What are the causes of pancreatitis in cats?

Pancreatitis in cats occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. It can manifest as either acute (sudden and short-term) or chronic (ongoing) pancreatitis. The pancreas serves two critical functions: producing metabolic hormones (insulin and glucagon) that regulate blood sugar, and generating digestive enzymes to break down food. However, when these enzymes activate prematurely within the pancreas, it leads to symptoms and self-digestion of the organ¹³.

The exact cause of feline pancreatitis remains elusive. While it was once considered rare, recent studies show it’s more common than initially thought. Potential triggers include viral or parasite infections (such as toxoplasmosis), injuries, and certain medications. However, these factors are often only minor contributors. Pancreatitis can also occur alongside liver or gallbladder disease without a clear reason¹⁴. Veterinarians suspect physical injury, infections, parasites, and adverse drug reactions as potential culprits². In severe cases, pancreatitis can lead to shock and sudden death. Recognizing symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, yellow eyes, and belly pain is crucial for early diagnosis and effective management¹. 🐾

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(1) Feline Pancreatitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment – WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/pets/cats/pancreatitis-in-cats.
(2) Feline Pancreatitis: What You Need to Know – Hill’s Pet Nutrition. https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/healthcare/pancreatitis-in-cats-symptoms-treatment.
(3) Pancreatitis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment. https://cats.com/pancreatitis-in-cats.
(4) Pancreatitis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention. https://www.dailypaws.com/cats-kittens/health-care/cat-conditions/pancreatitis-in-cats.
(5) Pancreatitis in Cats: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Hill’s Pet. https://www.hillspet.co.uk/cat-care/healthcare/pancreatitis-in-cats-symptoms-treatment.

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