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Diet info for oxalate crystals needed?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Our 10-year-old Loulou has been spraying for about a year (curtains, furniture etc) and the vet has been treating her for struvite crystals. Eukanuba prescription diet made no difference, so we took her to another vet who also prescribed Struvite. So then we took her back to the first vet who decided the crystals were oxalate, not struvite. He recommended a vitamin C supplement, but everything I've read says this is good for struvite crystals and not oxalate. He also recommended a taurine supplement. Her normal diet is a mix of canned and dry food, plus fresh meat (mainly chicken), plus canned tuna (tuna is the only way we can get her to take the vitamin supplements). I've also read that potassium citrate is good for dissolving the crystals. Does anyone have experience of using this?

But basically I'm totally confused with this conflicting medical advice. This has been going on for months and Loulou is still spraying and is presumably in some sort of discomfort. Can anyone recommend what in their experience have been good vitamin supplements to treat oxalate crystals with, or even a special home-cooked diet? Also, can anyone give me the exact brand name of a prescription food that treats the condition (we live in the Middle East and it's hard to get stuff here sometimes). Would appreciate all assistance - thanks!
post #2 of 13
I had a cat with those crystals for many years. I gave him "urocite" medicine twice a day and the ONLY thing I EVER fed him was Eukanaba cat food for Calcium Oxalate crystals or another brand specifically for those crystals. They have dry and canned. You can get both foods through a vet. The medicine has to be prescribed by a vet also. That kept his symptoms down forever until he died at age 13 from something else.
I never, ever gave him any other food or even treats.
post #3 of 13
There is a prescription food made by Hill's/Science Diet called C/DO which is specifically for oxalate crystals.
post #4 of 13
Yes, Hills is the other brand we used.
post #5 of 13
The first thing you need to find out is the type of crystal. Since there is contradictory information coming to you, I think it's hard to decide on the diet, since struvite and oxalate crystals call for very different diets. Of course what might have happened is that by making the cat's urine very acidic to get rid of struvite crystals, a perfect environment for oxalates was created. If at all possible, I'd get some pH strips and keep testing the cat's urine to see how it's going. If it's oxalate crystals you want the pH to be neutral or a bit alkaline, and if it's struvite, you want her pee to be slightly acidic.

What you can do, no matter what type of crystal, is get the cat to drink a lot. It's important to get the urine less concentrated, and the cat to urinate more often.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Any tips on getting a cat to drink a lot then? Apart from pouring a bit of water over her food I can't think how else to do it...

Definitely the crystals are oxalate now, even if they were struvite before. So we will try to get one of the prescription diets mentioned here and see how we get on. The good news is that Loulou is spraying less around the house and seems more playful, so perhaps her discomfort is decreasing in any case - although I doubt these things go away on their own?? Thanks for all your help everyone...
post #7 of 13
If adding water to the food works, then that's a great way of getting the cat to drink more. Maybe making some meat broth or whatever it's called might work too?
post #8 of 13
Cats like to drink running water - have you tried a pet fountain?

I also have a friend who leaves the sink running (not very strong, of course) several times throughout the day so her cat can drink.
post #9 of 13
Maybe our cat had a much worse case or greater tendency to develop these crystals but it was very dangerous for him. So keep on top of it. The vet must know how to test urine for the crystals. Nobody could detect them until we found the right vet.

Calcium oxalate crystals cannot be treated like struvite crystals.

Our cat had to have a sonogram and surgery to remove the calcium oxalate crystal from his kidney! Very dangerous. This was BEFORE we started the urocit medicine and special food.

Our vet did periodic urine tests for calcium oxalate crystals for ever after that and he was always OK.
post #10 of 13
Our cat had struvite crystals and a urinary block a little more than a year ago. We got him one of those filtered pet fountains ($30) and it made a huge difference in how much we've seen him drinking. He's on the Waltham S/O food and our vet is now recommending potassium supplements (based on his recent blood work). He doesn't think it's related to what he's eating, but his age. See if that fountain doesn't do the trick! Good luck!
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Is that just potassium on its own, or potassium mixed with sthg else? I heard that potassium citrate is good for treating oxalates, but have been unable to find it. So far I've only found potassium mixed with manganese and sthg else, which I don't want to give Loulou. Do you know where I can find out about pet drinking fountains?
post #12 of 13
You need a vet to order urocit on a prescription for a pharmacy. My pharmacy used to mix it with tuna or cherry flavor for Sparkle.
It was very important in my kitty's remaining stable after the surgery-along with the Hills and/or Eukanaba made for cats with calcium oxalate crystal tendencies.
post #13 of 13
I have read online that cats on acidified diets have a tendancy toward low potassium levels, but my vet doesn't seem to think this is the cause, more the cat's age. I gather that the Waltham S/O is a neutral-Ph, so supposedly better than other UTI diets (do we ever really know which the best is??)

We were just given an Rx for a potassium powder Tumil-K ($40 for a large bottle, only 1/4 teaspoon, 2x/day, so it should last a long time). We just mix it with 1/4 can of wet food -- ours mostly eats dry. It is specifically for pets, with a protein base -- he doesn't seem to notice it in his food, but some cats may not like it. I gather that you can also buy potassium gluconate tablets at a people pharmacy and grind them up (unless your cats takes pills well!) Try to get them without additives -- NatureMade and Sundown are good brands. Then, his blood needs to be retested in a month or so, but I guess we need to plan on him taking the potassium for the rest of his life (he's just 9 now). The vet said it was more to prevent potential problems in the future...

We got our fountain at PetSmart, but I think most pet stores and some vets now carry them. There is a charcoal filter in it that needs to be cleaned every month and changed every 3-mos. They're about $5 for two filters I think. We've had ours for over a year and have been very happy with it. We just add water a couple times a week as the resevoir gets low. Good luck!!
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