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pancreatitis in cat plus platelet question

Posted by anne_marie_alb (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 2, 09 at 19:24

Our calico cat, Peachy, 13 year old (+ a few months), stopped eating quite suddenly the Sunday before Thanksgiving. She was also very lethargic and pretty 'off' in all respects. No fever, no vomiting, though. Fortunately, she never stopped drinking, and she still accepted a tiny bit of (cooked) chicken and a few kibbles now and then. Oddly enough she was scheduled for her annual bloodwork the Wedn. before Thanksgiving (pure coincidence), so we waited until her regular appointment. Our vet (whom we changed to last April), had a strong feeling it might be pancreatitis--Peachy was pretty 'sensitive' in that area, and the X-ray showed some slight inflammation of the small intestine, and something with the pancreas--I can't remember the exact words of the vet. She ran the regular bloodwork plus the pancreatitis one, but bec. of holidays, she would not get them back before Monday. She prescribed some pain pills (Tramadol) to use if needed. We did not administer.. Thought we would try to wait for the blood results.

Anyway, our cat started eating again the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Maybe the tiny bit of ice cream we gave her made the trick.. LOL!
Tests came back: pancreatitis likely (fPL 4.4) BUT what really alarmed us (and the vet) was her platelet count.. all the way down to ... 20!!!!! (normal range 170-600). Her monocytes count was also extremely high: 17% (normal range: 1-4). She ran a new test yesterday. Results today: platelet count back up to 168 (adequate considering the nature of platelets). Vet will test our cat again for pancreatitis values next week.
Anyway.. finally my questions:
1. What could cause platelet count to go down so much and to go back up so quickly? (a week apart). Any relation to pancreatitis?
2. What could cause pancreatitis to appear so suddenly and "resolve" so quickly (hopefully)??
Vet was nicely surprised.. her answer... cats are just amazing!!! I agree, but I would like to understand so I can prevent (if possible) a repeat.

Yes, Peachy, although not 100% herself, is feeling much better.
Sorry for the long post. By the way, all normal values in the CBC. Just lots of OFF values in the hematology reports.
Thanks for any input,

Anne-Marie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: pancreatitis in cat plus platelet question

Most likely the cause for the odd differential values (platelets and monocytes) was lab error. Cats, especially sick cats, clump platelets like crazy and if you run the sample through a hematology analyzer you can get some odd results. We always check a blood smear and do a platelet estimate if we get abnormals like that- also to look for blood-born parasites. I suspect the monocyte count was a similar problem. Most send out veterinary labs will also verify any abnormals by a blood smear. If the blood was at all clotted when analyzed (by machine or by hand) then the platelet count will also be decreased. OTOH, she could have had some sort of thrombocytopenia that resolved quickly- it only takes a couple of days to regenerate platelets.

It is suspected that cats suffer more from chronic pancreatitis which causes waxing and waning symptoms. It apparently isn't always as acute as with dogs. But I've certainly seen some very sick cats with chronic pancreatitis!

Glad your Peachy is feeling better and I hope she continues to recover completely.


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RE: pancreatitis in cat plus platelet question

Thank you so much Meghane for shedding some extra light on this platelet question. I had hoped you would still be 'around'--I haven't been much on the forum in the last few months.
Now I just have to keep reading about what causes pancreatitis in an otherwise, (at least seemingly) healthy cat, and how it can flare up.
Vet suspects: 1. 'stress', and, unfortunately, she has had plenty of that with our 2 additions from 18 months ago that she has not accepted...
2. change of diet-- from Science Diet (dry) to Evo (dry)-- a very, very slow change (over 4 months). Interestingly enough, Peachy has spontaneously returned to Sc. Diet!!!!
Thanks again,
Anne-Marie


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RE: pancreatitis in cat plus platelet question

So sorry to hear about Peaches...but, happy to hear that she has improved.

Keep an eye on it, though. My 15 year old Siamese has Diabetes and newly diagnosed Pancreatitis. It is really scary. It comes and goes and he gets sick so quickly. I'm still trying to learn everything I can about Pancreatitis and treatment.

Right now, we're hoping that the diabetes will subside once (if...) the pancreatitis is controlled. He's on Pred, B12, Metronodazole and injectable antibiotic twice a month.

The Metronodazole is the worst to administer due to the drooling and my cat acting like I'm torturing him. I use a liquid tuna formula, but it's still difficult. I have one chance before he runs away from me and hides. Ugh!


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