Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

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Jacks
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Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by Jacks » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:17 pm

My lovely Charlie, only about 4 years old, was recently admitted to vet hospital with a high fever and the runs. He's always had a delicate stomach since I found him as an unneutered stray a year and a half ago. He was a mess - filthy, scratched and bleeding, food obsessive (so easy to catch) and very aggressive to my other cats. To people he was adorable, loving and attentive. All the other cats were scared of him but over time and behavioural training he has stopped attacking them and they have got used to him. He remains a natural alpha male, but now bows to our Queen for house dominance. We have 9 cats in the home, all rescued - Charlie was no. 8. No 9 is another young male who respects Charlie and there hasn't been a moment of trouble between them.

He came out of hospital and was fairly chipper - but not as confident as he was. Within a week the fever had returned so I took him back to the vet. He was given an injection for his temperature and we came home with tramadol as a pain killer and antibiotics. This was yesterday. He sat in his room all day yesterday (he has 'night room' because our ex-feral male won't come in the house unless he's in a room. Such has been the charisma of Charlie). Today, he has sat on the desk in the room next to his food all day. All he wants is food, but he's only grazing a little on the Purina hypoallergenic biscuit and licking the gravy off the Royal Canin Sensitive Low Calorie wet food. He wants it - it's just not exciting. For Charlie food is the most important thing, other than following Mummy around and being loved. He didn't leave the room all day, and hasn't since Wednesday, to be honest, when he started looking unwell again. He simply won't come out of his room. To some extend this is not new, as he's been reluctant to come out since he's not been well, but now he's quite sure he's not. I brought him downstairs yesterday and put him on the sofa, which he normally loves (next to me) and he ran back up to his room.

This morning I got his antibiotic pill out to crush it and hide in his food, and he crunched it down hungrily as if it was a potential treat. I feel so sorry fr him. He won't come on the bed with me, and he won't come downstairs. He seems to have lost his mojo almost completely.

I've no experience with pancreatitis or managing long time dietary exclusions - Charlie likes varied Felix AGAIL diet but the vet says this is now too rich for him. I have to feed him I type/actual food only, or two at the most. I've gone for 1 wet + 1 dry because he normally likes wet but sees dry as treats - so doesn't live on it. I want to do the right thing for him but I'm concerned that he's not himself. He feels warm to me, but he has a shaved tummy so maybe I'm just not used to bare cat. He's certainly but not listless like he was with the temperature. He's very purrry and loving on his 'surface' if he thinks I'm going to feed him. But the way he's just sitting up there all day makes him look a bit zombified or that he just can't be bothered. He's just going to wait next to the potential food. :(

Does anyone on here have experience of cats recovery from pancreatitis? I have one cat-lady friend but her girl was almost straight away back to her old self when she came back from hospital - certainly not afraid to come out of her room. Anyone have experience of a cat on tramadol? Can this sort of episode along cause a character change or is he still likely to be in pain? Am I worrying too much and he just needs time to settle down, or should I be concerned?

If only cats could talk human language...

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by Kay » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:12 pm

I have no experience of pancreatitis, but I have had a cat with cancer on tramadol, which is an opiate, and zombified describes him pretty accurately

after a couple of days I stopped it, as he was too out of it to have any real quality of life - but he soon perked up and did very well pain wise on Metacam for the couple of months he had left - perhaps this is a route you could consider going down, as it must be difficult to be sure how much, if at all, the tramadol is making him behave as he is at the moment

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by Jacks » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:47 pm

Thank you, Kay - sorry you lost your boy. :( I will give it a couple of days to see if he gets used to it. The vet said we couldn't use metacam because of the diarrhoea, as it's a contraindication. Maybe if that is better he will review the tramadol next week. x

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by fjm » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:08 am

Severe pancreatitis can be very, very painful, and full recovery takes time. Add in the heavy duty pain killers, and I don't think it is surprising that he is subdued. I would make his room as comfortable as possible, and perhaps arrange things so that you can spend some time with him every day, just quietly keeping him company. My cats all tend to withdraw to a safe place when they feel unwell, out of sight if possible - it is a sensible survival instinct, when you think about it. If all else is fine - eating, toileting, etc, I would not worry - give him a week or two and I am sure he will be back to his usual self!

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by Jacks » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:32 am

Thanks, fjm - you're quite right, I need to give him time to recover. I'm just so worried about him. This morning he is more alert and was so hungry that he stuffed his food and medication down too fast and regurgitated it. I've given him another antibiotic with a little more food, mixed with some water to make it easier to digest, as he hadn't digested it - I could see it - but not another tramadol, just in case he did get some as it is crushed. I've taken the biscuit away at the moment. He's always been obsessed with food, so I need to make sure he doesn't eat too much at once.

He likes his room and has comfy blankets, cushions and toys and scratchy things, so it makes sense he wants to stay in there at the moment. I'm thinking of swapping his room for the bonding room, which is even quieter and more cosy - the little lad currently in the bonding room at night is being really good, and I think he can start to become 'mainstream'. The bonding room will be quieter for my Charlie.

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by alanc » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:49 pm

My Tilly has had three bouts of Pancreatitis, the last, back in May by far the worst (there is a thread on here about it somewhere). For some hours her vet thought she was going to die. I can't give you any advice on the effects of tramadol or metacam, as Tilly was fully recovered before she was allowed home (apart from the hole for the feeding tube, which took a while to heal fully). However, I have noticed that Tilly is more subdued and spends much more time sleeping than she used to before her last illness. Tilly used to spend a lot of time out hunting, now she is rarely gone for more than a few hours and hasn't caught anything that I know off since she returned from hospital. This might just be age beginning to tell, however!

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by mr_frisky » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:57 pm

One of my cats had pancreatitis two years ago. She was seeking out soft, dark spots and wasn't eating much.

Within two weeks she had put the weight back on and was her normal self.

One of my sisters cats also had it a few years ago, and she's fine.

The only medication my cat needed was the pills crushed up in her dinner, although I did have some pain-killing injections I didn't use as she didn't seem to need it.

Hope it goes well.

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by Jacks » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:09 pm

Thank you for the encouraging words, Mr Frisky and Alanc! Can I ask you about long term diet - have you restricted the type of food or had them long term on a special diet? Charlie is on a single wet (Royal Canin Sensitivity low calorie) and and biscuit (Purina HA Hypoallergic) for the foreseeable future - but he's such a food obsessive and with 9 cats in the house accidents are going to happen...
My Tilly has had three bouts of Pancreatitis
- have you had her on a special restrictive diet? I've read that diet is not a cause of pancreatitis in cats, but with something that is likely to reoccur, how important has it been for you to moderate what Tilly eats, and what have you found works? I'm not sure about the Purina biscuit, as he's passed motions today but they're sticky/sloppy and biscuit coloured. It was the biscuit they gave him at the hospital. When I got him he had a sensitive tum, and was on Royal Canin sensitive biscuit for the best part of a year, with carefully chosen wet food. He was doing well, but in the last few months he's been mixing with the other cats and cleaning up other people's plates, so I'd let him have Felix AGAIL. I know of course that's what he wants now, but his health needs come first.
The only medication my cat needed was the pills crushed up in her dinner,
. Can I ask how long your girl was on the medication for, and what she was given?

Any advice is really appreciated!

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by alanc » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:31 pm

Tilly has had no restrictions on the food she eats. Initially it was more a matter of getting her to eat, so she was given anything she specially liked (Thrive Tuna and Salmon, Chicken Breast and Liver, Gourmet fish pate, Sheba fine cuts and Royal Canin Maine Coon dry). Initially she had 2 tins and a sachet of Sheba fine cuts a day plus 50g of dry to fatten her up a bit That's what she still mainly gets. She also has about 15 Whiskas anti-Hairball treats a day, as I am fairly certain it was hair in her gut that started the trouble. Tilly is not a greedy cat - she has never had to wonder where her next meal is coming from - but likes her dinner all the same.

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by mr_frisky » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:58 pm

I haven't restricted her diet. The vet didn't mention that I should, so I just carried on as usual.

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by Jacks » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:45 pm

I am heartbroken to say that we had to have Charlie put to sleep this afternoon. After nearly three weeks he was not coping with the infection, which they suspected was more widespread than the pancreas alone. What we didn’t know at the outset was that he had FIV. After nearly three weeks of infection he had hardly any white blood cells and he was not able to fight any more. After the second hospitalisation when they couldn’t even lower his temperature with medication we had a choice to send him to the Royal Veterinary College for lots of tests, including bone marrow, or let him go to sleep. When I went to see him he didn’t even seem to recognise me. He was trying to hide and his eyes were glassy, confused and full of pain. This was on intravenous drugs and fluid. His little breath had a rasp in it, and he cried with pain when he was moved. I made the decision to let him pass peacefully in my arms whilst I stroked him and sang to him. I am devastated but keeping him alive because I couldn’t let him go was not the kindest thing for my magnificent boy. We had a year and 4 months together, and I loved him to the moon and back. Sleep well, my precious. There will never be anyone like you.

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by alanc » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:07 pm

Oh no! Sleep tight, Charlie.

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by booktigger » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:18 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that, RIP little one

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by Lilith » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:56 pm

So very sorry to hear. Hugs and love, Lil x

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by fjm » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:43 am

I am so sorry - sleep well Charlie, free of pain and fear. Your time together was short but obviously very happy - I hope the good memories bring comfort.

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Re: Pancreatitis - Recovery, Drugs, behaviour and diet

Post by WilliamTobias » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:24 pm

Time heals every bit of pain! Lots of blessings and prayers!

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