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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Question Strange health issues with long time raw food kitty

Hi Everyone,

I have been a member here for a long time, and I am pretty sure I posted in the past, usually on this raw food forum. I don't spend time online unless I am solving problems... so it has been some time since I was active here.

I have a female cat, at least 4.5 years old, who has had weird symptoms and weird urinalysis results this spring. She has been on a raw food diet for 4 years. Mainly, I am wondering if anyone else has seen this sort of thing in a cat that already is eating properly? When I research online, the immediate recommendations are to change to a natural diet. When I get advice from my current vet, he wants to put her on a prescription diet, when I know that her diet is already optimized. (Last night we compromised with a plan for me to change her protein source).

There are two issues: 1) lashing her tail and growling or screaming in pain, and 2) very likely but not proven: peeing outside of her litter box.
Earlier this spring, she had a raging UTI. A normal course of Clavamox didn't fix it. (From here forward, all urine samples are pulled at the vet clinic, not collected at home). Next, we tried sending a fresh urine sample to the vet school lab (which is right here where I live) and they claimed that NOTHING grew from her urine. New urinalysis - not cultured-- continues to show an absolute raging infection. I haven't tried culturing the urine a second time. From the beginning, when palpated, she shows pain along her spine, right where the ribs end and the abdomen begins. It has not changed in response to chiropractic work.

We tried a full six weeks of Cipro, with multiple urinalyses along the way to monitor progress/ determine the end of treatment. Results were as expected, the infection decreased with time, and finally was gone. Similarly, frequency and severity of her tail-growling behavior also decreased with perfect correlation.

Finally, it was over. Peace and wellness.

Then, this past week, she growled at her tail twice again. I took her back to the vet yesterday evening, and her urine is free of any bacteria, free of WBC's but it is alkaline. It is high enough that it probably scalds her when she urinates, so she is in pain, even without a UTI.

Last night, I scritched/ rubbed her ribs on one side of her body, right smack in the center of her side (gently) and she reacted violently- reaching out instantly and snapping at me. This is the most laid-back, gentle-mannered cat ever, and that behavior was a clear sign of something very wrong. I called the vet office and they confirmed that the drawing of the urine would have occurred in a different location from the spot where she showed the pain reaction last night.

Everyone wants to fix this with a change in diet, but I believe that her diet is not to blame for this and I don't believe that artificially acidifying her urine with chemicals (in a toxic food full of chemicals) is going to fix whatever is truly wrong. Has anyone seen alkalosis in a cat on raw food? (She has not been diagnosed with alkalosis, nor has the appropriate blood work been done to evaluate that possibility). This is just a possible explanation for her alkaline urine, based on my internet searches.

It is very difficult to get vet care around here, because there is such a prejudice against raw food and home-prepared food. I feel like I need to try a different vet, but I don't want to just be told to buy prescription food. I wish I understand what was likely to be happening, so I could go to an appointment with some solid theories to challenge the vet with, or I could request specific diagnostic work. Any thoughts from past experiences out there?

Thank you so much~

Ann-Marie and Yallah
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:41 PM
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Hi Anne-Marie,


I'm afraid I don't know anything about the alkaline level of her urine, but Burt was on the forum for a while when his Oliver was having UTI problems. antiobiotics didn't seem to be working and just recently he said Oliver was great again after just 4 days on UroMAXX. I don't know if this is worth trying for you. available on Amazon. It has cranberry juice extract, glucosamine, and Vitamin C I believe.
I fostered a cat for a while who had a UTI, but luckily hers cleared up with antibiotics, but I always did kinda wonder if cranberry juice for cats was ok since we humans use it for that purpose sometimes, too.


I hope you find an answer and your little girl can get rid of this and be comfortable again!

Maggie
Kitty, Lucy, and my sweet Angel forever in my heart.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:05 PM
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This blog may provide you a good information on UTI

Cat Nutrition Blog - Cat Nutrition

Really hope it helps!

PS. I am feeding my own homemade raw diet to my cats as well. After I read this article, I reduced 40 % of bone...

Hana Hiro Hadow and Hocky, Mommy and Daddy will love you forever!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Good to know... Thank you. She is on glucosamine already (along with MSM) to reduce inflammatory spasm-based pain in the bladder. I will read up more about the use of cranberry extract in cats, too. I appreciate your kind words...

AM
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Happy Alibaba,

Thank you for the link. How cool to have Dr. Pierson as a personal friend and advisor!

The one thing that this recent urinalysis revealed was that Yallah's urine has no sign of crystal formation whatsoever. I don't think I have to worry about dissolving crystals right away, although the alkaline state of the urine will make it more likely that crystals could form.

Regardless, the idea of reducing bone content in the diet I feed seems like a great change to make, just on principle, especially since I have five male cats/ 1 with a history of blockages (mostly driven by stress and spasms but of course, there were crystals involved as well)... sounds like they will all benefit from a shift in that direction.

I just discovered that Dr Katz of feline-nutrition.org lives within driving distance of me, so I shall attempt to get an appointment tomorrow morning (her office was closed today).

Thank you for sharing the article! I appreciate it.

AM and La-La
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Maggie23,

I found this short and sweet explanation of why cranberries are helpful. It does seem like they should legitimately help cats, if provided in a high enough dosage to affect any bacteria in the urinary system.

cranberry supplements for cats Archives - VetRxDirect BlogVetRxDirect Blog

I think this is worthwhile for Yallah and my male who has blocked in the past for sure.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:20 PM
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Olivers taking this, hes also on royal canin urinary so, both cats eating it

Uromaxx
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:48 PM
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Thx, AM! Nice to finally understand why it helps. good luck with Dr, Katz!

Maggie
Kitty, Lucy, and my sweet Angel forever in my heart.

Last edited by marie73; 05-19-2017 at 01:30 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:25 PM
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Maybe I missed something, why is the vet assuming this is diet related? Have you checked for physical or neurological issues? My late cat Gracie had FHS, and would respond violently like that to the same type of thing you describe. Sorry if I am jumping in without knowing all the facts it just doesn't sound diet related to me.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Maggie23~ (and burt) The UroMAXX is on order. I am noticing one of my male cats drinking a huge amount of water now, suddenly (he is Yallah's BFF), so he will get the UroMAXX as well. And yet another trip to a vet coming up, Another long term raw food customer, having a health problem that raw food was supposed to prevent, at 6 years old.

I talked to the office of Dr. Katz and made a new decision. I am going to take Yallah to our vet school for diagnostics. They can do anything needed, technologically, there. Diagnosis is their strong suit. They can spend many, many thousands of your dollars doing nothing but diagnose. After I know what is wrong, the plan is to switch to Dr. Katz for a holistic treatment plan (if possible). Care at the vet school is very expensive, far more than a typical private vet, but is less than Dr Katz. So I am going to try to use each group for their respective strengths and try to be wise in my budgeting, also.

Sophbett29: I think you are referring to her lashing out at my scritching/ rubbing on the sides of her ribs... That happened after the appointment. I called to describe that incident the next morning, and double check that the urine draw could not be blamed for it. (They already know that this poor cat is showing signs of pain and has some pain in her back that no one can explain). They couldn't have cared less about taking the uncharacteristic nipping as a clue that possible more diagnostic work is needed.

This is why my focus is on DIAGNOSIS. I do not want to continue (after months already) of treating this situation without a cohesive story that makes sense and explains all of her symptoms and problems. The idea about changing her diet is that her urine is alkaline and maybe that is due to her body metabolizing the protein source (has been rabbit) in a way that leads to alkaline urine. This is unacceptable.
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