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Raw Fed 11 yo female cat with elevated creatinine levels - what to do?

MimineGeri
January 27th, 2009, 10:13 PM
Hi there,

I'm new here - I hope ya'll don't mind me jumping right in there and asking for help.

I have two cats - one 16yo male and a 11yo female who's deaf. They were both raised on commercial food, until I switched to the raw food diet about two years ago, when my 16yo male was diagnosed with diabetes. He received insulin shots for approx. a year, until I gave up giving them to him since he was not tolerating them anymore. Kept having his blood tested, to make sure he was doing well... Turned out the blood sugar levels were back within normal range - so he has been in remission for about a year now.

I took the 11yo cat to the vet, because she's been peeing outside her box for a while now. I know it can be related to many things, so the blood/urine tests at the vet was the first step to try and discover if there was a medical reason for her to do that. Turns out she has elevated creatinine values (forgot to ask the vet about the number, but the vet did say the number was low), which suggests some various level of kidney problems. She also had a bit of protein in her urine. But other than that, her tests were good. The vet, of course, mentioned that the high protein content of the raw food diet was not helping, and that it might be wise to switch her back to a senior commercial diet, she suggested G/D.

What I feed them:

-Grounded raw meaty bones mixed with either chunks or grounded raw meat (turkey, chicken, salmon), egg yolk, salmon oil, cod liver oil, Vit A, Vit B complex, Vit E, taurine (or hearts when I have them fresh), a little bit of phsyllium husk but not always. They also get goat's milk as a treat.

Any of you have any suggestion in regards to modifications I could bring to the diet? I really want to keep her on the raw food diet, but I don't want to tax her system either.

Feel free to past this along to anyone you think could help!

Thanks so very much!

growler~GateKeeper
January 28th, 2009, 04:38 AM
First off yay for going raw :highfive: You should be adding some organs in on a regular basis though, Liver especially is great heart as well. Cats should be getting 5-10% of their overall raw diet as organ with Liver making up half the organ content. Another 10% is rmb and the other 80% raw boneless meat. An imbalance of RMB to Organs depending on which way will cause either constipation or loose stools, therefore you will need to adjust based on your cats needs.

A good idea would also be to add a teaspoon or two of water to the raw food, give both your cats a little extra boost in the hydration department.

Was the creatinine the only value on the blood test that was high? Anything else abnormal?

Elevated Creatinine levels can indicated kidney failure, but can also be indicative of diabetes or pancreatitis

There is also some talk in the raw community that a raw fed cat/dog will have slightly different blood levels due to the higher protein levels in the raw meat they are ingesting. Creatinine is a waste product of muscles, therefore a large muscular male cat may have a naturally higher level Creatinine, also if the muscles are not in use or overly used there may be increased levels of creatinine.

In the urine test was the only thing abnormal the protein? What about the Urine Specific Gravity what was that number? Did they do a urine culture and sensitivity test?


Generally speaking peeing outside the litter box is not a symptom of kidney failure but more of a urinary tract infection or a kidney infection.

Proteinuria (protein in urine) can be an early indicator of kidney failure but it can also be caused by diabetes or hypertension.

The vet, of course, mentioned that the high protein content of the raw food diet was not helping, and that it might be wise to switch her back to a senior commercial diet, she suggested G/D.

The problem between protein & kidneys isn't how low you can get protein, more the highest quality protein & with the lowest phosphorus levels you can get

My 17 yr old cat was diagnosed with chronic renal failure nearly 2 years ago and she's been on a raw diet for the last 14 months as recommended by her Homeopath Vet, so I certainly don't hold to the lower protein theory.

Love4himies
January 28th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Great advice Growler.

Here are some links that may help you:

http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/labreports.html

and another site:

http://www.felinecrf.com/tests0.htm

About protein restriction:

http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-kidney-disease.htm

http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB/Proceedings/PR05000/PR00124.htm

MimineGeri
January 28th, 2009, 12:25 PM
Thanks so much for all the info, Growler. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer me.

I do use hearts and livers and gisards when I find them fresh. I have yet to find a steady supplier of those. I also do add water to the food, which I forgot to mention. :) Otherwise it's almost impossible to mix everything together! :)

The only abnormal values she got was the creatinine and proteins in her urine (although the vet mentioned it was a low level for both). They looked for signs of urinary tract/bladder infections (bacteria in urine, etc), but nothing. Blood sugar was great, everything actually pointed to her being in fabulous shape but those two levels the vet mentioned. I actually called the vet back this morning to ask about the level of creatinine for Geri - it was 250, while they said the normal level is 177.

Geri is absolutely tiny, she weights just about 7 pounds. A year ago, she was at 6.5lbs.

The vet did say that the creatinine level could be the start of kidney problems or simply dehydration. Maybe I could increase the water in the food i prepare for them? That can't hurt, certainly.

My 17 yr old cat was diagnosed with chronic renal failure nearly 2 years ago and she's been on a raw diet for the last 14 months as recommended by her Homeopath Vet, so I certainly don't hold to the lower protein theory.

That certainly encourages me to keep feeding my cats raw food. I am convinced my 16yo male was saved by it.

more the highest quality protein & with the lowest phosphorus levels you can get

Yes, and that is a tough balance to achieve.

Would you be willing to share what kind of food you feed your cat?

Thanks again so much for all the help!

MimineGeri
January 28th, 2009, 12:26 PM
Love4himies, thanks so much for the links! I'll go have a look right now. :)

Love4himies
January 28th, 2009, 12:38 PM
Good luck with your kitty.

Love4himies
January 28th, 2009, 12:42 PM
I did find this, I know it is about dogs fed raw, but that tells me, cats who are fed raw could have variations in their blood work results too as compared to commercially fed.

http://www.antechdiagnostics.com/clients/antechNews/2003/jun03_02.htm

growler~GateKeeper
January 28th, 2009, 08:08 PM
I do use hearts and livers and gisards when I find them fresh. I have yet to find a steady supplier of those. I also do add water to the food, which I forgot to mention. :) Otherwise it's almost impossible to mix everything together! :)

I don't know what's available in your area but most butchers will have organs, perhaps ask what days they generally have them in fresh & ask if they could put them aside for you.

I actually called the vet back this morning to ask about the level of creatinine for Geri - it was 250, while they said the normal level is 177.

Geri is absolutely tiny, she weights just about 7 pounds. A year ago, she was at 6.5lbs.

The vet did say that the creatinine level could be the start of kidney problems or simply dehydration. Maybe I could increase the water in the food i prepare for them? That can't hurt, certainly.

Most labs have the normal values for creatinine as between 71-203 so anywhere in between is normal.

Excellant on the weight gain :thumbs up

Since the only value that was abnormal was the creatinine it is quite likely is was just a bit of dehydration, though you will want to retest in 3-6 months to be sure, depending on when your vet says.

Would you be willing to share what kind of food you feed your cat?

I feed a ground raw from a local BC company called Natural Instincts. The varieties I feed are chicken, lamb, turkey, bison, occasionally rabbit and salmon. Each prepared meal has liver, heart, wild salmon oil, cod liver oil, full spectrum vit e. The chicken, turkey, rabbit and salmon have bone in, the bison and lamb do not. Chicken has additional free range egg yolk, rabbit has lung and kidney, salmon has some veggies which Duffy spits out :laughing:. The days I feed chicken I will add in chicken necks to her dinner, I do also occasionally give a lightly seared lamb liver as a treat or added to any of the meals.

I also, as recommended by my Homeopath vet, give Duffy Nucat vitamins which include taurine.

A good website to check out is http://rawfedcats.org/ they are pretty much against feeding ground raw but other than that the site is very informative.

ddmcc
February 9th, 2009, 12:10 AM
The problem between protein & kidneys isn't how low you can get protein, more the highest quality protein & with the lowest phosphorus levels you can get

Yeah, I've read that about the protein and phos factors. My cat is almost 19 yrs. I've had her on a combination commercial kibble and raw meat diet (w/ felinefuture.com supplement) for the last couple of years. I'd have her totally on the raw diet, but she insists on some kibble. I figure at her age she deserves just about anything she wants.

But it's always bugged me - knowing if the raw chicken lamb, beef I feed her has the optimal levels of phosphorus. I carefully read the kibble nutrition tables on the commercial food bags to find the highest quality food with the lowest phos.

But how does one know if the raw meats have low phosphorus?

growler~GateKeeper
February 9th, 2009, 12:18 AM
Yeah, I've read that about the protein and phos factors. My cat is almost 19 yrs. I've had her on a combination commercial kibble and raw meat diet (w/ felinefuture.com supplement) for the last couple of years. I'd have her totally on the raw diet, but she insists on some kibble. I figure at her age she deserves just about anything she wants.

But it's always bugged me - knowing if the raw chicken lamb, beef I feed her has the optimal levels of phosphorus. I carefully read the kibble nutrition tables on the commercial food bags to find the highest quality food with the lowest phos.

But how does one know if the raw meats have low phosphorus?

There is a site here: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/index.html which you can search through different foods to find the nutrient values. For example in keywords type chicken raw, in select food group click poultry, then choose which product you want to see the nutrient values for, then enter the weight measure you want per 100g. So if you want per 1000g you would enter 10. It will chart all nutrients for you, phos is listed as mg/_____(what ever weight you selected ie mg/1000g).

ddmcc
February 9th, 2009, 12:34 AM
There is a site here: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/index.html which you can search through different foods to find the nutrient values. For example in keywords type chicken raw, in select food group click poultry, then choose which product you want to see the nutrient values for, then enter the weight measure you want per 100g. So if you want per 1000g you would enter 10. It will chart all nutrients for you, phos is listed as mg/_____(what ever weight you selected ie mg/1000g).

I guess I'd have to make the assumption that the phos levels don't vary greatly enough across chicken sources, say between a Safeway chicken, a Whole Foods chicken and a free range chicken from a local ranch to make a significant difference. Or that there aren't great variations between whenever the gov't compiled that data and today's results.

Just hoping I'm doing the right things. The vet says she's doing remarkably well... for her age. She just underwent surgery for a tooth abscess and pulled through with flying colors.

Thanks, Growler.