Feline exocrine pancreatic disorders: Insufficiency, neoplasia, and uncommon conditions Academic Article uri icon


  • Various conditions are now known to affect the exocrine pancreas in cats. Although some are less common than others, studies have confirmed that these disorders occur more frequently than initially believed. The pathogenesis, clinical picture, diagnosis, and therapeutic management are presented for the disorders discussed. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a syndrome that is caused by insufficient synthesis of pancreatic digestive enzymes and insufficient delivery of the enzymes into the lumen of the small intestine. Common clinical signs include weight loss, loose and voluminous stools, steatorrhea, and greasy soiling of the haircoat. Most cats with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency also nave severely decreased serum cobalamin concentrations. Because exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is associated with irreversible loss of pancreatic acinar tissue in most cases, complete recovery is impossible. Patients that are managed and monitored appropriately, however, usually gain weight quickly, pass normal stools, and live normally for an average life span. Other pancreatic disorders include adenocarcinoma, which is the most common neoplastic condition of the exocrine pancreas in cats. In most cases, the tumor metastasizes before diagnosis. Less commonly recognized conditions in cats also are briefly discussed, including nodular hyperplasia, pancreatic bladder, pancreatic parasites, pancreatic pseudocyst, and pancreatic abscess.

published proceedings

  • Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian

author list (cited authors)

  • Steiner, J. M., & Williams, D. A.

complete list of authors

  • Steiner, JM||Williams, DA

publication date

  • July 1997