1. Are you getting a server error? It should be solved. Email webmaster@felinediabetes.com if you're still having trouble!
  2. Calendar Fundraiser is starting! Check out this CALENDAR LINK to learn more!!

Info A Primer on Pancreatitis

Discussion in 'Lantus / Basaglar (glargine) and Levemir (detemir)' started by Marje and Gracie, Sep 23, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    All too often, it seems, we see a member post that, suddenly, Kitty is not eating well and seems “off”. Kitty might seem lethargic, the blood glucose (BG) may have increased, he/she might be sitting in a meatloaf position, hiding, and/or generally does not seem “right”. Perhaps Kitty also vomits. With symptoms like these, it’s possible that kitty has pancreatitis and a vet visit is in order.

    Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic and can have a sudden onset. Pancreatitis often has no known cause; however, sometimes trauma, infection, viruses, or exposure to drugs can cause pancreatitis.

    Many cats have mild forms of chronic pancreatitis which may be associated with concurrent conditions, most notably inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but also hypertriglyceridemia and/or hypercalcemia, triaditis, cholangitis, cholangiohepatitis, hepatic lipidosis, and/or diabetes. Very little is known about appropriate therapy in these circumstances and management is often limited to evaluation and treatment of the concurrent condition(s) and careful monitoring of the pancreatitis.

    Diagnosis
    Texas A&M University (TAMU) in conjunction with IDEXX has developed the Spec fPL test. Some veterinarians use the SNAP fPL which only indicates normal or abnormal results. The more definitive test, the Spec fPL, requires that a blood sample be sent to TAMU or IDEXX. It is important to note that a 6 - 12 hour fast is required for the most accurate results. It is also recommended to simultaneously have the blood checked for cobalamin and folate levels as these can be low in a cat with pancreatitis and supplements can aid in recovery.

    Symptoms
    Cats with pancreatitis, even when severe, often present with non-specific clinical signs. In one study of 40 cats with severe pancreatitis the following clinical signs were reported:
    • lethargy (100%)
    • anorexia (97%)
    • dehydration (92%)
    • hypothermia (68%)
    • vomiting (35%)
    • abdominal pain (25%)
    • a palpable abdominal mass (23%)
    • shortness of breath (dyspnea) (20%)
    • loss of muscle coordination (ataxia) (15%)
    • diarrhea (15%)

    In diabetic cats, BG levels often increase possibly in response to pain but also inflammation.

    Treatments

    Fluid Therapy: It’s important to ask your vet about administering subcutaneous (subq) fluids especially if the kitty has been vomiting and is dehydrated. Fluid therapy can also help restore any electrolyte imbalances. In some cases, your vet may want to administer IV fluid therapy at the clinic. This video on How to Give Subcutaneous Fluids to your Cat at Home will assist you if the vet believes subq fluids are warranted.

    Addressing Pain: Cats tend to hide pain well; however, pancreatitis is a painful condition and cats should be given some type of pain therapy. For diabetic cats, addressing pain often helps to lower BG levels. Buprenorphine (bupe) is most commonly used to address pain. It can be administered by the CG in a subcutaneous injection or it can be given as liquid applied to the gums or in the cheek pouch for quick absorption.
    • While compounding is not necessary, if oral bupe is compounded, the prescription should state “sugar and sweetener free” and can be flavored with chicken or fish to make it more palatable.
    • Dosing varies based on weight of the cat and usually has a fairly liberal range.
    • Bupe is normally dosed every 8 hours. If your cat becomes agitated or has a history of becoming agitated with narcotics, inform your vet.
    • Other forms of pain relief can include fentanyl patches and tramadol but these may come with more observable side effects.

    Antiemetics: Many cats with pancreatitis experience nausea (e.g., showing interest in food but just licking/sniffing and walking away, lip licking, lip smacking and teeth grinding). Dolasetron (Anzemet®) and ondansetron (Zofran®) are very effective for addressing nausea in cats. Shop around for the least expensive source for ondansetron or purchase with a prescription at an online pharmacy such as Thriving Pets. Ondansetron is typically administered at ¼ of a 4mg tablet twice daily. It can be purchased as an injectable with a prescription and given that way but a vet should provide the dose. Dolasetron is acquired through the vet.

    Maropitant citrate (Cerenia® ) is also effective for controlling vomiting and nausea. It has become a popular and effective antiemetic in cats and can be administered in a subcutaneous injection if kitty is vomiting. Since it is a veterinary drug, the pill form can be obtained from your vet or with a prescription at online sources (such as Thriving Pets). Cerenia is generally administered at 0.5mg/lb (1mg/kg). It was previously thought that cerenia could only be given for a maximum of five days but it has been determined that cats can tolerate it well for longer periods of time. Injectable cerenia must be obtained from the vet. Length of use, whether given orally or injectable, should be established by your vet.

    Nutritional Support: Previously, it was thought that cats with pancreatitis should be fasted or put on a low fat/high fiber diet. Current treatment has deemed this unnecessary. Some internal medicine specialists believe a cat with chronic, recurrent pancreatitis might benefit from a low-residue diet. It is important to discuss the dietary needs with the vet but it is typically trial and error.

    Every effort should be made to ensure the kitty eats even if the CG must assist feed. The Yahoo Group for Assist Feeding Cats is an excellent resource for any CG who needs to assist feed their kitty. Assist feeding involves syringe feeding, finger feeding, feeding on a baby spoon, etc. A great video for learning to assist feed is How to Assist Feed a Cat.

    If it is not possible to assist feed, the CG should discuss with the veterinarian the possible need for an esophageal tube (e-tube) in order to prevent hepatic lipidosis. Cats do quite well with feeding tubes.

    Appetite Stimulants: Cyproheptadine and Mirtazapine (Remeron®) are two effective appetite stimulants in cats that have an appetite and are not completely anorexic or nauseous. Also, remember that there are non-drug methods to entice a cat to eat. Discuss with your vet whether giving an appetite stimulant is appropriate for an anorexic cat.

    If your cat is nauseous, your vet can prescribe an anti-nausea drug as discussed above. It is possible that once the nausea is addressed, the kitty may regain his/her full appetite and not need an appetite stimulant.

    Steroids: Steroid treatment using such drugs as prednisone, prednisolone, or dexamethasone can be useful for treating chronic feline pancreatitis. Insulin needs “might” increase with the use of steroids if the veterinarian believes steroid therapy is required.

    Antibiotics: Antibiotics are not typically prescribed for pancreatitis as it is generally an inflammation as opposed to an infection. However, if bacterial infection of the intestinal tract or liver (cholangitis) is present, antibiotic therapy is appropriate and your vet should inform you as to the appropriate type of antibiotic and course of therapy. Some antibiotics can cause nausea and vomiting and diarrhea so it is important the CG work closely with the vet to determine the best antibiotic to address any infection.

    Antacids: Discuss the need for an antacid such as Pepcid AC (famotidine) with your vet. The dosing for Pepcid AC is 1/4 of a 10mg tablet twice a day. Many cats with pancreatitis do not require an antacid and, if there is no indication of an acid tummy such as clear, foamy vomiting or hunching over (which can also be a sign of pain), then antacids should generally not be given. The typical dosing for Pepcid AC is ¼ of a 10mg tablet at a maximum of twice a day, 30 minutes before food.

    Methylcobalamin Supplementation and SAME-e: If the kitty’s cobalamin is low as indicated by the cobalamin test, supplementation with methyl B12 is appropriate to discuss with your vet. Zobaline is the best form of methyl B12 for diabetic cats. For cats with pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), malabsorption issues might prevent appropriate absorption of oral methyl B12. It is important to discuss with your vet whether B-12 (cyanocobalamin) injections would better address cobalamin deficiencies when pancreatitis or IBD is present. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) may also be indicated as a supplemental treatment to consider in consultation with your vet. SAM-e is contained in veterinary products such as Marin™ (vitamin E and silybin), Denosyl® (SAMe) and Denamarin® (SAMe and silybin) which are available for cats.

    Monitoring: It’s important to closely monitor the kitty’s BG during treatment. As the kitty improves, the BG will most likely drop, perhaps quickly, and insulin needs will decrease. It is also important to monitor food intake and weight.

    Additional Resources
    These additional resources are provided for education; the veterinary articles may be printed and taken to the vet for further discussion.

    IDEXX Roundtable Discussion (2008)
    IDEXX Roundtable on Diagnosing and Managing Feline Pancreatitis
    IDEXX Treatment Recommendations for Feline Pancreatitis
    2010 World Small Animal Veterinary Association
    Feline Outreach--Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Insufficiency
    MarVista Vet on Pancreatitis
    Tanya’s CRF Website on Pancreatitis
    Pharmalogical Control of Vomiting is a technical article written by a vet for vets on controlling nausea and vomiting in cats.

    IDEXX also now has an online learning center where you can view On Demand Educational videos. You must register for an IDEXX (free) account. It is free to view the videos.
    IDEXX Pancreatitis On Demand Educational Videos

    The information in this post is in no way intended to substitute for veterinarian care and should not be used for home treatment of pancreatitis unless agreed upon by and under the supervision of your veterinarian. This information is strictly provided as reference material for discussions with the vet and to provide the CG with a basic knowledge to prepare specific questions for the veterinarian.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
    Reason for edit: Broken links
  2. Picknickchick

    Picknickchick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Something I'd like to add is that if your diabetic cat is insulin-resistant, have her tested for pancreatitis.
     
  3. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
  4. rhiannon and shadow (GA)

    rhiannon and shadow (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
  5. Tiger(GA) and Ruth

    Tiger(GA) and Ruth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Thanks for this - Bump!

    Could this become a Sticky?
     
  6. julie & punkin (ga)

    julie & punkin (ga) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    It is in the "New to the Group?" sticky - at the end of that post are a list of single topic posts. It's included there.
     
  7. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Sorry we can't make it a sticky, Ruth. It's more "informational" than "required reading". You can bookmark it, though.
     
  8. Tiger(GA) and Ruth

    Tiger(GA) and Ruth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Done- Thanks Marje
     
  9. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    You're welcome!
     
  10. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
  11. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Its in the forum labeled Health Links/FAQs about Feline Diabetes, here.
     
  12. Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey

    Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
  13. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    I've just updated the Primer to include some new resources including an IDEXX "on demand" learning center link. It is free but you must register for a free IDEXX account.
     
  14. Silvina

    Silvina Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    love this thread!!!

    I just need to understand this.

    Markies has an ultrasound that says that pancreas is swalen, or something like this. So Ive been told it's pancreatitis.

    If he has chronic pancreatitis, this means that he has to be on pain meds everyday? Markies vomits like 3 to 4 times per week. Sometimes he looks weird like not moving too much (may be in pain). Do you think I should use pain meds? ANy idea of natural products for pain?
     
  15. Glennie

    Glennie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2016
    Thanks, Marje, for this info. Also thanks again for setting up my SS. I think of you literally every time I post Callie's BG. :bighug:
     
  16. Girlie's mom

    Girlie's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Wonderful and thank you so much, Marje! :)

    If a cat has had an U/S a few weeks ago, and the pancreas looked good, can you sit confident that your cat is okay, or should you always be careful, especially as it can come on quickly, as you noted?

    If a cat is going in for a general round of blood and other tests, would you recommend adding in the Spec or Snapfpl tests while they're at it? I assume the fast is for both and that you give insulin - or a reduced insulin? - on the day they're to be tested anyway!
     
  17. Girlie's mom

    Girlie's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
  18. Girlie's mom

    Girlie's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
  19. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    I’m not Marje but I know a lot about pancreatitis as Max had chronic pancreatitis tgat is likely what caused him to become diabetic. While we know it’s much more common than first thought, the causes are not known. It does not always show up in an ultrasound and the SpecfPL only can diagnose when there’s active pancreatitis. Some cats only have one soisode, some have acute attacks and for some like Max it comes and goes. The vet’s are starting to think other chronic conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease can cause the blood test to show pancreatitis when it’s not. We stopped testing for it after awhile and I just treated the symptoms.
     
    Marje and Gracie likes this.
  20. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    I’m glad Elise responded as she has a lot of good experience with it. It is a condition that is definitely ECID. It can come on rapidly so there is always the potential that the pancreas looked normal three weeks ago but symptoms of pancreatitis can start. I wouldn’t add the spec or snap fPL in on routine labs if the cat is asymptomatic. As Elise said, other things can affect the specfPL. Gracie always had a high specfPL due to her liver/gallbladder issues but she never had one single symptom of it and her pancreas always looked perfect on u/s.

    For those tests, diabetic cats should be fasted six hours for the best result. When I had it done with Gracie, I’d stall her shot, take her to the vet at 7:30 a.m. as soon as they opened, have them do the blood draw, and then take her home and shoot an hour late. We only did hers because her liver values were high and we wanted to see what the specfPL was. I think for a cat, like Elise’s Max, who was prone to it, once you know that’s what it is, subsequently you can forego the tests and treat the symptoms.
     
    tiffmaxee likes this.
  21. Silvina

    Silvina Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hello all!!! I just received an allert of this great thread which is awesomes since Markies tends to have at times accute pancreatitis and then it goes away. He ends hospitalized.

    Tomorrow I will take him to the vet for an ultrasound and for blood work. Its been a long time since we don´t do a complete check up. We don´t have in Argentina those specific SpecfPL tests. unfortulately for cats, only for dogs..

    What blood tests do you suggest me to do besodes the regular ones includding liver enzimes, renal funcioning? What is the name of thos other that can also tell about pancreatitis?

    Silvi
     
  22. Pamela & Amethyst

    Pamela & Amethyst Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
  23. PussCatPrince - GA

    PussCatPrince - GA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    A very timely bump up.
     
  24. LizzieInTexas

    LizzieInTexas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
  25. HWright

    HWright Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Bump please
     
  26. Ollie (GA)

    Ollie (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Bump please
     
  27. Ollie (GA)

    Ollie (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page