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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feed my four cats Eukanuba Low Residue food (Dry). This food costs $15.00 (US) per 5.5 lb bag. I've learned to live with this as they need it. But I go through a little over 2 bags a month. Does anyone know of a different brand that might be slightly less expensive???
 

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Well first let me ask a question. What is a low residue food? And why do they need it? Just with that, maybe i can help find something that will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, they were all (yes, all) diagnosed with pancreatitis at one point or another. And apparently, this food is more easily digested which is a good thing when dealing with that??? Basically they puke all over the place when they eat other types of regular food. As far as what makes it low residue, i'm not sure. Any help would be very much appreicated. Between my mom and I, I think we are keeping Eukanuba in business with our purchasing of the L.R. food. (she's got 2 on it) I'd even be happy if they made a bigger bag, but they don't!
 

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Do you not find it a little suspicious that all your cats have been dianosed with the same ailment? From what I understand Pancreatitis is hard to definitively diagnose in cats and is often misdiagnosed. Do they have FIP or another infectious diseases? I've heard of this being highly connected with pancreatitis. Fatty liver disease is also considered a cause/symptom of pancreatitis which is usually a result of eating bad foods for extended periods of time. There are some forms of pancreatic parasites I believe, this may be something to look into since it seems that all of your cats have come down with the same condition.

Also, not sure what low residue means, but I've heard that diets lower in fat and high in fiber are helful for cats with this disease. I've also heard that cats with pancreatitis are prone to diabetes. Maybe you should be weary of extra carbs as well? You may be better off with a canned food diet, dry food is probably only going to cause more problems for your cats in the long run. Cats on dry food diets tend to be less hydrated and it's important for your cats (all cats, but your cats especially) to maintain proper hydration.

This Eukanuba food has by-products in it - by-products could be anything which tends to result in the foods "protein" sources fluctuating with each batch. Basically you could assume that each bag of food you buy will be somewhat different in content then the last.

Do you have a pet fountain? If not, it comes highly recommended by folks here on the forum! The cats seem to love drinking from the fountain and it encourages them to consume more water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know, it is wierd..what i recall is that they had a high lipase count when they were diagnosed. In order to bring that down, I administered fluids, did anitbiotics, and had them on reglan (a digestive aid, I think) and switched to L.R. food. They are all fine now. And yes, tigger does have diabetes and he is my main problem kitty. lots of UTIs, lots of dehydration first one to be diagnosed with pancreatitis. They do drink a lot though, no problems there. I have considered a fountain though, just because they love drinking from the faucet.

So, as far as the food goes, I sense that it is to keep the pancreatitis at bay by making the digestive process easier??? But, i'm no vet, so I'm just guessing.
 

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What a good kitty mom you are, taking care of these sick ones!
I'll keep my eyes open and try to do some research on the food, my personal fear is the fact that they are on a dry diet, which can be so bad for cats especially with diagnosed health problems.
 

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I wonder if there are any antioxidants you can give them. Something easier to handle than meds or steroids to help with their immune systesm and/or discomfort.

From what I understand pancreatitis is very, very painful. :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tell me about it...the vet bills!!!!!! I never thought i'd be paying these kind of vet bills when i adopted them at the young age of 19. 9 years later, reality has hit..ha ha. But they are my babies.

The Eukanuba LR does come as wet food too. I could consider going that route. It was never really suggested.
 

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If you have the option of switching to a wet food I would definitely do so. It could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run by reducing vet costs and other problems for your kitties. It'll keep them better hydrated. Also, if it's the same food but only a wet version, you'll still have the piece of mind of taking your vets advice as well.
 

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Hopefully, Dr. Jean will see this thread and offer her expert opinion!
She's wonderful and we're so lucky to have her on this forum!

BTW - As if this even needs to be said, but whatever she says, would definitely override my opinion, I am no doctor either...I just have a weird obession with doing research on animal nutrition and health. Ever since my own animals have gotten sick and I started doing the research on them, it became a bit of a passion of mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe i will try that. One question though...because of my diabetic baby, i try to have food available at all times so he can kind of regulate his own blood sugar. I have pulled it before and it went to low! Can I leave wet food out for them to graze on throughout the day?
 

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No, you can't. Bummer.
That may pose a problem for you, you don't necessarily want to feed them both foods at the same time because then you run the risk of them gaining weight, particularly the one who is diabetic. Hmm, unless you carefully measure the amount of dry food you put out so he can't "over-graze" in terms of consuming too much food.
If weight wasn't or isn't a concern too much, I'd try to atleast get them all on a 50/50 wet/dry diet. It's better than no wet food at all.
 

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My Sabby is also diabetic. I switched him to an all-wet diet per Dr. Jean's advice and his blood sugar stabilized almost immediately. I was also able to lower the amount of insulin he gets every day. He gets timed meals along with his insulin injections. If you do home glucose monitoring you should be able to do a curve and see exactly what your cat's blood sugar is doing while on the all-wet diet.

When I first made the shift from dry food (I was also feeding Eukanuba as recommended by my vet) to wet food, I thought I'd need to leave some out all the time so Sabby could self-regulate. But since wet food grows bacteria so quickly, that wasn't a possibility. It seems to me that dry food causes a sort of roller coaster effect with the blood sugar. There's so many carbohydrates in it that Sabby needed more insulin to process it all. When the carbs do get processed, he'd have all this extra insulin in his system that would cause his blood sugar to get too low, so he'd eat more food and the cycle would start all over. Canned wellness has no grain in it and only complex carbohydrates. It keeps his blood sugar steady even when he doesn't have food available to eat at all times.

I highly recommend switching to canned food. Especially for your diabetic. Wellness seems to be almost custom-made for the diabetic cat. If you switch, though, keep a close eye on your kitties for any behavioral changes (like drunken behavior, difficulty walking, etc.). If you're administering insulin, you might need to adjust the amount. Keep Karo syrup on hand just in case he goes into hypoglycemic shock.

Switching to a canned Wellness isn't going to save you any money on cat food. It will, however, save you tons of money on vet bills. Sabby hasn't had a single UTI since the switchover, he's lost weight, and his diabetes is in such good shape that the vets at my clinic are asking me how I did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have always wanted to monitor his blood from home, but never knew how??? Can you elaborate on the process. Also, where do you get Wellness food? Gosh, it sounds like a miracle. Tigger literally has UTI's every month and sometimes it doesn't ever clear up! Clean up can be infuriating! As far as the food goes, is it easily digestable (that was an issue before, lots of vomiting from other food) and is it okay for my other cats? Thank you so much for your input everyone!!!! Good to have another diabetic kitty owner to talk with!
 

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I haven't done home monitoring because Sabby won't let me take his blood (the vet techs have to muzzle him when he gets his blood tested). The only things Sabby won't let me do to him are take his blood or touch his tummy.

Anyway, I know you can get glucose monitors from your local drug store. The ones made for humans are just fine.

Here's a website on how to perform and read a curve: http://www.felinediabetes.com/bg-curves.htm.

I usually just test for ketones in Sabby's urine. To do this, I bought a bottle of Ketostix from my local pharmacy. When Sabby digs in his litterbox, I pull out a strip and run it through his stream of urine. If you can't do this, try this litterbox: http://www.felinediabetes.com/pet-supplies/cat-litter-box.htm. Because the litter is reusable, this box is also good if your cats are peeing a lot.

Sabby's UTIs were frequent and bad, too. We had a carpenter ant problem in the last apartment we lived in. It gave me an idea of just how much sugar was in his urine when one day he missed the box and I had literally hundreds of carpenter ants swimming through the puddle trying to get the sugar.

As far as I can tell, Wellness is no more difficult to digest than any other food. Sabby's vomiting has greatly decreased since I put him on Wellness. When he was on dry food he vomiting nearly every day. Of course, make the change very gradually. Once your cats are used to wet food, you can change flavors (and even brands) daily. I stick with Wellness because of the lack of simple carbohydrates, but I like to change the flavor at every meal. Here's a store locator: http://www.oldmotherhubbard.com/locator/locator_form.asp. I get Wellness from a pet store called Pet Junction which is a couple towns over. They have two Norwegian Pygmy Goats!!! (They're store pets and not for sale)

I don't know much about pancreatitis, so I have to let Dr. Jean or someone with more experience than me answer whether or not Wellness is a better food for your cats with pancreatitis. From what I've read, the only treatment for pancreatitis is to "turn off" the pancreas by withholding all oral liquids and food. Since this is not a good long-term solution, I think giving the pancreas a break by removing the simple carbohydrates from your cats' diet would be a good idea.
 

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I'm not convinced of the diagnosis of pancreatitis based on a high lipase; this enzyme doesn't mean much in cats. There really isn't a good diagnostic test for pancreatitis in kitties, though sometimes an ultrasound will confirm it.

Thanks, Annissa, for handling the question on diabetes! No better expert than the one who's been there!

Low-residue diets are mainly low fiber. Canned foods are naturally lower in fiber and are probably a reasonable substitute. You might want to start with the Eukanuba LR canned and gradually add other foods to it, see how they do.

Is your diabetic cat on insulin? If so, he only needs to eat at the time of the shots. If not, he will still be fine with 2 or 3 meals a day of the canned food.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 
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