Tom is a 14 year old cat who was in our hospital recently. He had been off-colour, inappetant (very unusual for Tom) and reluctant to move around. Clinical examination is difficult with Tom as he is not too fond of vets. He was, however, lethargic, dehydrated and painful in his adbomen.
If there are no other obvious signs on clinical examination, further testing would be required in order to determine the problem. Blood and urine samples were taken from Tom for testing. The results revealed that Tom had a disease called pancreatitis. A very specific blood test called feline pancreatic lipase is the only way to accurately diagnose this disease.
In cats with pancreatitis we can see very variable signs, lethargy, poor appetite and dehydration are common, we may or may not have a high or low body temperature, yellow gums and eyes (jaundice) are sometimes seen as are vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea. It can occur as a one off condition, or it may be a recurring one.
Treatment is aimed at supportive care, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, vitamin supplements, pain relief and a low fat diet. So far Tom is doing well and he is back home. His owners are continuing to look after him at home and we will be keeping a close eye on him.