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-   -   Crystals? (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=82910)

pattymac November 27th, 2012 11:29 AM

Crystals?
 
Don't know if I should put this here or the food section so if you guys want to move it that's cool..

After Nino being diagnosed with crystals and Coco has also had them and have been put on the Urinary SO food, I don't get it.

They only eat the best food I can afford which was Natural Balance canned (and they like it) and for dry I try to get Acana or Blue or Wellness...I switch out dry foods, they like them all. They all get a few treats in the morning and that's it. I've tried raw and none of them will have anything to do with it. I try to limit their fish to once or twice a week, although it's a favourite. Maybe once a month they have a can of Whiskas as a special treat. I always thought that the better foods would be better for preventing crystals, I guess not. I'm trying to avoid the dry SO as the first ingredient is ground cord.blech. I found that Technical has a Urinary food so I may get Pet Valu to order me some, It's very frustrating that you try your best and get them good food and they still have issues, I'm starting to not believe all the hype about premium foods!!

sugarcatmom November 27th, 2012 01:29 PM

It's not so much about whether a food is "premium" or not, but whether it's [B]dry[/B] or not. Cats with urinary tract issues should not have ANY kibble, no matter what the supposed quality of the ingredients. I also think adding a couple tablespoons of water to each meal of wet food is a good idea.

Some reading about diet vs urinary tracts here:
[url]http://catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth[/url]
[url]http://www.holisticat.com/flutd.html[/url]

Also, incorporating raw into a cat's diet can take a bit of patience and perseverance, but it can be done! Some tips on how here:
[url]http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/03/10/how-to-transition-your-cat-to-raw-food-diet-part-1.aspx[/url]
[url]http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/03/17/how-to-transition-your-cat-to-raw-food-diet-part-2.aspx[/url]

pattymac November 27th, 2012 02:02 PM

Ok thanks SCM!! I would rather give them 3 canned meals a day and save any further problems and I'll start adding a bit of water to their canned food as well.

pattymac November 29th, 2012 10:51 AM

So I've cut the crunchie intake way back to a handful at bedtime, and a teeny bit mid afternoon if the bowl is empty. I've been adding more to their wet food breakfast and dinner so they get about a can and a half and adding 2 tablespoons of water each meal, they seem happy with that and I think the larger portion of wet is keeping them fuller so they're not wanting crunchies as much

Soundy November 30th, 2012 12:56 AM

[QUOTE=sugarcatmom;1049982]It's not so much about whether a food is "premium" or not, but whether it's [B]dry[/B] or not. Cats with urinary tract issues should not have ANY kibble, no matter what the supposed quality of the ingredients. [/QUOTE]
Oddly, our experience contradicts this: Buster (Persian) could *only* eat President's Choice "[URL="http://www.presidentschoice.ca/LCLOnline/products.jsp?type=details&catIds=cat40002&catIds=6&brandId=4&sortOrder=byName&productId=16993"]Finicky Cat Dry Cat Food - pH Control and Low Magnesium[/URL]"

Any change at all in his diet (except for the odd little bit of canned food that included turkey - he'd snub anything else) would result in crystals and a round of antibiotics.

I think it would be more accurate to say, it's not so much about whether a food is "premium", or specifically about the "quality" of the ingredients, or the form they take... but [B]how your specific cat's body handles a specific food.[/B] What's true for one may not be true for the next.

sugarcatmom November 30th, 2012 12:19 PM

[QUOTE=Soundy;1050124]What's true for one may not be true for the next.[/QUOTE]

Except that feeding a wet food diet really IS the cornerstone of FLUTD treatment, followed by tweaking ingredients if a cat continues to have issues. For instance, fish is pro-inflammatory and should generally be avoided in cats with recurring urinary tract problems. Perhaps the wet foods you tried contained ingredients that didn't help maintain the appropriate urine ph (eg too much plant matter).

I'm glad that Buster's crystal formation has diminished on the PC food, but hope that you aren't trading one health problem for another. The ingredients in that food are completely inappropriate for an obligate carnivore and could easily lead to diabetes, obesity, allergies, IBD and CRF, to name a few. Also, why were the crystals treated with antibiotics? Was a culture and sensitivity done on a urine sample to determine if there was bacteria present?

Soundy November 30th, 2012 12:54 PM

[QUOTE=sugarcatmom;1050148]Except that feeding a wet food diet really IS the cornerstone of FLUTD treatment, followed by tweaking ingredients if a cat continues to have issues. For instance, fish is pro-inflammatory and should generally be avoided in cats with recurring urinary tract problems. Perhaps the wet foods you tried contained ingredients that didn't help maintain the appropriate urine ph (eg too much plant matter). [/quote]
No idea, all I know is that any time we switched up his food, he'd end up squatting over drains.

[quote]I'm glad that Buster's crystal formation has diminished on the PC food, but hope that you aren't trading one health problem for another. The ingredients in that food are completely inappropriate for an obligate carnivore and could easily lead to diabetes, obesity, allergies, IBD and CRF, to name a few.[/quote]
His sister has been on the same food with no ill effects. Buster, unfortunately, had to be put down last year as he had a fast-growing brain tumor, but aside from that, his health was fine for the last 8 or 9 years on the PC food...

Wheezie has reaped the benefits of her brother's demise as we've now been able to give her greater variety in her diet, most of it still crunchies of one kind or another. She's the runt of their litter, barely three pounds, but utterly bombproof. She doesn't like any form or wet or canned cat food, although she does REALLY like the dogs' tripe food.

[quote]Also, why were the crystals treated with antibiotics? Was a culture and sensitivity done on a urine sample to determine if there was bacteria present?[/QUOTE]
Do I look like a vet? I have no idea why they chose what treatment they did... the first couple times he had the symptoms, I remember they did take urine samples, reported crystals, and prescribed the antibiotics, which cleared the problem up. Once we knew the symptoms, we could tell the vet, he'd simply give the antibiotics again, and the problem would clear up again. But we realized that the only time it happened, was when we changed his food, so... as long as we didn't change it, he never had the problem. Sometimes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is the best path.

Not to turn this into a big nutrition debate or anything, but sometimes I think these things are WAY over-analyzed. Our dogs growing up in the country were fed almost entirely on 20lb. bags of Buckerfields kibble, sometimes laced with bacon grease, leftover gravy, roast drippings, or for an extra-special treat, boiled potato skins. Any "junk" fish we caught would be frozen and saved, and sometimes we'd boil a couple of them up so the bones were nice and soft, and mix that into the kibble as well (the dogs loved it, but holy crap did the house stink!) Naturally the dogs got their fair share of table scraps, especially in the summer when they'd wander off to other vacation places around the lake, where everyone had a different name for them and would gladly invite them in for steak and potatoes or whatever other yummy stuff they had.

Our cat back home had a similar kind of diet - sometimes some brand of grocery store kibble, more often the Buckerfields (because it was all they had at the nearby feed store - the fancy stuff like Meow Mix required an hour's drive into town), along with various scraps, and whatever wildlife she would catch.

The cat lived to the ripe old age of 17 or 18... the one dog did fine the 12 years we had him (never did know exactly how old he was when we got him, we were told he was 3); the other disappeared when he was about 10, we never knew if he was taken out by an animal, or a hunter, or if he just ended up going home with someone he was visiting.

In any case, none of the animals seemed the worse for wear from their non-science-designed-vet-approved-super-duper-natural diets - the only vet visit any of them ever needed was the one dog when he got a fractured hip from being hit by a car.

sugarcatmom November 30th, 2012 08:04 PM

[QUOTE=Soundy;1050149] along with various scraps, and [B]whatever wildlife she would catch[/B].[/quote]

Probably what really contributed to her long life, more than the kibble. But yes, there are plenty of stories of people who had cats that ate utter crap (ie grocery store dry food with hardly a trace of actual meat in it) and still lived to a ripe old age. Doesn't mean that's the secret to good health. Lots of people also smoke and don't get lung cancer.....

There is also a difference between "surviving" and "thriving".

pattymac December 1st, 2012 11:36 AM

It seems that cutting crunchies down to a handful and increasing the wet food and adding a couple of tablespoons of water to each meal is making quite a difference. Pee clumps are definately getting bigger..not sure which one belongs to which cat though :) Coco isn't asking to drink from the tap several times during the night, so that makes me happy too. Think we'll stick to this method as it seems to be having the desired effect,

patchdog December 1st, 2012 08:56 PM

I am glad Pattymac that is helping do the trick. I have heard a lot about ash in dry foods as well. But I am not sure completely about this. Has anyone else heard about ash in dry foods that messes with a cats urine?

sugarcatmom December 2nd, 2012 12:05 AM

[QUOTE=patchdog;1050207]Has anyone else heard about ash in dry foods that messes with a cats urine?[/QUOTE]

That was the thinking from way back, but now we know it isn't ash that's the issue, it's moisture and ph level.

[url]http://www.pfac.com/learn/faq/index.html[/url]
[QUOTE][B]What is "ash"? Is it safe to feed my cat food with ash?[/B]
Pet food components are broken down into the following categories: protein, fat, carbohydrate, fiber and moisture. The inorganic components of pet food, such as minerals and vitamins, are called "ash" because they are not incinerated when the food is burned for its nutritional analysis.

It was once thought that ash was responsible for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). However, researchers now agree this is not the case. In fact, ash contains important minerals, such as calcium and manganese, which are needed for your pet's continued good health.[/QUOTE]

pattymac December 2nd, 2012 12:13 AM

Ahhh I did not know that, but I always wondered what the heck ash was doing in my cat's food!!


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