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Old December 2nd, 2009, 03:35 PM
ElleTrixie ElleTrixie is offline
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Hills Prescription Diet C/D - For a Cat with a UTI

Hello All:

My cat, Dash, was recently diagnosed with a UTI due to crystallization in her urine after her annual vet exam. She is 3.5 y.o. indoor cat. I'm personally a believer in more holistic approaches to treating pets and do so with my canine companions, but I'm sadly uninformed in the feline world... this kitty was a stray that chose us as her forever home. Unfortunately, my regular vet (that I trust and love) who mixes in holistic approaches only sees dogs due to cat allergies so I have to work with other vets at the clinic who I'm not as comfortable with.

The vet has prescribed Clavamox twice a day and I am supplementing with yogurt to try and counteract some of the negative effects of antibiotics. My MAJOR concern, however, is that she has prescribed Hills Prescription Diet C/D as a lifetime diet. I just feel that is unnecessary and am looking for some input as to whether others have found this necessary.

Dash's regular diet consisted of Orijen - 6 Fresh Fish dry food and Eagle Pack Holistic wet food (differing formulas). As for treats she gets "people food" as in cooked chicken, meat, etc. and that is pretty limited.

I feel the UTI may have been caused by us going away and leaving the neighbour's daughter to watch her who ended up feeding her pretty much a whole bag of Whiskas treats... my bad, I know better, and it won't happen again!

Any advice would be much appreciated in this matter.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 04:00 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Hi ElleTrixie, welcome to pets.ca!

Do you know if Dash's urine was sent out for a culture & sensitivity (usually takes a couple days to get the results back)? Can you get the results of the urinalysis?

See, the thing is, it's extremely rare for a cat under 10yrs of age to have a urinary tract infection. This is more likely a case of urinary tract inflammation, which means that the Clavamox is not only unnecessary, but potentially harmful. Vets have this rather annoying tendency to hand out antibiotics like candy, without doing the necessary lab work to confirm whether they're even needed.

In the meantime, it's definitely a good idea to counter the effects of the antibiotics since she's already on them, but yogurt probably isn't going to cut it (not enough probiotics in it). A better idea would be to get some probiotic capsules from a health food store - something with multiple, high-potency organisms, like Natural Factors Ultimate Multi. You can mix just a pinch from the capsule in with some wet food a couple times a day.

Do you know what type of crystals Dash has? They're usually either struvite or calcium oxalate. Either way, the best food for both is a species appropriate wet food diet (no kibble), and I'd suggest eliminating fish since that can aggravate bladder/urinary tract issues. Here is some good info for you on feline nutrition: www.catinfo.org
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Last edited by Ford; December 2nd, 2009 at 07:28 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Actually, don't be too quick to blame the neighbour. In fact it was quite probably the Orijen Fish that caused the crystals over time. Feeding one bag of Whiskas treats won't do that damage that quickly.
The new vet is pushing the prescription diet because s/he gets a cut of any of the food sold. Look around their office. I bet the walls are lined with the food.
Look at the food you are feeding your cat. With Orijen Fish the first ingredients are of course fish. That is not a natural staple of cats. After all, we don't see fish sitting at the side of a river waiting for the big one to go by so they can reach out and snare it. The next ingredients would quite probably be corn and or grains. When was the last time you saw a cat lying in the middle of a wheat field munching on a cob of corn and using the wheat stalk as a toothpick?
Cats are carnivores. Plain and simple. They need meat. They also do not normally drink enough water. So common sense would say to feed something that is meat and water combined. Since most people don't keep a ready supply of mice available for the kitties the best way to go is with a quality canned food. Some of the best you can get are Merricks, Natural Balance, Wellness, Nature's Variety. What you are looking for are grain free, corn free meat based foods. The ultimate best diet for cats is raw. When you check out the site sugarcatmom gave you (cause I see she typed faster than me )there is a section on feeding and preparing raw food for your cat. Very interesting.
One vet I went to tried telling me that cats do quite well on a diet of wheat and grains because after all, when a cat catches a mouse it eats the contents of the mouse's stomach. She obviously has never had to clean up two or three mouse guts every day that my wonderful feral leaves lying in the porch for me.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 07:09 PM
ElleTrixie ElleTrixie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
What you are looking for are grain free, corn free meat based foods. The ultimate best diet for cats is raw.
Yes, Orijen is a grain-free, corn free food. I did spend quite alot of time researching different foods, I, however, seem to have chosen the wrong formula. She was only getting 2 tablespoons of kibble a day, with the majority of her diet being wet food, but it appears a change to completely wet food is in order. I was feeding Eagle Pack Holistic wet food in varying formulas/flavours, but was debating a switch from Eagle to Wellness before the urinary tract inflammation and will likely proceed with that switch.

On a side note, if you are feeding completely wet how do you ensure they maintain dental hygiene?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
Do you know if Dash's urine was sent out for a culture & sensitivity (usually takes a couple days to get the results back)? Can you get the results of the urinalysis?
I am not sure if they sent it out for a culture & sensitivity, but being as they called me not more than an hour later to inform me she had a UTI I very much doubt it. They also wanted to XRay to rule out stones (she goes tomorrow for that), I will get the results of the urinalysis then.


I appreciate all the input, I want to make sure this does not become a recurring problem in kitty and go about it the proper way. I did pick up the supplement you recommended while I have her on Clavamox, but I will re-evaluate that when I get a sit-down with the vet tomorrow. The site you provided was also very informative.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTrixie View Post
On a side note, if you are feeding completely wet how do you ensure they maintain dental hygiene?
See, the thing is, dry food does not clean teeth. It's a great selling gimmick, isn't it?
The following is a great article explaining what happens when a cat eats dry food. It is an eye opener.
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...dcleantheteeth

The best thing for keeping your cats teeth clean and sparkling is either brushing their teeth regularily or giving kitty a chicken bone (raw, never cooked) to chew on.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 05:28 PM
ElleTrixie ElleTrixie is offline
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A great selling gimmick it is, I found that article very informative and slightly disheartening as I thought I was doing the right thing.

I took Dash in for XRays today and no stones (thank goodness). I'm debating about keeping her on the Clavamox, my instincts tell me to take her off it, but I hesitate to not listen to the "expert."

I did get a copy of her urinalysis and the results are as follows:

pH - 8.0
Crystals present (3+) - struvite
Bacteria (2+)
Amorphous Urates - amorphous phosphate

Other comments:
clean urine
very concentrated colour
no sediment


I'm off to google to see if I can figure out what this all means!
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 05:41 PM
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The best way to ensure healthy kidney and bladder for your cat is a quality canned and/or raw diet.

I fed my cats orijen, then changed to Wellness, then onto Nature's Variety canned and homemade raw, I can't tell you the difference it made in the health of my cats between orijen and canned with raw. Kibble does not belong in any kitty diet except as a treat.

Sugarcatmom and Growler are cat nutrition experts I trust them totally and even before my own vet.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 07:12 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTrixie View Post
I did get a copy of her urinalysis and the results are as follows:

pH - 8.0
Crystals present (3+) - struvite
That is very alkaline urine, so no wonder there are struvite crystals present. Ph does fluctuate throughout the day, but normal cat urine should be somewhere around 6.0-6.5. Ways to acidify Dash's urine would be by feeding a quality meat-based high protein food, and if that doesn't do the trick, you might want to consider adding an acidifier to her diet (like L-methionine). I would suggest picking up some PH test strips from a health food store (like these: pHion) so that you can keep an eye on the acidity of Dash's urine. I have lots of tips for collecting a pee sample if you need them.

You do not want to start using an acidifier without being able to check what effect it's having because you could end up with urine that's too acidic, which would be a risk factor for calcium oxalate crystals (and those are harder to deal with).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTrixie View Post
Bacteria (2+)
Was the urine sample taken via cystocentisis (needle into the bladder)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTrixie View Post
very concentrated colour
Do they have a value for the urine specific gravity (USG)? The fact that the colour is concentrated means the urine probably is too, but I'd be interested in what the actual value is.

Anyway, for sure go with wet food only at this point, and see if you can monitor Dash's urine ph to see if that 8.0 comes down on its own.

Hope that helps.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 10:31 AM
ElleTrixie ElleTrixie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
That is very alkaline urine, so no wonder there are struvite crystals present. Ph does fluctuate throughout the day, but normal cat urine should be somewhere around 6.0-6.5. Ways to acidify Dash's urine would be by feeding a quality meat-based high protein food, and if that doesn't do the trick, you might want to consider adding an acidifier to her diet (like L-methionine).
The pH value did shock me as well... from searching around it appears not drinking enough water can also make the urine more alkaline. I have since put 2 more water bowls out (around the house) and have been making her wet food into more of a slurry by adding water. She looked at me like I was crazy at first, but eats it now without hesitation

She is also very picky about her litterbox and will hold it if it isn't clean, so I think we may invest in a auto-cleaning one to make sure it is always up to Dash's standards. Anybody have experience with these?

I will consider an acidifier if it doesn't rectify with a completely wet food diet, but I will monitor at home (??how do you collect clean urine??).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post

Was the urine sample taken via cystocentisis (needle into the bladder)?

Do they have a value for the urine specific gravity (USG)? The fact that the colour is concentrated means the urine probably is too, but I'd be interested in what the actual value is.
The urine sample was taken via cystocentisis. There is no value for USG, there is a UBG that is stated as normal. I called in to see if they did have a specific gravity and apparently not (hence my days away). I will see if I can request this as she is do in for another urine sample this weekend (which will probably be through cystocentisis again as she will not use the litter provided in the sample kit... she's a picky one!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post

Hope that helps.
Everyone has been wonderfully helpful, I appreciate the time you have taken to help me through this and find the answers I'm just not getting from my vet (she didn't even mention the pH out of whack..... grrr....). Thank you again for all your advice.
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