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Hill's Prescription Food

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I was wondering what the opinions and experiences are out there regarding these Hill's prescription foods. My cat is supposed to eat Hill's Prescription X/D which is supposed to keep her urine from becoming too acidic. Misty had a problem with Calcium Oxalate stones 2 years ago and this is the food that was prescribed. First of all, Misty does nibble the dry food but she is not a fan of dry food except for a nibble here and there which doesn't amount to more that 6 or 7 pieces. She prefers can food and she HATES the X/D can food. Actually it smells awful so I don't blame her.

My question is, are these foods really helpful or are they money makers for the manufacturers. Also, if a cat eats these prescription foods exclusively 365 days a year, are there nutritional issues to be concerned about?

I have heard so many people say that they are not a fan of prescription diets but I don't know why. Am I wasting my money, harming my cat or something of that nature. I can't see what good it is to provide food that a cat gags on and then walks away looking unhappy and miserable as my Misty does if I give her that canned X/D. She gets stressed if her meal time becomes so unenjoyable. And stress is not good for urinary issues either. So what's the answer?

I appreciate any input.

post #2 of 10
I have a cat on cd(he has to stay acidic as he comes up 8.0+ on urine if hes eating rgular cat food) for him its a life death thing(hes allergic to 3 antibiotics hes been on) but since her problem is the oppisote i wonder if you could get away with a regular diet...i know purina always got my cat way to high ph wise...look into royal canin or waltham rx diet i know my stepmoms dog LOVES royal canin but hates the science diet stuff.
post #3 of 10
Until stable or you talk with your vet about OTC alternatives( which there may be ) I would talk with your vet and ask about the other RX brands ... Royal canin/ waltham s are usually better in the ingrediants and the animals seem to like them better..

RXs are there to stableize or keep stable in my book
post #4 of 10
It all depends on the cat (not the answer you want to hear, I know!).

I might be lucky in that I have vets who don't push prescription unless necessary. We tried lots of other food for my IBD cat Teddy, and then we went through all the IVD prescription food before those stopped working. We have ended up on Hills - the w/d - which is the only thing that currently works for this cat.

He and our other cat love this stuff. I was very concerned about giving it to PJ because she needed to gain weight, and w/d is a weight loss food. However, she has been eating it for at least 6 months, maybe more (I can't remember when we started Teddy on it), and she has gained weight and has done very well.

So, while Hill's may not be the best, if you trust your vet and they're not the pushy kind, there might be a good reason to be on the Hill's for now. We've tried switching Teddy off with no success... so we're stuck for now!
post #5 of 10
I would suggest calling your vet & telling him/her what you just told us. Explain that your kitty really dislikes the food. A good vet would work with you to find a good food for you & your kitty!
post #6 of 10
i agree with the others that you should have a chat with your vet - prescription food isn't much good if the cat wont eat a lot of it. My vet gives alternatives to prescription food for urinary issues, so fingers crossed you have a good vet who will look at everything for you.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your input. I wish I had enough faith in my vet to trust what he says but I don't. I just lost a cat due to this vet's incompetence and laxed attitude about what was going on. So I am worried about my remaining cat and have lost faith in this vet. I need to find another one but I am finding that so many vets up where I am seem to take cat health less seriously than dogs and even horses. I live in a farm community and for some reason the vet's are not that serious about cats. I don't think they spend enough time learning about cat health. They know only what they have to in order to call themselves a vet. I need to find someone who knows more.

I will continue trying to get my baby to eat the X/D until I find a vet to work with me who knows more. The current vet just says when she gets hungry enough, she'll eat it. Meanwhile the stress that this creates in the meantime is not good for any cat with Urinary problems. But he says, "she'll be fine". That's what he said two weeks ago about my other cat when he injected him with a tranquilizer. "He'll be fine". When I asked about adverse reactions to look for, he said "he'll be fine". Well now that cat is dead because he didn't get help for adverse reactions so the damage was done. So how do I trust this guy with my other cat? I just can't.

Thanks for listening.

post #8 of 10
Two of our cats have problems with calcium oxalate crystals in their urine. Lazlo was catheterized twice three months ago. Tuxedo had to have an operation to remove embedded crystals from his bladder wall. Our vet is one of the best out there, and we've discussed the implications of alternative diets with him, and our cats are on the X/D diet.

Struvite crystals can be controlled by acidifying the urine, and their are alternatives to the prescription diets - those mentioned above are high quality alternatives. The problem with Calcium Oxalate crystals is that unlike Struvite crystals, they cannot be controlled simply by acidifying the urine - in fact, urine that is too acidic can increase the likelihood of calcium oxalate crystal production.

The main problem is the "oxalate," not calcium, in the diet - although the proper amount of calcium is required to regulate the oxalate - too much or too little calcium is a problem. The "oxalate" part of the problem is found in vegetables. No more fresh grass for our boys - which they loved.

High levels of magnesium also increase the risk of calcium oxalate crystals - this is found in seafood, especially shrimp & other crustaceans (sorry Tuxie, no more shrimp as a treat!).

Increasing water intake can really help. Because we have well water as our water source here, and it is VERY hard water, as a precaution we fill our cat's water bowls with distilled water. We also put out additional water bowls. We have at least one bowl of water in every room in this house (except the bathrooms). We have two in the larger rooms. I clean the litter boxes, and with six cats, believe me, having put out 3x the amount of water we had available to them before, they definitely drink more! (We had one fountain out upstairs and one fountain out downstairs. We've added five bowls of water to that that I clean every day. I cannot believe the difference it has made in their overall water intake).

Here's a good link on the difference between struvite and calcium oxalate crystals: http://www.peteducation.com/article....articleid=2729

I'd find another vet to work with given what you've said about this one. But before the Science Diet X/D diet existed, I believe a raw meat diet (perhaps with barley or rice?) made at home was often how controlling this type of crystal was addressed. This should really be discussed with a knowledgable vet before you embark on changes!

However - because we love to give our cats treats, our vet said that if we want to use baby food (chicken, beef, lamb or veal) as a treat once in a while, we can. We split one jar of baby food six ways every other day. We also mix water into the little bit in each dish to continue to boost that water intake. We always add a little bit of water every time we feed them wet food.

When Tuxie wouldn't eat because of his anemia, we found that if we heated his food up a little bit, it helped encourage him to eat.

If your cat doesn't like the X/D stuff and doesn't like dry food, consider

1) adding a little bit of baby food and a bit of water to the X/D wet food before putting it down for her;

2) heating it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until it's just warm;

3) adding water to the dry food and heating it a few seconds at a time in the microwave until it's just warm;

4) adding a touch of baby food to #3.

Experiment with the food your kitty can safely eat until you decide with a vet what diet alternative to persue.

Good luck!

post #9 of 10
My cat eats Hills W/D dry only. She does well on it and will remain on it forever.
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Until stable or you talk with your vet about OTC alternatives( which there may be ) I would talk with your vet and ask about the other RX brands ... Royal canin/ waltham s are usually better in the ingrediants and the animals seem to like them better..

RXs are there to stableize or keep stable in my book
Sharky is a wonderful wealth of information when it comes to cat food, so I definitely agree! After doing a ton of reading, I decided to put my boy Pico on the Royal Canin/Waltham's Urinary SO canned and dry foods. Although there are many differing opinions about the use of RX foods in the control of feline urinary tract disease, as a biologist, I'm a firm believer in prescription diets and the belief that we're better safe than sorry when it comes to our precious kitties. My vet didn't have any first-hand experience with the Urinary SO and preferred Hill's C/D. However, IMHO, I felt that the ingedients were inferior and to make the decision easier, Pico HATED the S/D AND C/D canned foods!!! I think that he hated the pork component of the food, as he's never had any problems with chicken, beef, seafood or turkey. At first glance, I was a bit skeptical that Urinary SO could promote an "optimal pH" that controlled both struvite and calcium oxalate crystals/stones - it sounds a little counter-intuitive! However, after reading the scientific literature on urinary relative supersaturation curves (RSS) published by Waltham's, the concept seems pretty valid and thus, this food may be appropriate for your cat with Ca-oxalate crystals. In terms of flavour, Pico has enjoyed the canned and the dry formulations with no food aversions to speak of. It might be worth a taste test! We highly recommend it.
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