Inflamed Pancreas in Cats: Enlarged Pancreas Causes and Treatment

The pancreas has two important functions in cats. One is the production of enzymes that help in food digestion and the second is the production of hormones including insulin. This disorder is occasionally seen in cats. There is no predisposition when it comes to age, sex, or breed.

Inflamed Pancreas in Cats

  • There are two types of pancreatitis: mild and edematous and the other, severe and hemorrhagic.
  • Cats that have recovered from an acute episode of pancreatitis may continue to experience recurrent episodes of the disease.
  • Chronic or recurrent pancreatitis may cause secondary damage to surrounding abdominal organs including the liver, bile ducts, gall bladder and intestines. Read symptoms of toxoplasmosis in cats
  • Common symptoms to watch out for include: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, weight loss, dehydration, sluggishness and fatigue, abdominal pain, depression, tachycardia or increased heart rate, and difficulty of breathing.

Causes of Enlarged Pancreas in Cats

  • The exact cause of enlarged pancreas in cats is not known. There are risk factors, however, that are known to contribute to the development of feline pancreatitis such as the following:
    • Trauma
    • Concurrent feline distemper infection
    • Toxoplasma
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Organophosphate insecticide exposure
    • Use of drugs including immunosuppressive agents, thiazide diuretics, some classes of antibiotics, seizure control agents, and heart medications.

Treatment of Inflammation of the Pancreas in Cats

Treatment of Pancreatitis in cats involves three parts:

  • Removing the cause of the pancreatic inflammation.
  • Monitoring and protection against development of complications.
  • Providing general support and symptomatic relief during the inflammatory crisis in Pancreatitis.

Fluid therapy, medications for pain and nausea, withholding food for specific periods, and digestive enzyme supplementation are also provided on a case to case basis.

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