Feline Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is an extremely painful ailment marked by overproduction of certain digestive enzymes, which damage the pancreatic tissue. In extreme cases, pancreatitis can be so painful that it can induce shock and death. If you notice that your cat shows no interest in food and appears depressed, bent his front legs and elevates his rump, is middle-aged, overweight, or diabetic, consult your veterinarian immediately, because she might have pancreatitis. Your veterinarian will order all food and water to be discontinued for up to 72 hours. This fast will lower the number of digestive enzymes that the pancreas manufactures. To prevent dehydration, your cat may be given intravenous fluids (which requires hospitalization), while special medication will reduce pancreatic secreation that can cause pains and destruction of the pancreas itself.

Unfortunately, once a cat comes down with pancreatitis, there's a good chance of periodic recurrence. As a preventive measure, your veterinarian will place the cat on easily digestible, extremely low-fat diet that won't tax the pancreas.

Pancreatitis can be prevented by feeding your cat a low-fat, high-fiber, chemical-free diet, supplemented with antioxidants such as vitamin E and C. Encourage your pet to get plenty of exercise, avoid giving him fatty "people food," and don't let him become overweight. Never give your cat chicken or turkey skin, and keep the garbage can securely covered or out of reach.

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