What Is The Takeaway On Restrictive Diets
Fixing a diet for the prevention of struvite crystals can seem more complicated than it is, so here’s a summary of crucial points:
What Is The Treatment
- If large stones are present, they may need to be removed surgically. This is usually required if a blockage has occurred or if the stones are formed from non-dissolvable minerals. Similarly, if the bladder has been blocked by the collection of crystals and other materials, a urinary catheter will need to be placed to dislodge the blockage and empty the bladder.
Special Diet For Cats With Struvite Crystals
If your cat is on stone dissolution medication or recuperating after the surgical procedure, your vet may recommend a tailor-made medical-grade diet. If there is no such specification, you can:
- Switch to easy-to-digest wet cat food that:
- Cook homemade broths with high-quality meat
Whatever you choose to feed your cat, keep the portion sizes small until they make a full recovery.
Remember thatmedical intervention is not a permanent solution for cats with bladder stones. Many cats keep getting struvite crystals, with seniors and males at a higher risk. The genetic make-up of Siamese cats also makes them vulnerable to bladder stones. If you want long-term solutions, the only reliable way to prevent bladder stones in cats is to put them on a diet rich in moisture.
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Focus On Water Intake
Keeping an animal well-hydrated is a strategy vets often recommend for keeping bladder stones in check. Diluting the urine by increasing water intake is typically the most critical component of dietary management, and the part that seems to be done the least, says Dr. Cailin Heinze, a veterinarian at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, Massachusetts.
If your pet doesnt readily drink water from his bowl, Stockman has advice to offer. This may be done by feeding a high moisture diet , adding flavor to the water, increasing the number of water bowls, and some cats and dogs may like water fountains that provide running water, he says.
Adding water to canned food and making water more enticing by using ice cubes or small amounts of flavoring, like chicken broth, are strategies recommended by Dr. Jennifer Larsen, associate professor of clinical nutrition at the University of California-Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
If youre concerned about over-hydrating your pet, keep in mind that its hard to give your pet too much water as long as they are voluntarily drinking, Ishak says. But dont force water into a pet.
Purina One Dry Food Urinary Tract Formula
– Made with high-quality ingredients and 0%filler
Wysong sets themselves apart by offering your cat the freshest ingredients available. They boast using freshly dried meats, fruits, and vegetables to balance pH levels in the urine and provide well-rounded nutrition for your cat.
The small percentage of fruits and vegetables reflect the ratio that your cat would have access to in the wild. Wysong Uretic also contains only 0.9% phosphorous and 0.1% magnesium, which means it will help to reduce or eliminate the formation of struvite crystals .
No artificial flavors or preservatives here just good wholesome eatin.
Adding wet food into the mix helps to keep kitty hydrated, which increases urine output. The sooner your cat starts peeing like normal, the faster shell recover. Wysong also contains a healthy helping of prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes to round out your cats overall nutrition.
The ultimate tag team to contend with your cats bladder stones is none other than Urinary SO Canned Cat Food by Royal Canin combined with…. Hills Prescription Diet Urinary Care!
This pair gives your cat all the benefits of high-quality protein with the added hydration that comes with wet cat food. Also, feeding your cat high-quality urinary tract formula dry food will make the diet more sustainable in the long run, both for your cat and for your wallet.
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How Much Does It Cost To Have Bladder Stones Removed From A Cat
As with all veterinary procedures, the cost of a cystotomy to remove bladder stones in cats can vary from hospital to hospital, and even more from region to region. However, most cystotomies will cost over $1000 US.
This can understandably be a hard swallow for some kitty parents. You may be able to find a veterinary facility within your region that performs lower cost surgical procedures through subsidizing and donations, getting the cost down to a few hundred dollars.
If surgery is not an option at all, a prescription diet to dissolve the stones may work, but only for struvite stones. Struvite stones are still the most common stone type in cats, so it is certainly worth trying.
How Do Struvite Crystals Form In Cats
Before designing the struvite prevention diet for cats, you should understand the core cause of the condition.
Struvite is essentially a mineral accumulation of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate hexahydrate found in a cats urine. Even a healthy cat will have struvite of microscopic sizes in their urine. The problem occurs when their kidneys dont get enough fluid to flush out the struvite, which leads to a gradual mineral deposit. It eventually hardens and turns into tiny stones, causing a blockage in the urinary tract and making it hard for your cat to pee.
Struvite formation in felines is triggered by several factors, including the following:
Your cat’s diet should be carefully planned to prevent the formation of struvite crystals.
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Best Dry: Wysong Uretic Dry Cat Food
Courtesy of Amazon
Long history developing the formula
Not a fit for some cats with sensitive digestive systems
When you read the packaging of this brand, you can tell theyve incorporated a lot of science and thought into Wysongs Uretic dry cat fooda formula theyve been developing for more than 30 years. Created by a veterinarian, this foods nutritional makeup takes a holistic approach by considering wellness, immune, and urinary systems. Most recently updated in Fall 2020, the Uretic dry formula contains higher levels of fresh, frozen, and dried meats and organs, protein and fat. The food is made with U.S.-sourced chicken, and has added cranberry extract to help lower urine pH.
Wysong is also conscious of micronutrients/nutraceuticals including prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Theyve also added methionine that promotes urine acidification. Plus small quantities of fruits and vegetables have been added to mimic what would be in the stomachs of prey.
When feeding all dry foods, be sure there is plenty of water available to your cat at all times. Wysong has also recently released a wet Uretic canned food based on similar ingredients and make up.
Price at time of publish: $22.29, 5-pound bag
Uroliths Urinary Crystals And Urinary Stones
Urine crystals and urinary stones are the second most common cause of FLUTD symptoms in cats. The most common urinary formations in cats are either struvite stones or calcium oxalate stones, but mixed types are also found. Urine pH influences what type of stone forms in the urinary tract. Struvite crystals begin to form when the urine pH is above 7, and calcium oxalate stones occur when pH falls below 6. The ideal urine pH is 6.2 to 6.4, because at this pH, neither type of stone can form. Crystalluria refers to small crystals in the urine that can lead to the formation of urinary stones.
Several factors contribute to the occurrence of urinary stones. There must be material in the urine around which the stones can begin to crystallize. The material may be, for example, epithelial cells in the urine. When urine is rich in precipitating material, it is referred to as supersaturated urine. Bladder stones are also associated with inflammation of the bladder.
The risk of urinary stones is increased by the cats age, sex, diet, genetic susceptibility, urine composition, and other health factors. Incomplete bladder emptying increases the risk of stones, as does insufficient or infrequent urination, which prevents small crystals from being flushed out of the bladder. Drinking too little water also concentrates the urine.
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Diagnosing Bladder Stones In Cats
Cats with bladder stones can be diagnosed using one of two techniques. First, by pressing on your cat’s abdomen, your veterinarian might be able to feel the stone if it is large enough. Ultrasounds or radiographs are required for most smaller stones to be diagnosed.
These techniques also assist in identifying the origin of the stones. A urinalysis may be the first test your veterinarian administers because it can indicate the likelihood of stones or help identify the most likely type of stone.
Causes Of Bladder Stones In Cats
There are several types of stones that may form in a cats bladder, and these may form for a variety of reasons.
While there are at least four types of bladder stones a cat could develop, a majority of cases are caused by only two types. One is called magnesium ammonium phosphate, or struvite. The other is called calcium oxalate. They can both have different causes.
Struvite stones are the most common type of bladder stone in cats.
These stones form in alkaline urine and do tend to affect younger cats less than 7 years of age more often. There has been an established link with kitties eating diets higher in magnesium and phosphorous. While these stones do widely affect all cats, a couple of breeds including the Ragdoll may be at higher risk. Male cats, and especially neutered male cats are also considered to be at higher risk.
Calcium oxalate stones are a little different.
They more often affect older cats greater than 7 years of age and only form in more acidic urine. The Ragdoll is once again a higher-risk breed, along with a few others. Like struvite stones, diet can be related to calcium oxalate stone formation, especially if there is excessive calcium supplementation or if a diet contributes to the urine being too acidic.
Unlike struvite stones in dogs, which are often associated with urinary tract infections, neither stone type in cats has an association with UTIs.
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Common Causes Of Bladder Stones In Cats
Your cat has. been diagnosed with bladder stones. Which means that you are bound to be wondering what causes bladder stones in cats? Bladder stones can begin to form when excessive amounts of certain minerals in your cat’s urine begin to clump together with other substances found in the bladder. Bladder stones may be caused by a number of factors including:
- Bladder or urinary tract infection
- Bladder inflammation caused by crystals
- Extremes in urine pH levels
- Breed predisposition
It is believed that overweight male cats may face an increased risk of developing stones.
How Nutrition Can Help:
Nutrition can help in 3 ways
Different types of stone require a different type of diet below are the SPECIFIC diets for each type of stone
SPECIFIC FKD & FKW KidneySupport: A choice of wet and dry foods to help prevent the recurrence of Calcium Oxalate and the less common Urate and Cystine stones.
Urate stones and Cystine stones:
||SPECIFIC FKD & FKW Kidney Support: A choice of wet and dry foods to help prevent the recurrence of Calcium Oxalate and the less common Urate and Cystine stones.|
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Restricting Problematic Ingredients Is A Slippery Slope
Protein is often painted as the bad guy in any conversation about cat food for urine crystals. Since meat contains minerals, removing it from your cat’s diet should fix the problem with crystals. Although necessary in certain cases, this solution may do more harm than good in the long run.
Most renal-friendly food on the market follows a pretty rigid formulalow in proteins and high in carbs and fibre. According to vets, the protein elimination diet, whether temporary or permanent, only works for cats who cannot handle minerals due to chronic kidney disease . Depriving other felines of protein entails:
Treatment Of Stones In Cats:
This will depend on the type of stone and its location and size but the options include
- Diet in some cases a specially formulated diet will be enough to dissolve the stones this depends on the type of stone involved
- Filling the bladder to create heavier urination to flush out the stone
- Surgical removal of stones
- Sometimes cats can simply pass out the stone when urinating, particularly females with wider urinary tracts.
- Breaking down the stone with shock waves a process called Lithotripsy
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Best Wet: Hill’s Prescription Diet C/d Multicare Urinary Care With Chicken Canned Cat Food
Shown to dissolve struvite crystals and prevents new ones
Requires a veterinary prescription
Nutritionists and veterinarians developed Hills Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care wet cat food specifically to support a cat’s urinary health. Hills claims that c/d Multicare was studied and demonstrated to lower the recurrence of most common urinary signs by 89 percent. They also claim that struvite stones have dissolved in some cats in as little as seven days, and on average 27 days, while also reducing the risk of forming struvite and calcium oxalate stones.
The ingredients are recognizable on the label and in the food. Top ingredients include pork liver, carrots, chicken, tuna, rice, spinach, chicken fat and fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Also containing important vitamins and minerals, the amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium are controlled to prevent crystal formation. This brand is also available in chicken and vegetable stew flavor.
Price at time of publish: $65.99, case of 24 cans
Feed Your Companion A Therapeutic Diet
Commercial therapeutic diets are the best option for reducing the development of most types of stones, says Heinze, who is board-certified in veterinary nutrition.
Home-cooked diets are usually a second choice for dogs that cant eat a commercial diet, rather than the first choice for stone prevention, because they cant undergo the kinds of testing that commercial therapeutic diets do to ensure that the urine produced has the greatest chance of reducing stone risk, she says.
Therapeutic diets work by providing less of the substances that form the stones, Su says. Some of these diets are designed for prevention of stones, and some for dissolution of stones , so make sure the pet is monitored by a veterinarian while on these diets.
The type of diet your vet prescribes will depend on the stone. For example, for dogs with urate and cysteine bladder stones, your vet will recommend specific lower protein therapeutic diets that promote alkaline pH and reduce intake of stone precursors, says Larsen, who is board-certified in veterinary nutrition.
To prevent calcium oxalate stones, the prescribed diet will likely have moderate levels of protein, calcium, and phosphorous. And it may have increased sodium chloride or higher fiber, explains Dr. Joe Bartges, professor of medicine and nutrition at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia in Athens.
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Risks Of An Untreated Bladder Stone
Bladder stones that are left untreated can cause a variety of issues. Your cat might not be able to urinate at all if bladder stones block the urethra entirely. It may result in nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and a firm, bloated stomach. Urine may back up into the kidneys in this situation. Get medical help immediately if your cat has a complete urinary blockage because it could be fatal.