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Vet wants me to go all-dry!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Some of you know that I have been having health problems with my brood - Wellington and Bonaparte have both had urinary infections, Biscotte has had a fever, and is lethargic, cause unknown, and Cinders and Milo have had mouth infections. I have never had so much happen at once and I put it down to stress over the foster kittens, who have now gone back to be adopted (6 out of 10 have been taken!!

Anyway, the vet I have been seeing, who is new to the practice and seems very nice and competent, says the problem must be due to my food source. The cats get two cans of wet between them a day (Purina Gourmet, the best available here), except for Ellie, who gets a sachet of Nature's Menu that I import from the UK and that is high protein to keep her weight up, on another vet's advice. They also get unlimited dry, usually Royal Canin or Purina for Urinary Health. Now the vet says I should not feed any wet, that it is too high protein, and that I should give them only the Royal Canin (I like the brand so have no trouble with that, though it is very expensive). But he would not listen when I said that everything I knew leant towards giving them some wet for urinary health too, and that some people thought that an all-wet diet was actually best. I already give them calcium free water. This is an old argument, I know, but he has really made me feel that it will be my fault if the cats get sick again and that he does not want to keep giving them antibiotics, which is what will happen if I don't concur. Then he made me feel more guilty by not charging me a consultation fee, only paying for the meds. This is a rant and a worry, but what IS the latest thought/opinion on this? What can I do?
post #2 of 13
i would be wary of a vet who said that dry food only for cats with histories of urinary issues is a good idea, my foster even got another bout on c/d cos it was dry food (his was stress related), and as you think the bulk of hte issues are due to stress, you might find you dont need to do a change in food.
post #3 of 13
Give him a copy of this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Cat-Simpl...8974497&sr=1-2

The author is a well respected vet with many years of experience and many case studies to support what she says. She makes the point repeatedly throughout the book that dry food should never be fed to cats.

I hope you can get it over there. It is really a good book. Mostly it is about how to treat and prevent chronic ailments in cats. Frequently prevention and treatment comes down to feeding either low carb wet or raw. She isn't a holistic vet though, in case you are wondering.
post #4 of 13
Charlie is on dry RC for Urinary and hasn't any problems. However, he also is fed canned in the evening (dry in the morning). I get Max Cat, Iams Beef, and Natural Balance (venison/duck and a few others). NO canned with fish as the main ingredient - like tuna/salmon, etc.

He had the urinary last October/November and has not had a reoccurance since.
post #5 of 13
I should point out that the concerns raised in the book pertain to how feeding dry food exclusively and long term can be tied to many chronic ailments. Young cats can appear to do just fine on exclusively dry. In some cases it is only in their later years that the problems (obesity, diabetes, IBS, FLUTD) appear.
post #6 of 13
Personally I'd rather keep them on wet if they were mine, but not keen on Purina Gourmet... if you want a better range of foods and can order online then zooplus deliver in France http://www.zooplus.fr/
post #7 of 13
Coco has C/D for the dry and Royal Canin Urinary Wet. The Vet said if she ate all dry her bladder stones could come back. Yoshi and Coco were both on Eukanuba when they got stones. Cocos were bladder and disolved. Yoshis were Kidney Stones and I lost him 8 months after we found out. i have always wondered if the Eukanuba dry caused the stones.
post #8 of 13
Remember Jenny vets have very little nutrition education ( I am guessing this is the same WORLDWIDE) ... MANY cats live LONG healthy lives on dry alone but yes the vast majority need wet or homemeade or raw for at least part of the diet ... Can you get a second opnion or possibley call the old vet >?? wet food is NATURALLY higher in protein and fat via dry matter analysis so yeah IMHO it is better for the cats that will eat
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Personally I'd rather keep them on wet if they were mine, but not keen on Purina Gourmet... if you want a better range of foods and can order online then zooplus deliver in France http://www.zooplus.fr/
Thanks so much for that - I am going to order some food from them - haven't decided exactly what yet. They don't do the specific RC urinary , but most of what they have is better quality than I can get in any shop here or from the vet. People here tend to feed dry and everyone is happy about that. It is difficult, apart from the RC dry selection, which is good.
post #10 of 13
First, I would get another opinion.

Second, if the next vet also said to go dry, I would do a trial of only dry.

Third, if/once the issues have cleared up, I would slowly introduce a high quality wet food back into their rotation and see what happens.

I have done a lot of research over the years regarding the dry/wet/homemade/raw debate. And, my conclusion is that every cat is different and every cat will do better on the food that is appropriate to their own systems.

Just like humans, each cat is different. Everyone seems to be following the low/no carb, high protein dry foods but I've found that my cat's system (Steve) does not do well on that! So, no matter how highly reviewed a specific food regime is, it still goes back to what your cat does best on.

Hope you find the right balance that works for your group!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian Blue View Post
First, I would get another opinion.

Second, if the next vet also said to go dry, I would do a trial of only dry.

Third, if/once the issues have cleared up, I would slowly introduce a high quality wet food back into their rotation and see what happens.

I have done a lot of research over the years regarding the dry/wet/homemade/raw debate. And, my conclusion is that every cat is different and every cat will do better on the food that is appropriate to their own systems.

Just like humans, each cat is different. Everyone seems to be following the low/no carb, high protein dry foods but I've found that my cat's system (Steve) does not do well on that! So, no matter how highly reviewed a specific food regime is, it still goes back to what your cat does best on.

Hope you find the right balance that works for your group!
She said it best
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian Blue View Post
First, I would get another opinion.
Second, if the next vet also said to go dry, I would do a trial of only dry.

Since jennyranson's already stated that most people in her area feed dry I would bet that most vets there would recommend the dry as well. Consequently, I'm not sure if a second opinion regarding dry food will really help.

I agree with Sharky that vets (at least in the US) get very little instruction in nutrition (with the exception of the Science Diet reps! ).

Dry food is highly processed and too many brands contain a very high percentage of carbs, which are unnecessary for a cat and can be difficult to digest. It resembles *nothing* that a cat would normally eat as part of a natural diet. It's popular because it's cheaper and less messy to feed than canned, therefore more "convenient". These aren't good reasons to feed a diet of dry food, but I know it's why most people do.

You can say that a cat wouldn't pop open a can in the wild either, but what's in the can is far closer to what a cat would eat than a hard, dry multi-colored piece of kibble.

Dry food is contraindicated for urinary issues, and is suspected of actually contributing to urinary and kidney disease.

Cats need protein - even cats with kidney disease. What's important is that the protein is bioavailable, that is, high quality and digestible. (see Dr. Jean Hofve's website Little Big Cat. She was a guest on TCS a few months ago)

Try to order a better quality canned food via the website Epona suggested. You might also want to think about a homemade diet. And don't feel guilty for doing what you believe is best for your babies.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I have ordered 30 kilos of food, a mix of wet and dry, from Zooplus! I went through every food they had and there were not many that were specific about urinary issues, but Sanabelle claimed to be designed for UTI cats. I have never heard of them, but we will see. I shall continue bringing as much food as I can from the UK when I go home to visit. Pets-At-Home, beware!

I am really worried about my new vet. He seems very thorough and the cats like him and let him handle them easily, but although he is quite young he is to my mind very old fashioned about diet. Also, he prescribed oral Metacam for Bonaparte, which I did not give him after all the advice on these forums. As Wellington is on prednisone anyway for his asthma, he did not need any other anti-inflammatory or dilation medicine.

I know that Wellington's problem is calcium bladder stones, as he had one removed last year. I do not know for Bonaparte, so I have to be wary about giving them the same ph food. But as anyone with a number of cats knows, keeping them apart from their food bowls is a nightmare. The vet does not want to run a full analysis, unless there is a recurrence.

The good news is that everyone is much better, and pending Biscotte's follow-up check tomorrow, I am optimistic. The kittens' departure has taken a lot of stress out of the house, and even Milo is much calmer and not attacking the others all the time. He is being harness trained pending going out and I think that will help him too.
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