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Rocket might have pancreatitis

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
He went to the emergency clinic today, obviously not feeling well, with lethargy and loss of appetite and discomfort in his abdomen. And at the clinic we discovered he's also running a fever of a couple degrees above normal. The vet ruled out the things that would have needed immediate attention, prescribed palliative care, and he's going to the vet for more diagnostics tomorrow. I know very little about this illness. I read through a couple threads here and there's too much information to digest. Basically, what I'd like to know at this point is what questions I should be asking the vet tomorrow if it's pancreatitis. Thanks.....
post #2 of 22
I'm not sure I can be of much help. I know it was something the vet tested Damita for when she was dying....but I can't remember anything beyond that.

Lots of headed your way.
post #3 of 22
As a safety precaution you might ask your vet about testing for toxoplasmosis.

Just a couple of articles for a little bit of quick info



Good info about diagnostic tests for pancreatitis

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to go online before heading for the vet's office. They were able to get me in the first appointment slot, and I took it, because I had an appointment for an EGD later in the morning.

Rocket was much, much better this morning. Pretty close to 100% as far as I could tell. He had a slightly elevated temp this morning, but nothing that couldn't be explain by vet-office stress. He had a good appetite, normal body language and demeanor, his look clear, and he's not having abdominal discomfort. We took blood and sent if off for a full blood planel. At this point, pancreatitis hasn't been ruled out, nor has it been ruled in, but we want to get a close look at liver function.

Thanks for the concern.
post #5 of 22
I'm so glad he's feeling better, that's such good news.

Do you know, did your vet send out a blood sample for the fPL or fPLI test?
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't know, Violet. It's called the "Marshfield ANP-1" and then they also do a CBC in the office.
post #7 of 22
I see. Well, I really hope the results won't show anything terribly wrong.

(When my Bernie was very sick about a year and a half ago they were able to rule out pancreatitis by doing an ultrasound and the special blood test.)
post #8 of 22

If you have specific questions about Pancreatitis please PM or email me. I will be happy to help where I can. I am sure Stomper's thread was one you read with way too much to digest.

It has been a long road with my big guy. He is finally coming out of his latest flare up. He has chronic pancreatitis and gets acute flare ups. This last one I was actually thinking I would lose him.

His first episodes were short lived, 24-48 hours of not feeling well. Now they last for months.

As Violet said ultrasound when done by a skilled practitioner with a good quality machine can detect an enlarged pancreas. The definitive test though is the fPLI. Looking at liver function tests can give clues as well. Stomper's ALT is always mildly elevated when he is having an attack.

Timing can be tricky with these numbers though. Stomper had tests done 12 days apart, first set was normal although we knew he wasn't feeling well. Second test they were elevated, but by that time he was in a full blown attack.

I am hoping Rocket is on the mend and it isn't pancreatitis. Sending lots of good vibes your way.
post #9 of 22
Sending lots of good vibes to Rocket Hope the results come back ok.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
I am sure Stomper's thread was one you read with way too much to digest. .
That's the one.

If that's what he has, I'm going to have to print that out, punch holes, and put it in a binder.... then I'll stay up very late and study, study, study.

Thanks much for the kind offer......
post #11 of 22
I'm so sorry to hear about Rocket. Lots and lots of I hope anything you hear back from the vet is good news!
post #12 of 22
One of my cats has what a feline specialist thinks is chronic pancreatitis. It's hard to diagnose in cats. The most definitive test is a blood test developed at and done at Texas A&M. It still isn't 100% sure diagnosis. Patches first few episodes were bad enough that he had to stay at the vet on an IV. He was just under 2 years old with the first episode. He is now almost six. He has occasional episodes but they aren't nearly as bad and only last a day or two. Often now he doesn't completely quit eating for even a full day and he is able to get over it on his own rather than having to get him all stressed out going to the vet.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hmmmmmm. That does sound like what Rocket went through. I'm still waiting for the results of the blood draw done on Monday. But it wasn't the special blood test pancreatitis. I think the vet wanted it done mainly to see if his liver function had been affected. That would tell us if he ate something that was poisoned. I don't know if that means his vet has ruled out pancreatitis. But what Denice describes with the episodes sure sounds familiar. I've spent $400 on this in just two days. If it comes back with "he's fine, blood test completely normal, no idea why he was sick" then it makes me less inclined to rush him to the vet if it happens again, and that might be a mistake.
post #14 of 22
Originally posted by coaster
.....then it makes me less inclined to rush him to the vet if it happens again, and that might be a mistake.
Since you have a vet school in your state, you can very easily avoid making that mistake.
If you call the vet school's ER for advice (they offer 24/7 emergency service) the person you'll talk to on the phone will be able to tell you whether you need to rush your baby to the vet right away, or it will be all right to wait until you can reach your regular vet in the morning.

The people at our vet school ER are very friendly, very helpful and very patient, so hopefully you would also have a very pleasant experience if you ever had to call your vet school ER for advice.
post #15 of 22
Aw, Tim! Hope everything turns out ok with Rocket! Poor guy!!

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
If you call the vet school's ER for advice (they offer 24/7 emergency service) the person you'll talk to on the phone will be able to tell you whether you need to rush your baby to the vet right away, or it will be all right to wait until you can reach your regular vet in the morning. .
That's an absolutely FIRST CLASS suggestion!!
Honest, I didn't know I could do that. I think I'll look up the number as soon as I get off here.

The tests came back negative. The vet's theory is maybe he got dehydrated because he was vomitting. I don't think so; he's not a puker, he drinks water, he eats wet food, I found no vomit and he was inside for 12+ hours before he was sick. The other theory is trauma - maybe someone kicked him while he was out. I don't think so. He's a scaredy-cat; he runs the other way when any other human besides me approaches. Plus I don't think that explains the fever and doesn't explain getting better so fast.

Now something else: I found a small puncture wound on his back that was abcessed. Somebody shooting at him with a pellet gun? Sigh.
post #17 of 22
Denise described the test.

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. 1/4 tab of it 2x a day (ASK YOUR VET AS I AM NOT ALLOWED TO RECOMMEND MEDS HERE) 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 #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, though we've come up with a working theory: I saw Rocket licking at the garage floor and it sprang into my mind: road salt? For those who don't have the privilege and opportunity to live through a northern winter, street departments try to melt ice and snow on the roads with road salt, which is usually a combination of sodium chloride and calcium chloride. Around here I think it's mostly if not all calcium chloride as it leaves a white residue. Anyway, cars pick it up, then it melts off it your garage. Lovely. So I called my vet, she looked it up, and said it was a possibility. Though she thought most likely it would cause him to vomit. And how about a fever? Still doesn't fit, so there's no firm answer. Time will tell. If it's pancreatitis, it'll probably flare up again. Then we'll do the specific test for it.
post #19 of 22
Sending prayers and vibes that whatever it is, it stays away & Rocket is completely healed
If only kitties could talk
post #20 of 22
I feel your pain, I've been working with Luxor to figure out what made him REALLY sick that other time. I'm leaning towards Toxoplasmosis and not Pancreatitis
post #21 of 22
Originally posted by coaster
And how about a fever? Still doesn't fit, so there's no firm answer.
Yes, the fever......that's still a mystery.....

I found something in an article earlier today, wonder what you think of it. Under Home Care there is this

For mild fevers, less than 104.5F, monitoring your pet at home may result in spontaneous recovery.
When you read on, what you'll find in the next paragraph will make you feel better about this whole frustrating experience because you'll know you did the right thing for your baby.

In addition, lack of appetite or lethargy should prompt an examination and treatment by your veterinarian.
And you did just that, you took him to the vet right away.

Link to the article

I'm truly sorry you don't have any clear answers. Sending prayers for a lasting recovery.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Knowing now that it was the fluids that got him on the mend, if this happens again, the first thing I'll do is try to force him to take some water, by oral syringe if necessary. I think I'm going to get a pet thermometer, too. I could tell he had a fever by the glassy look in his eyes, but without knowing how high it is, I could be taking too much of a risk.
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