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Teddy - cat taken to ER - pancreatitis diagnosed

RuthR

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We had to take our 14-year old Maine Coon cat to the ER on Friday, and he was diagnosed with pancreatitis (he also has hyperthyroid and heart disease). The vet there recommended Hill’s Science Diet i/d prescription diet (canned). My cat only gets raw chicken and beef, so I don’t know if he will eat it, but I don’t really want to give it to him anyway. I know he must be on a low fat diet, but I have no guidelines on what that is. I know I can’t give him the raw ground burger anymore. The organic ground chicken I use is 2.5 g total fat (4%) and the raw chicken hearts are 6 g total fat (9%) – is that okay to give to him? I was also giving him one sardine every three days, which is 3 g total fat ((4%) per can of four sardines, but they seem to be very greasy. I also give him SmallBatch freeze dried beef hearts for treats, which are 5.0 % crude fat (min.). He was also getting 3 pumps of VRS Omega Beneftis a day.

I am now putting Adored Beast Healthy Gut digestive enzymes on his food. He is still on medications from the ER (Maropitant for nausea and vomiting, Famotidine for antacid, Buprenorphine for pain; and I have Mirtazapine for lack of appetite, but I haven't had to give him any.

Please educate me on the best diet for him, so I don't irritate his pancreas again when he is off the medication.
 

Dr. Jeff

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Hey Ruth!

I'm super sorry about yet another health challenge for Teddy. :confused:
We had to take our 14-year old Maine Coon cat to the ER on Friday, and he was diagnosed with pancreatitis
Before I address your question, I wonder what was going on with him Thursday and Friday?

BTW-Dr. Forman's webinar about pancreatitis is a great overview of the conventional thinking about diet and the diagnosis of pancreatitis.
 

RuthR

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Thursday morning, I gave him breakfast and everything seemed normal, then I was away for the day. When I came home at 5:00, Mike said Teddy did not eat much for lunch. I could not get Teddy to eat his chicken for supper, even after I cooked it. He was very congested and stuffed up. At 7:00 p.m., I gave him his medicines in Critical Nutrition canned food and hand fed it to him, and he ate it. At 8:00 p.m., I heated some vegetable soup for myself, and he ate some of the beef that was in it, as well as the cooked chicken that he didn't want for supper. At 9:30 p.m., he was hungry and ate more of the CN canned food and some cooked chicken.

Friday morning, I couldn't get him to eat anything. His heart medicine and lasix are chicken flavored liquid, so we gave that to him with a syringe in his mouth, and I put his thyroid pill in a small amount of canned food and put it in his mouth. About 15 minutes later, he threw up a large amount of liquid. He was lying on the floor and kept moving to different places, and he looked like he was shivering. In the afternoon, I texted Dr. Stern, and she confirmed that we should take him to the ER, where we arrived around 3:15 p.m.
 

Dr. Jeff

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Thanks for the extra info. Ruth.

Please educate me on the best diet for him, so I don't irritate his pancreas again when he is off the medication.
Great question!

Conventionally, the low-fat diet is the "best".

However, diet is not the trigger (from Cornell).

the development of pancreatitis in cats, in over 95% of cases there is no obvious underlying cause. Because of this, there is no effective way for cat owners to prevent pancreatitis in their pets.

Feeing cooked animal fat is the only dietary change that may (IMHO) that may trigger pancreatitis in some (susceptible) animals.

Medications are a common triggers.

In people, alcohol and gallstones are most common.

An experienced and well-trained integrative vet homeopath should be helpful.
 

RuthR

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If that's the case, then I'm definitely better off feeding him his raw ground chicken and chicken hearts. Mike looked up the ingredients in the Hill's i/d food, and they re garbage and the fat content is 23%.

Thanks, Dr. Jeff.
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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Agreed, Ruth, wouldn't change his diet--that's just one more stress he doesn't need! (But if you can sneak in a little bit of antioxidant supplement like quercitin or curcumin, that might be helpful for the inflammation.)

Homeopathy is your best bet in this kind of situation.
 

Dr. Christina

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And definitely set up an appointment with a veterinarian trained in homeopathy or good Chinese Medicine. HolisticACtions.com/select will help you find one. Let us know if you are having trouble with that.
Dr. Christina
 

RuthR

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Thank you all for your replies. I have a few more questions:

Dr. Jean, do you have any specific recommendations for what brand or where to purchase quercetin or curcumin supplements from?

It seems like ground beef is still okay for him, so which is better: 96/4 ground beef (grain-fed, not organic, so probably has glyphosate in it) or 93/7 Thomas Farms grass-fed? Dr. Stern advised to gently cook his food until he is feeling better, so that is mostly what I have been doing.

Would this be a good time to start giving him Adored Beast Liver Tonic (https://adoredbeast.com/collections/liver-bladder/products/liver-tonic)? Per their website, "Liver Tonic supports the health of the liver by helping regenerate healthy liver cells and boosting the organ’s ability to filter toxins from the blood. It also helps support, detox, and repair liver, kidney, pancreas, and gallbladder function". The ingredients are Dandelion Root, Milk Thistle, Greater Celandine and Barberry.
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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I get most supplements from Vitacost, they carry a lot of the reputable brands: Solary, Thorne, Nature's Way, NOW, Jarrow, Solgar. Vitacost's own brand tends to be quite good. Amazon has them too, but there are a lot of counterfeits there so be sure you're looking at the brand's own Amazon store if you order there. Capsules will be easiest to manage.

For now I'd wait on the ground beef, it is pretty fatty, and there are so many contaminants in commercial ground beef, especially bacteria.

Again I'd wait on the Liver Tonic. Let's not overload him. One tiny thing at a time.
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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I think they're fine, and have the advantage of being appropriate amounts for cats, no futzing with a 500mg capsule! As with most things, start with just a teeny tiny bit, since we don't want the taste to turn him.
 

RuthR

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Thanks again, Dr. Jean, for sharing your cat expertise to help me take care of my baby. I really appreciate your time.
 

Dr. Jeff

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do you know anything about the quality of Dr. Andrew Jones' supplements?
Unfortunately, I don't know anything about them, Ruth.
 

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RuthR

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I wanted to share an update on Teddy and post his blood work results from his ER visit.

It turns out the ER visit may have been a blessing in disguise. Teddy gets some raw food with his pills and Chinese herbal powder hidden it it, but I am lightly cooking the rest of his food, and he has been doing really well. His respiratory symptoms are decreased and he has even been showing some interest in his dynamite toy.

I thought I was feeding him an optimal diet by giving him raw food, but for him, I believe a mostly cooked diet is optimal. I am very happy to be able to post a positive follow up to Teddy's story.
 

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Dr. Jeff

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Hey Ruth!

Thanks so much for the follow-up.
turns out the ER visit may have been a blessing in disguise
In what way?

I am very happy to be able to post a positive follow up to Teddy's story.
Excellent!! Please do share the positive follow-up.
 

RuthR

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I think the ER visit was a blessing in disguise because now I know that Teddy does best on a mostly cooked diet. He has been doing so much better overall. I can't even remember how long it's been since we had this many good days in a row. I think the cooked food is easier on his digestive tract, and since about 80% of the immune system is in the gut, his immune system is now also doing so much better.
 

Dr. Jeff

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his immune system is now also doing so much better.
Excellent! Yes, the cooked diet is better for some individuals.

As Dr. Christina has said, "There is no one right way"
 

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