Pancreatitis in Cats, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Life Expectancy, Treatment, Recovery Time, Nutrition (2023)

Pancreatitis in Cats, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Life Expectancy, Treatment, Recovery Time, Nutrition (1)

Pancreatitis in cats is a common gastrointestinal disease. It's an inflammation of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis is the sudden onset of pancreatitis. Learn more about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment here.

What is pancreatitis in cats?


  • What is pancreatitis in cats?
  • Causes of feline pancreatitis
  • Symptoms of pancreatitis in cats
  • Diagnosis of pancreatitis in cats
  • Other tests include:
  • Treatment of pancreatitis in cats
  • medicine
  • additions
  • fluid therapy
  • plasma transfusion
  • oxygen or oxygen tank
  • Nutrition and Nutritional Support
  • prevention

Like humans, cats have a pancreas. It is a pale pink V-shaped feline organ located behind the duodenum. The "first section of the small intestine" and the stomach.

Produces pancreatic enzymes that favor the absorption and digestion of fats; the pancreas also produces insulin, which aids in the metabolism of sugar in the cat's body; Therefore, when it starts to fail, it causes many problems for the "health" of our cats and can even be fatal.

Pancreatitis, also known as inflammation of the pancreas, is a common gastrointestinal condition in cats in which inflammation of the pancreas causes the transfer of digestive enzymes to the abdominal cavity; this can damage neighboring organs, e.g. bile duct, intestine, liver or gallbladder.

Swindleracute pancreatitis,Digestive enzymes are prematurely activated in the pancreas, prompting the pancreas to digest itself. Enzymes are designed or intended to remain dormant until they reach the small intestine.

Few cats that recover from this episode of acute pancreatitis go on to have recurrent episodes of pancreatitis known asChronic pancreatitis.

(Video) Chronic pancreatitis - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Causes of feline pancreatitis

The exact cause of feline pancreatitis is unknown, making diagnosing pancreatitis difficult. Pancreatitis has baffled many veterinarians.

However, there are characteristic features of pancreatitis such as B. an increased number of white blood cells if your cat has acute pancreatitis or other illnesses that may accompany the disease, for example liver disease or inflammatory bowel disease(EII),

Possible causes of feline pancreatitis are:

  • trauma abdominal
  • Metabolic disorders, i.e. high levels of calcium in the blood
  • inflammatory bowel disease(EII)
  • liver disease
  • Bauchchirurgie
  • Infectious diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis, herpes virus and toxoplasmosis.
  • Allergic reaction to medications such as anticancer drugs, catabolic steroids, or antibiotics.
  • ascending small bowel infection
  • moquillo felino

Symptoms of pancreatitis in cats

Both chronic and acute pancreatitis can lead to scarring of the pancreas, which can affect the organs' ability to function. Scarring also impairs the production of insulin and digestive enzymes, leading to diseases such as liver disease,(EII)e diabetes

These are the signs that your cat has pancreatitis:

  • Lethargic: This is an episode of acute pancreatitis where the cat sits upright with its paws under it while staring into space and is reluctant to eat.
  • Reluctance to eat and drink - loss of appetite
  • Lose weight
  • Dehydrated
  • Anorexia
  • Less than 50% two cats vomit
  • Less than 50% of cats have "difficult to feel" abdominal pain and a palpable abdominal mass
  • Increases heart rate
  • Change in breathing pattern that later leads to shortness of breath in severe cases
  • jaundice
  • few have a fever
  • The cat may show signs of pain.
  • few have diarrhea

If you notice the following symptoms, take your cat to the vet for a diagnosis, this will go a long way in keeping your cat at risk of developing severe pancreatitis.

Acute pancreatitis can develop into life-threatening conditions such as disseminated intravascular coagulation(DIC)as well as cardiac arrhythmia and shortness of breath.

Diagnosis of pancreatitis in cats

Since the exact cause of feline pancreatitis is unknown, one of the reasons many cats go undiagnosed is the lack of a specific diagnostic test and vague, nonspecific clinical symptoms.

(Video) Cat 101: Feline Pancreatitis

However, recent research tests have improved the ability to diagnose and help better understand pancreatitis, showing that it is a common disease in cats; much more widespread than previously thought.

Therefore, diagnosis requires multiple combinations of diagnostic tests and a high level of clinical suspicion. The vet will run these tests in hopes of getting a definitive idea or results that show what your cat's condition is.

These are the tests the veterinarian will perform:

  • A complete history of your cat's life will be taken, which should include your cat's parents whenever possible.
  • Blood test; There are only two that can completely tell your cat has pancreatitis. They are:

Feline pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity

It is primarily used as a screening test and cannot be used to definitively diagnose pancreatitis in cats. This is because other parts of the cat's body produce lipase. However, the test is performed because cats with pancreatic scars show up on the test.

Trypsin-like immunoreactivity in cat serum

The vet will measure the enzyme trypsin, which enters the blood, and if the level is higher than normal, the cat may have an inflamed pancreas, which is causing the protein to leak.

When the enzyme in the blood is below normal, it can cause EPI, or pancreatic insufficiency, which is not caused by pancreatitis.

(Video) 10 WARNING Signs of Pancreatic CANCER you should NEVER Ignore

Veterinarians have different opinions on this.feline serum trypsin-like immunoreactivity,Some claim it's inaccurate, while others say it's an accurate way to detect pancreatitis.

Other tests include:

  • complete blood testYour veterinarian will check for anemia, increased or decreased white blood cell counts, as cats with pancreatitis tend to have elevated white blood cells.
  • bone scanan x-ray of the abdomen showing only that there is a special opening in the abdomen; examines the shape, size, and position of the organ. And while it's not as useful in diagnosing feline pancreatitis, it can still be used to rule out other issues that cause abdominal pain and to detect masses and foreign bodies.
  • ultrasonicAn abdominal ultrasound helps show images of major abdominal organs, including the pancreas, helping to identify current problems with the cat's gastric glands such as: B. Abnormal gas patterns, troublesome foreign bodies, liver or intestinal problems, etc.
  • If things persist, a veterinarian can take action.Biopsythis is the cat's opening to see the pancreas directly through the surgery; Finding the underlying issue of your cat's problems is a little more precise. However, this type of test is rarely performed.

Treatment of pancreatitis in cats

There is no cure for pancreatitis, but it can still be managed and allow your cat to live a healthier life. A question many ask is, "What if the underlying cause is known?"

Well, about 10% of the time, vets can figure out what's causing the pancreatitis, which can include things like inflammatory bowel disease.(EII),Liver disease, abdominal surgery, medication or distemper, etc. The vet will treat the underlying cause and eventually cure your cat's pancreatitis.

Hospitalization for at least two to four days is recommended for almost all cases of feline pancreatitis, depending on the severity of the illness. Treating feline pancreatitis also includes treating the symptoms caused by the disease, including: dehydration, abdominal pain, etc.

Here are some ways to treat pancreatitis in cats:


Depending on the symptoms of pancreatitis, drug therapy is introduced into the cat's life. Those who are in pain are given painkillers such asButorfanol, Meperidina, ÖAnalgesicsThey are given anti-inflammatories for chronic cases and antibiotics for secondary infections.

And although most cats with pancreatitis don't vomit or have diarrhea, they are also given some medications to reduce the vomiting or nausea caused by the condition, including antidiuretics.antiemeticÖAntazida


As pancreatitis can destroy the cells responsible for producing digestive enzymes, it leads to digestive problems as a result; Therefore, special dietary supplements containing digestive enzymes, which are vitamin products, are needed.

(Video) CHRONIC PANCREATITIS: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Treatment, Pain, Acute vs Chronic

if suspectEIIhe/she will be given vitamin B-12 injections, "best for cats with chronic pancreatitis as they are often vitamin B-12 deficient." And even cats with this condition, "chronic pancreatitis", often develop diabetes, so they need insulin shots, which are handled by the veterinarian.

fluid therapy

It is the most important form of therapy for acute pancreatitis. When in-hospital rehydration therapy is used in cats with pancreatitis, including monitoring their electrolyte levels; A catheter is inserted into your cat's vein, and then fluids are slowly dripped into it.

This fluid, known as IV fluids, helps cats with dehydration, which is common to most cats with pancreatitis, and corrects the dehydration; It also corrects abnormalities in potassium and blood sugar levels and removes toxins from the cat's body. Nutritional supplements and medications can also be added to the fluid in the IV line, which can be very helpful in acute pancreatitis as it requires frequent monitoring.

plasma transfusion

This type of transfusion corrects coagulation deficiencies which, if left untreated, can lead to kidney failure, respiratory failure and disseminated intravascular coagulation, fatal for the cat.

oxygen or oxygen tank

If your cat has an infection in the pancreas that has caused a change in breathing pattern or difficulty breathing, your veterinarian will help provide oxygen; This occurs in acute stages and requires frequent monitoring and care.

Nutrition and Nutritional Support

It is essential for acute or chronic pancreatitis, as cats need solid nutritional support. Cats benefit from having the right nutrients in their small intestines. Therefore, the veterinarian will place a feeding tube in the upper part of the cat's intestines or stomach for a day or two, which is possible if the cat is not vomiting and is reasonably stable. Good nutrition in cat nutrition also helps with loss of appetite.

If there is a problem, the vet will use IV lines. If the cat vomits, the veterinarian will not feed the cat for up to 48 hours, during which time water will be introduced slowly, followed by small amounts of food, or simply use the IV lines.


Preventive measures are taken to ensure that your cat is not affected by pancreatitis.

(Video) Pancreatitis In Dogs - Symptoms, Treatment, Diet, And More | Vet Explains

  • Avoid taking over-the-counter medications
  • Avoid giving cats medications that increase inflammation.
  • Regular cat check-ups regularly

A very critical condition, pancreatitis can be fatal for your cat if left untreated; The severity of the disease depends on early detection. And while there is no cure, if caught early enough, the disease can be aggressively treated, giving your cat the chance to live for many years if properly controlled. Therefore, for best results, take your cat in for regular check-ups.


What is the life expectancy for cats with pancreatitis? ›

What is the life expectancy for a cat with pancreatitis? Most cats that suffer from acute or chronic pancreatitis can go on to live a relatively normal life.

What causes for pancreatitis in cats? ›

What Causes Pancreatitis? The exact cause of most feline pancreatitis cases is unknown. The condition has been associated with cats ingesting poisons, contracting parasitic infections or experiencing trauma like a car accident.

Can a cat recover from pancreatitis? ›

For cats with mild to moderate forms of disease, the prognosis for recovery is generally very good, though repeated episodes are possible. Pancreatitis can, however, be fatal in cats with very severe forms of acute pancreatitis.

What are the symptoms of pancreatitis in a cat? ›

Common clinical signs include decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If the attack is severe, acute shock or death may occur. Diagnosis is generally made with laboratory testing. Tests may reveal elevations in white blood cells and/or pancreatic enzymes.

Does pancreatitis reduce life expectancy? ›

Complications from chronic pancreatitis, such as pancreatic cancer or diabetes, may reduce life expectancy. Surgical complications can also cause serious health issues, and in the worst cases, death. Studies show that up to 80% of those diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis will live at least another ten years.

What should you feed a cat with pancreatitis? ›

A low-residue diet might be the diet of choice in a cat that only has pancreatitis, but if concurrent intestinal disease is present, then a novel protein diet might be a better choice. The caveat for owners is that the cat must eat.

Can pancreatitis be cured? ›

Mild acute pancreatitis usually goes away in a few days with rest and treatment. If your pancreatitis is more severe, your treatment may also include: Surgery. Your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder, called cholecystectomy, if gallstones cause your pancreatitis.

How do you treat pancreatitis in cats naturally? ›

For long-term management of pancreatitis, cats need to eat a reduced fat, anti-inflammatory diet free of grains. Also, using digestive enzymes specific for pancreatitis is essential. Cats with pancreatitis can be finicky eaters so it's important to use supplements that are tasteless and easy to administer.

How much does it cost to treat pancreatitis in cats? ›

The cost to treat pancreatitis in cats varies according to your location and the severity of the condition but typically ranges from $400 to $1,500.

Can stress cause pancreatitis in cats? ›

There are numerous causes for inflammation of this organ as it is very sensitive to stress, metabolic derangements, or inadequate oxygen (due to poor blood flow), trauma, infectious agents, and potentially drugs, (as recognized in human pancreatitis).

Can pancreatitis lead to kidney failure in cats? ›

However, the association between pancreatitis and kidney disease in cats remains obscure. Renal azotemia may reflect concurrent CKD especially in cats of older age, but pancreatitis may lead to acute kidney injury by hypovolemia, ischemia, and inflammation.

Does pancreatitis cause permanent damage? ›

Chronic pancreatitis does not heal or improve. It gets worse over time and leads to permanent damage. The most common cause is heavy alcohol use. Other causes include cystic fibrosis and other inherited disorders, high levels of calcium or fats in the blood, some medicines, and autoimmune conditions.

What toxins cause pancreatitis in cats? ›

Organophosphates. Some OP's, especially disulfoton and diazinon, can also cause pancreatitis. Cases of life-threatening, severe necrotizing pancreatitis have been seen.

Can pancreatitis shut down organs? ›

Sometimes people with severe acute pancreatitis can develop a complication where the pancreas loses its blood supply. This can cause some of the tissue of the pancreas to die (necrosis). When this happens, the pancreas can become infected, which can spread into the blood (sepsis) and cause organ failure.

How long does pancreatitis take to heal? ›

Most people with acute pancreatitis get better within a week and are well enough to leave hospital after a few days. Recovery can take longer in severe cases, as some people can develop complications. Read more about treating acute pancreatitis and the possible complications of acute pancreatitis.

Can you live a full life after pancreatitis? ›

When acute pancreatitis is severe with damage and bleeding or inflammation that has spread to other organs, the likelihood of fatality can be over 30 percent. However, milder cases of acute pancreatitis often have complete recovery with minimal effect on life expectancy.

What do vets give for pancreatitis? ›

Analgesics will be given to control the intense pain, and intravenous fluids will be given to maintain normal fluid and electrolyte balance and perfuse the pancreatic tissues. Many cases will also require anti-inflammatory drugs or medications to control vomiting or diarrhea.

What helps the pancreas repair itself? ›

The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers. Restoring the function of the organ - which helps control blood sugar levels - reversed symptoms of diabetes in animal experiments. The study, published in the journal Cell, says the diet reboots the body.

What is end stage pancreatitis? ›

The end stage of CP is characterized by multiple complications including pain, pancreatic insufficiency (endocrine and/or exocrine), metabolic bone disease, and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC); the mechanisms and management of CP-associated pain are discussed in detail in other articles within this issue.

Does drinking water help pancreatitis? ›

As the inflammation in your pancreas improves and pain symptoms improve, you should begin drinking clear liquids and eating bland foods. With time, you can go back to your normal diet.

How do you calm a cat with pancreatitis? ›

“Veterinarians will likely prescribe pain and anti-nausea medication and a special diet.” Veterinarians often recommend that cats with pancreatitis stick to a diet with low to moderate amounts of fat and moderate levels of proteins and carbohydrates, Dr.

Does stress trigger pancreatitis? ›

Emotional stress can excite the vagus nerve (connects the brain with the stomach) and causes the stomach to be stimulated to produce excessive amounts of acid. As noted, this increase in acid stimulates an increase in pancreatic secretion production. This can exacerbate pancreatitis once it has been established.

Is pancreatitis in cats permanent? ›

Acute pancreatitis comes on abruptly, but with rapid, often aggressive, treatment, acute pancreatitis can be reversed and results in little-to-no permanent damage to a cat's pancreas. Cats with chronic pancreatitis, on the other hand, will experience ongoing inflammation and, most likely, irreversible damage.

What percentage of cats survive pancreatitis? ›

12, 17, 21, 22, 23 The fatality rate of AP in cats ranges from 9% to 41%.

Why won t my cat eat after pancreatitis? ›

A key feature of pancreatitis in cats is that they often refuse to eat. This may be due to nausea – some cats with pancreatitis even vomit, so it is likely many of these cases feel sick.

What is severe pancreatitis in cats? ›

Diagnosis. Unlike humans and dogs, cats with acute pancreatitis often do not present with signs of vomiting and abdominal pain. In severe cases when there is systemic inflammation, the cat may have a low body temperature and blood pressure, diarrhea and labored breathing.

What are the stages of pancreatitis? ›

Pancreatitis has two stages — acute and chronic. Chronic pancreatitis is a more persistent condition. Most cases of acute pancreatitis are mild and involve a short hospital stay for the pancreas to recover. Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly after the pancreas is damaged.

What are the 4 stages of acute pancreatitis? ›

According to the severity of AP, the disease is classified as mild, moderate, severe and critical by the absence or presence of organ failure and local or systemic complications.

What are 3 diseases that affect the pancreas? ›

There are a variety of disorders of the pancreas including acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, hereditary pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer. The evaluation of pancreatic diseases can be difficult due to the inaccessibility of the pancreas.

What is end stage feline pancreatitis? ›

In cats with end-stage disease, inflammation is absent and fibrosis and degeneration are prominent; therefore, corticosteroid treatment would not be appropriate. CP may produce low grade or focal pain, which can be challenging to detect in cats. Clinical signs may include lethargy, hiding and inappetence.

What is considered severe pancreatitis in cats? ›

Unlike humans and dogs, cats with acute pancreatitis often do not present with signs of vomiting and abdominal pain. In severe cases when there is systemic inflammation, the cat may have a low body temperature and blood pressure, diarrhea and labored breathing.

Is pancreatitis a terminal? ›

Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that develops quickly. Some mild cases resolve without treatment, but severe cases need treatment to prevent life-threatening complications.

What percentage of pancreatitis is fatal? ›

Mild acute pancreatitis has a very low mortality rate (less than 1 percent),1,2 whereas the death rate for severe acute pancreatitis can be 10 to 30 percent depending on the presence of sterile versus infected necrosis.


1. Pancreatitis in Dogs
(Heron Lakes Animal Hospital)
2. Feline Pancreatitis
(Medina Regalia, BAS, LVT)
3. 6 Warning Signs of Pancreatic Cancer
(Cleveland Clinic)
4. Pancreatitis in the dog. Dr. Dan explains.
(Dan The Veterinarian)
5. Pancreatitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention!
6. How is chronic pancreatitis evaluated and diagnosed?
(Animated Pancreas Patient)
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