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Struvite and food

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I just had one of my cats diagnosed with struvite crystals, but no infection. Can someone give me a quick rundown of the %'s I should be looking for in both wet and dry foods so that I can look for something that is not the RX food once his crystals are dissolved. I got all the info here several years ago when one of my other cats had the same problem, but I have since forgotten what they are. Also, does anyone recommend any certain urinary acidifier over another? Vet sent me home with Methigel, but Bert isn't a fan, and getting it in him is nearly impossible. Maybe a dl-methionine in a pill form instead of a paste?

 

post #2 of 24

Any cat with urinary tract issues should steer clear of dry food.  The best plan would be to feed 100% wet, preferably with little to no grains. What does your kitty eat now?

 

As for using an acidifier, I would only do that if you're also monitoring his urine ph at home. It's easy for urine to become too acidic, and then there's a risk of calcium oxalate crystals forming instead (which are much harder to get rid of). Some really good info on diet and how it relates to the feline urinary tract can be read here: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

With 10 cats an all wet diet is not an option due to cost. Prior to this he was eating TOTW. I'm away from my home a minimum of 10 hours a day, so even if I could afford it, wet food wouldn't work as the sole diet. 

post #4 of 24



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit E Cat View Post

With 10 cats an all wet diet is not an option due to cost.

 

Ya, I hear ya on that. I'm feeding 5 cats an all wet diet and it does cost a fair amount. However, it's still cheaper than vet visits due to the health problems that commonly arise from a kibble diet. Perhaps feeding more of a cheaper wet food would be an option? Like the jumbo cans of Friskies? That could always be augmented with higher quality fresh meat that you buy on sale. Speaking of which, the cheapest way to feed a large number of cats is actually a raw food diet. Takes way more work though!!

 

As for leaving canned out for long periods, it's totally do-able. It doesn't spoil like you think it would as long as you throw out whatever isn't eaten after 12 hrs. There are also timed feeders, or alternatively you could freeze portions and then let them gradually thaw during the day in the cat's dishes.

 

Just throwing ideas out there. If you do stick with kibble, I would for sure pick a grain-free and fish-free one. You can get L-methionine powder at a health food store and mix a tiny amount in with some wet food for your guy with the crystals (don't let any of the other cats eat it), but I must reiterate the importance of testing his urine ph at home if you do this.

post #5 of 24
As struvite crystals are the problem, any of the "Urinary tract health" foods should help. They're designed to target a pH in the bladder that prevents them.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

Well, for the time being, he is confined, so I can technically get away with feeding him something totally different from the other cats and be ok. Should I give him the SD now and then after we have made sure the crystals dissolved, then switch him to a more "maintenance" type UTI food?

post #7 of 24
I'm not familiar with the SD. dontknow.gif When our cats had an issue with crystals, the vet had us put them on Hill's Pet c/d prescription. We just switched everyone so we could free feed. We also gave a morning wet meal and an evening wet meal. For the urine acidifier, our vet gave us a pill called "albeta." I'm comfortable pilling them, so that worked for us.

But with struvite, I would feed the prescription for a month or two before trying the switch to a more generic "urinary tract health" food. Hopefully that would work. agree.gif We ended up having two with struvite and one with calcium oxalate - that's part of the reason we just switched to the c/d for everyone.
post #8 of 24

Hi Kit E Kat,

 

While my advice is no substitute for that of a vet (even though vets will tell you to keep them on rX food for liability reasons), I have some experience with struvite kitties, both male and female. It really depends on gender, breed, and how far you are willing to go to reduce any chance of relapse. I'll try to find the %'s, but if I remember correctly you want to stay away from any salts, magnesium, and phosphorus, with a high % of moisture, to reduce stone formation.

 

Was the stone type confirmed with analysis?

 

One of my girls was recently diagnosed with struvite stones severe enough that she required emergency surgery to clear the stones and repair her bladder. She was on death's door by the time she let mommy know something was wrong. I dare not switch her to anything except an rX food for quite awhile. She did not have ANY UTI. Stone analysis 100% struvite. She was such an unusual case (female, rapid onset of symptoms, no infection) that I suspect a genetic susceptibility to stone formation. Kind of like some humans are more likely to develop stones than others. She has been on Purina UR, Hills SD c/D, and Royal Canin SO. The Purina is my preferred food, she isn't picky. The smell of the c/D literally makes me sick so I avoid it.

 

My mothers cat, a male siamese, one of the more common cases of struvite stones, was dX'd over 10 years ago, and has been off of rX food for the past 4 years based on my research and advice to my mother with no relapses. He did have a severe UTI when he was dX'd. He is on Authority wet NO fish formulas x2 and schedule fed Blue Wilderness (again no fish) around noon if I'm remembering correctly. I'll double check with my mommy.

 

Steer clear of dry food, fishy food especially in my experience. I give fishy anything ONLY when they are sick and it's the only way I can get them to eat. Avoid free feeding if you can help it because it will give you better control over fluid intake. I'll often moisten dry food in small batches and warm it up to make it more interesting and ensure that there is enough liquid.

 

As a 'person' that gets stones, hydration is KEY. (Although I get oxalate stones, I understand struvite is unusual in humans where there is no history of infection) The more you wee, the more you flush stuff out of your system that may develop stones. I understand that's part of how the rX foods work, not only by modifying pH, but also by encouraging more fluid intake.

 

Hope this helps!

post #9 of 24

Your best bet is to follow what the vet recommends.  I have now had 2 struvite cats.  Beeba is on c/d dry because he would not eat the wet.  Had to force feed it to him. It has now been well over 2 yrs on it and there is no problem.  Make sure there is plenty of water offered.  An automatic drinker is a good thing.

 

Beeb was on s/d right after he was diagnosed and stayed on it for 2 months I think.  then vet put him on c/d.  Right after being diagnosed, while on the s/d vet also put him on a urine acidifier pill.  I really don't like to go with anything my vet does not know about and approve.  I would suggest you run everything by him before making any changes in his diet.

 

Just a note....I have 10 cats that get wet friskies jumbo cans.  One of my kitties is a diabetic and that is the food recommended by the diabetic kitty site that I visit.  My vet knows this and approves.  Feeding all wet isn't really that bad.  I buy by the case from the pet store that matches Walmarts cheap price.  I get food once or twice a month.  Put in a regular order.  It may be a bit more, but is so much better for them.  They are all happy, healthy kitties.  My diabetic is a maniac....loves to chase shadows.

 

Again, please run everything past your vet. 

 

Good luck with the crystals.  with the right diet, they will be only a bad memory.

post #10 of 24
Mazy gets struvite crystals. She was on an all canned no fish diet when they first presented. The only food that keeps her healthy is Prescription hills c/d. She won't eat the canned c/d though she is not normally finicky, so she is on the kibble. I hate feeding her this food, but it is the only food that controls the crystal formations. I have tried repeatedly to get her back on a high quality canned grain free diet. The crystals always come back.

Good luck to your Bert! In females FLUTD is bad enough. In males it can turn fatal.

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post #11 of 24

Farleyv's and Otto's advice is VERY important to note.

 

Nothing is guaranteed and each kitty is different. If you are going to switch off of rX food, I really encourage frequent check ups and a cooperative vet to stay ahead of the curve. Mom's siamese went in for check ups monthly for the first 6 months he was off rX food. He still goes every 6 months. It's a small price to pay in the long run. She had to change vets to monitor his condition during the transition. The vet that dX'd him with stones refused to continue to treat him if she was going to feed anything other than Hills c/D, even if she went with different rX food. I understand his position but mom and I are both very unhappy with the quality of c/D. When I got a small bag of c/D to start getting my cats used to rX food, I think something in it was causing one of the other cats to have an allergic reaction, she was losing patches of hair in clumps and all tests for fungus/mites/etc were negative. Once I switched to a different food, it's mostly resolved but she still gets small patches of yet unexplained hair loss. The other rX foods aren't much higher quality, but you do have options. Do your research and do what you think is best but weigh the pros and cons carefully.

post #12 of 24

My boy had struvite crystals - his treatment includes Hills C/D (wet and dry - he's not a fan of wet food).  C/D is the maintenance food - S/D, as I understand it, is normally used only for short period of time, and the cat is usually then transitioned to C/D.

 

While the ingredients in prescription foods may not look good to us as laymen,  to me the most important factor is whether the prescription foods work or not...in my case, I will not switch my cat from a prescription food unless the vet so instructs me.  It's simply not worth it to me.  I've been fortunate - Dante hasn't had a recurrence of the crystals in the two years he's been on C/D. And his bloodwork has been great as well (I have a senior panel done twice a year). My girl is also on the C/D as they always want each other's food. She's been checking out extremely well on her senior panels as well.  They're both energetic, have shiny fur, and are eager for their food - I really can't ask for anything more.

 

Whatever you do, I beg you to work with your vet and always keep your vet in the loop if you're thinking of changing goods - and do bring your cat in for frequent urinalyses. 

 

Also, there are some other prescription lines besides Hills, if your cat doesn't care for C/D.

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I totally forgot about this post til now. Bert was not sent home with any rx food, just with the methigel, with instructions to give him 3 cc's, twice a day to dissolve the stones. Since he has been home, his pee clumps are normal, instead of the teeny tiny ones he was having just before and right after I took him to the vet. Now more crying, eating fine, seems to be back to normal. So I can only assume that the methigel is working.But administering methigel is not fun. He hates it. He is very easy to give a pill too, but he won't eat the methigel by himself, and trying to squirt it in hi mouth has proved to be traumatic for both of us. Should I stop the methigel and give him the SD, then change to the CD after a few months, or stay with the methigel, or try to find a pill with the d-methionine instead?

post #14 of 24

Methigel is absolutely horrid stuff and there's no need to force your cat to eat it. Get some L-methionine powder from a health food store and mix 50mg twice a day into a tasty treat like plain chicken baby food. You really should be monitoring his urine ph though if he's taking an acidifier. 

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

I just ordered dl-methionine, in 200 mg pills. If he's getting 3 cc's pf methigel, twice a day, then he's getting 1 teaspoon, and there is 400 mg of dl-methionine in a teaspoon. So 2 pills a day should be the same as the methigel, right? He takes pills very well, in pill pockets. And it was $19.99 for 1000 pills. Which should last me over a year.

post #16 of 24

L-methionine is preferable, but since you already order the DL version then that will do fine. Here is some info: http://www.wellvet.com/methiphan.html

 

Note that they mention monitoring the urine ph. You can get test strips at a health food store, like these ones: http://www.ph-ion.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=205 To get a urine sample, I've always like sliding a shallow jar lid underneath the cat's butt once its started to pee.

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarcatmom View Post

L-methionine is preferable, but since you already order the DL version then that will do fine. Here is some info: http://www.wellvet.com/methiphan.html

 

Note that they mention monitoring the urine ph. You can get test strips at a health food store, like these ones: http://www.ph-ion.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=205 To get a urine sample, I've always like sliding a shallow jar lid underneath the cat's butt once its started to pee.


What's the difference between the l-methionine and the dl-methionine. The active ingrecient in the methigel is dl-methionine.I actually cancelled it because I figured out that my measurements were wrong and he's actually getting about 500 mg of it, not 400

 

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit E Cat View Post


What's the difference between the l-methionine and the dl-methionine. The active ingrecient in the methigel is dl-methionine.

 



Dl-methionine is the synthetic version of L-methionine. L-methionine is thought to be better utilized. 

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

Ok, help me on my measurements as math is not one of my best subjects. Right now he is getting 3 ml's, twice a day. One teaspoon is equivilent to 5 ml's, and there is 400 mg of dl-methionine is one teaspoon of methigel. According to google, there is 1.217 teaspoons in 6 ml's. So what mg dosage should I give him of a pill? And as far as the l-methionine and the dl-methionine, is there a huge difference in how it's utilized? Because I can get 2000 of the 500 mg dl-methionine pills for like $30, but the l-methionine is much more expensive and harder to find.

post #20 of 24

400mg per 5ml is equal to 80mg per ml (400 divided by 5). So if you're currently giving him 3mls, that would be 3 x 80 or 240mg. 

 

I think if you were to use L-methionine you could use less than if you're using DL-methionine. Haven't ever used either so I can't really comment beyond that.

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 

He's getting 6 mls, 3 mls twice a day. So if I got the 500 mg pills, he'd be ok? Also, where do I find ph strips?

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit E Cat View Post

So if I got the 500 mg pills, he'd be ok? Also, where do I find ph strips?



Sounds good. Ph strips can usually be found at a health food store or vitamin shop, depending on where you live. Some pharmacies might stock them too. Maybe phone around to see what's available.

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much!

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit E Cat View Post

He's getting 6 mls, 3 mls twice a day. So if I got the 500 mg pills, he'd be ok? Also, where do I find ph strips?

 

You can get ph strips at a pet store in the aquarium section too

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