DIAGNOSIS OF A SICK FELINE
Sophie is a 7 year old female spayed feline who came to visit Sharp Animal Hospital because she was showing signs of weight loss, yet she had an increased ravenous appetite. The owner mentioned that she was even sneaking up onto the counter tops to steal food and she was very needy and clingy. Due to the clinical symptoms Sophie was having, Dr. Malarney recommended blood work and urine testing to be sent out to the lab for analysis to investigate for possible thyroid, kidney, liver, pancreatic or neoplastic disease.
When the results came back, thyroid values were normal, so hyperthyroidism was ruled out. However, the chemistry panel did show high normal kidney values, but not to the level that would normally cause the amount of weight loss that was being seen with Sophie. One pancreatic value called amylase was found to be moderately elevated while another pancreatic value called lipase was normal. Since the clinical symptoms and testing results did not fit well with any one condition, further testing was advised. These included abdominal radiographs, an in-depth pancreatic profile, and possible referral for abdominal ultrasound.
The owners agreed to do the in depth pancreatic testing. The results showed that the PLI was normal. This meant Sophie was not suffering from chronic pancreatitis. Other testing showed cobalamin (vitamin B12) was extremely low and folate was normal. The TLI results, which were very low, indicated that Sophie was suffering from a condition known as (EPI) Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. EPI is a condition where the pancreas is not making proper pancreatic digestive enzymes and can lead to chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.
The treatment for this condition involves lifelong supplementation with pancreatic enzymes. We are using a product called Pancreazyme for Sophie. We are also giving B12 injections due to the low cobalamin.
The owner’s currently have Sophie on these treatments and we will be monitoring her response to therapy with recheck blood work in 8 weeks.