Homemade recipe to prevent struvite stones/crystals

sophie1

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I'm asking this mostly of the long-time posters, such as mschauer, who have done considerable research on nutrient composition of homemade raw and cooked diets.

Both my cats have been raw fed their entire lives, so imagine my surprise when one of them developed idiopathic cystitis, with highly alkaline urine (ph 8-9) and struvite crystals & stones requiring surgery. My vet and I put this down to a combination of construction going on in my apartment and Nature Variety raw medallions, which I was surprised to discover contain almost 20% bone, and less than 70% water. I switched to Balanced Blends, which uses no bone (similar to Rad Cat), has low phosphorus content, and >80% water content - plus I add additional water. He also is on transdermal amitryptiline and Vetri Science supplements. Unfortunately, the problem has persisted, with a bad recurrence (urine pH 9.0, a lot of blood & crystals) a few weeks ago.

On my vet's recommendation (and this vet is supportive of raw diets) I tried to switch Chai to urinary prescription canned food. He ate them initially but later started refusing every brand I tried (Royal Canin, Hills, Forza). This is a cat who likes his raw! I can't disagree with him....switching him off raw onto that junk was heartbreaking.

Can one of you suggest a homemade recipe that can sub for the prescription foods? I'm not averse to consulting a vet nutritionist, but I thought I would ask here first. Failing that, a suggestion for a vet nutritionist who supports raw feeding and wouldn't recommend recipes loaded with things like rice would be super appreciated.
 

basscat

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We simply add a teaspoon of ACV to one water bowl. He's not big on drinking "bowl water", but...he plays in it and licks it off of his feet.
Don't know if that had anything to do with crystals/urinary tract problems. BUT, that stopped about a week later and he's not had any problems since.
The other eats raw chicken chunks and we just mix a teaspoon in with the chunks. We almost think he likes it better than chicken alone..LOL. Anyway, don't know if it helps, but same scenario. His urinary problems and bad habits are a thing of the past
 
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sophie1

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Interesting....did your cats have repeated recurrences before you started the ACV? It's so hard to tell whether an intervention did anything with this condition because the recurrences resolve on their own. It would be most telling if the recurrences stopped after you did that though. And, I did look it up and there was a published informal trial of sorts, indicating a clinical effect.

I've got bowls and fountains galore. Chai is utterly not interested. I've been adding a tiny bit of cranberry comfort powder to the food and plan to gradually increase the dose, but he really hates the stuff. I'm happy to try the ACV!!
 

Maurey

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And, I did look it up and there was a published informal trial of sorts, indicating a clinical effect.
Would you mind sharing where you found it? :> I've spent 10 minutes searching both on PubMed and Google to no avail. All I found was mention OF studies where supposedly there was an effect found (without sources cited), and the only one with any level of detail mentioned that only around 50 animals were used to determine whether or not ACV had potential as a treatment.

That said, if ACV does have an effect on urine pH (should be easy to check with either pH strips, or litter that changes colour based on urine pH), I'd suggest being very careful with dosage. Some level of struvite crystals are acceptable in the urine, and tend to be considered normal. Too low a pH can cause calcium oxalate stones, however, which tends to be more problematic in cats, and is linked to kidney stones.
 

LTS3

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D-mannose supposedly helps acidify urine to prevent crystals and such from forming. It might be worth looking into.

 
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