Strange health issues with long time raw food kitty
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