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Old 05-30-2010, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Urinary SO, Struvite Crystals, & DL-Methionine

This post is bound to be controversial in many ways. I'm not looking for advice on high quality food, all wet diet, nor staying away from canned food that has fish. All of this advice has been tried and failed when it comes to the most finicky cat in the world. Believe me when I say this cat will starve himself rather than eat and this will go on for days. So I've adjusted to him, and it's worked pretty well for almost 2 years now.

All I want to do is share with you something that I've found out about Royal Canin Urinary SO.

A few years ago Kramer was on all dry food and developed crystals. I had him on RC Urinary SO for weeks until he was peeing normally again. Since then he's been on a diet of Innova dry in the morning (due to practicality and his not desiring a 100% wet diet) along with various canned foods.

About a year ago, he stopped eating ANY wet food, including the RC. ALL he would eat was Nine Lives Tuna Select. I know, fish. But it has 16% protein in it and as you know protein is what acidifies the urine. Also, I've found people who claim they've fed their cat this food for 10 years or more with no problems. I figured as long as it was just 50% of his diet, maybe I'd be OK.

Then all of a sudden Kramer refused the Tuna Select after a year. I once again went back to buying and trying numerous other brands, like I had done a few years back, but the ONLY thing he would touch at this point without burying the food was the old standby, RC Urinary SO.

I thought this would be OK since at least I knew it was supposed to acidify his urine, and at least he was off the fish. I was wrong. I discovered that RC had reformulated their food, and it now lacked a necessary ingredient called DL-Methionine. I called RC and they told me the following regarding this new formula:

- I was given no real answer when I asked them WHY they stopped using DL-Methionine
- They guarantee that Urinary SO will acidify the urine long term. (6-6.3 pH).
- They started putting Fish Oil in. This takes care of inflammation I was told.
- They added marigold as an antioxidant.

After 4-5 weeks on RC, along with no other change in diet Kramer developed crystals again! I tested his urine drop on the hardwood floor and found it to be basic, somewhere around 7.0. This is way too basic and leads to crystal formation, so it's no wonder he was having problems.

It appears that the RC Urinary SO, the new formulation (they changed over a year ago) does not effectively acidify the urine, and I was actually better off before using the 9 Lives Tuna Select for his 50% of diet. I know, this is controversial, but this is what I have come to conclude. Just read on.

Remember, the ONLY change in diet was switching back to RC, and after 4-5 weeks he developed crystals. This is ample time to adjust his urine pH if it had been off previously, and it's ample time to make sure that the RC was doing the job it was intended to. The vet has told me that 2 weeks on RC is sufficient to see a real change.

I also have more information to back up my claim that RC is not good. Two years ago when Kramer developed crystals, I bought some bulk DL-Methionine and started adding some very, very small quantities to his wet food. You have to be very careful with this acidifier, since too much acidification of the urine may lead to calcium crystals which are much worse than the struvite (potassium) since the calcium cannot be dissolved.

I stopped adding methionine to Kramers RC for the last 4-5 weeks that he's been eating this (junk) food RC. I trusted RC's claim that their food keeps the urine within the correct pH range. But as I said before, Kramer's pH was about 7.0 when his crystal problem recently started again. So I again started adding 1/8 teaspoons to his RC meals and his "tuna water" (I have another post on how to make tuna water) and have kept him (mostly) on wet food until the problem corrects.

Within about 24 hours of supplementing methionine into the RC, Kramer's urine had gone from a 7 to less than 6.5. So it was acidifying nicely and his peeing started to flow better. The total amount of methionine that I had given him within that 24 hour period amounted to about 3/4 teaspoon. Now that his pH has adjusted and he is peeing better, I will scale back on the methionine to 1/16 to 1/8 daily teaspoon which is what I've been giving for the last 2 years to keep his urine acidic.

He has made a full recovery in less than 3 days by supplementing his diet with methionine.

CONCLUSION:

I am convinced that RC does not acidify the urine as they claim, and I am convinced that a small addition of methionine needs to be added to my cats daily diet if he is eating the RC as his 50% wet. Besides having by-products and other less than healthy ingredients, I don't believe this prescription food is what it is advertised to be. If it weren't for my cats insistence on eating this and refusing all other canned foods I wouldn't use this at all.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO & Methionine

I feed S/O to my FUS cat(feline urelogical syndrome)... I am on the move to getting him on raw though, maybe that will help...


DARN!! He's been on that food for a while(not saying that I like it, saying that I didn't know better until now) and I've been working on finding a high quaility grain-free veggie/friut-free canned food(I can't find one, so I'm going to try raw).
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO & Methionine

Quote:
Originally Posted by nibbler
I feed S/O to my FUS cat(feline urelogical syndrome)... I am on the move to getting him on raw though, maybe that will help...


DARN!! He's been on that food for a while(not saying that I like it, saying that I didn't know better until now) and I've been working on finding a high quaility grain-free veggie/friut-free canned food(I can't find one, so I'm going to try raw).
If you take the time to learn about, and are cautious about a raw food diet, you'll probably be very pleased at the results. I have neither the time nor patience for it, although I'm not knocking it.

If you're looking for a high quality grain free try EVO. It's the only, and the best.

I'm glad your cat has been doing well on the SO. I'm sure it works with most cats, but for mine, without the addition of methionine, it was not working. Years ago when he was on SO he did fine for a long time. Now he couldn't be on it for 4-5 weeks, since the reformulation. All cats are different and I wrote this post as an alert for those people who are experiencing trouble.

Here's a little more information on Methionine:

Dl-methionine, on the other hand, actually DOES acidify the urine because it's a sulfur-containing amino acid, which then breaks down to sulfate groups that acidify the urine. You can get it in any decent grocery store at the vitamin aisle, where all the other amino acids (like taurine or lysine) are stocked. Vets dispense a type of gel called Methigel that's basically dl-methionine in gel form. Giving an adult cat up to 1500 mg dl-methionine a day is probably safe (depending on the size of the cat), BUT be careful with this stuff and consult with the vet before starting methionine therapy because an overdose can cause Heinz body anemia (the same kind of anemia caused by onions). Researchers found that doses of 1000 mg/kg bodyweight/day (which amounts to about 4500 mg per day for a 4.5 kg cat, which is equivalent to about 10 lbs.) caused severe Heinz body anemia, while 500 mg/kg bodyweight/day caused moderate anemia that corrected itself after a month, indicating that the cats probably adjusted to those levels of dl-methionine in their diet.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO & Methionine

I'm new here, doing some research because I have a similar problem. Two kitties, littermates, about to turn four. Both developed struvite crystals a few years ago, treated with Science Diet s/d then on c/d for maintenance. Dry, neither like wet food.

Cd was fine-no more crystals but ph was still a little bit high so vet wanted to keep them on the uretic. They stopped liking it, though, so vet prescribed Purina UR. They liked it fine for a year or so but now they are both getting finicky again. I got some Wysong Uretic which they both like, but when I asked the vet she said(a little bit too quickly) that non prescription uretics usually don't work and can make things worse. So the vet got us some RC SO wet to try, and it seems they still don't touch the wet food. (by the way, looks to me like RC SO does contain dl methionine?)

http://www.royalcanin.us/adx/aspx/ad...eline_0310.pdf


So now we're waiting for some RC SO dry food. I'm wondering if I should press my vet a little about the Wysong or is it a fact that it isn't as good as the prescription diets? The pet food store says it's pretty good, contains the dl-methionine to keep the urine acidic. The kitties love it(for now, at least).

Any advice appreciated. Do I just need to be tougher and let them get a little bit hungrier?(hope not, doesn't feel right) Is the Wysong Uretic a good diet if crystals aren't present but the ph is a little high? Hopefully they'll like the RC SO and it won't be an issue.

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO & Methionine

Hey Matt,

Well I just learned from the website you posted that the SO gel can does not have methionine, but the gravy can does! My vet doesn't stock the gravy can and I don't understand why RC has stopped putting methionine in the one, but kept it in the other.

I've been learning and studying about crystals for about 3 years now. Both of my males have had a few episodes with it, but since I've learned how to manage it the problem is becoming less of threat. One thing I have learned, and I'm sure many here will agree, is that the vet prescription diet is not magic and it's not the only option to manage crystals. The best option is to get your male on a high quality food that is guaranteed to acidify the urine.

There are several threads here about what choices of food you can use and I know people are using Natural Balance and Wellness as options. Wellness actually states their target pH for urine on their site, NB does not but I phoned them and got a "verbal guarantee" that it is within the correct range.

I am of the opinion that with a finicky cat the one option that works best is to buy some bulk methionine and then add that to canned foods that don't contain it (and/or if that food doesn't guarantee the correct pH). Again, small amounts of 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon has been working well for my older cat (10 years old). This is what I choose to do for my finicky cat since he does not go for the other option below.

The other option is to feed them canned that is either prescription (with methionine in it) or something like Wellness which guarantees it. I really believe methionine is the "silver bullet" when it comes to controlling crystals in cats. I've done a lot of research on it.

It is imperative that you feed your cats no more than a 50% dry diet. Going all dry, even with prescription food with methionine in it will increase your chances of crystals again. Dry is dehydrating and cats need to get their liquid from canned food as they don't drink enough water.

Innova is a great dry food and contains a high percentage of protein and protein helps acidify the urine. It contains methionine. Grains work opposite than protein so you want to find a dry food with little or no grain. EVO contains no grains but is very high in protein (50%) and for my older cat it may be a little hard on his kidneys. But for your kittens or young cats Innova or EVO would be good. Compare these two brands versus your current dry food and see if it doesn't make sense to switch a little later down the road when the current food is depleted.

I hope I've answered your questions but feel free to ask more. I'm glad to help!

Paul

PS If your cat ever does have a crystal problem and you have bulk methionine, you can add this to "tuna water" to quickly and effectively get his pH down where he'll then start dissolving the crystals. Tuna water with methionine adds liquid, is high in protein, and also acidifies. It can be a life saver as well as saving an expensive trip to the vet.

Here's the link on how to make tuna water:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=66692&hilit=+tuna+water+
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO, Struvite Crystals, & DL-Methionine

By the way, I now have a "new and improved" method for taking the pH of your cats urine.

When your cat exits the litter box after peeing, just roll him over on his back and place a small piece of pH paper down by his penis and you should be able to pick up a small sample of urine onto the paper. Obviously you need a trusting cat for this procedure, and I've done it several times now and it works like a charm. It's easy, effective, and my cat didn't mind a bit.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO, Struvite Crystals, & DL-Methionine

Where would you buy DL-methionine???
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO, Struvite Crystals, & DL-Methionine

Quote:
Originally Posted by nibbler
Where would you buy DL-methionine???
Here's where I've gotten mine from:

http://purebulk.com/dl-methionine

CAUTION: Make sure you understand that very small doses of this is used for maintaining acidic pH. Make sure you are CAREFULLY measuring out no more than 1/8 teaspoon per wet canned serving which does not contain methionine in it (my cats are 13.5-14 pounds each so adjust accordingly). Get yourself a 1/16 teaspoon if you don't own one. Also, make sure you only use the high dosage amount for the time your cat has crystal issues, then back off to the normal maintenance amount. But if you are using the methionine daily for maintenance, you probably won't have any more crystal issues. Remember! If you go overboard and acidify the cat's urine too much, it could cause Calcium crystals and that is very, very severe. From what I understand, that requires surgery. So check your cats' urine with some pH paper every now and then.


PS: I have ONE more piece of advice. You can use a food processor and add some raw chicken gizzards to your cats wet food once in a while to aid in prevention. Even my finicky cat will eat the pulverized gizzards if I give him a very small amount in his food. Here's another post of mine which talks about gizzards:

http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.ph...stitis+In+Cats
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO, Struvite Crystals, & DL-Methionine

my cats currently eat this as their dry food.

We have *touching wood as i type* had no further crystals. I remember my vet saying that some cats are just more prone even with special diets.

Their wet half is merrick which the vet says may cancel some of the effectiveness of the SO, but maybe thats a good thing?? They used to eat no wet at all (my mom wants to vomit at the smell of it). since the crystals theyre on a half and half, i give the wet after shes in bed... they love the variety, and they seem alright. i regularly watch simba (the boy - with the issues) pee, and make sure of the amount. i always keep my eyes open for any struggling. been there - dont want to go back!!

Simbas brother, however, was given SO as the 6 week fixer food, and the vet said they should just maintain that food. But, theyre strapped for cash so theyve been giving just regular purina or whichever grocery store brands to their cats, and his brother nextdoor *also touching wood* has had no more issues. They get fed no wet food.

So, it makes you wonder how much of the choice of food thing is real and how much is bogus.

ive been to scared to try grocery store brands again. too cheap. the merrick is a special pet store trip.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urinary SO, Struvite Crystals, & DL-Methionine

DL-methionine is present in large amounts in meat. That's why a raw or grain-free canned diet is best for cats w/ urinary tract issues. ANY amount of carbs causes the urine to become more alkaline, rather than more acidic (which is normal for cats).

Lots more here: http://www.catinfo.org/feline_urinary_tract_health.htm
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