January 20th, 2008, 11:39 AM
In the interest of providing better nutrition for our pets and after a fair amount of research I opted to switch our 1yr old Vizsla and our 3 cats to Innova Evo. I made the switch over a 1mth period and have been feeding this diet exclusively to our dog for 4mths and exclusively (after the transitional period) to the cats going on 2mths. At first all seemed well. Recently I've noticed that our dog has been having what appears to be fairly frequent "GERD" type symptoms and more frequent vomitting than usual (once every 2 weeks or so, although he does chew up sticks, leaves and grass every opportunity he has at the park despite our best efforts - he's fast!).
My bigger concern is my 7yr old cat. He was a big, solid cat when I started him on the diet, a touch overweight, but I wouldn't have categorized him as having a "weight problem" per se. He loved the food and started to lose weight on the diet. At first I attributed this weight loss to the better quality of the nutrition, thinking it was a healthy "leaning" down". The weight loss seemed very gradual...at first. The problem? He's reached a point where his weight loss has become concerning (in my opinion). He's still behaving normally, playing, eating, drinking, pooping, peeing normally, but something is definitely "not right". As of this weekend I've noticed he's beginning to feel borderline "frail" and his coat is beginning to appear unkempt". I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow. I'm very concerned that this might be related to the food (the only change in his environment) and worse yet, an early warning sign for a more serious health issue. Has anyone had any adverse experiences with this diet? I've located a few reports that appear to imply the high phosphorous content of the food may contribute to renal failure in cats. It may be a coincidence but if not, I really need to wean him off of this food as soon as possible...that in and of itself is tricky with cats.
Any feedback, advise, recommendations for other high quality safe diets would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks in advance,
Very concerned pet lover, just trying to do the right thing.
January 20th, 2008, 03:14 PM
I know several people that feed their cats and dogs Innova EVO and my GSP has been eating EVO RM for a year now and is thriving. In and of itself, Innova is an excellent food. With that said, any one food will not be good for every one animal. Belle, my 7 month Boston, did terrible on Innova Puppy. If your pets are not doing well on it, I would switch to another high quality food and keep trying. It's not unusual to have to try a few different foods to find the one that works best for each of your pets.
As far as your question on the high protein/renal failure, if you do a search here, you'll find several threads that discuss that very topic. Traditionally, high protein has been blamed for renal failure, but the newest studies suggest that it's not the high protein or high phos in the food causing the problem parse, but that they are exacerbating an existing underlying condition. Which is exactly why not one single food will be perfect for every single dog. :shrug:
January 20th, 2008, 08:23 PM
It is concerning that your cat is losing weight, especially considering that EVO is quite high in calories. Make sure he gets blood work and a urinalysis done tomorrow, and let us know what you find out.
January 21st, 2008, 12:19 PM
Yes, getting the cat checked out is a good idea... my boyfriend's cat was losing weight and fur looking scruffy, and she ended up being diagnosed with a thyroid problem (not on Innova, though). I did try Evo RM on my dog awhile back but didn't like it as he got really hyper on it, seemed jittery, almost like I feel after drinking too much caffeine. I've had him on several other brands, like Canidae, California Natural, Wellness since then and have liked all of them, no jittery reactions. He is rather picky, so I switch his food to give him variety.
January 21st, 2008, 08:29 PM
Thanks everyone for your input.
I took Tsuki to the vet today and had an exam and blood work with a thyroid panel done. The good news, the vet thinks he appears to be healthy given the physical exam alone, however, the progressive weight loss is concerning. We'll have the blood results tomorrow morning. If there are any abnormalities in the blood work we'll be back in for urinalysis and further evaluation. He did voice concern regarding diets with very high protein content explaining that our domestic, indoor cat doesn't use all of that protein building muscle etc, so the kidneys need to work harder to excrete the excess, unused protein. He also went into more detail about the problem being further exacerbated by the cat's ability to concentrate it's urine and the fact that most cats on dry food diets tend to be in a permanent state of dehydration (I won't go into that further because I'm not a Dr. and I'll surely confuse the details). He advises incorporating a high quality canned food to our cats diet to help keep them adequately hydrated. So, I guess it comes down what one of you indicated already, what works for one pet may not be right for another. Bummer.
I'll let you know the results of the blood work tomorrow. In the meantime I'm back to researching food alternatives. Given the recent food recall crisis and all of the frightening things I've learned about the foods we feed our pets in the interim, I'm beginning to think I'm better off mixing things up rather than feed the same sort of food all the time. It's not very practical but perhaps my pets will fair better in the long run if they have a constant variety of premium quality foods. This way they won't be constantly exposed to the potential problems I may be unaware of specific to any one brand of food. Let's hope their little stomachs can adjust to variety. Yes I am completely neurotic:wall:
P.S. Just for the record, I do still consider that this may be a complete coincidence and nothing to do with the food whatsoever. The other 2 cats are fine and the dog periodically "regurgitates" the various sticks, grass and leaves he eats anyway:dog:
January 21st, 2008, 09:04 PM
Your vet is right about feeding wet food rather than dry, and that was going to be my next suggestion. However, he's way off base about the protein issue. Cats are carnivores. They've evolved over millions of years to eat protein. Just because they've been recently "domesticated" does not mean their physiology is suddenly going to change where they can't handle protein. So, my suggestion is to find some good quality canned foods and give them a go. And to check out this website for more feline nutrition info: http://www.catinfo.org/
January 22nd, 2008, 07:11 PM
We have the blood work for Tsuki back and it's completely normal. This is very reassuring, so, given that he seems fine other than the weight loss and ever so slightly unkempt appearance, we're taking a watchful waiting approach. Perhaps this is just a transitional adjustment to the better quality diet...detox so to speak? I will not be discontinuing the Innova Evo diet thanks to the great feedback I've received and also the links to great nutritional articles, along with my own research (which is how I ended up choosing the Evo to begin with). I do intend to (carefully and slowly) rotate or incorporate other premium quality diets to minimize constant exposure to any potential unknown problematic components of any given diet. We don't eat the exact same thing every day and it makes sense to me that there are benefits to nutritional diversity (providing you're not prone to allergies). I have already started to incorporate the canned food for the moisture content (Merrick to start) and he LOVES it! I've been interested in the BARF diet too but I still have quite a bit more research to do here. Any suggestions regarding the BARF diet, for or against, good educational books, sites etc....rabbit farms near toronto (grin) ..would be very much appreciated.
Thanks again everyone!
January 22nd, 2008, 07:20 PM
WOO HOO for Tsuki's blood work. :thumbs up
There's a sub-forum here for Raw & Home Cooked to your pets with lots of great information.....
January 23rd, 2008, 08:08 AM
For some good info on a raw feline diet, I recommend this website: http://www.catnutrition.org/index.php And this site is all about feeding a "whole prey model": http://rawfed.com/
January 23rd, 2008, 08:38 AM
So glad to hear that, my daughter switched her overweight cats to Orijen (and Wellness) and they lost weight on their own too.