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Pancreatitis stories/information

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:42 am
by Victoriann
Good morning from Wollongong Australia! My boy Dexter who is 7 this year was diagnosed with pancreatitis just over a month ago; I was hoping to connect with anyone who has also gone through this. Ive done research about it and what you should do and not do etc. But I was hoping to hear from anyone on their experiences with this. My boy is currently on Royal Canin – Sensitivity Control. He’s still vomiting every few days but he’s not vomiting as often as he had been before. When he starts feeling nauseated I crush up ¼ of a tablet and put it in his food which helps him. After starting him on this treatment he’s acting like his old self playing before he had no interest and we thought it was because of his little sister we adopted last May.


My story so far….

Last September just after Dexter's 6th birthday he started having trouble (I blame myself, I think what I gave him for his birthday kicked off the start of everything….. Felix treats he got for his birthday as he LOVED them!). At first was constipation and then vomiting my vet at the time kept treating him for constipation (because 5 years earlier he had constipation, a lot of hair in his gut) this went on for 3-4 weeks he would get good then relapse. The vet gave him enemas and done bloods and x-rays. But unfortunately he wasn't getting any better.
One Friday he vomited this time a small amount of blood was in it, I called up the vet right away and they were not worried and said if it happens again bring him in.
That was enough!
I got off the phone and called another vet and on Monday Dexter was seeing a new vet. They suspected IBD (she suggested to get his abdomen ultrasound to confirm but I couldn't afford it at the time) so she put him on Z/D biscuits and soon after he was going to the toilet and not throwing up as much. He continued to improve. He was on the Z/D medicated food for over 6 months.
One Friday morning we were outside (on his lead of course) he stumbled sideways and collapsed, he recovered a few seconds later and seemed ok. I got on to the vets ASAP and they said to bring him in now.
The vet done a blood glucose test and his sugar levels were in perfect range. She suggested getting his abdomen ultrasound, this time they have a lady who comes to them instead of driving him to Sydney (Dexter doesn't do well in cars he throws up).
Ultrasound: showed that his pancreas was slightly inflamed. Kidneys were lumpy and not smooth like they are supposed to be. He also had crystals in his bladder.

Further tests
- Urine showed his levels for his kidneys but also ruled out which crystals that was in his bladder.

- Bloods were taken the following Tuesday. They ruled out no sign of kidney damage, checked his red and white blood count and any markers of cancer. Only thing the blood work showed up is that his cholesterol was high, but with a new diet it will soon resolve.


Re: Pancreatitis stories/information

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:12 am
by alanc
Hi Victorriann My girl Tilly has had several bouts of Pancreatitis - she nearly died from it last year. If you use the search facility on here you will find the threads about it. I think milk caused Tilly's problem - we have not had a recurence since I banned it from her diet.

Re: Pancreatitis stories/information

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:18 pm
by Antonio
Hi and welcome.

Pancreatitis is a very serious problem, as probably you already know because you have read it on the web or the vet told you.
It is part of what it is called "triaditis", and inflammation of three departments: pancreas, bowels and liver.
Usually one of the three organs to get inflammed triggers the others, and generally the first thing is a bowel inflammation, IBD.

In order to keep everything under control, you need to remove the cause of the first inflammation, so a new diet is paramount. You should find what causes any issue in Dexter's bowel and remove that cause.
Generally the first culprit is the dry food, which is rich in grains, something that cats shouldn't find in their diet. A good wet diet is what you have to look for. A novel protein diet might help.
A novel protein is a protein that he has never had before. There are wet food pouches or cans with only one protein in it (100% goat, or 100% pork, for instance). You should try a few of them and find what give the least problem to Dexter.

Hydration is very important in IBD and Pancreatitis.
If you think that Dexter isn't drinking enough, you could add some extra water to his wet food.
Even better if you could give him a subQ injection two or three times a week. It's something you can do at home, but of course, if you're not familiar with it, you could have your vet to show you how to give a subQ to a cat.
Then you'll need a few bottles/sacks of Ringer's Lactate, some big syringes and some butterfly needle. I did this to my cat every other night for nearly 10 years.
Hydration is also good for kidneys.

The pancreatitis is diagnosed with a blood test, the Spec fPLI.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, a good help is giving Dexter some vitamin B12 and hydration.

Also, keep a close eye on his liver functions, especially the bilirubin and the GGT, that are the first signs that a possible triaditis is on the way.
Liver malfunctions are hard to fight and the sooner you get it, the better the outcome is.

I love how you protect your Dexter with the harness and leash, you are caring about him a lot, I can see it!

Re: Pancreatitis stories/information

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:24 pm
by Victoriann
Hi thank you for your replies,

Dexter was originally on Z/D dry for a few months, then on sensitivity control wet when we found out he had pancreatitis now he's trialling I/D wet which he started yesterday. No vomiting yesterday, until this morning I get a message saying he's thrown up all the food this morning at 6:30 am. I feed both cats at 4:30 am when I get up to go to work as I won't be home until 12 pm.

Dexter was at the vet yesterday she mentioned that he may need to go up and see a specialist who deal more with this and he may need an endoscopic procedure. He was also given a vitamin B12 shot yesterday.

Tomorrow I'm thinking of maybe giving him a teaspoon of food before I go to work and see if he's sick again.

I just don't know what do do anymore.

Yesterday he was active and playing with his sister.

Re: Pancreatitis stories/information

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:08 pm
by Antonio
Pancreatitis gives belly ache and fever too, soft stools or diarrhea.
IBD might give similar symptoms, but generally a cat throws up and/or has soft or runny poop.
As I told you, only a specific test can tell you if it's pancreatitis.
Meanwhile you should focus on a new food/diet. It's clear that some ingredients in the wet food you're giving to Dexter may upset his stomach.

My cat had an intolerance to several ingredients, rice and grains to start, and fish and chicken.
We found it out because she would throw up when she would eat something with those ingredients in the food.
So we switched to a novel protein amd we were lucky enough to find the good one at the first attempt. She kept eating that same food for the rest of her life and she didn't throw up again until her liver failed, but this was something we were keeping under control already...

Keep Dexter hydrated. Throwing up is bad for body hydration, and this can worsen his body score and any possible pancreatitis.

Re: Pancreatitis stories/information

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:21 am
by Mollycat
This all sounds horribly familiar as I'm going through similar issues with my 15 year old. He has suspected IBD / possibly intestinal lymphoma plus early renal failure and the vet thinks she felt thyroid nodules. He has had 4 owners and been with me for the past 6 years so I know he was on raw with his last owner which he refused point blank when I got him, I had him on Butchers grain-free then k/d wet and dry until it started causing vomiting and diarrhoea, first wet then the dry as well, and now he is on Felix senior and i/d. We treated episodes with vitamin B injections until that stopped working and now we're on steroids to control the inflammation symptomatically. He has always been a good drinker but at times a little tuna spring water has helped give him a boost.

But the main difference is that my cat is 15 and in a late phase of life whereas yours is young.

Vitamin B shots are great and you can get vitamin B supplement powder, though with an inflamed GI tract absorption is a concern. My vet recommended Cobalaplex, a general B supplement with extra B12. For loose stools we have also used Pro-Kolin successfully though I wouldn't want to use too much long term as it can tip them too far the other way.

What you feed them does matter and although grain free is always better do watch what they replace it with. Some foods are still very high carb without grains. You're looking for around 40-50% protein and 30% fat on a dry matter basis. So if a food is 80% water, the remaining 20% is dry matter of which 8% should be protein and 6-7% fat.

But what concerns me here is the hair in Dexter's gut. Part of the vet community is starting to come around to the idea that furballs are not something to be avoided, they are actually an important part of what makes a cat so successful and healthy. Inevitable fur collects in the bottom of the J shaped stomach where it gradually forms a "ball" which the cat brings up, normally in the night so you step in it on your way to the bathroom. Between furballs the cat can vomit bringing up food and apparently emptying the stomach, except that the furball stays. The furball then normally comes up on its own with very little food, even if the cat has eaten in the last 4 hours when there should still be some food in the stomach. It's always been my belief that this is an evolutionary strategy to avoid fur balling up in the intestine where it can cause a fatal blockage. But it's only recently that I've spoken to any vets who would agree with this, until about 5 years ago they all said furballs are to be prevented if possible because of stomach acid damage to the teeth. In my own very limited number of cats over the years, furball producers have been healthier generally and my current Molly who always presented good furballs has never managed a good one since her crisis that led to a hyperthyroid diagnosis and since then they have always been half-formed, even after treatment. It's not sientific evidence but it's enough to have me convinced.