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Another cat here with crystals & a confused me...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ophelia has crystals in her urine. After a 5 night stay at the vets, they finally got a urine sample out of her. $100 later, I now have 2 weeks of antibiotics, & a prescription diet, Hills, s/d. I honestly don't understand crystals in the urine. I did a forum search, but I think I am now more confused than I was before. Can someone explain them to me? I don't know which type of crystals Ophelia has. All I know is I have to give her 1/2 a pill 2x a day(possibly Baytril?), feed her s/d ONLY & get a urine collection kit so they have a sample to test in 2 weeks. For some odd reason, they don't want to see her again to try to get a urine sample(she bit some people, sprayed all over her cage, & otherwise wouldn't give them a urine sample for 5 days).

Would a wet food only diet be better(what brand of food)? What are the prescription diets for crystals(I read about Purina, Wysong, & SD diets)? Where can I get a better food? IMO, the SD stinks. I like Wysong & wouldn't mind feeding it, but I have to find the prescription stuff. I know none of the vets around here carry it, is it possible to order it w/ a prescription from my vet? Is there a wet form of any of the special diets? What exactly causes the crystals? What about the balancing PH I have been reading about(what's that all about?)? Are there any specific threads that I should search for that contain good info? I have been searching, but now I am really confused about what I read.

I've given Ophelia Cat Attract litter in her favorite box, the other box contains Tidy Cats small spaces. I don't know where to buy a blacklight, so I am going to see if I can borrow the HS's one Thursday night. I have urine stain remover, but it's nothing fancy(I bought it is Target). BTW-she did spray outside the box.
post #2 of 28
Aw, poor Ophelia Rose. I don't know much about special diets, but I firmly believe a wet food diet helps to eliminate the possibility of crystals.
post #3 of 28
Cat's that have crystals are usually just prone to them. This is probably something she'll have the rest of her life. There's something about the way her body processes food that creates the crystals in her urine.
The Rx food somehow helps alleiveate that. Not sure how. I believe that they're usually low in either phosphates (struvite crystals) or in oxolate (? not sure on that one, calcium oxolate crystals?).

She's on the Baytril to get rid of the UTI that she has. The crystals, if left untreated, can cause small cuts in the bladder and urethra, which can lead to a UTI.

I agree that the hills isn't too impressive. I'm trying to feed my boy the wysong along with the hills, but he's not impressed by the wysong. It's a dehydrated food that you mix with water. Honestly, it looks like compost when you get it out of the bag. But my other two LOVE it and always try to steal some, so I think he's being picking. Hill's has a wet Rx food that isn't as bad. If she'll eat that, that's what I'd do as the Wysong is also pretty expensive.

Before you switch foods, find out what kind of crystals she has, as she needs the Rx food for her specific kind of crystal. If you want to try another brand, usually all you'll need to do is get your vet to fax over an Rx to the company for a certain kind of food.

Hope my rambling answer helped! If I posted any wrong info. correct me!

~Julia
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, Ophelia was getting 3-4 pouches of wet food a day, & she nibbled her dry food a little. That has only been since February. Prior to me having her, who's knows what she ate.

I am going to keep her on the s/d until I use up the bag or most of it. Right now, we have just spent $400 in the past week at the vet, & that's just for one cat & one dog. I'm trying to stretch money as far as I can. I also want to be sure I buy a good food for Ophelia.

Julia, I love the description of the Wysong.....mmmm, compost! I know how expensive the Wysong is, so I was sort of thinking about doing that & something else, if possible.

Is it safe to switch among the Rx diets? Ophelia doesn't like to eat the same food for long, so I always switched foods for her. I would like to be able to give her some variety. So far, she hasn't eaten anything, but she ate really good this morning at the vets.
post #5 of 28
Since you are feeding her s/d, she has struvite crystals. Science Diet does make a canned variety of the s/d, so you can ask your vet about that. Another prescription food with somewhat better ingredients is the Royal Canin SO, but since you already have the s/d, you may just want to stick with that for now.

I would definitely keep her on a prescription food for a while to make sure the crystals are dissolved (that's what some of the formulas, like Science Diet s/d, do). Once it is safe to switch to a control diet (like c/d), then you may want to look into other options. Your vet should do a follow-up urinalysis to determine when the crystals have been dissolved. The control diets are designed to keep the urine at a certain pH. Too high, and you get struvite crystals. Too low, and you get oxalate crystals. When you switch foods, you may want to get some pH test strips to be sure whatever you are feeding her keeps the urine pH in the right range.

You may also want to get a cat watering fountain (if you don't have one already) because it can encourage the your kitty to drink more, which dilutes the urine.

My boyfriend's male kitty had a blockage a few years ago. He was able to get treatment and has done well since then (I'm not sure what they are feeding him now). Since these cats may be prone to having the same problem in the future, just be aware of the signs (urinating outside the box, crying during urination, etc.) and take her in right away. Otherwise, she should do just fine.
post #6 of 28
I agree with wet food but try to avoid fish ... I personally found most Rx of purina to be decent
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
For now, Ophelia will have to settle for a fishbowl with an areator in it. The pump in her Petmate Fresh Flow fountain is broke again & I'm not paying another $20 to buy a new one. I'm just throwing the dumb thing away. Hopefully, in another month or two, I can afford to get another Drinkwell for her.

I think the HS I volunteer for got some RC urinary diet food donated, but they only feed SD. It's just sitting there, so I might offer to buy it from them. I'll have to check to see what it is & talk to the vet about it either when I take Ophelia's next stool sample in or when the dog goes in next Wednesday. She does love the SD, BTW. She gets all excited & nudges her bowl over to me when she wants more.

Sharky, if I feed her a wet diet, why should I avoid fish? Are they high in something bad for her? And if I feed her an all wet diet, what sort of things should or shouldn't the food have? What sorts of foods would be food for her?
post #8 of 28
THe no fish comes from a chat with my vet ... she explained that most of the cats she sees with crystals eat a all or mainly fish diet
post #9 of 28
.I know exactly where you are coming from with this, I have been battling this for 2 weeks. My vet is also a good friend. You must feed your cat the Science Hills s/d. The low ph level in it helps to keep crystals down. I have no idea what it is all about I do know that if it gets to high you have problems and if it gets to low... you have another set of problems. With the case of my cat, he can have nothing but the s/d food. crystals are normally caused from low metabolism. My cat had to be put on a catheter until he passed the stone. The vet told me females seem to pass it faster. It is very very painful. My cat was put on antibiotic drops. I think it might be amoxicillin. Did they give her a shot of cortisone for the swelling? that seemed to help my cat better than anything. Be sure and watch for frequent trips to the litter pan. I am talking 20 or 30 a day and continuous licking of her private parts. I kind of didn't know all this and my cat was completely stopped up when I took him.

You have to get the food from a vet. If you do decide not to feed your cat this food please consult your vet with what you intend to feed him. This food takes about a month to work but my vet assured me it is worth the $13 you pay for it.

My vet did not recommend a black light.

Spraying outside the box is another sign of her medical condition.
post #10 of 28
I would do an internet search on the other RX foods you are considering, print out the ingredients, etc. and take it to your vet and tell them that you want to feed something other than Hill's RX and would they look these over and give you a recommendation. Then you can have them order it for you. I have a cat that I had to put on a fish free diet, because everytime she ate canned cat food with fish in it-Bingo! Crystals and a bladder infection. No fish in any of her food, wet or dry (and wet can be a challenge !) no infections! I changed both my cats and my dog off of Hill's food, and they are looking better (smoother and shinier coats, etc.) and their stools are better!
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hmmm....Ophelia was getting fish wet food. I checked for urine spots last night with the blacklight. They are mostly concentrated around the litterpan & they look to me like dribbles. It doesn't look like what I would expect spray to. Anyways, I am *trying* to get the urine out of the carpet.

I will have to do some research on foods, check out the ingredients on the RC Rx diet the HS has(they told me I could have it for free-they were going to throw it away). My vet has been practicing for 40+ years. She's not that much into nutrition(horses are actually her specialty), but I'm sure she can offer some advice.

While I'm asking questions, Ophelia reeks like urine from when she peed all over at the vet's in her cage & then slept in it. Is there any way to get that smell off her? I've bathed her once with a shampoo that I think smells good, but she still stinks.
post #12 of 28
I have just spent over $600.00 in 2 days with my Panther as HE has crystals and HE blocked. His crystals are Struvite and Vet told me to put him on Science Diet CD!

He does not like the canned and it terrifies me as I fear the dry will just cause more crystals. I play to try the Royal Canin kind for crystals as I have been told by other people their cats like it.

Did your cat get a fever? Panther had a 105 fever!
post #13 of 28
Sometimes cat foods with high ash contents or "mis-matched" calcium to phosphorus ratios can cause crystals. The reason fish diets cause crystals more often than any other protein-based diets is because they are higher in phosphorus than most foods (although cats like it sooo much better). If you want, you can email pet food companies and ask what their foods target urinary pH is (most companies have it evaluated through testing). Between Royal Canin and Science Diet, I would go for the Royal Canin. I honestly think you can get away with feeding a non-RX food after these crystals have dissolved (after you finish the bag). Also, in addition to adding canned, you can add water to the dry food if your cat eats at scheduled times (you don't want to leave it out for free feeders because the water can cause it to go bad). Hope this helps and best wishes!
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlphilli
Sometimes cat foods with high ash contents or "mis-matched" calcium to phosphorus ratios can cause crystals. The reason fish diets cause crystals more often than any other protein-based diets is because they are higher in phosphorus than most foods (although cats like it sooo much better). If you want, you can email pet food companies and ask what their foods target urinary pH is (most companies have it evaluated through testing). Between Royal Canin and Science Diet, I would go for the Royal Canin. I honestly think you can get away with feeding a non-RX food after these crystals have dissolved (after you finish the bag). Also, in addition to adding canned, you can add water to the dry food if your cat eats at scheduled times (you don't want to leave it out for free feeders because the water can cause it to go bad). Hope this helps and best wishes!
On a message board called CATWELL the lady who owns it is a homeopath(sp?) and SHE reccomends propac kitten food for crystals. I wonder if she is correct?
post #15 of 28
I'm not familiar with propac foods, but if it fits the guidelines I mentioned above then I wouldn't doubt that it would work well for cats w/ crystals.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBabies
On a message board called CATWELL the lady who owns it is a homeopath(sp?) and SHE reccomends propac kitten food for crystals. I wonder if she is correct?
Pro pac has both corn and digest if I remember two things I try to avoid.. I call Pro pac an entry leval premium
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
Pro pac has both corn and digest if I remember two things I try to avoid.. I call Pro pac an entry leval premium
Is it any worse than Royal Canin or SD? Is there a better food for crystals?
post #18 of 28
Corn in limited amounts (and not making up the majority of the food) is ok for cats. It actually provides a small amount of digestible protein in a low ash source (which is why there is corn in the SD and RC urinary formulas). It's honestly up to you...but if you have to choose between RC and SD, I'd go with the RC.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBabies
Is it any worse than Royal Canin or SD? Is there a better food for crystals?
PM me ... for some semi solicited advise ..

RXs I have had decent results with Purina and the ingrediants are a bit beter... as for corn unless it is gluten meal it aint digestable enough for my babies
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
So, "the spook"(that is what we have taken to calling Ophelia, as she is the phatom of the basement) pooped once on the floor yesterday. She hasn't peed since this morning, except for the HUGE NEW PEE MARK ON THE CARPET!! I don't think the enzyme cleaner I have is working. I will have to try to get some Nature's Miracle Thursday. I have given her 4 litter boxes & as soon as I buy more, I will start putting different litters in them & putting them in different places. I've got 2 boxes of Cat Attract, 2 of Tiday Cats(small spaces & w/ crystals). She liked Yesterday's News, so that will be the next litter I add.

Is the pooping a marking the territory thing, or is it associated with crystals? The good part of this is her loose stools have finally gone away, the poop was really solid & normal looking.

Just wondering, but where do you get the Rx purina? Is it carried in some stores, or is that a prescription vet thing? Does Eukanuba make a Rx diet? I had someone tell me I was stupid today & that Euk. had a prescription diet for crystals, her cat is on it(he has crystals....again!). I didn't think there was one, I think she's just buying adult cat food & that she's incorrect on her facts.

Ophelia didn't have a fever as far as I know, but with how horrible she was at the vet, they didn't get a very accurate reading.
post #21 of 28
Ask the vet about the different RXs and Yes Eukanuba makes an Rx line .... I beleive all the major brands make one ... The only true premium is Royal Canin who has an Rx line
post #22 of 28
he only true premium is Royal Canin who has an Rx line
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

That is what I am going to buy, after Chruch AND a water fountain! Thank you so mcuh for your help! I am a basket case of fear!
post #23 of 28
My cat, Steve, is on the prescription S/D diet and is supposed to switch to the C/D diet after a month. I am confused about the whole prescription food idea and apparently I can get it from Petsmart... but I don't know what procedure to follow. My husband and i looked at their food selection the last time we went, but did not see it. Do we have to bring his prescription every time we go to buy food for the rest of his life? I am sure that I will lose it... I would lose my head if it wasn't attached to my body, much less a small piece of paper.
post #24 of 28
I don't know, but probably . My vet could order it cheaper than I could get it at Petsmart. Come to think of it, I bought Canine CD from other vets without a prescription in hand. I would price shop a little if you have that option, and just call Petsmart if no one else knows either, they can tell you. If you have a card, maybe once you're in the system, maybe that will be all you have to do?

It also may only be the Petsmart with the Banfield Vet Hospital in them who carry the prescription diet. Ours does have the vet and food is in the back near it.

I would check out the prices on the other RX foods, though. My dog and my cats look better and my dog has finally filled out muscle wise from being on a better quality food . And I think it balances out in the end- I think they (the cats) are eating less food on the Felidae. My 56+lb Boxer is eating the same as my 38 lb Cardigan Corgi did, and is shiner and as I mentioned, finally filling out. Her stools are better too.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by knoballz
My cat, Steve, is on the prescription S/D diet and is supposed to switch to the C/D diet after a month. I am confused about the whole prescription food idea and apparently I can get it from Petsmart... but I don't know what procedure to follow. My husband and i looked at their food selection the last time we went, but did not see it. Do we have to bring his prescription every time we go to buy food for the rest of his life? I am sure that I will lose it... I would lose my head if it wasn't attached to my body, much less a small piece of paper.
To get ANY RX diet at Petsmart's Banfield you EITHER have to have your cat be one of their patients OR have your Vet fax a prescription for the food you need to them. I just had to have MY vet do that as he did not have it.
post #26 of 28
we didn't see our regular vet when poor steve got his prescription diet, we had to take him to the pet hospital because our vet was too full to see him. i am not sure if our regular vet carries the food since I have never had to think about the food selection that they had there.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by knoballz
we didn't see our regular vet when poor steve got his prescription diet, we had to take him to the pet hospital because our vet was too full to see him. i am not sure if our regular vet carries the food since I have never had to think about the food selection that they had there.
Call different Vets around the city/town you live in. SOME will allow you to just go and buy the prescription diet without a call or fax from a Vet. If you cannot find one who will get whatever vet saw your cat for the crystals, to call or fax a prescription to Petsmart's Banfield or what ever vet carries it.
post #28 of 28
I called around and a vet just wanted a consult over the phone. She wanted to make sure the cat needed the special diet.


I found an alternative tot he Science hill prescription diet that my vet wanted Simon to eat. He hated it at first but now he loves it. Anyway maybe someone else can use this information. It is made by Eukanuba it is called Eukanuba Veterinary diets low pH/s/Feline. It is supposed to have passed all kinds of taste test. It comes in wet or dry.
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