Feline Pancreatitis Treatment Options

Feline pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas is inflamed, and some of the chemicals stored in it are allowed to escape into parts of the body where they can be harmful.

What Happens When a Cat Gets Pancreatitis?

A number of negative effects can occur due to the untimely or misplaced release of chemicals that should be stored in the pancreas. The most hazardous of these chemicals are the digestive enzymes, which, when released during a case of pancreatitis, can start to digest body tissue. Once these enzymes are improperly released, the first thing they usually start to break down is the pancreas itself, which causes further inflammation and therefore usually leads to further leakages.

When these digestive enzymes start to break down the liver wall, the liver can no longer contain toxins that it can normally keep under control. These toxins are released into the bloodstream, where they can spread to the rest of the body. Rarely, these toxins can cause irreparable brain damage, but the most common serious problem caused by these toxins is the disruption of surfactants in lung tissue, which are responsible for making sure the lungs do not collapse. If pancreatitis progresses to this stage, the cat’s respiratory system is seriously impaired. Pancreatitis can also stop the pancreas from producing insulin, a hormone that is responsible for blood sugar regulation. Insulin shortages can result in diabetes.

What Cause Feline Pancreatitis?

Due to a lack of extensive research on this condition, the cause of ninety percent of pancreatitis cases is never conclusively identified, but the most common known causes are physical trauma or an active feline distemper infection. Pancreatitis is also known to be caused by the Toxoplasma parasite and exposure to the organophosphate branch of insecticides, which are sometimes present in flea collars.

Some drugs, such as azathioprine, thiazide diuretics, furosemide, tetracycline, valproic acid, or procainamide have been observed to be the cause of pancreatitis in humans and dogs, but are only suspected to cause it in cats. There is a possible connection between feline pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease, but this has also not been conclusively proven.

Treatment Options for Pancreatitis in Cats

If the cause of the pancreatitis is known to be a bacterial infection, antibiotics are used to solve the problem at its root. If your cat has pancreatitis, and you are currently administering any of the drugs mentioned above, cease application of these drugs. If the pancreatitis is caused by inflammatory bowel disease, steroids,antacids, low residue diets, and vitamin B-12 supplementation are possible treatments. If the pancreatitis has caused hemorrhaging in the liver, fluid therapy and plasma transfusion can be used to purify the blood. Fluid therapy can also help to combat dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea. Pain and nausea medications are not necessary, but alleviate some of the cat’s suffering.