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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to start off by making this as short (yet detailed) as possible. I few weeks ago, my 1 1/2 year old female cat Monkey started throwing up foam (Just about once a day) We figured since it's shedding season here, she had a hairball. She was eating, but not a lot, more like picking or grazing.. we tried tempting her with tuna and ham pieces, she would eat only a little of that. She was drinking water regularly, but we also noticed she was lethargic and not interested in playing. We took her to the vet. Jaundice was the first thing they noticed. She spent 5 days there. She was given a broad spectrum antibiotic and put on fluid therapy, 100cc sub-q twice peer day. They ran 2 blood tests, bot indicating high liver levels, they also sent off a GI panel. By saturday we were able to take her home, providing we gave sub-q fluids ourselves, once daily antibiotic (Orbex) and a dose of 10mg pepcid ac. On Monday, we took her to a specialist that our vet recommended who did an ultrasound. Her liver was slightly enlarged, but nothing else was noticeable. We were given a call today regarding her GI panel which finally came back. They said her pancreatic levels were high: 14.6. They want to put her on prednisone. As of today, she is acting normal, outside of having a bit less energy (Probably from feeling so sick this last 2 weeks) eating, drinking, playing a little here and there, and loving up on her 'boyfriend' Romy, my 12 year old tuxedo cat. I guess what I'm asking is, has anyone else experienced this with their cat and for how long did you use the prednisone? What diet restrictions etc should we consider? I have a list of questions for my boyfriend to ask our vet tomorrow when he picks up the prescription (As I work very full time) But sometimes they kind of rush you out and don't fully address all of your concerns fully. (Let me clarify, I LOVE my vet and everything they have done to get our little girl healthy, and I UNDERSTAND they are a busy clinic, but I want to do the very best to make her feel the best she can) Also, in a little over 2 weeks, we are going away for 5 days, under normal circumstances we would have a friend look in, top off food and water, and scoop the boxes and go, I'm concerned we will have no one to give the pill(s) to the girl cat as she is extremely hard to work with, especially if you are a stranger. Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Pancreatitis can be pretty complicated, has varying degrees of severity, and may be acute or chronic, so there's probably not a lot we can tell you. The length of time she'll need the pred will depend on the severity of the inflammation...it does sound like she's had a pretty severe attack. Whether this is a chronic situation will only reveal itself in time. There's a link below for a good article on pancreatitis, it recommends a low residue diet...the ideal low residue diet is raw.

Pancreatitis

Regarding your trip....I suspect she will still be on the pred. Two reasons...as I said, her situation seems pretty severe and you don't just stop pred cold turkey...it's a weaning process (if the original dose is daily, then you go to every other day, then every 3rd day etc.). Pred can be compounded into a flavored liquid that can be mixed with wet food. Which would be pretty easy for your friend...assuming she'll eat it. If not and she has to be pilled you have two choices...a professional pet sitter (many times vet techs have a pet sitting business on the side and they know how to pill) or boarding (which I don't recommend, especially for a cat that's under the weather to begin with).

Hope she's feeling better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Believe me, I have a list a mile long that I'm sending my boyfriend to the vets with tomorrow.

It's funny, right before this health issue came up, I was coerced by a nutritional specialist with Nutro Max foods to switch to their brand of dry food. We did the slow switch and weaned them from Purina One to their Naturals brand, a whopping 36.99 for a 16 lb bag. Now, I'm reading so much about the canned vs kibble debate, and it really all makes sense...

Now, when we brought Monkey home from the vet, I asked about diets, and I was told that because she hadn't been eating, offer her the stinky stuff, the cheaper the better he said. Something about flavor enhancers. She loves her hard nutro kibble, and the friskies tuna and egg soft... we bought her a smorgasbord of soft foods the day we took her home.. Ranging from Friskies to the Nutro naturals kitten canned food... she loves the friskies, but literally turned her little nose up at the nutro, 30 secs later, we offered the friskies and she dove right in.... I want to go canned, I need to do it right, so I guess I'll do more searching in the sticky post about food, going to try innova next. A funny thing is, the info on the cans I just fed her are as follows:

Friskies Tuna and Egg in sauce (5.5oz can about 50cents ea)
crude protein : 12%
Crude fat: 3%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%



Nutro Natural Choice Chicken and Rice Formula (5.5oz can about 99cents ea)
crude protein: 9%
crude fat: 5%
crude fiber: 2%
Moisture: 77%


Going to do more research on foods in a sec, but thought the comparison was interesting. I would love to do a raw diet, but to be perfectly honest, I need to do way more research on it before I jump in with both feet on that.
 

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I have absolutely no respect for Nutro...their recall record is abysmal, there are tons of anecdotal reports about their foods making pets sick and my general advise is to avoid them completely.

Wet food is a better choice than dry for a low residue food....and a better choice for many other reasons including lower carbs and more moisture. But...there's more to a good wet food than the analysis panel. Even though Friskies shows a higher protein content, your have to consider the source of the protein and how well the cat is able to utilize it. For example the Friskies includes meat by-products...shoe leather would qualify as a meat by-product. How much nutrition can a cat get from that? So even though Nutro has a lower protein content, it is likely to be more useable protein.

Fancy Feast is the crack of the feline world, they actually have some decent choices without wheat gluten or by-products and would make a good short term choice if you need to entice her. Long term...the Innova you mentioned is good as are Wellness, EVO, Merrick, Weruva, Instinct, Holistic Select to start.
 

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I don't have much to add other than that I hope your feline feels better soon and I'm surprised they give Prednisone to cats! I was on it for two weeks and it made me horribly sick, so I sincerely hope cats have better reactions to it than humans. .
 

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Cats don't respond to pred quite as badly as many humans, although avoiding long term use is advisable. The problem for cats is that there aren't many anti-inflammatories that they can tolerate, so pred is the least of the evils.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll definitely look into those higher quality wet foods you mentioned doodlebug. My boyfriend picked up the medication today, and talked to the vet, who said that until they finish treating the pancreatitis with the pred and do blood work 14 days from now, to just focus on keeping her eating. So basically, they were mute on any special diet that we should have her on for the time being.

I'm planning on putting the whole pack of 4 on probiotics when she's got the green light on her health. I didn't get an answer about how long we should keep giving her pepcid ac, so I suppose I need to try and call them tomorrow when I have a spare minute. ( I need to work less ) I'm going to pray I won't get put on hold or told to wait for a call back (Which seldom ever happens unless it's important)

From what was told to the bf today was that they don't think she has IBD which is good, so just pancreatitis. Even if she did have IBD, looks like the pred is a treatment for that as well along with good diet, which I'm working on now.

This weekend I plan on picking up a rainbow of soft foods by different higher end brands, and see which one she likes best. With soft food, is it important to transition as you would with kibble? Mixing 2 cans gradually until you end up giving the 'new' brand?
 

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With soft food, is it important to transition as you would with kibble? Mixing 2 cans gradually until you end up giving the 'new' brand?
No...with wet food, you can just switch brands/flavors from meal to meal, although I wouldn't put too many brands in the rotation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh good, that makes life much simpler. It's so nice to finally be able to breathe easy knowing she's gotten so much better, here's to her continued recovery. :party
 
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