Pancreas plays a huge role in food digestion and regulation of blood sugar. The pancreas is divided into two sections based on its function.
- Exocrine pancreas which is larger and secretes digestive enzymes that are involved in the breakdown of proteins and fats in the food.
- The endocrine pancreas is smaller in size and secretes hormones that regulate the blood sugar
If there is an inflammation in the pancreas, it disturbs the release of digestive enzymes. The digestive organs start digesting the tissues surrounding the pancreas and cause huge inflammation. Feline pancreatitis can be of two types:
- Acute pancreatitis: sudden and abrupt illness such as loss of appetite and fever. This is not so common in cats
- Chronic pancreatitis:
Symptoms appear slowly and include poor appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Some cats may show signs like vomiting and abdominal pain which are characteristic symptoms of the disease. It is usually associated with concurrent inflammation of the pancreas, liver, and small intestine. It is influenced by infectious, autoimmune, and physical components. Diagnosis is based on the blood work, specific blood tests, and abdominal ultrasound examination. Treatment includes intravenous fluids, analgesics, supportive care, and treatment of underlying causes that may include intestinal lymphoma and inflammatory bowel disease.