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Ltryptophan's avatar

What is the right treatment for a cat with pancreatitis?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9102 points ) April 20th, 2012

Four year old cat. Won’t eat, drinks minimally. Sluggish. Veterinary bill exceeds viable human budget, with no guarantees.

Good vitals. Some “hepatic” yellowing? Is that the right word?

Outlook bleak. Professional advice so far is to euthanize. :(

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22 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Euthanize. That is the right treatment. Your cat is suffering needlessly.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I have been in your shoes. {{{ @Ltryptophan }}}

I would go with the professional that has seen the cat over any advice from people that can just guess.

Wish I had better news for you, but sometimes being a responsible pet owner means we have to make difficult decisions.

jrpowell's avatar

I think you have your answer. You just need to accept it. I have been there and had to put down a cat and it is hard and it sucks. But it is probably best for the cat.

bewailknot's avatar

The professional advice is probably right. Humans with pancreatitis are very uncomfortable, so I imagine the cat is too. But – my dad had pancreatitis and the thought of euthanasia for it makes me sad.

lillycoyote's avatar

I am so, so very sorry, my dear friend, @Ltryptophan. You could get a second opinion on your cat’s medical condition, and just for your own peace of mind, and if you can afford it, you might want to go ahead and do that, just so you know that you did everything within your power and financial ability to help her.

I am usually the last one to vote for putting an animal down. If there was anyway around this I would push for it, but if you cannot afford the medical care to treat her, and the outlook is bleak even then… and not knowing the extent or details, your cat, at the very least, probably needs some pretty significant pain management, even if you did want to care for her at home, until she died, if you wanted to provide some kind of “kitty hospice” situation for her. She might need intravenous opioids even, just to see her through, until she died. You aren’t going to be able to do that for her. I wish there was another way, but I think your only option is to have her put down. I am so very, very sorry sweetie. :-( I just think it’s the only choice you have. Your cat is dying and is in pain most likely.

I have been referring to your cat as a “her.” My apologies if that is wrong, you didn’t specify.

Coloma's avatar

Awww, I’m sorry, but yes, it sounds like it’s time to say goodbye if you are unable to seek treatment. You must put him/her down ASAP, like first thing in the morning. As @lillycoyote he is in pain and dying, please do not let him suffer needlessly. I lost my 15 month old cat to F.I.P. last June after only having him 8 months and never having the F.I.P. experience before.

It was heartbreaking and I was able to spend almost a thousand dollars on him to no avail. Sad but please don’t let him waste away in pain. Better a little early than a little too late. :-(

Ltryptophan's avatar

It’s not my cat per se. It is our cat, and she’s still getting around a little bit. She still wants to go outside, and see the nice weather. It’s a sad thing. truly. but such is life.

We are trying to give her that hospice care. She’s not giving us any reason to think she’s in pain, or that her health has faded to THAT point yet. Our other cat is also upset about it. We know what must be done, soon.

Thanks for the supportive answers! :)

She’s a good cat.

Coloma's avatar

@Ltryptophan It sucks, but you said she is not eating, that’s the rub.
I did hospice care on my kitty for a month, syringing medications and fluids and bits of food into him. But, when they are not eating more than a bite or two a day they are becoming more and more toxic in other ways. I did the same thing, sat outside with him and we enjoyed the world, but yes, you gotta do whats right for her.

I clung to false hope for the first fre weeks, researched everything I could on the disease but, it was/is an incurable condition. Best to you.

Jenniehowell's avatar

pancreatitis in felines is pretty painful from what I understand & comes with varying degrees of vomiting and diarrhea. Some docs recommend feeding tubes and all sorts of stuff ranging from liquid diets to insulin treatments and a lot more. All of the things they recommend are going to come with a cost and if I were a cat I wouldn’t want to go through any of them. In the end, the choice is best made in consideration of the best life that can be given to the cat & if a good life can’t be given then it may be time to let the cat go.

Bellatrix's avatar

It is so hard to let our furry friends go. We love them. I would trust your vet though. They love animals too and are very unlikely to suggest euthanising an animal unless they really felt that was the best option.

I understand the desire to do anything to keep your pet with you. I know I made decisions in the past that turned out to be in my interest and not my pets. I regret the decision now because with hindsight, I delayed letting my much loved pet go and I think he suffered more than he needed to.

I am sorry you are going through this but I am also sure you will do the right thing.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Ltryptophan, I know it is very difficult to know what to do in a situation where so much emotion, love and a life is involved. Do you have any vet schools in your area you could contact for advise or even discounted or free treatments? Such is life, but take comfort in the good life you have all given her and the smiles she’s given you back. It isn’t your fault she’s ill nor your fault is she doesn’t get better. Just do the best you can and love each other through this tough time. <3

Lisajj43's avatar

My 4 year old cat stopped eating 8 days ago, became very lathargic and looked so sad. He had a third eyelid coming across his eyes and so saw the vet straight away. At first they did an antibiotic jab and a painkiller one but he didnt improve. He ate a teaspoon of tuna approx in 24 hrs and hardly drank, just sat/lay around. 48 hrs later and another antibiotic jab he just seemes worse. Anyway hes not eaten since saturday morning, monday eve now and after a 3rd visit the vet is taking him in tomorrow for bloods. 2 visits have cost me £110 and the blood test another £48. If its pancreatits she said he will need 2–3 days in on a drip and it can get expensive very quickly but I explained our circumstances and she said they could possibly do a payment plan. I dont have a bottomless pit of money, we are a low income family. Im hoping that he doesnt have relapses as this will mean more pain, sadness and expense. I want him to live a normal, happy cat life, chasing his one year old sister like he used to…he looks so sad…..fingers crossed the bloods come back with nothing too bad and he get get better asap. I know if he will spend his life suffering then it would be best for him to be put to sleep…my one yr old is healthy and so is my older cat who is nearly 18!

Coloma's avatar

@Lisajj43 Not to be the bearer of potential bad news but, he might have F.I.P. Feline infectious peritonitis.
Is he running a fever? Loss of appetite, weight loss, rough coat and mysterious fever that does not respond to antibiotic treatment?
These are textbook FIP symptoms.

I lost a 15 month old cat to the dry form of FIP last June after having him for 8 months. He went from healthy to off his food, lethargic and wasting away to death in 4 weeks. A terrible experience and one I never had in 30 years of cat ownership. I understand your financial limitations and I spent $800 in 2 weeks on ultra sounds, xrays, bloodwork, antibiotics and finally euthanasia, all for nothing, only to be told he was dying from FIP and he had about 2 weeks to live. :-(

The condition comes on suddenly and most cats last about a month. There is no cure and it is more common in younger cats under 3 years of age but can flare up at any age especially after bouts of stress. It is a mutation of the common Corona virus that usually does not cause issues with most cats but in a few it mutates into a disease that attacks the internal organs. There is a wet and dry form, the wet form includes bloating and fluid retention in the abdominal area and the dry form has no such manifestation but is still deadly.

Ask your vet about potential FIP.

Lisajj43's avatar

very bad news. Sox was due in the vets for bloods this morning but during the night he escaped through a locked catflap, something hes done in the past….its now almost 8.30pm and so hes been gone for approx 18 hrs——no sign….did he go off to die? was he peed off at catboxes, being poked and progged, wrapped in a towel and fed milk via syringe??? OMG i cant begin to explain how worried, sad and sick i feel, the kids are bearing up more than me. What if he went off for some peace, lay down and has just got weaker? hes not eaten since sat morn!!!! last night he got out and jumped on the shed roof, we got him down then he went to his dish and drank alittle by himself.This morn I maybe thought he had got better and gone out for fresh air…im so worried hes lay down somewhere and is getting so weak, i cant find him and then he dies before I do…but a slow, lonely death, i cant stop crying…..

Coloma's avatar

@Lisajj43 That’s really too bad. I hope you find him, but keep looking!
Don’t give up without looking for him actively!
Cats usually don’t go far, that’s a fact. Most of the time they are closer than you think and hiding.

I lost a new cat once for 2 days and he was behind my washing machine the whole time. Look everywhere around your house, in the garage, anywhere, I bet he is not too far away! :-(

Lisajj43's avatar

Other than the third eyelid, lathargic and no appetite for food or drink he just looked very sad. No temp, no upset tum, silky coat which he was malting…then smelly breath yesterday, vet said could be kidneys but often signs of gut problem. My 2 others, age 1 and 17 are well although the 1 yr old is pining, she played loads with him and often washed his head and ears this past week….
Weve looked everywhere, not in house or our garage/shed. Ive delivered notices in our street and the one behind us…put posters up….looking at his pik hurts so much. We rescued him at 5 wks, hes not very affectionate, a case of when he wants to be then hes had enough, watch out…..will not sleep tonight….imagining the worst, heart hurts….so sad :(

Lisajj43's avatar

over 24 hrs has now passed, we had some rain last night, temps dpwn to 13 degs…no rain pudles as such for him to have access to water. posted leaflets and piks of him thro neighbours doors. appeal on facebook and at vets, local store also….cried so much last night it hurt….his buddy Jenson slept alongside me all night, bet shes wondering where he is…

Lisajj43's avatar

omgggggggggggggggggggggg he came back an hour ago!!!! weve had so much rain, today has been a very emoitional day, a tough one. Husband heard howling and then Sox jumped on the fence (6ft high), wet and weak….Ive given milk vis syringe, stayed down and towel dried him, also a huge cuddle. Vets tomorrow for bloods,even if bad news, I know hes here and not dying under a bush somewhere. You cannot imagine how relieved I am!!

Coloma's avatar

@Lisajj43 Great news, but….nix the milk and get him some pedialyte to rehydrate him. Can you get him to a vet today? I think every hour is critical at this point.
Milk is not a good choice, hard to digest and causes diarrhea in cats.

It is critical to hydrate him before attempting any food. The vet can inject him with sub cue fluids that are the most effective and quick acting. Weakness, no food for days and dehydration is a very serious combination, please try to get him in today!

Lisajj43's avatar

Hes going in in an hour….no sickness or diarrhea. He was meant to go tuesday morn but escaped, this is 5th visit in 8 days….hes tried to escape all night again! Hes not happy, fingers crossed for good news…hes not eaten since last saturday :( He saw a vet sunday and monday as well as wed and fri last week.

Lisajj43's avatar

he passed away this morning…bloods showed kidney failure reading off the scale…wished maybe the vet had done them last week but I suppose him only being almost 4 she didnt suspect…so glad my gentle giant found his way home after escaping tuesday…safe now x

Coloma's avatar

@Lisajj43 Awww…bless his little kitty heart, well…you did your best and now he is at rest. So sorry. :-(

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