HomeCatPancreatitis in Cats: Causes, Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis

Pancreatitis in Cats: Causes, Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis

Pancreatitis in cats is the inflammation and enlargement of the pancreas. The disease is also associated with the inflammation of the liver and intestine. It is called ‘Triaditis.’ The condition occurs due to spill over the pancreatic enzyme in the abdominal cavity. The disease condition can be acute or chronic in cats. There is no breed, gender, or age predisposing factor for feline pancreatitis.

Why is Pancreatitis in Cats Important?


The pancreas is an essential digestive organ of cats and other animals. The pancreas is located at the right side of the abdomen and adjacent to the stomach. The pancreas produces few digestive enzymes (lipase, amylase, protease) and hormones (insulin and glucagon). The enzymes help the digestion of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The hormones produced by pancreas insulin helps in glucose metabolism in tissues, and glucagon regulates glucose concentration.

Cat Digestive System

Causes of Pancreatitis in Cats


In most cases, pancreatitis may happen spontaneously without any inciting causes. The common causes of feline pancreatitis are:

Causes of Feline Pancreatitis

Pathogenesis of Pancreatitis


The pancreas produces pancreatic enzymes that travel through a pancreatic duct and open at the duodenum. After reaching their site of action in the small intestine, they start working on food material for digestion. The action of pancreatic enzymes is like time-release capsules, and if it burst before time, it starts working. The enzymes start the digestion of the pancreas itself, and clinical signs start. There are mainly two forms of pancreatitis, acute and chronic. Acute pancreatitis may be mild, edematous, or hemorrhagic form.   

Cat Pancreas

What are the Clinical Signs of Feline Pancreatitis?


The most common clinical manifestations of pancreatitis are:

  • Vomiting.
  • Nausea.
  • Lethargy.
  • Fever.
  • Abdominal Pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Diarrhea.
  • If the condition is severe, the animal may die due to shock.

Cat Vomiting

Diagnosis of Pancreatitis in Cats


The diagnosis of feline pancreatitis is fully presumptive and made by specific clinical signs. The disease can be confirmatory diagnosed by following ways:

  • Blood test: Increase the number of white blood cells.
  • Elevation of pancreatic enzymes level in the digestive tract (lipase or amylase).
  • Radiography of pancreas showing inflammation of the pancreas and associated organs.
  • Ultrasonography of pancreas and associated organs showing inflammation.

Ultrasonography of Cat Abdomen 

Treatment of Feline Pancreatitis


The treatment of pancreatitis is mainly dependent upon the management of a patient. The earlier the diagnosis, the more chances to recover the animal. The protocols of treatment and management for pancreatitis are:

  • In mild edematous pancreatitis, give rest to the pancreas by keeping the animal off feed for a few days. The pancreas does need not produce any enzymes, and inflammation subsides.
  • Administration of intravenous fluid to maintain the body fluid balance.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce pain and inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Anti-vomiting drugs can be given to reduce nausea and vomiting.
  • Antidiarrheal drugs if the presence of diarrhea.
  • Antibiotics can be given if you suspect infection.
  • If the condition is severe, may turn into shock, intense care is necessary to reduce the fluid and electrolyte balance.
  • If there is a digestive disease, treatment of that condition is necessary.
  • If the condition is due to diabetes mellitus, the treatment is also necessary separately.

Information on Pancreatitis in Cats

Prognosis of Pancreatitis in Cats


The prognosis of pancreatitis depends on the early diagnosis and treatment. The mild form of pancreatitis recovered with 2 to 4 days of treatment. The severe form may turn into shock, and the prognosis is abysmal. The chronic form may continue with repeated bouts and complex diagnoses and treatments.

Digestive System of Cat

Final Advice on Pancreatitis in Cats


Pancreatitis is not a common disease in cats but may occur due to other diseases. The clinical manifestations of the disease by digestive problems, vomiting, nausea, and diabetes mellitus. The disease can be controlled easily by early diagnosis and treatment. This article will help you recognize the disease at the very outset and treat it appropriately.

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