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Need some help talking with the vet

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Last September, Lucy had a bladder stone removed. Since then, everyone has been eating the Purina URI. We leave food out all of the time because of Much tends to lose weight.

The Purina URI has a lot of corn and I really want to get them on a different food with more protein - possibly back to the Wellness. Carly and Lucy are packing on the pounds with this food and they are both active.

I really should talk to the vet before changing their food. Does anyone have any advice, opinions about how, if, what I should do?
post #2 of 17
Just tell your vet what you told us, and that you don't really care for the food they're on now. Ask her/him to advise something more healthy and natural. It's hard though.. my vet only recommends Science Diet prescription foods and they're loaded with corn and by-products. I actually told HER about other foods I wanted to try, and she was very willing and open. She said to certainly give it a try and to let her know how it was going. Sometimes it's the vets that need advice.
post #3 of 17
I understand your problem. Most dry UTI (urinary tract infection) food is full of corn and other grains. URI, by the way, is upper respiratory infection. For any cat with a history of UTIs , crystals or stones wet food is much better. These cats need a lot of moisture in their diet inorder to encourage frequent urination. The less time the urine spends in the bladder the less chance for crystals to form.

Wellness is a good for any cat. I use that and Natural Balance for Eric and Kolohe because they have a history of crystals. Those foods also come in fish free flavors, which is also important for crystal prone cats. My other cats eat Wellness, N.B. and a variety of other canned foods.

Don't expect your vet to be sympathetic to your desire to change food. Most vets have very little training in cat nutrition. They rely on information from the makers of RX food such as Purina and Hills. They also frequently sell the RX foods and have a motivation to recommend it.

My vet wanted my crystals cats to eat Hills c/d. Like you, I did not want them eating a food that is primarily corn and other grains. They refused to eat the wet c/d. I did some research and put them on the all wet diet with a bit of L-Methionine added to help acidify their urine. The vet knows what I'm doing.

It sounds as though you've done some reading about cat nutrition. I'll provide a some links for you anyway. You may find information you can use in a discussion with the vet. You're right that you should talk to the vet before changing food, but sometimes it's necessary to take matters into your own hands for the good of your kitties. Good luck.

http://www.catinfo.org/
http://www.peteducation.com/article....articleid=2729
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...needcannedfood
post #4 of 17
I had a similar situation when I was feeding my gang the Hills c/d food. I did a lot of reading about other diets and approached my vet with my ideas about what I thought would be best for Beandip (and the rest of them). Like TickyTat's experience, my vet was very receptive to my plan. Of course it helped that Beandip had shown very little improvement while being on that c/d for over a year. Any alternative looked like a better idea. I'm happy to say that it has all worked out very well.

I would just say to try the honest approach and come armed with information.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links - They're eating Purina UR - (the URI is one of those auto-typos when the brain leaves the typing to the fingers ). I wish I could get Lucy, the one with the problem, to eat wet food but she absolutely ignores it. The other two love their wet Wellness.

I've tried to breach it before with the vet and he really believes that this is the best for her. I just feel stuck.
post #6 of 17
What about coating one side of the dry food with a bit of wet food? Start with a light coating and slowly work up to a thicker coating as she gets used to it.
It tooks several weeks, but we were able to get my son's eating some wet food this way. After we discoverd a flavor she liked.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
Thanks for the links - They're eating Purina UR - (the URI is one of those auto-typos when the brain leaves the typing to the fingers ). I wish I could get Lucy, the one with the problem, to eat wet food but she absolutely ignores it. The other two love their wet Wellness.

I've tried to breach it before with the vet and he really believes that this is the best for her. I just feel stuck.
The first link I posted has a great section with tips on getting a dry food addict to eat wet food. The suggestion from Mom of 4 is one way you could try. You have to be tricky.

To be perfectly honest, I basically told the vet what I did after I did it. He really didn't have much to say. My vet thinks that the answer to any diet issue is an RX food. I disagree and will do what I think is best for my cats.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
Thanks for the links - They're eating Purina UR - (the URI is one of those auto-typos when the brain leaves the typing to the fingers ). I wish I could get Lucy, the one with the problem, to eat wet food but she absolutely ignores it. The other two love their wet Wellness.

I've tried to breach it before with the vet and he really believes that this is the best for her. I just feel stuck.
It really depends on your vet's attitude. Some will tell you what to do until you present other options....then who knows. Some will be receptive, and some aren't.

I think Jean44 gave you some very realistic advice.

As far as the wet food goes...if you're willing I would try some of those tricks at catinfo.org.

When I was switching my cats over to wet food, they really tested my patience. One dismal Friday afternoon, after 4 days of wet food - we fell off the wagon. I couldn't cope. With some help, we were back for a second (and final, successful) attempt a week later.

One trick that I used was sort of like what mom of 4 said. I have pushed kibbles into the top of wet food, about halfway in...so they can still smell the dry but they have to dig it out to eat it.

The first, most important thing was to pick up the bowls of "free fed" food. They were totally uncooperative until I did that, then things improved quite a bit.

Another thing I recently discovered is that a little sprinkle of brewer's yeast (from the health food store) makes anything delicious. I have just one stubborn blue-eyed cat that doesn't fall for that. The others love it.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, DH and I talked and I think I convinced him of the immediate direction we are going. Starting today, they will get their wet food at 6am and 6 pm as they always have. They will get the dry for about an hour after the wet starting out. The main thing here is to start scheduled feedings. We are already monitoring Much's weight so we will know quickly if this is affecting her ( that we don't - she can't lose any more weight).

I'm going to look into some brewer's yeast to see if Lucy likes it. We right now have to do a lot of cajoling, feeding by hand, to get her to eat a little.

I'm going to compile my research and talk to the vet when we go in in September and discuss it with him. I need to be firm because I really want to get them off the corn.

Thanks everyone for your support. My gut tells me this is right and it helps to know that you see it also.
post #10 of 17
Glad You ASKED>>..

NO dont JUST CHANGE...

Do you have any Wellness broshures>>?? or can you print off the food s you like?? this will give the vet the % ages of things that may be important,...


For UTI issues ask what
PROTEIN is needed minimum and maximum
Fat see protein
Calcium
Phosphorus
Magnesium
Overall ash
I too say all wet is better... Corn happens to be the BEST at adjusting Calcium Phosporus and magnesium to a lesser degree in chn based formulas ... So you not get them on exactly what you want but possiblely better than they have now....

I am sure youll find a food your willing to feed and the vet also thinks is good for the kitties health
post #11 of 17
I think a good option is Royal Canin Urinary S/O. It's more grain heavy than I would prefer but it is by-product free.

For a cat who has had surgery to remove bladder stones, I think there are benefits to a prescription food designed to regulate urinary pH. To me S/O is by far the best of the available prescription urinary tract foods.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean44 View Post
The first link I posted has a great section with tips on getting a dry food addict to eat wet food. The suggestion from Mom of 4 is one way you could try. You have to be tricky.

To be perfectly honest, I basically told the vet what I did after I did it. He really didn't have much to say. My vet thinks that the answer to any diet issue is an RX food. I disagree and will do what I think is best for my cats.
it also depends on the type of crystals she had. Chip had the oxalate crystals - needed a more akaline urine. the struvite crystals need a food that causes a more acidic urine. these are much more common, & most high-quality foods have cranberry & other additives to acidify the urine.
brewer's yeast has an akalinizing effect, according to the research i did. so you might not want to use it if Lucy needs more acidic urine.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
it also depends on the type of crystals she had. Chip had the oxalate crystals - needed a more akaline urine. the struvite crystals need a food that causes a more acidic urine. these are much more common, & most high-quality foods have cranberry & other additives to acidify the urine.
brewer's yeast has an akalinizing effect, according to the research i did. so you might not want to use it if Lucy needs more acidic urine.
On the brewer's yeast, I remember that coming up in some past discussions (the alkaline effect). I dug for more info about it and couldn't come up with anything conclusive. The only questionable part I could find (in regards to feeding it to a struvite prone cat) is that the magnesium content of it is a bit on the high side. I did see info that suggested that it can be beneficial for oxalate prone cats (and humans), and while that may suggest it has an alkaline effect - I couldn't find any info stating that. Do you have any links?

I only use a light sprinkle of the powdered flakes on top of food sometimes. Ironically enough, chewable acidifier pills for cats and dogs are made in a brewer's yeast base.
post #14 of 17
unfortunately, any links i have are on the computer at school, since that's where i did the research. i do have anecdoctal evidence, since Chip was only on the special food for a month. after that, he got the brewer's yeast added to his wet, & the problem hasn't recurred. not definitive proof, i know, but it's all i have at the present time.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
unfortunately, any links i have are on the computer at school, since that's where i did the research. i do have anecdoctal evidence, since Chip was only on the special food for a month. after that, he got the brewer's yeast added to his wet, & the problem hasn't recurred. not definitive proof, i know, but it's all i have at the present time.
Fair enough, no problem. I'm glad Chip's doing well. I searched for info because I was trying to find good reasons not to let Beandip have it. A little bit hasn't done any harm to this point. He *loves* those acidifier pills, he eats them like candy.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Have a follow-up as we went to the vet yesterday. Because Lucy packed on a additional pound in the last year, the doctor was willing to look at alternative foods. We will take a baseline urine sample on Thursday when she goes in for her dental. After that, I'm going to start mixing in Wellness Healthy Weight which starts out with deboned chicken instead of corn in the ingredients (He also recommended the Purina OM, but the first ingredients are Corn gluten meal, wheat gluten, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal which is exactly what I want to move away from).

So we can then keep an eye on her bladder to see if she starts having problems.

Thanks for everyone's help.
post #17 of 17
I hope it works! I can obviously see why you'd want to switch foods, it's sad that many vets cannot see it!
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