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Discussion Starter #1
Thought we were doing so well with the raw diet. Hugo adores it - chomps up his meaty chunks and small chicken bones with gusto. One of the reasons I switched was because of his tendency to form struvite stones. Today I had his urine checked and it's 8.0! Vet said his urine is not concentrated which is good but is concerned about the high ph. She's putting him back on a daily acidifier (methio-form) and we'll test him again in a month or so.

I'm so disheartened. Anyone else have experience with raw diet and FLUTD?
 

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I wonder if this has anything to do with the concerns Chris has voiced in another thread? Am I remembering correctly that a high phosphorus, low calcium balance is one of the things that affect urine ph? If the CA:pH is off (favoring phos over calcium) in chicken bones, and all a person feeds is chicken bones, then that's exactly the kind of imbalance we're thinking might happen.

Does that sound like a possible scenario to you, Elle?
 

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peteducation.com article said:
Phosphorus: Since phosphorus is a component of struvite, it would theoretically be of value to reduce dietary phosphorus in an attempt to reduce the formation of struvite stones and crystals. Slightly lower levels of dietary phosphorus may be beneficial, but extreme care needs to be taken to not reduce the phosphorus too much, since the ration of calcium to phosphorus is important to many body functions. In addition, acidified diets have been shown to decrease phosphorus levels in adult cats, which could further cause a calcium:phosphorus imbalance. [Emphasis mine]
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2142&aid=2729

I'm not on board w/ this chicken bone theory, but there are a number of reasons not to use the urinary acidifers (kidney damage being one, and the article quoted above mentions another). I would be careful messing too much with Mother Nature.

A few questions: How long has Hugo been eating raw? What did he eat prior to that? What meats/bones does he eat? How much variety?

Adding mice would be a great step for MANY reasons. Possible?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for that link. It only makes me more confused though!

In July Hugo (who was then eating 50% dry, 50% wet) was hospitalized with struvite crystals. After a period on the rx diet & acidifier his ph was perfect but I didn't want him on the rx food so, we went to all canned and about a month ago, started adding raw. Because I am so concerned about the balance of calcium & other nutrients, I'm still at 50% raw, 50% wet Wellness canned. The first batch of raw I made with the Feline Futures premix, the second (which he is currently eating) is meaty chunks (with taurine and salmon oil added several times a week) and cornish hen meaty bones twice a week.

My vet says some cats are just prone to high ph and as long as we monitor his ph, there is no danger to him taking the daily acidifer. She thinks the raw diet is good for him but she did caution me about getting the calcium balance right. The truth is, I will never feel comfortable trying to achieve this balance on my own with his health at risk. In order to stay on the raw diet, I am thinking about going back to the premix - been looking at a product, Alnutrin with EggShell Calcium (http://www.knowwhatyoufeed.com/alnutrin ... lcium.html), that I may try. To me, the extra money may be worth the piece of mind that the balance is correct. And I suppose this would mean no more bone-in meals.

Not feeling good about the mice. Not sure why. Would boneless chicken chunks and a whole mouse or 2 a week provide the organs and bones they need? If it were that simple, I might try taking the plunge.

I feel like I am spinning my wheels and getting nowhere! Thanks for reading and for your comments.
 

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OK -- sounds like you haven't been doing this long, you only recently went 100% raw, and even MORE recently you finally got off the commercial "raw" diet.

You need to feed a true raw diet -- 80-85% meat, 5-10% bone, 10% organ (half of which should be liver) for at least a month or 2 before deciding it's not working. Most people DO report a lowering of the pH in cats fed prey model raw.

Not sure why you have a problem with ordering meat online. Can you explain? You certainly CAN get frozen mice locally (pet stores, esp. those catering to reptile folks), but of course, they ordered them online, so you'll just be paying more for them. hare-today.com raises all their own and they are super responsible and nice.

It's not absolutely necessary to feed mice, of course. But they ARE pretty much the perfect cat food in the perfect package.
 

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Elly said:
Would boneless chicken chunks and a whole mouse or 2 a week provide the organs and bones they need? If it were that simple, I might try taking the plunge.
No. You would need to add more organ, a little more bone, and more variety if possible (beef, etc.).
 

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Elle, can you confirm for me that a higher phosphorus (with a correspondingly lower calcium) value in the foods Hugo is eating could increase the PH of his urine? Or do I have that backwards?
 

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^ no, I can't confirm that but I THINK he should be getting adequate calcium with his bones twice a week, plus the canned wet food. My head hurts from worrying about this. I love my cats to bits but it's not worth making myself crazy. Going to see the holistic vet in town that supports a raw food diet and listen to her recommendations.
 

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Ok. Your new vet will have all those answers for you.

As for the worry - no need for brain cramps. *smile* Nutrition is a long-term project, so it's okay if things are a little off to begin with.
 
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