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Urine Crystals -- Is prescription diet needed? - Page 2

post #31 of 48
That you very much Dr. Doolittle, that clears up most of my concerns.
I got the results back from my Bowie's labwork and everything was fine.
So at least the problem isn't that her kidneys and liver and stuff isn't doing it's job. Well the vet called and told me that and hung up without telling me what to do next since there obviously is a problem because she is peeing and seems a little painful around the lower stomach area.

I am still waiting to hear back from the vet

Bowie has had crystals once before so this weekend I am going to put her in the bathroom for the day with an empty litterbox and see if I can get a urine sample to take in and get tested for UTI/crystals. I am guessing she has crystals again, the vet originally said that might be what it is. So hopefully it is the dissolvable, treated by special diet kind (struvite right?) and not the surgically remove kind.

In the meantime the vet has put Bowie on Clavamox, Metacam and Cosequin.
So I am in the middle of treating her with those meds.

I also have started her on wet food daily as opposed to a treat. I bought a selection of Merrick, Chicken Soup, Solid Gold, Eagle something, and Nutro. A big variety of wet food which right now I am mixing her Cosequin into. Unfortunately she didn't seem to care much for the Merrick I fed today so I gave it to my other cats.

For dry I feed Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul and occationally some Nutro or Authority mixed in depending on what's on sale.

Sorry to the original poster for sort of taking over this thread...
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Doolittle
UTI's cause crystals because the bacteria growing in the bladder will increase the pH of the urine and make it more alkaline. Alkaline urine is where Struvite (aka ammonium phosphate) crystals form. UTI's are most common in female cats (and dogs and people) due to differences in anatomy. In these cases a round of antibiotics clears up the infection and the crystals will go away.

In cats (and less commonly in dogs) crystals form in the urine without the presence of bacteria. These animals, for a variety of reasons (diet being one of them), do not maintain an appropriate urine pH. Urine pH should be 6.5. This becomes a problem in males due again to anatomy. The crystals form a sludge (and sometimes stones) in the bladder and eventually will block the urethra.

In cats the most common type of crystal formed is the Struvite (or ammonium phosphate) crystal. This occurs when the urine is too alkaline with a pH greater than 6.5. IME this is usually due to a comination of genetics and poor quality diet. For example a cat that may be prone to forming crystals is then fed bottom-of-the-barrel food, he then forms crystals and becomes blocked. (Female cats may also form crystals but don't end up at the vets because they don't become blocked). At the vets they are unblocked and placed on a dissolution diet to help them dissolve the crystals. They are usually also given IV fluids to correct imbalances caused be the event and promote urine production. This esentially helps them to flush out the crystals. These cats need special care for the rest of their lives. Some may require prescription diets but many will do quite well on other good quality diets from the pet store. Wet food is better because it increases water consumption and less concentrated urine. One thing is for sure- if you feed these cats poor quality food again at any time in their lives they will most definately form crystals again.

Free-feeding some dry won't usually hurt these guys as long as it is good quality food. I would still encourage you to feed wet food a couple of times a day and encourage water drinking in lots of other ways.

I hope people don't mind me resurrecting this thread. My Rambo was just diagnosed with crystals, we don't know which type they are since he didn't have any urine in his bladder to get a sample. He's on the Royal Canin SO and some pain meds. I am a bit confused as Rambo has been on a high quality diet for his whole life (at least since 8weeks), he's on half wet and half dry. He's always been very good about drinking water (he loves the toilet!). I guess it would seem i've been doing things right...so why at only a year and a half is poor Rambo having these problems. What am i doing wrong?
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Doolittle
If your cat formed crystals on Innova and Chicken soup then he should stay on the Rx diet for the rest of his life. These are two good quality foods, but some cats (cats with FLUTD) just cannot tolerate anything other that Rx diets. They are just very sensitive to pH changes.
Hills is not the only company out there. You should look at VMD/Royal Canin. I like this company better- they preserve their diets naturally and use less by-product.
My kitty was just swtiched to Royal Canin (so) and he really seems to like it! This food combats both struvite and calcium oxylate crystals. I have a healthy cat that is also on it because the vet did not want to risk him eating her non-prescription food. He's not a canned food eater or I would try that as well.....I agree, this is high quality food!

Karen
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renny
I hope people don't mind me resurrecting this thread. My Rambo was just diagnosed with crystals, we don't know which type they are since he didn't have any urine in his bladder to get a sample. He's on the Royal Canin SO and some pain meds. I am a bit confused as Rambo has been on a high quality diet for his whole life (at least since 8weeks), he's on half wet and half dry. He's always been very good about drinking water (he loves the toilet!). I guess it would seem i've been doing things right...so why at only a year and a half is poor Rambo having these problems. What am i doing wrong?
My vet explained that there were just some cats that are genetically prone to developing crystals.

If you had 100 cats all on the same water intake and same diet, there would be 5 that would get crystals. For some reason their bodies are processing food in such a way that they form crystals and will do so for the rest of their lives.

I'm currently feeding my male cat (who has struvite crystals) a mix of Science Diet c/d (i think) and Wysong's Struvatrol (as I can afford it!) with water mixed in. He's not too happy about the wysong, but it's ingredients are soooo much better than the SD and I know he gets extra water as well this way.

So you didn't do anything wrong, your kitty is just prone to crystals. My boy also went a year and half with no problems and for part of that we were feeding him awful food! (I've learned a lot about food from this site!)

~Julia
post #35 of 48
Thanks Julia. How is your boy doing? Rambo loves all food all the time, so switching him to this food has been a breeze. Lucky is very picky, so for now she's staying on the regular food...just trying to separate them for feeding time. Has the special diet been successful?
post #36 of 48
This thread has been very helpful! I have just adopted a 3 year old DSH that has had a history of struvite crystals and even had a cystotomy procedure before. He is absolutely destroying my broadloom carpet and I'd like to train him to use the scratching post.

I've tried catnip and can scold him when I'm around, but would prefer to use postive re-inforcement when he uses the post. How can I reward him with treats that are safe for a cat with struvite problems? Are there any treats that are suitable for him?

Thanks for any advice!
post #37 of 48
You need to try Soft Paws...they are a godsend! I've had two cats with them now and one adjusted right away - like she didn't even notice them on and my other one got used to them in a couple of days. That meaning he would pull them off and I would immediately pop anotheron. They really are wonderful...they have a website - check it out, they come in all colors and appropriate sizes.

Hope this helps! As for treats....my kitty Charley (the one with the crystals) knows the word "treat" so I just put down a little clump of his urinary dry food and he accepts that as his treat!

Karen
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renny
Thanks Julia. How is your boy doing? Rambo loves all food all the time, so switching him to this food has been a breeze. Lucky is very picky, so for now she's staying on the regular food...just trying to separate them for feeding time. Has the special diet been successful?
Hey Renny, be glad your guys loves all food! It took us two rounds of antibiotics to clear up his initial infection. I don't think we were good enough the first time making sure he didn't get into the other cats food. I finally ended up feeding everyone the Rx food through the second round of Baytril.

Of course now I'm dealing with Duncan (UTI kitty) not loving the SD or the Wysong, and my other two wanting to eat nothing BUT his Rx food. Those cats . . .

The switch has been beneficial. I feed him meals now rather than free feed and that's helped him loose some extra weight. I am always a little worried about him getting a UTI again and maybe blocking, but so far he seems to be doing well.

I do wish I could find a better kibble for him as the SD has pretty bad ingredients.

~Julia
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittylove1
You need to try Soft Paws...they are a godsend! I've had two cats with them now and one adjusted right away - like she didn't even notice them on and my other one got used to them in a couple of days. That meaning he would pull them off and I would immediately pop anotheron. They really are wonderful...they have a website - check it out, they come in all colors and appropriate sizes.

Hope this helps! As for treats....my kitty Charley (the one with the crystals) knows the word "treat" so I just put down a little clump of his urinary dry food and he accepts that as his treat!

Karen
Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for the suggestion to try SOFT PAWS! They work great and Avery tries to take them off but I have no more damage to my broadloom. They were a bit of a struggle to get on, but so far the glue is doing its job and he hasn't removed any although he has definitely tried.

As for dry treats, I am seeing the vet for the first time on Thursday. I will ask her about dry food that is safe to be used as a treat for training purposes. Thanks again!

Here's a picture of Avery with his Soft Paws on.


post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlutgendorf
Hey Renny, be glad your guys loves all food! It took us two rounds of antibiotics to clear up his initial infection. I don't think we were good enough the first time making sure he didn't get into the other cats food. I finally ended up feeding everyone the Rx food through the second round of Baytril.

Of course now I'm dealing with Duncan (UTI kitty) not loving the SD or the Wysong, and my other two wanting to eat nothing BUT his Rx food. Those cats . . .

The switch has been beneficial. I feed him meals now rather than free feed and that's helped him loose some extra weight. I am always a little worried about him getting a UTI again and maybe blocking, but so far he seems to be doing well.

I do wish I could find a better kibble for him as the SD has pretty bad ingredients.

~Julia
Can u get Purinas RXs or Royal Canin/Waltham??? both usually have slightly better ingrediants than SD the later usually being better
post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcgirl79
Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for the suggestion to try SOFT PAWS! They work great and Avery tries to take them off but I have no more damage to my broadloom. They were a bit of a struggle to get on, but so far the glue is doing its job and he hasn't removed any although he has definitely tried.

As for dry treats, I am seeing the vet for the first time on Thursday. I will ask her about dry food that is safe to be used as a treat for training purposes. Thanks again!

Here's a picture of Avery with his Soft Paws on.


Avery looks fabulous with his Sowft Paws! I'm so glad they worked out for you! Let me know what the vet has to say after you see her, okay?!

Karen
post #42 of 48
Well Rambo is now off the food. They finally used a needle and got a urine sample. He doesn't have struvite crystals, but he was chock full of bacteria and had a pH of 5 (maybe from the rx food). So he's off the food and back on his old food and 2 weeks of clavamox. I've also heard from the director of the rescue i work with to try putting either a few drops of apple cider vinegar in their water or cranberry powder in their food to help combat future bladder infections. Any one every heard of this? or tried this?

They don't know for sure if he's got stones or not, but since he wasn't blocked I'm just gonna keep an eye on him for the next little while and get him rechecked in 2 weeks.
post #43 of 48
I am so happy to see this thread. My kitties have bladder stones but no crystals.

I am looking to get Royal Canin food for Shenandoah, as he hates the Hills c/d food.
post #44 of 48
Just curious - but how do cats scratch if they're wearing soft paws? Do they go through the motions in the same way as they would if they weren't wearing them? Can they scratch with them on?
post #45 of 48
My two cats just started on the Royal Canin and seem to like it Thank goodness!

Karen
post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers
Just curious - but how do cats scratch if they're wearing soft paws? Do they go through the motions in the same way as they would if they weren't wearing them? Can they scratch with them on?
Yeah, they do all the same motions, even scratch on my furniture - but no damage! I don't know what I would've done without them. I was at my wits end before I discovered them a few years back.

Karen
post #47 of 48
If your vet is adamant about feeding a prescription diet. Ask them to look into the Wysong RX line, the ingredients are far better then that of Hills/Waltham//Purina/Eukanuba RX.
www.wysong.net
post #48 of 48
We had quite the issue with our female and struvite crystals. Please remember that a cat should only be given acidifiers (cranberry, Methigel) only if they need pH correction. If given unecessarily, you can actually cause the opposite type of crystal.

If your cat has struvite crystals and you want an alternative to prescription foods, I would look into Methigel (methionine, urine acidifier in gel form) or Berry Balance by Solid Gold. I would also invest in pH strips and test the urine as often as possible (midstream only).

We put Syd on Hill's to begin with because her cause was severe enough to warrant it at the time. Now that she has improved and recovered, we are maintaining the pH with the Berry Balance. She also gets wet food mixed with water (about 1/4 cup) each night. We invested in a Drinkwell pet fountain too.
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