What is feline pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It can be acute or develop over time. When digestive enzymes become activated within the pancreas, they start digesting the glandular tissue resulting in pancreatitis. Symptoms vary greatly and range from digestive upset to severe pain. Chronic pancreatitis is more difficult to recognise and symptoms may come and go.
Along with the correct lifestyle choices, home remedies for cats can bring relief from pancreatitis. In addition, there are things you can do to allow your cat’s pancreas to heal on its own. As digestive enzymes are produced whenever the stomach receives food, put your cat on a fast for 2 days. For natural pain relief during that period, give four dropperfuls of a chamomile and catnip tisane six times a day.
Home remedies for cats with pancreatitis can be used on their own or alongside conventional treatment. Certain herbs and homoeopathic ingredients are an excellent tonic for the pancreas.
For example, milk thistle is such a herb. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and helps to remove toxins at a cellular level. Burdock can be taken to assist in the treatment of chronic pancreatistis. It has antibiotic properties and works as a blood purifier.
Homoeopathic tissue salts like nat phos are also recommended as it helps to break down and assimilate fats whereas nat sulph helps to detox the liver and promotes pancreatic health.
There are a number of ready-made herbal remedies available to treat your cat. PetAlive offers Pancreas Booster, a herbal formula that contains bromelain (a mixture of enzymes found in pineapples), sweet fennel, goat’s rue, gymnema (a herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India where it has been used as a natural treatment for diabetes) and papain (an enzyme present in papaya).
The remedy promotes digestive functioning and supports the balance of digestive enzymes during digestion. Bromelain is a mixture of protein-digesting enzymes. Papain is an enzyme that breaks down tough meat fibres. Gymnema, goat’s rue and fennel promote healthy levels of sugar in the blood.
Pancreas Booster may be used alone, or in conjunction with conventional medication. In comes in capsule form and is easily administered. Capsules may be given whole or mixed with food or a treat. Give 1/2 capsule twice daily.
If you prefer to make your own herbal remedies, there are a number of options. Prepare a tisane of calamus roots (soaked in cold water for 8 hours) and give three dropperfuls per day. Also make a thin gruel of honey, slippery elm and half a teaspoon of Swedish bitters and give three dropperfuls morning, noon and evening.
Alternatively, administer a tisane of stinging nettle, marigold, yarrow, catnip, elder, mint 10 times a day, ideally three dropperfuls each time. In addition, bathe the pancreatic region with a very warm St John’s wort tisane mixed with a few drops of St John’s wort essential oil once a day.
Pancreatistis is an agonising condition and you have to be meticulous and devoted in administering herbal remedies for your cat to recover.
To keep the condition under control, healthy eating is vital. Feed your cat a low fat, high fibre diet, rich in complex carbohydrates. This slows the digestive process and helps to stabilise blood sugar levels. Avoid commercial cat foods which may contain high amounts of sugar and preservatives. Avoid high fat meals as they can raise fat levels in the blood. If your cat is overweight, losing weight is an essential part of the treatment.
Exercise is also important to keep your cat’s blood sugar levels under control. Keep the activity level the same each day. Stress can be a contributing factor to pancreatitis, so avoid any stress situations for your cat.
Limit environmental toxins as much as possible to avoid the build-up of toxins in your cat’s body from household chemicals, medication including antibiotics and pesticides. If your cat needs to take conventional medication, consider a detox.