Our cat is recovering from a bout of pancreatitis (Feline SAA maxed at 21 or so) and this week when my wife took him to the vet for a fluid top-up (vet recommends daily injection of three large syringes of some liquid or other for dehydration) the vet said there's been a lot of it about this year, which she blamed on the number of strong typhoons that hit here (Japan) this summer.

We've had strong winds and quite heavy rain, but my town is a good 40 km away from the sea and has had no significant flooding, so it sounded like nonsense to me! Is there any connection between pancreatitis and the weather?

  • 1
    I wonder if stress would do it. That's a very mundane explaination
    – Journeyman Geek
    Nov 1, 2018 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


Dehydration in cats is a significant health issue. We have several posts about it

While I am not an expert a quick google search indicates that dehydration & pancreatitis are often related.

Recent reports have documented the potentially catastrophic consequences of dehydration induced by vigorous exercise in otherwise healthy individuals. A case of acute pancreatitis secondary to exercise-induced dehydration is presented, and the literature of dehydration-induced syndromes, both research and clinical, is reviewed. The goal of this case report is to heighten awareness of dehydration as a potential cause of acute pancreatitis. Source


Scientists are not entirely sure what exactly causes pancreatitis in animals, so there is a lot of debate. One possible reason is that pets have access to food waste when the winds blow open some garbage containers or knock them over.

Dietary indiscretion, such as eating rancid fatty scraps from the garbage, can also lead to pancreatitis, particularly when a dog accustomed to a low- or normal-fat diet ingests high-fat foods. That’s why canine pancreatitis incidents are thought to increase after Thanksgiving, when people may feed their dogs a meal of turkey skin and drippings.

Source: Whole Dog Journal: Dog Pancreatitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

The same article hints at another possible cause: Typhoons usually bring heavy rain that can wash out toxins and other harmful substances that aren't usually encountered in such high concentrations. We humans put on waterproof boots, but our pets soak their fur in this water and later lick it to clean themselves.

Toxins, particularly organophosphates (insecticides used in some flea control products), as well as scorpion stings and toxic levels of zinc, may also lead to canine pancreatitis.

PetMD makes a clear statement that pancreatitis in cats is not related to their diet, but again we find insecticides as possible causes:

There are several possible causes of inflammation to the pancreas. Some of them are:
- Exposure to organophosphate insecticides

Unlike with dogs, inflammation of the pancreas is not related to nutritional factors in cats. In many cases, no underlying cause for pancreatitis can be determined.

  • 1
    I should have mentioned my cat is 100% inside cat, but he's 13 years old, so he individually flaring up would not be a surprise, as I understand it, but perhaps around my area there are a lot of outdoor pets which could explain the overall increase the vet was seeing?
    – Ken Y-N
    Nov 2, 2018 at 0:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.