Scared to death - suspected pancreatitis? Please help 😓

mirrorartist

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Hi everyone,

For the past week or so, my 4 year old Savannah cat Dexter has had a low appetite and seemed to be a bit constipated. He pooped this morning though thankfully. He has not gone off his food completely, but is eating about half of what he normally is, and has lost some weight. He is not vomiting at all, and doesn’t seem extremely lethargic, though he might be a little less active than normal. Biggest issue is that he is clearly disinterested in food, when normally, he has a big healthy appetite.

We took him to the vet this morning. The vet said he seems okay, other than the weight loss, and also the fact that his pancreas seems to be sore or “crampy” on palpation. They did a full bloodwork panel and a special additional test to see he has pancreatitis 😓 We are back home and he is napping currently, but overall today, he was alert, friendly, and played fetch with me. He did eat two small meals as well. Yesterday he did seem overall quieter and sleepy, but I wouldn’t say he looked terribly ill or excessively lethargic.

Needless to say, I am scared to death about the lab results and any diagnoses we may be given. I am trying to research pancreatitis to be prepared for the news and I am seeing some tragic stories, but still trying to hope for the best. We won’t know until tomorrow evening what the blood panel shows, so I wanted to come here for support in the meantime, or maybe to hear about your experiences with pancreatitis in cats. Trying to stay positive but I am completely terrified for my boy. He is the absolute love and light of my life. I treasure him like nothing else and am having a very difficult time with him being unwell. This is so hard.

Thank you for your time in reading this.
 

di and bob

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the not eating can skew the pancreatic and liver tests, so don't be overly alarmed if they come back elevated. Diets can work wonders, Make sure he is getting plenty of water, invest in a fountain, or set many small bowls of water around for him to 'discover' and hopefully drink. Dehydration can make blood tests look bad, can cause lethargy and constipation. There is really nothing you can do but pray until the tests come back, I will pray for him too...There are many people here whose cats have had pancreatitis, so I hope they can give you some answers. If no one answers for a while, just add one line and post that, it will bring your thread back up to the top. Since our people are all over the world, many answer at odd times, to us. Catching something like this early is one way to get to teh bottom of this and get him healing.
 
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mirrorartist

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Hi Di and Bob,
Thank you very much for replying and for the tip about adding a line to my post to bring it up the thread list. I will definitely do that. Interacting with other pet parents is helping me pass the time while we wait for his test results. He has eaten 3 small meals today and used his litterbox as normal. Still had to be somewhat coaxed into eating his food, but I am very grateful he hasn’t stopped eating completely. I will be watching him very closely tonight.
 

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I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.I keep Hartz Delectable Lickables in the stew handy for when my cats stop eating. I give all their meds in it too, they cry for it. It is the only thing they will even try when they relapse. They have Luekemia. Cats are strong, you'll see. My one little boy couldn't even stand, the vet said he had 'days'. 15 months later he is still here for me to love!
 
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mirrorartist

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I have an update, we got some of Dexter’s blood work results back. Thyroid function is all normal, but he has elevated liver enzymes 😭 He is scheduled for an ultrasound tomorrow at 10am. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight...
 

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Don't panic.... Elevated liver enzymes can be linked with reduced food intake. Thank goodness he had ate some. There are liver supplements on Amazon for cats, I'm sure your vet will help you to with diet plans and maybe medications. I always try not to worry until you know for sure what is going on, 99% of what we worry about never comes true!
 
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mirrorartist

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Thank you for the reassurance. I hope that we have some answers and a treatment plan tomorrow. Pancreatitis sounds very scary, but I will stay positive that it will be treatable. My sweet boy just had another snack, albeit a very small few mouthfuls of food, but at least there is something in his stomach. He is resting quietly now and I am monitoring him closely.
 
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mirrorartist

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15 months later he is still here for me to love!
I am sorry, I also meant to reply to this message and say that I am so happy he is still here with you. He is so lucky to have such a loving cat parent! I appreciate the the tip about the Hartz treats too. I might pick some up tomorrow if I can find it!
 

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I get mine online at Target and Amazon. Just make sure you get the stew, they don't like the bisque near as well. They are instore in the treat section for cats at Target, Walmart, and even Dollar General. They are gel-like with tiny shreds of meat. Good luck!
 

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My Oliver was diagnosed with it a couple of years ago and the symptoms that led to a visit to the vet were his runny poos and he would sometimes cry in pain at random moments when he wasn't having a poo. I suppose it can be constipation or runny as a symptom if we compare our experiences.
He was put on the below food and he's been fine ever since and he took to it straight away so it must taste ok. He can only have this and maybe 4 or 5 normal little cat treats every couple of days or his problem will return. He'll be 14 in February so he's doing ok (fingers crossed etc). Good luck with your Dexter.

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mirrorartist

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So glad Oliver is doing better. We are on our way to get Dexter an ultrasound. Hoping we have some answers so we can get him on the road to recovery 🙏🏻
 
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I have another Dexter update. The pancreatitis screening test came back normal, thankfully. He had his ultrasound this morning too, and the vet said his organs look good/normal with nothing sinister, with the exception of his gallbladder. She diagnosed him with cholangiohepatitis, which to my understanding, his gallbladder is not contracting tightly enough to squeeze out all of the bile. He has two medicines he has to take, and we will do another follow up in 2 weeks. The vet felt that he should get his appetite back up within a couple of days, and that he should recover and feel better soon. Fingers crossed that he responds well to the medications and we don’t encounter any chronic issues. We will be vigilant until he is completely out of the woods, and I will always be monitoring his behaviour for relapse, of course. He is alert and playful today, and had another meal this morning. I feel much better now that we have answers and a treatment for him underway. I love him so dearly.

Thanks di and bob for your thoughtful responses, it has been helpful to have your support while we are dealing with a medical scare. :redheartpump:
 
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mirrorartist

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Thanks so much for the help and kind wishes mightyboosh and di and bob. Dex is resting quietly and hopefully will be back to his old self soon!
 

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Oh, I'm so glad for you both. Please feel free to come here anytime, you may even be able to help someone else now! Every experience is valuable....
 

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Panceatitus is not the end of the world.

Greg was diagnosed with it about a year ago. Pictured on the right in avatar. He hardly ate for a few days. Two trips to the vet, a thousand dollars latter (worth every penny), about a week of syringe feeding him every couple of hours and medication and he bounced back. Weighs in at 22lbs, just a solid ball of muscle. Maybe that helped him thru it.

You are right pancreatitus is nasty.

Glad your Dexter is ok.
 
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mirrorartist

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Poor Greg!!! It sounds like a terrible illness but I am so glad to hear about Greg and many other kitties recovering from it! Always helps to read others’ experience with this. Dexter is doing better today, he ate two good sized meals so far and is up and about, watching the birds outside. He also normally weighs about 22lbs of muscle (he is a long and lean Savannah cat!) but is down a pound or so from his poor appetite. I hope he gets his weight and strength back soon.
 

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Poor Greg!!! It sounds like a terrible illness but I am so glad to hear about Greg and many other kitties recovering from it! Always helps to read others’ experience with this. Dexter is doing better today, he ate two good sized meals so far and is up and about, watching the birds outside. He also normally weighs about 22lbs of muscle (he is a long and lean Savannah cat!) but is down a pound or so from his poor appetite. I hope he gets his weight and strength back soon.
Show us a couple of pics we would love to see them. Savannah cats are rare.
 
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