Her vet would like her to be on a prescription diet, but that contains ingredients that she doesn’t do well on (chicken). I would also like to avoid the dry kibble, if at all possible. I feed her a homemade diet. She gets a variety of meats; she gets acid reflux with poultry, but eats beef, buffalo, lamb and salmon. I alternate her vegetables, using broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans and squash. She gets either rice or oatmeal. She takes a multivitamin daily. Because she was having urinary tract infections, I added cranberry powder to her diet.
A friend told me that I shouldn’t give her rice or oatmeal. Is that a problem? Do you have any other advice? I tried the diet on your Web site, and she likes it as long as I leave out the kelp. Should I be doing anything else?
DF: Certain breeds seem to be more prone to develop struvite crystals and stones (uroliths) than others. But two main contributing factors are too much alkaline in the diet and the dog not drinking sufficient water. Those are easily fixable.
Give your dog a canned dog food and also a home-prepared diet minus any cereals or grains — these tend to make the urine alkaline, which potentiates struvite crystal formulation. Cat and dog foods with high fiber contents, often used to help reduce weight in obese pets, might also promote struvite crystal formulation.
For details about this common problem in dogs and cats, go to my Web site, www.drfoxvet.com. In the latest versions of my home-prepared foods, I have omitted the seaweed ingredient (kelp) because of concerns over heavy metal contamination and excess iodine affecting thyroid function.
CAT IS in CONSTANT PAIN
Dear Dr. Fox:
I adopted two purebred rag doll cats from the SPCA when they were a year old. I’ve had them for five years with no problems, until now.
A few months ago, my male cat started acting strange. He would walk very slowly and stare off into space. He stopped purring and playing. He stopped using the litter box, and he urinated on the floor. There was blood in his urine.
I took him to the vet. The vet took some X-rays and saw that he had multiple stones in his bladder. He had surgery the next day. The vet said that there were a lot of stones and that some were embedded in the lining of his bladder. She had to scrape the lining to get them all out. She put both cats on a prescription cat food for urinary health.
After two weeks, we went back to have the stitches removed. That was a little more than a month ago, and my cat is not any better. I thought I’d have my baby back after the surgery, but that’s not the case. He walks even more slowly now, as though he’s in great pain. He does not play, purr or clean himself. He will not use the litter box and urinates wherever he is at the moment. The urine is clear. He cries all day and night.