!!--and can also trickle feed them too. Remember cats and hepatic lipidosis.

                                Good luck and keep us posted.
                                Definitely pain meds! I haven't seen a cat in so much pain as the one I had hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. Buprenorphine did very little actually...the fentanyl helped a lot. If they're in pain, their body won't recover as fast, and they won't want to eat (which the NEED to do).

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ditto Megan's suggestion about the blood test. If it hasn't been done, ask for it. Pancreatitis is difficult to diagnose and often is overdiagnosed. Inflammatory bowel disease is common in cats and could cause the same signs.

                                  Not saying your cat doesn't have pancreatitis, just that you may want to look a little further to make sure you're treating the right thing.

                                  Jingles for your kitty!

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Kitty came home from the hospital last night due to being a total nervous wreck there -- they wanted to try him at home where it was quieter to see if he would eat. He continues to be interested in food and ate a kibble last night (he has both kibble and wet available, so he can eat whichever he wants to eat.) He has both a bowl of water and the fountain available - usually he can't resist a still bowl of water, but he left it alone last night. So far this morning he continues his, "begging for food, sniffs, but does not want" behavior. Last night he stuck his head in the bowl on multiple occasions so I was hoping this morning I would find that he'd eaten.

                                    Vet sent us home with a regimen of pepcid, mirtazapine (for use as an appetite stimulant) and to continue the prednisone. He doesn't seem painful at this time, or he's masking it well. Usually he'll burble something if his abdomen is hurting and I pick him up. He spent 24 hours on fluids, electrolytes, anti-nausea medicine, started appetite stimulants yesterday morning, and was feeling perky enough to chase a bug last night. Of course, I know this is temporary and if he continues to not eat or drink he'll be heading straight back to the hospital very quickly.

                                    Meghan, thanks for your response. I will ask about that specific test. They did a blood panel to check his liver function, but I don't have the details on what test it was (maybe that answers it for you.) I know this is ridiculously difficult to figure out in cats, but what else should we be exploring? I'm concerned about his continued lack of appetite now that he's home.

                                    Hoofpick -- kitty has never had any diarrhea, but I will ask about possible IBD. Whatever he has, it presents by vomiting and no appetite. The first time he did have an x-ray, which didn't show anything. I'll ask, though, thank you for the information. From Dr. Google, sounds like the treatment is fairly similar to what they're doing already with the exception of antibiotics.

                                    Thanks everyone for your responses. Please continue the jingles for my kitty. He's my best friend and I'm super worried.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I tried posting 4 times from my phone, argh, it never posted.

                                      My kitty has/had pancreatitis. I switched her to high quality non-grain food and raw liver for dinner after the attack. I also use Feline Nutracal, which adds weight. It's in a tube, has vitamins and calories. Looks like molasses. Squeeze it out and spread it on their lips (or legs). So far no cat has been able to shake it off and have to eat it while cleaning it off. (I grind the pills in it too, and smear it on).
                                      I watch her and if she is a bit off (humpy, wanting food but not touching it) I give her a 1/4 pill of tagament. She gets crumpy, doesnt want to move, wont let me touch her back and growls if I pick her up and eats grass. That's when I give her the tagament.

                                      Her pancreatitis was accompanied by a UTI and she had quite a fever due to the UTI. She got fluids, ER overnight, Flagyl, tagement, was ultrasounded and blood tested.

                                      One thing - no matter which brand of dry cat food you buy, I'd buy small bags of it. We used to buy big bags, and they sat in our house until we used them, and we got those mealy bugs that create "spidery" web lines in the food.

                                      Do I think it was brought on by the cheaper cat food I was giving her? Yes.
                                      She is an inconsistent eater (goes long periods of time not eating, then wolfs down dry cat food), so that doesn't help.

                                      Good luck with kitty, I found the change in diet helped mine*

                                      P.S. *And it wasn't particularly what the vet recommended. He wanted a more fiber-rich food. I asked if low residue diet was okay (produces smaller stools). He said "okay".
                                      Low residue turned out to be high protein, and I got the no-grain. But it seems to work for her so far.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        We have eating! Yay kitty!

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