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Discussion in 'KiKi's & Poochies' started by syndiego, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    Following a routine senior bloodwork/urinalysis, from the urinalysis I learned that my Millie (my 10 year old BC mix) has Struvite Crystals. It is caused by high pH - her is 8.0, and vet prefers to see 7 or lower.

    Her advice is to put her on a higher meat source/low grain dog food, and check it again in a month. That will lower the pH.

    I recently had switched from Pedigree (crappy food) to Purina Exclusive (better), but after looking at the review on
    http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/ it, too, is higher in grain.

    So, I'm thinking about switching to Evo, which is rated at 6-Star, and has no grain at all.

    Question - this is a 42% protein food. Are there any drawbacks to feeding such a high protein diet to a senior? Should be okay if I switch gradually?
     
  2. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    What food did your vet recommend?

    42% seems awfully high.
     

  3. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    That's my concern too, but on the other hand, dogs are carnivores, and if they were eating a raw food meat diet, which many people now do, the protein would be higher yet. I guess what I'm looking for is anyone here that might feed that high of a protein food?
    She didn't recommend a specific brand....just to look for something that is more meat, lower grain.
     
  4. lori

    lori New Member

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    There is debate as to whether they are omnivores or carnivores, and your vet is only asking for lower grain to change the PH--so I wouldn't go too far overboard. What happens if you directly ask for a food recommendation from your vet? Or even a recommendation for how much protein or carbs?

    I do NOT believe high protein is good for seniors--not at all. Most of the premium brands of dog foods drop the protein content for their senior foods because it's hard on their old organs to process the high protein. Another factor to be aware of is the quality of the protein is important--higher quality means easier to process and I do not believe you get the same quality in the lower cost foods.

    We switched my 2 old dogs (died at 17 and 15) from Science Diet senior to the prescription diet, K/D about 2 years before their death due to blood work showing their kidneys were failing. K/D is about 14% protein vs 19% in the senior, plus it has certain buffering agents. K/D meant their bodies didn't have to work as hard to process their food and they had SO much more energy. And yes, I did sort of name my new dog after the name of a pet food that meant alot to the lives of my dogs that died.

    Most premium dog food companies have a phone number you can call and get questions to their research vets if you tell them the situation (reduce PH for a senior dog). I know Hills/Science Diet does--I think this is that # but I can dig for it more if it doesn't work: 1-800-445-5777 Another resource--the employees at this local feed store know their stuff really well: Prairieland Feeds 217-352-2232 Just pretend you're local and will had on in to pick some up, or ask for Kevin and tell him you are Lori's friend. :) And my dog vet is super with the old ones, he'd probably have you fax him the print out of the blood work and maybe charge you, but he REALLY knows the old animals... Stubblefield, the only vet there, 217-893-0313.
     
  5. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    Thanks, Lori! That's what I'm trying to figure out, the balancing act with a meat based kibble, which will be higher in protein, and protecting her old organs. The great thing, is all of Millie's bloodwork values are in normal range. BUN, Creatine, Phosphorous, Calcium, the main markers for kidney were good, I just want it to stay that way. After some of Mumbo bloodwork, which was off the charts, I am ready to frame Millie's report and hang it on my office wall. I don't know that I'm ready to go the prescription diet route just yet. Science Diet's formula for struvite crystals is actually "c/d", but it's very high in fat. I have a friend whose put her dog with struvite crystal on c/d, and follow up bloodwork, his cholesterol shot up.


    Believe you me, I understand Kidney issues, because that is what Mumbo died from. I lost him less than 3 months from original diagnosis, but he was stage 4. So I joined, and still belong to a K9 Kidney diet group, and pretty much the thing to watch for is high phosphorous content in the food, which meats, esp red meats, are typically high in. I'll probably post something on that list, but typically the folks there recommend home-cooked diets, as most of the members are dealing with advanced renal failure. It's interesting that you have such a positive experience with k/d, because the experts there don't like it...I think because it is high fat.

    So anyway, thanks for the feedback and contact info. I should've asked Dr. T for a recommendation, and I think I'll call her back and see what she says. There's also a very good store in this area, Healthy Hound, that I may drop by and pick their brains a bit. I was buying green tripe there, because it's low phosphorous and hoping it would entice Mumbo to eat, but I've stopped going there after I lost Mumbo because they're pricey, and I no longer had the need.
     
  6. lori

    lori New Member

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    What consequences do they see with the high fat, out of curiosity? High cholesterol related issues?

    The one dog really only had the kidney failure going on, but the 15 year old had kidney, arthritis, and heart issues. It would be interesting to know if the heart was affected by the high fat, but the vet did say we couldn't really pull out any big guns in terms of medications because his system was too delicate. (He sort of had some environmental toxicity issues--we just had to be careful with what he was around.)

    We kept pulling blood work on both, I know I have most of the 17 year old's, might be interesting to take a look at. I don't think we got the little asterisks on anything but BUN and maybe creatine on her.
     
  7. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    I'm doing this from memory (work has Yahoo Groups blocked :mad: ) , but I think the issue with high fat is pancreatitis; (certainly cholesterol I would guess). Was never an issue with Mumbo, but he wasn't eating. it seemed pretty common with the smaller breed kidney dogs....I think Yorkie's especially. I believe elevated Amylase and Lipase are the indicators.

    I never really got to the point with Mumbo that I could decide a diet for him. His high numbers, specifically BUN and Phosphorous, pretty much killed his appetite because they cause nausea. So it was pretty much anything he would eat; even then, he wouldn't eat things that he used to go crazy for.
     
  8. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    Change of plans.  I did some research tonight, and I think my vet is not on the mark with treating struvite crystals with diet.   I found many articles, most supporting that struvite crystals are almost always caused by a bladder infection.  No sign of blood cells in the urine, but I'm going to push for a culture.

    Here's one article, for anyone interested

    HTTP://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/bladder-stones-crytals/

    Under the section Struvites

    Because bladder infections lead to high alkaline urinary pH and struvite crystals, many people, including many vets, make the mistake of treating the problem by acidifying the diet.  But that is confusing cause and affect.  Alkaline pH and struvite crystals are not caused by a diet of alkaline foods, they are usually caused by bladder infections.

    [sigh]  I am getting really weary of having to second guess the small animal vets I use.  Seems like they're not up to speed on so many things.  I had the same problems with Mumbo's CRF, but fortunately they'd run tests I'd insist on by me using the approach  "just humor me, it's my money"
     
  9. susiebk

    susiebk New Member

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    My CAT has had struvite crystals in her urine. She is on a special diet from the vet's.....has worked great for us...she also gets antibiotics when they get bad (she pees in the bathroom instead of the litter box which is how we can tell when she has an infection)...
     
  10. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    this debate goes on the dog forum like the low grains do for th ehorses

    I am feeding EVO 2/3 cup a day to my little dogs and 2 cups a day to my doby none of mine are really seniors...

    you have to compare amount feed as well as nutrition level feed... I am still learning on this pick my feed lady's brain alot on it...

    If you want I can give you my feed stores number and you can call and talk to Barb she has no clue on horse feeds but knows her stuff on dog foods ...
     
  11. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    one of my dogs developed the crystals after being on the newer Canidae.

    There are waaaay too many dogs and cats having problems with crystals.

    I blame it on to something in the pet foods.
     
  12. Janielle

    Janielle New Member

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    Try Taste of the Wild, Totally grain and preservative free and it also incorporates berries, natural probiotics and many healthy immune benefits,

    www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com
     
  13. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I'm getting less convinced that diet is the cause of the crystals, that that's old school (see the linked articles). Yet I don't want to entirely disregard my vets suggestion, and a lower grain product certainly wouldn't hurt (except my wallet).

    The only thing I get nervous about with the high meat value foods is the Phosphorous content, that's what needs to be restricted for dogs with kidney problems . Although Millie has good kidney values, I'm still gunshy about feeding higher phosphorous, and not wanting to push her there. I've got that question out to the K9Kidney diet group.

    I did take a look at the Taste of the Wild, and even called the company (they're sending me free taste samples :D ) They rate 5-6 stars on the Dogfood Review site. And a little lower in protein than Evo (32% instead of 42%). Janielle, do you have dogs on TOTW, and do they like it?
     
  14. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    My feed lady says it is the additives they are using now?? but I dunno
     
  15. 56hooves

    56hooves Senior Member

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    My sister's cat eats Wysong Uretic food for bladder crystals. I'm not sure, but think it is also for dogs. SabellaRush