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Defending Food Choice to Vet - Need Help.

Stacer
September 25th, 2007, 07:47 PM
Hey all, I haven't been around lately, I got a second job and have been working like a dog *slaps knee*.

Anyway, I just brought Angus and Finn in tonight for their yearly exam and vaccinations. They asked me what I was feeding them (Orijen) and then proceeded to question my reasoning for having them (specifically Angus) on it because last year Angus had a urinary infection/crystals. The vet wondered why I didn't still have him on the Hills c/d, and wanted to know when I took him off of it. I only had him go through 2 bags of it then I switched him to GO Natural because the nutritional analysis was very comparable to the c/d but had better ingredients. Then in the spring I switched them to Orijen, of course the vet hadn't heard of it. The only thing I could say was that I didn't like the ingredients in the Hills, which led to the vet asking which ingredients (corn, menadione, stool hardeners etc...). She seemed to think that Hills would still be better than what I've got him on now, to which I replied that I would wait until I see the signs of another infection before I put him on that stuff again. Also she said I should be careful of a high protein diet, because it can cause UTIs.

So I guess my question is, what can I tell her the next time I go in (Angus needs dental cleaning and she wants to do a urinalysis) to defend my choice to keep them on Orijen. If a high protein diet is biologically appropriate for cats, why does it cause UTIs in cats? Is Orijen the best thing for a cat that's had only one infection a year ago and no sign since? Is there something about the Orijen formulation specifically that would prevent the high protein from causing another infection? Any other suggestions?

Thanks guys. I hope I'll be around more in the future, gotta get my schedule under control.

gypsy_girl
September 25th, 2007, 07:59 PM
Here is an article for your vet

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15052

Perhaps your vet in thinking of high protein in non meat based?
The UA is always a good idea if you have a cat that is prone to struvite, as reoccurence is high.
You can also pick up urine PH sticks to ensure you are producing the correct acidity.

Good luck!

Stacer
September 25th, 2007, 08:08 PM
gypsy_girl, your link didn't go to an article. I'm not sure what it is:o

Winston
September 25th, 2007, 08:08 PM
Stacer, I had the same problem with my vet regarding my dog Winston...She said that because he is almost 8 years old having him on high protein diet could result in his liver not being able to process it..However I brought an ingrediant list with me and she really impressed..except she did recomend a blood test to confirm his liver was not affected..So I did the 26.00 test and she said it was fine..

With my female cat Tabitha...I am at a loss..I cannot seem to defend the Orijen food....Tabitha has be diagnosed with the beginning of renal failure and I had to immediately put her in Hills K/D...my problem is I cannot seem to figure out what I need to feed her?? I dont like the Hills food but I really am at a loss at what to look for ingrediants wise?? It is frustrating! so I feel like the vet has the upper hand??

Best of Luck
Cindy

want4rain
September 25th, 2007, 08:15 PM
Perhaps your vet in thinking of high protein in non meat based?

i would think that would be it. if a high protein diet always or even often gave your animals crystals, my cat would have them all the time. he had crystals because i fed too much calcium which bound him up, he stopped drinking water and then ended up with crystals. since lowering his calcium and the occasional pea or mandarin orange wedge, no more issues. this is on a raw MEAT ONLY diet. :D

i would ask your vet for proof that a high quality protein diet causing or encouraging crystals or another client/patient with the same situation having reoccurring crystal problem.

did you take a list of ingredients with you?

-ashley

mummummum
September 25th, 2007, 08:18 PM
gypsy_girl, your link didn't go to an article. I'm not sure what it is:o

Here you go:

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15052067

The only concern I might have (not that I could ever recommend Hills) is that you are feeding your cat a dry food. Are you wetting it well?

Stacer
September 25th, 2007, 08:28 PM
thanks mumX3. I printed it off and will have it in my hand the next time I go in. So basically once you get past all the jargon, it says that a high quality protein based diet will reduce the pH and prevent struvite crystals.

did you take a list of ingredients with you?

No, I didn't realize the the conversation would go in that direction since he hasn't had any urinary problems in the past year. When I bring him back in I will definitely have all the info I can muster. As well as ingredient/analysis comparisons between the Orijen and the Hills c/d.

Frenchy
September 25th, 2007, 08:55 PM
So I guess my question is, what can I tell her the next time I go in (Angus needs dental cleaning and she wants to do a urinalysis) to defend my choice to keep them on Orijen.

Frankly , you don't have to defend your choice , you don't have to get her blessing. My vet knows how I feel about pet food , so we just don't talk about it anymore :shrug:

mummummum
September 25th, 2007, 09:05 PM
More or less but not quite ~ the study indicates a high protein diet is more effective than ammonium chloride in acidifying urine.

While this is important in the formation of struvite crystals (and most cats with cystitis and crystal formation have struvites) ~ acidic urine can actually promote the reoccurence of other crystals. Were the crystals analyzed at the time Stacer of his last episode?

I think if you assure your Vet that your cat gets plenty of water to drink and you mix water in with his dry food, his kidney and UT health is not at risk with the amount of trace minerals in Orijen.

Stacer
September 25th, 2007, 10:30 PM
Yeah, he had a full analysis of everything and had an overnight and full day stay with the vet while they did all the tests, urinalysis, x rays etc.... He had small crystals starting to form and a really bad infection. But nothing since.

Frenchy you're right I shouldn't have to defend my choice, but they kinda make you feel like you're doing wrong by your pets. I would like to make the vet realize that just because they've never heard of the foods that I've had my cats eating doesn't mean that these foods are not top of the line nutritionally, which they are. I would love to convert a vet!!:D:laughing:

Love4himies
September 26th, 2007, 10:10 AM
I agree, you shouldn't defend your choice of food. Canned is best for cats to eliminate bladder infections and crystals. It is the urine PH levels that create the crystals. Too high, then one type of crystals/stones, too low, then another type of crystals/stones. High ph can be due to dehydration (which is why dry should not be fed to cats) and additives in their food to alter natural ph balance in cats to avoid crystals. Unless the cat is in renal failure, meat protein diet is best for controlling thier natural ph levels.

http://www.catinfo.org/

I don't understand why a vet would ever think grain based proteins are good for cats????? There are more and more studies being done on cats and their diet and how commercially based foods are killing our cats because of the grains/altered ph balances from their natural food, etc.

chico2
September 26th, 2007, 10:29 AM
I get the same thing every time I go,since I never know which one of the 3vets I'll get,I am continously defending my foodchoices and it's becoming a royal pain:yell:
My 3 neutered males,11,10 and 5 yrs old,have never had urinary problems(knock on wood...my head:D)but their main meals are canned,which I am a strong believer in.
My cats also have Orijen available 24/7.

Ford Girl
September 26th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Me too, my vet doesn't approve of my critters being on Orijen, especially Pubert who was on vet reccomended MediCal for 9 years, he was getting really sick, I did all I could do test wise, and nothing helped, then I switched him to Orijen, and now he throws up maybe 2 times a month instead of every day. BUT, it goes like this...we walk in the vets, they exams the critters, they make positive comments on how healthy they both look and feel, how nice their coats are, and how their weight is under control - both in the perfect range, then they ask what I feed them (every time I go they ask), I tell them, they have nothing to say about it cuz the results out weigh their opinion.

IMO, you don't have to defend your choice if the choice you make has a positive impact on your critter health. :thumbs up

sugarcatmom
September 26th, 2007, 11:35 AM
I'm in the Cat's Need Wet Food camp, especially when there's a history of FLUTD, so the fact that your vet would think that ANY dry food is the way to go only proves that her knowledge of feline nutrition is not up-to-date. Which is not at all surprising. Nutrition is minimally covered in vet school, and guess what? - when it is taught, it's taught by Hill's/Medi-cal/Waltham/etc. Then add that to the fact that most clinics make 20% of their annual income from the sale of these foods. I say do your own research and make your own decisions. If the vet has a problem with that, simply say that as your cat's primary caretaker and bill-payer, their diet is not up for debate.

Also, there is some great info on FLUTD at this website: http://catfood.tribe.net/thread/8db33940-373d-4063-88e6-e57c0e1e5f29

- Most cats with urolith problems eat significant amounts of dry food. Because cats evolved as desert animals and are used to deriving much of their water from their food (which is typically 60-75% moisture), their thirst instinct is pretty ****ty. As a consequence, cats eating only dry food will receive only 50% of the total water compared to cats eating only canned food (assuming both types of food contain the same number of calories). Drinking insufficient water means that the urine tends to be more concentrated. And if you remember your high school science classes, less water means it takes much less solute to achieve the saturation point and form precipitate. (If you remember the rest of your science class, you'll remember that heat, agitation and pH can also affect solubility and therefore saturation.) In plain terms: more concentrated pee = higher likelihood of urolith saturation = higher likelihood of urolith precipitation and formation. This simple fact has led to increased water intake being a cornerstone therapy for urolithiasis for just about every species out there, including people. Unfortunately, "prescription" diets for cats with urinary crystals are available in dry form, and vets often don't discuss the importance of switching a cat with urolith problems to a diet high in moisture, they just hand over the bag of s/d or c/d kibble and say "Here ya go, feed this to the cat for the rest of its life." But then the restricted magnesium content, the acidifying ingredients and concentrated pee now means it's easier for cats to form CaOx stones.

And then other researchers pointed out: hey, most cases (about 70%) of FLUTD don't even have any kind of apparent cause. WTF? What are the predisposing factors for those cases?

Interestingly enough, just as in cases of urolithiasis, the major risk factor seems to be dry food. One study found that cats with idiopathic FLUTD were about three times more likely to consume only dry food compared with the general cat population. Another study found that cats with idiopathic FLUTD treated with prescription acidifying formulas responded well, but the recurrence rate for those on dry food was about 3 times that of those on canned food. Researchers aren't quite sure why, but they speculate it has something to do with solute load.

In summary: Water. It's good for your cat's pee hole.

Jim Hall
September 26th, 2007, 02:18 PM
Hey all, I haven't been around lately, I got a second job and have been working like a dog *slaps knee*.

Anyway, I just brought Angus and Finn in tonight for their yearly exam and vaccinations. They asked me what I was feeding them (Orijen) and then proceeded to question my reasoning for having them (specifically Angus) on it because last year Angus had a urinary infection/crystals. The vet wondered why I didn't still have him on the Hills c/d, and wanted to know when I took him off of it. I only had him go through 2 bags of it then I switched him to GO Natural because the nutritional analysis was very comparable to the c/d but had better ingredients. Then in the spring I switched them to Orijen, of course the vet hadn't heard of it. The only thing I could say was that I didn't like the ingredients in the Hills, which led to the vet asking which ingredients (corn, menadione, stool hardeners etc...). She seemed to think that Hills would still be better than what I've got him on now, to which I replied that I would wait until I see the signs of another infection before I put him on that stuff again. Also she said I should be careful of a high protein diet, because it can cause UTIs.

So I guess my question is, what can I tell her the next time I go in (Angus needs dental cleaning and she wants to do a urinalysis) to defend my choice to keep them on Orijen. If a high protein diet is biologically appropriate for cats, why does it cause UTIs in cats? Is Orijen the best thing for a cat that's had only one infection a year ago and no sign since? Is there something about the Orijen formulation specifically that would prevent the high protein from causing another infection? Any other suggestions?

Thanks guys. I hope I'll be around more in the future, gotta get my schedule under control.



let me guess the vet sells hills . Am I right?


so your cat had a problem once and nothong since then and you have been feeding her the food you think best. So why it the vet bitching especcialy if they never heard of orijen?

sO THEY VET IS ACTUALLY SAYING i dont know squeat about any other food but hills is still my recommendation . sheesh
:wall:

dtbmnec
September 26th, 2007, 04:45 PM
The vet didn't say too much when I brought in Leo the last time (I know it was an emergency and other things are more important) about the food he was on. She did want to put him on a Hill's reduced calorie/"diet" type food, but I think I'm just going to swap out the salmon with the "indoor" variety of the stuff they eat now and slowly lessen how much the little piggies eat ;)

I went into the pet store where I buy the food, and asked one of the staff if it was ok to "cold switch" to another flavour of the food (from the salmon to the indoor) and she said that it was the best food they carried and approved of my choice :). I was quite happily surprised.

If the vet brings up the food issue when they go in to get their annual stabs I'll tell her I swapped to the indoor version and have been slowly reducing the amount of food given (really, they eat like twice as much as they should...no wonder they're F-A-T!) and tell her I'll try them on this for a bit and if nothing's happened then we'll try it her way. It helps that I only JUST bought the bag and wouldn't want it to go to waste ;)

Good Luck and keep us posted :)

Megan

Stacer
September 29th, 2007, 12:14 PM
I'll be bringing Angus in on Tuesday to have his teeth cleaned (poor bugger, only 2 and has a mouthfull of tartar and inflamed gums, that'll teach him to chew his kibble instead of gulping it down whole) and a urinalysis. I've been compiling info about Orijen and comparing it to Hill's and am also going to give her some websites to check out like www.dogfoodproject.com and some of the others mentioned here. I also wouldn't mind finding out what she feeds her own cat, if the conversation is going well.:D

Winston
September 29th, 2007, 01:23 PM
Stacer I had my 2 cats on Hills CD/TD for many years and the vet always used to mention the tartar on their teeth...Then I switched them to the Orijen and they have been eating that since it came out...so at least 6 months...They had their annual check up and she was in total amazement! their teeth were whiter and they had no build up at all...best she's seen them in years?? what are you doing?? feeding them Orijen!!! hmm??

Cindy

Stacer
September 29th, 2007, 03:06 PM
I wish Orijen was having dental benefits for Angus. He doesn't really chew his food very much, so he's not getting that scraping/massaging action on his teeth and gums, resulting in alot of tartar build up and inflammation. Even I could see the state of his mouth when the vet held his mouth open. The vet also freaked me out by saying that inflamed/infected gums are a sign of FIV, which completely threw me for a loop. But we've had him since he was 8 weeks old and now he's 2 and a half, if he had FIV there would have been other signs by now, wouldn't there?

Stacer
October 2nd, 2007, 05:52 PM
I just returned home from the vet with Angus (he had his teeth cleaned and a urinalysis done). His teeth are pearly white, but he has some bacteria in his urine that could lead to crystals forming again. Everything else in the urinalysis checked out though. Of course the food issue came up, but I was more prepared this time. I told her I wanted to try every avenue before I put him on c/d for life, so she told me about the Science Diet Naturals urine diet, and was really wanting me to just put him on the Hill's c/d. So I asked her about supplementing his current diet with some urine acidifiers (his pH BTW is hovering around 7). She went out to get some info for me, I could hear her talking to the senior vet about my issues with Hill's. When she returned I asked her what exactly is in the Hill's c/d or s/d that makes it a urine acidifier/urinary health maintenance food? Then a thing of beauty happened right before my eyes, she couldn't answer me, then admitted that her nutrition knowledge wasn't the best. A HA!!!! So we talked a bit more and I asked about raw and home cooked, she didn't seem opposed to those options and actually went and got me a recipe for a raw concoction (developed by Hill's, but with no Hill's products in it). She then told me to call Hill's and talk to a nutritionist there about my issues with the food, and even joked about converting a Hill's nutritionist to the "natural" side. So I'm thinking I may have made an impact on how she views nutrition and may put more though into blindly throwing Hill's at people. So there it is!

Jim Hall
October 2nd, 2007, 07:32 PM
That is excellent! At least the vet has an open mind.

I still dont get why vets dont know nutrtion It seems like such a basic thing. After all food is what keeps all animals healthy.

rainbow
October 3rd, 2007, 02:48 AM
So I'm thinking I may have made an impact on how she views nutrition and may put more though into blindly throwing Hill's at people. So there it is!

Good for you, Stacer. :highfive:

rainbow
October 3rd, 2007, 02:54 AM
I still dont get why vets dont know nutrtion It seems like such a basic thing. After all food is what keeps all animals healthy.

It's because the vet schools get the nutritionists from Hills and Royal Canin (Medi-Cal) to teach vet students their nutrition course. :sad: The students then go on to become vets and get incentives to sell and promote Hills and Royal Canin foods in their clinics. :frustrated:

Love4himies
October 3rd, 2007, 08:22 AM
[QUOTE=Stacer;484944] So I asked her about supplementing his current diet with some urine acidifiers (his pH BTW is hovering around 7). She went out to get some info for me, I could hear her talking to the senior vet about my issues with Hill's. When she returned I asked her what exactly is in the Hill's c/d or s/d that makes it a urine acidifier/urinary health maintenance food? Then a thing of beauty happened right before my eyes, she couldn't answer me, then admitted that her nutrition knowledge wasn't the best. A HA!!!! QUOTE]

That's great, stacer, I would be careful about a high acid food/supplement, while it is minimizing crystals, it is believe that it is creating something worse, calcium stones in the kidney.

Idiopathic hypercalcemia is called that because no one knows for sure
why it is occurring. It seems more common now than in the past and there is
evidence, based on the University of Minnesota's long term collection
of uroliths (stones in the urinary system) that it really is an increasing
problem, rather than just increasing recognition of an old problem. The
best screening test for this problem is probably X-rays of the urinary
tract to look for the presence of bladder stones or stones elsewhere in
the urinary system. This problem may be related to the use of acidifying
diets (used to try to avoid feline lower urinary tract disorder, a different
urinary tract disorder). If a urolith is identified, then treatment can
be aimed towards controlling that problem.

Another study:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1741

Why Do Cats Develop Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones?

In older times (20 years or so ago), cats virtually never developed calcium oxalate bladder stones. Cat bladder stones could reliably be assumed to be made of struvite (a matrix of ammonium-magnesium-phosphate). In those days, feline lower urinary tract symptoms were generally caused by struvite crystals in urine (or at least this was the assumption). Also in those days, feline lower urinary tract symptoms were extremely common. The pet food industry responded by acidifying cat foods to prevent the development of crystals. In a way it worked. Feline lower urinary tract symptoms declined. Male cats with struvite urinary blockages became far less common. The trade off was that calcium oxalate bladder stones began to develop. Acidifying the body leads to an acid urine pH and more calcium loss into the urine, both factors in the development of a calcium oxalate stone. Currently most bladder stones formed by cats are calcium oxalate stones.

Another:
http://www.onscat.com/prueba

“Before the 1990s cats never developed idiopathic hypercalcemia,” Chew says. “It seems that something changed in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s that affected the lifestyle, husbandry, environment or diet of cats, producing a condition suitable for idiopathic hypercalcemia to occur. Dietary effects have been thought to be likely since cat foods underwent a general change in composition around 1985, with many grocery store foods being formulated to be highly urinary acidifying and magnesium restricted.

“Lots of things changed in the 1980s that could possibly account for IHC,” Chew continues. “Feline diets and feeding habits changed as owners began to increasingly keep cats indoors rather than as indoor/outdoor pets. Our study will look for environmental factors to see if we can identify a pattern. There obviously is a cause for idiopathic hypercalcemia, we just haven’t accumulated enough information to know what it is. It could be a number of factors.”

Stacer
October 20th, 2007, 10:16 AM
Sorry I haven't checked back here in a while. love4himies, I've been very careful with checking his pH, I bought some pH strips and am testing his urine regularly. I am supplementing his wet food with Solid Gold Berry Balance and testing his pH weekly. The moment his pH goes below 6.2, I'll stop giving the supplement. I think I can avoid the oxalate crystals from forming, I'm watching his pee like a hawk!! lol

Love4himies
October 22nd, 2007, 06:59 AM
Sorry I haven't checked back here in a while. love4himies, I've been very careful with checking his pH, I bought some pH strips and am testing his urine regularly. I am supplementing his wet food with Solid Gold Berry Balance and testing his pH weekly. The moment his pH goes below 6.2, I'll stop giving the supplement. I think I can avoid the oxalate crystals from forming, I'm watching his pee like a hawk!! lol

I like your idea of getting some testing strips, did you get them from the vet?

Stacer
October 22nd, 2007, 04:28 PM
Nope, I bought a roll at a health food store, the human kind. It came with a handy colour chart. The vet never even suggested it, but I'll be sure to let her know that I'm doing it the next time I check in with her. Maybe she can recommend it to other patients, it's definitely a quick and easy way to tell if what you're doing is affecting their pH.