What are some ways to manage and prevent urinary crystals in cats besides a veterinary diet?
Original Question: Melie was just diagnosed with stones in her blood and she may be going for surgery. She is going to be out on a special diet, Royal Canin SO Urinary for life. Melie has always been eating a high quality meat based diet plus occasional bits of homemade chicken, yogurt, cheese (very little). My concern is that I read the ingredients in Royal Canine SO Urinary and it doesn’t sound nutritious; mostly corn hardly any meat. Why do vets recommend this food and will it cause any other problems for my cat? - Ann
Thanks for your question.
Veterinarians recommend that diet primarily for its ability to reduce the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals/stones in our pets. Having said that, this is not the only treatment option for presenting these crystals. I would first recommend that you absolutely confirm the type of crystal/stone that your cat is forming. This will dictate the treatment.
The goal of preventing crystals is to change the pH of the urine and maintain it at a level which prevents the formation of crystals. There are certain dietary ingredients, natural supplements and nutraceuticals that can change the pH of the urine. Determine the optimal urine pH and ask your veterinarian about options or products to keep it regulated at that ideal level. You can monitor your success by performing urine tests to monitor that you are maintaining the pH at the ideal level. You can even buy urine dipsticks at the pharmacy and collect urine at home (with plastic litter in a clean litter box) and monitor it yourself without having to perform expensive testing.
I hope this offers another option that you haven’t considered.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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