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Help with diet for cat with Pancreatitis, please

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My 4 year old red tabby, Caleb, is recuperating from what the vet called triaditis. He has pancreatitis, cholangiohepatitis and irritable bowl.
Caleb has been a really healthy cat till this episode; he suddenly stopped eating and was vomiting and looking lethargic.
I rushed him to the vet who gave him s/c IV fluids and started him on antibiotics and he's finally starting to look like himself again.
The vet wants Caleb to go on Iams low residue diet but he is resisting the change. Since it is most imperative that he keep eating, I'm allowing him to eat his California Natural dry for now but I want to help him switch to a food that will be easier on his system.
I'd appreciate any suggestions for low residue foods, or ways that could help Caleb switch foods.
I have been so worried about him, I'm hoping to avoid or minimize the chance of haveing future episodes.
post #2 of 22
Aww, poor kitty!

It sounds like he is pretty sick! You say he didn't have any health problems until now? How confident are you with the diagnosis? What were his symptoms and how quickly did they develop?

If he really has triaditis I'd be hesitant to do other than what the vet recommends.

Have you tried mixing just a very small amount of the low res food into his California Natural and then gradually increasing the amount over several days as he gets used to it?
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
No, Caleb's never been sick before this.
I'm positive it's the correct diagnosis, he's had a sonogram that showed definitive pancreatitis and cholangiohepatitis.
It's scarey how quickly he went from healthy to really sick. He is slowly getting better but we have a long road ahead of us.
post #4 of 22
I am sorry you are going through this with Caleb. I have been dealing with this for a long time with my kitty. I currently feed homemade food, and Stomper still has episodes. He is just getting better from his most recent one

This thread details his past 9 months

He also had gallstones.

We have done all the diet trials and nothing worked. Caleb may be different. Stomper actually did best with the IBD on CA natural other than his current homemade food.

This is nasty to deal with. We have started TAMU B12 protocol in hopes of helping him gain weight. If you read the current thread "vibes for Maisie" in this forum I listed there what Stomper's current protocol is. I haven't updated his specific thread yet.

You might want to join the yahoo groups IBD forum. They are all people dealing with the same issues. Treating this in kitties is really not clear cut at all unfortunately.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Kitty, I've just read thru your post and I'm sorry for all you and stomper have gone thru and also worried that it could be Caleb's future.
I'm going to take him to an internal medicine specialist to see if they can coordinate care.
Right now Caleb is more comfy, though he still seems uncomfortable after he eats. His appetite isn't great,he just nibbles at his food. It is so scarey and I'm feeling really stressed but I'm trying to pace myself since I know we probably have a long road ahead.
post #6 of 22

First of all pancreatis can only be diagnosed by something called a PLI test. I very much doubt your vet did that as results have to be sent away for to texas and it takes a few days to get them back. Ask your vet if he did that test and if not, get one done.
If your cat does have it, the main thing is diet. I know the vet will want to prescribe prednisone which can cause other problems but if you work and get the diet right then it may not be needed. Dry foods are NOT good for any cats and especially for this disease and you do not want to feed the crap the vet sells.
Many cats do well on a quality low fat diet. You want to keep the fat content under 35%-40% of calories or 4% fat if you use the labels instead of the link for a food chart I will give you. The problem with lowering fat is that usually raises the carb levels in the food. To combat this you can add some chicken breast to the diet which will lower the fat content. You want high quality food like merrick if possible Also, I would get some acidoupholous from a health food store and sprinkle a bit over the food.
If you really want to do what is best then a raw food diet that you make is best for a pancreatis cat. I do not do this but many people I know do that have cats with pancreatis and have had alot of success. There is work and an initial investment as you would have to buy a grinder. If interested in this, I will send you a link on how to prepare it
Next thing
If you get this diagnosed properly and you are sure about it, you will want to learn about pancreatic enzymes, get b-12 shots and also learn how to do sub-q fluids which can be done at home. Also keep some pepcid ac in the house for flareups and upset stomachs. You can give 1/4 tab of it 2x a day or the vet can sell you injectable pepcid,
Don't mean to scare you with all of this. Realize that with the proper diet, it is possible to never see pancreatic fllareups again
Link to the food charts
post #7 of 22
Caring for ones companion animals is a very serious responsibility, and often, in light of that concern, members will create threads seeking information from other members. While we allow and encourage expression of opinions and the recounting of personal experiences, it is the forum's official position that no online advice can ever supercede or replace the care and advice of trained medical professionals who have first hand knowledge of the individual animal's condition. We strongly urge members to refrain from advocating the practice of ignoring medical advice.

Please check with your vet before following any advice you are given online
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm taking Caleb to an Internal Medicine specialist today. I hope she will be able to give me a better idea of what's going on with Caleb and how to best manage his Triaditis.
I'm hopeful that she will be helpful yet very anxious about what she may say.
Please keep Caleb in your thoughts and prayers today. He is the sweetest most devoted little boy and we love him. We lost a 3 year old cat to HCM 4 years ago. and we couldn't bear to go thru that so soon. In fact, we got caleb to keep our other cat company after Andrei died.
post #9 of 22
Sending many vibes to you and Caleb.
post #10 of 22
Vibes for Caleb. Update us how he made out
with the specialist. I am following your posts.
post #11 of 22
Sahra, stay hopeful! Caleb is young and you caught this on his first episode! He may not ever have another episode.

Stomper had 3 big episodes (all about a year apart) that got missed by his vet at the time. They said he had a virus or something. It wasn't until his 5th episode that the new vet thought triaditis.

Your vet is right on top of things, and getting the internal medicine specialist right away will give you more information.

Arm yourself with as much information as you can get. Ask lots of questions, don't be afraid to call the specialist or your regular vet back if there is something you have questions on after you leave.

Always trust your gut, as you know Caleb best.

The food trials are the hardest. Everyone has a different opinion and each cat is different. Some do great on prescription food, some do better on a certain premium brand, some on raw or homemade. Some it doesn't matter what food they still have issues.

The pancreatitis is different than the IBD but in cats they are often all tied together with the triaditis, as your vet suspects. All the current research I have read on Feline pancreatitis states that cats are different than dogs and people and that protein and fat should not be limited in their diets. Makes sense when one thinks of cats as obligate carnivores vs the ominvores that dogs and humans are. Very little good research out there on cats alone. Search for "WSAS feline pancreatitis" in google.

IBD can be affected by food, so this is most likely the reason for the vet wanting the low residue diet.

Sorry and I am rambling. Just really want to send you lots of good vibes for the specialists visit today.

Keep us updated!
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone for their positive thoughts.
Just got back from seeing a wonderful internal medicine specialist at the Red Bank veterinary Hospital. She looked over all of Caleb's bloodwork and repeated the sonogram and said there was no pancreatitis present and the liver and gallbladder looked fine. She said that the baytril probably cleared up any liver involvement.
She thinks that perhaps the portable sonogram my vet used did not give the best images.
The new sonogram showed the entire small intestine was dilated so she suspects possible IBD or perhaps an ingested foreign body, though she doubts that.
There is always the small possibility it is lymphoma, though she doubts it.

Bad news is he has a grade 2 murmur with some slight thickening of the ventricular wall. She feels it may diminish as he improves or it might be a low grade HCM that will be easily treated with medication. If it's still there in 2 weeks he will have an echo. I am thinking positive thoughts.

I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster ride: first triaditis now perhaps just IBD; I almost fell over when she said caleb had a grade 2 murmur because I can't imagine dealing with HCM again but perhaps the murmur will clear when his infection clears.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
It's been a very long haul for my Caleb, and he lost more than a pound while enduring many procedures and diagnoses that just didn't fit, but finally, he had a endoscopy and the biopsies revealed he has Helicobacter pylori.
The specialist said this is the bacteria that causes ulcers in humans.
In cats it is usually asymptomatic, but since Caleb's stomach lining looked inflamed and he still was vomiting that he needed to be treated. He'll need to tale flagyl and amoxicillin and pepsid 3xday for 2 weeks. (Wish me luck with that :-)
I'm hoping this will do the trick.
Caleb was also seen by a cardiologist because the Internal Medicine vet heard a grade 2 murmur.
I was so worried, especially since we had an HCM kitty who died and I couldn't imagine my family going thru that heartbreak again.
Thankfully, the cardiologist said he had a functional murmur and he did an echo that was normal.
Thank God!!
I've also been thinking of switching all 3 of my cats over to raw food, because I wonder if this might be somehow diet related, but I'll wait till Caleb is stabilized.
post #14 of 22
and ... It could be diet related but with any medical condition all diet changes should be done with the aid of a vet
post #15 of 22
Hey there! I just stumbled on your thread and was wondering how things were going. My 8 year old girl, Noelle was diagnosed with triaditis and between a diet change, (completely eliminating dry food and now on a raw diet after experimenting with many grain free canned foods with added water), a low dose of prednisolone and Chinese herbal meds through my vet she is doing very well. So well, in fact that I wonder if she even needs the prednisolone anymore. I know this thread dates back to 2009 so I hope you are doing better. I would love to hear how you are doing and help in any way possible! vibes.gif
post #16 of 22

I to just stumbled on this site while looking up pancreatitis.cwm15.gif I just had to leave my cat "Gizmo" at the hospital for treatment.bawling.gif The only symptoms were lethargy and not eating. I had no idea what I was in for when I took him to the ER.sigh.gif Right now I am just learning about it and am overwhelmed.nervousy.gif I just want him to be alright tomorrow and

have made it through the nightsleeping.gif. I will do anything to make him better but I'm still not sure what it takes.frusty.gif


Please keep us in your prayers for the journey ahead.frown.gif I have read all your stories and will do the same for you.angel.gif


                                                                                                                       Susan Blue%20Butterfly.gif and Gizmo bigeyes.gif

post #17 of 22

Please make sure that he does have pancreatitis.  It's a special blood test where the sample is sent to Texas A & M.  While I was on a long journey of vet hopping to figure things out with my cat I had a vet diagnose Patches with pancreatitis.  After I found a good vet who sent the sample to Texas I found out he didn't have pancreatitis.  It doesn't make much difference with initial treatment but it can make a difference with long term treatment.

post #18 of 22
Stop feeding the cat dry food. I just recently found out how bad dry food is for cats--it dehydrates them, and causes urinary and kidney problems. Most dry foods have too much carbohydrate and too little animal protein. Even the so-called prescription foods are bad for them; just read the labels and you'll be amazed at the stuff that's in there that is no good for cats, like corn, potatoes, carrots, etc.

Cats are obligate carnivores and need animal protein, not plant protein, not vegetables, not grains, and not fruits.

My six cats are doing so much better since i stopped the dry food, but the one with pancreatitis and CKD still has to take antacids to help with acid stomach and nausea. I also add slippery elm bark to his wet food, which also seems to help. There are a lot of sites on the web that deal with specific problems like kidney disease in cats and pancreatitis--this is how I found out how bad dry food is for cats.

I'm thinking of changing to raw foods, but since I have six cats, it's problematic, because 1) I don't have the time and 2) I don't have the freezer space.

I've been feeding them Instinctive Choice, by Life's Abundance, which has no additives, grains, vegetables, fruits, etc.--all those carbs that cats can't digest. Cats are so different from humans, or dogs.

My cat with pancreatitis tries to eat dry food, but ends up throwing up every time, so I only feed a little as a snack/treat to the other cats, and the rest of the time they get wet food. Some good foods, though by no means perfect, are:

Life's Abundance "Instinctive Choice"

For dry food, "Young Again" has the most protein (50%) and is supposed to be very good. Life's Abundance Dry food is okay, but contains brown rice, and is only 30% protein.

Check out TANYA'S COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FELINE CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE (it has a lot of information, even if you don't have a cat with kidney disease:

She also has a section on pancreatitis:
post #19 of 22

Thank you all for the information. After much testing it was found the Gizmo had Lymphoma. The ultrasound finally gave us a diagnosis which I was in shock about. There were no signs he was that ill. The doctor said that cats are very good at hiding an illness, sometimes until it is to late.He was not in severe pain but in a few days probably would have been. We made the most difficult decision to let him go. I miss him each and every day. I can't tell you the hole it has left in my heart. I still have 2 other wonderful cats at home so I press on to keep them happy and healthy.

post #20 of 22
My 7 Month old kiitens was diagnosed with pancreatits flare up. So my understanding is it may not be a life long problem he could just be prone to developing chronic pacreatitis if not put on low fat diet. Which of course I fully intend to do bc he's my baby and cherish problem seems to be determining the proper amount of fiber and how much is adequate or overkill.npt ready to a raw food diet. I understand the risks involved with raw diet vs the benefits but for now sticking with a grain free dry.
post #21 of 22
Also forgot to mention I will put him on a probotic to see if this helps to prevent a flare up from not sure ay this point what will help or wont. All I know is tge situation has me stressed I barely sleep. I'm worried about if this going to get worse or better for now he's better but my concern is future of this litte innocent fellow. And hoping I right make right moves for him soo much controversy over foods etc.
post #22 of 22
Merrier food has terrible reviews
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