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Obesity Linked to Increased Risk for Pancreatitis in Cats, Reports a Cat Hospital

HENDERSON, Nev., June 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veterinarian Dr. Trish Auge of A Cat Hospital in Las Vegas is raising awareness about the causes of pancreatitis in cats, and the disease's link to fatty foods, being overweight, and a lack of exercise. The potentially lethal condition causes inflammation and dysfunction of the pancreas. Dr. Auge is urging cat owners to be more proactive in maintaining a healthy weight for cats, including restricting fatty food intake. Symptoms of pancreatitis include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, are lethargic or losing weight. Prompt treatment can save a cat's life.

Overweight and obese cats are at increased risk for pancreatitis, warns A Cat Hospital, a Las Vegas feline-only veterinary hospital. Veterinarian Dr. Trish Auge announced that the hospital has recently launched a new pancreatitis awareness campaign aimed at educating cat owners about the causes of feline pancreatitis and how simply dietary changes can help reduce the risk for this potentially fatal illness.

"Pancreatitis is an increasingly common disease affecting middle-aged to older cats who have an expanding wasitline," said Dr. Auge. "We most frequently see this disease in cats who are overweight or obese. These cats often have limited to no daily exercise and diets rich in fatty foods. While cats may enjoy the taste of these fatty foods, eating these foods is quite literally killing them. Unfortunately, pet owners often fail to realize just how dangerous this food intake can be until it is too late."

"The pancreas is an essential organ for digesting food and regulating insulin production," said Dr. Auge. "Any disease that affects how the pancreas operates can have serious and fatal complications. Pancreatitis in cats can be fatal without rapid and intensive treatment." Dr. Auge adds that "If there is an infection or inflammation, it can be very painful. The pain can come on suddenly and be very intense, or it can be a smoldering on and off condition."

Warning signs for pancreatitis include vomiting, excessive thirst and urination, and tenderness in the abdomen. "Luckily, there are tests that can detect pancreatitis, including the fPL test that can be done right in our office," said Dr. Auge.

"Since cats with pancreatitis experience tenderness and pain in their abdomens, they tend to hide or sit in a meatloaf position with a look of pain," said Dr. Auge. "I tell all cat owners that if their cats are not engaging in their usual interactions, something is wrong. While it can be tough to identify specific warning symptoms, if something seems off, contact a veterinarian immediately. In the case of pancreatitis, early intervention is critical to saving a cat's life."

With prompt treatment, Dr. Auge says that a cat can fully recover from pancreatitis.

A Cat Hospital in Las Vegas provides wellness care and urgent care exclusively for cats. For more information, visit http://www.acathospital.com.

CONTACT: A Cat Hospital, 702-454-4400Source: A Cat Hospital