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Bladder stones in Male Cat on Raw Diet?!

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  • Bladder stones in Male Cat on Raw Diet?!

    Hi all, I have been feeding raw for many many years. For the first time in my life I am suddenly dealing with bladder stones!?

    One of my cats named Dobbie has been fed a raw/can food diet, ultra low carb from 2yrs old until now (11yrs old). It is a commercial raw mix (Ca:P approximately 1:1 with a meat: organ: bone ratio of 80:10:10 and a few are 75:10:15. In addition to this he eats two small mice/day, few pieces of raw chicken neck, small pieces of sliced processed ham or turkey..nitrates and all (against my wishes) and a small handful of dry kibble for treats (also very much against my wishes..many heated arguments with a family member over this).

    In early October Dobbie was diagnosed with a bladder infection. No crystals were seen in the urinalysis, urine pH was 7 Blood work showed liver and kidneys were fine. The only symptoms I had were frequent trips to the litter box and blood in the urine. There was and still is no indication of discomfort or distress and he has never blocked. He is being watched like a hawk for that. Sorry, this is long! I have left out a few details/info to try to keep the reading as short as possible.

    The vet is proposing surgery (I can see why so that blockage isn't a risk when trying to dissolve the stones and hopefully to analyze the stones). He also wants me to switch to a Hills Science diet for urinary issues. I am not a fan of the ingredients. I need the group's expertise. Here's what I was wondering. Were the stones caused by a bacterial infection? He has been on antibiotics for about three weeks now. Throughout this he continues to have blood in the urine. What about trying the prescription can (lessor of the two evils?) for a couple of weeks to try to dissolve the stones (close monitoring for blockage). Take another x-ray and recheck pH of the urine? I have added psyllium and gelatin to the raw to increase the water content. What do you guys recommend?

  • #2
    Calcium oxalate stones do not dissolve. Struvite stones will. Have NO crystals been found in his urine to identify what you're dealing with?

    I'd get a second opinion before going to surgery.

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    • #3
      Surgery depends on how large the stones are. If you are concerned get a second opinion. Feed the special diet though, it is specifically formulated and backed up by science. It will be a lot less fun when not if your cat blocks and needs intensive hospitalization. Urinary issues in male cats are not something to mess around with. I have seen far to many cats die or euthanized from urinary blockages.
      "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
      -Dead Poets Society

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      • #4
        Usually secondary to infection for dogs. More just one of those things for cats. Canned prescription food is better than the dry

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        • #5
          Nothing to add except I thought about naming my cat that passed Dobbie. It’s such a cute name for a cat!

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Simkie View Post
            Calcium oxalate stones do not dissolve. Struvite stones will. Have NO crystals been found in his urine to identify what you're dealing with?

            I'd get a second opinion before going to surgery.
            That's what I'm thinking. Back in early October the vet just said the urinalysis showed RBC and WBC, no crystals. Also noted was slightly cloudy urine, neg for BIL, neg for ketones, specific gravity of 1.037, neg for glucose and a pH of 7.

            This doesn't make sense to me. After 9 years on this diet, why problems with stones now?

            Thank you all for your advice and input. It's greatly appreciated !

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by fadedaway View Post
              Nothing to add except I thought about naming my cat that passed Dobbie. It’s such a cute name for a cat!
              Heh thanks! It sure does suit him. I've never come across a more gentle, sweet kitty. He'd be perfect for fostering adult cats or kittens.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pippigirl View Post
                Hi all, I have been feeding raw for many many years. For the first time in my life I am suddenly dealing with bladder stones!?

                The vet is proposing surgery (I can see why so that blockage isn't a risk when trying to dissolve the stones and hopefully to analyze the stones). He also wants me to switch to a Hills Science diet for urinary issues. I am not a fan of the ingredients. I need the group's expertise. Here's what I was wondering. Were the stones caused by a bacterial infection? He has been on antibiotics for about three weeks now. Throughout this he continues to have blood in the urine. What about trying the prescription can (lessor of the two evils?) for a couple of weeks to try to dissolve the stones (close monitoring for blockage). Take another x-ray and recheck pH of the urine? I have added psyllium and gelatin to the raw to increase the water content. What do you guys recommend?
                Hi Pippi!

                So sorry you and Dobbie are going through this. I will tell you what I know and what I've been told through my experiences with Ralphie when I almost lost him due to a bad blockage. This information is strictly through mine and Ralph's experiences, only you know your Dobbie and his symptoms, personality and habits.

                Did the vet say how large the stone(s) are? Regardless of the size there is always a potential for blockage due to the urethra spasming. Much depends on your financial situation and how far you are able to go if things get bad.


                It does sound like Dobbie's stone is too large to pass and is getting stuck at the mouth of the bladder/urethra which is what's causing the blood in his urine. Ralph's stone was large and was blocked in his urethra but as soon as they sedated him to prep him for emergency surgery the stone popped out when the urethra relaxed, which was the best case scenario in both of our cases. Stone removal surgery is very expensive.

                If I were you in this case and going by what you have said(you don't think thers a blockage), if his vitals are good and he isn't in excessive pain, I would ask the vet to provide a pain med and a medication that relaxes the urethra to see if the stone will pass on its own. Very close and consistent monitoring must be done while choosing this option. Make sure and have a dish(I used a small measuring cup for baking with a handle on it) to catch the urine when he pees so you can observe it for blood/cloudiness and have it for testing when/if needed. Always save the most recent sample in a sterile container. When choosing this option make sure his litter box is close to where you sleep in case a blockage starts through the night, you need to be able to hear Dobbie when he goes pee.Ralph woke me up at 4am with extreme yowls of pain. The only obvious symptom he showed was excessive licking of his penis which happened late that night. If Dobbie starts to lick his penis excessively or you see it sticking out consistently this means the stone is most likely stuck and I would take him into the vet as soon as possible.

                The quickest and easiest solution is surgery. They will also remove the tip of his penis to help any future stones to pass easier. Surgery of course comes with risks as well, make sure you are fully informed of them if you choose to go this route.

                I sincerely feel for you and Dobbie and hope this is remedied in the best way possible for both of you.

                I will do another post on the diet I now feed all of my cats.




                Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women

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                • #9
                  I had 3 male cats who had the surgery over the years and they lived well into their teens with 0 problems after surgery. Stones and sand passed on thru with no problem because the narrow area had been removed. All 3 were less than a year old when they first had problems. I fed them seafood and dairy products daily
                  Then on COTH I read about using Cosequin for UTIs in cats so when 2 old teenage cats one male and one female had probLems i gave each Cosequin 2x a day for a week and all was well. Both lived into their 20s.
                  So the surgery was successful and Cosequin was. Depends on the circumstances for the condition of cat and severity of stones.

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                  • #10
                    For the surgery the penis is removed and the narrow part of the urethra is cut off. Your male cat can still spray.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pippigirl View Post
                      Hi all, I have been feeding raw for many many years. For the first time in my life I am suddenly dealing with bladder stones!?

                      One of my cats named Dobbie has been fed a raw/can food diet, ultra low carb from 2yrs old until now (11yrs old). It is a commercial raw mix (Ca:P approximately 1:1 with a meat: organ: bone ratio of 80:10:10 and a few are 75:10:15. In addition to this he eats two small mice/day, few pieces of raw chicken neck, small pieces of sliced processed ham or turkey..nitrates and all (against my wishes) and a small handful of dry kibble for treats (also very much against my wishes..many heated arguments with a family member over this).


                      He also wants me to switch to a Hills Science diet for urinary issues. I am not a fan of the ingredients.
                      First I want to ask you if Dobbie is a ginger? Several vets have told me that the highest number of cats they have treated for stones and high PH levels are red males, they said that diet changes(wet vs dry vs raw)may have kept the stone issues at a slower progress but that they do not believe it would have prevented them. Five of my six cats are gingers. Ralph was only 4yrs when he had his blockage but the vet(s) believe he would have formed stones in the future regardless of what his diet was.

                      All of these vets also said that although Hill's Science Diet is good that Royal Canin Urinary So is much better. They have both wet and dry available and it's only available by prescription in Ontario, here in Nova Scotia(recently relocated)I don't need a prescription. I'm not sure which of the ingredients cause this, but it does make all of my cats drink more water. At first I thought of diabetes(all six cats at once?) being the reason but have been reassured by vets that it is definitely the food.

                      There is always going to be a heated debate about wet vs dry vs raw, everyone thinks they know best and has a strong opinion about it.

                      Myself personally, I will feed my cats what works best for them, not what everyone is adamantly insisting because "they know best".

                      After Ralph's near death experience(4 years ago?) I switched all of my cats to the Royal Canin Urinary SO dry food. I tried the wet but they only nibbled at it and then refused it.

                      Ralph's PH levels have been excellent ever since and he has had no reoccurances of crystals or stones. He's healthy, happy and very energetic and active now. He is much more active now than since before the blockage because he must have had the stone for awhile and it must have been bothering him without us knowing. He also lost a bit of the extra weight he was carrying around.

                      According to the vet(s) you must cut out all other foods and solely feed the urinary food only. I do cheat and feed only freeze dried meat treats very minimally.

                      There is a risk he or the others may develop diabetes, but that risk is also ther for any other diet as well.

                      I am sure many on here disagree with me and my vet(s)...but Ralph is alive, happy, healthy and active and that is what matters to me.

                      Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I almost had the surgery done on my male cat a few years ago. Luckily he was able to pass everything at the clinic and hasn't had an issue since.

                        I also only give my cats bottled water. Our house water is high in calcium and other minerals. I don't want to chance anything, and it's an easy enough thing to do. I got the idea from another owner that believed it led to no/less occurrences. Anecdotal, but easy enough.

                        I'd bring him to a clinic for monitoring and to get everything cleared out. It's something to take very seriously.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thank you all very much for your advice. Dobbie is a grey and white short haired kitteh. I got a chance to see the xray. I'm going to try to include it. If I'm looking at the right thing, the stones look big. I think the best way to resolve it is surgery. I just find it strange that this is happening after 9yrs has passed. I'm worried that something worse is behind all this.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post
                            I almost had the surgery done on my male cat a few years ago. Luckily he was able to pass everything at the clinic and hasn't had an issue since.

                            I also only give my cats bottled water. Our house water is high in calcium and other minerals. I don't want to chance anything, and it's an easy enough thing to do. I got the idea from another owner that believed it led to no/less occurrences. Anecdotal, but easy enough.

                            I'd bring him to a clinic for monitoring and to get everything cleared out. It's something to take very seriously.

                            I do and have always ran all of my cat's water(city)through my Brita Filter, but if I was on a well I would do the same. When I was on a well I had an Amway Filter that filtered out the minerals as far as I know.
                            Last edited by CanadianTrotter; Nov. 3, 2019, 08:37 AM.
                            Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pippigirl View Post
                              Thank you all very much for your advice. Dobbie is a grey and white short haired kitteh. I got a chance to see the xray. I'm going to try to include it. If I'm looking at the right thing, the stones look big. I think the best way to resolve it is surgery. I just find it strange that this is happening after 9yrs has passed. I'm worried that something worse is behind all this.
                              I'm not sure if those obvious objects are the stones or not, I would ask the vet.

                              If those are the stones and they're that large, I would opt for surgery.

                              Stones can take a long time to form if the cat is on a healthy diet, they can also take less time if the cat has has a poor diet or has the inherent trait to produce them regardless of diet.

                              As I sit here I am waiting for surgery to remove a 16mm kidney stone from my kidney. It took years to grow this stone and I have been through every test imaginable to be told my expertise in producing kidney stones is genetic, not my diet. I have no idea how long I have had kidney stones but I have been in emergency every year for the last 7 years, no fail to pass them. Except for this big one...I refuse to pass this beast of a stone!

                              Best of luck for Dobbie and his mum!
                              Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                                For the surgery the penis is removed and the narrow part of the urethra is cut off. Your male cat can still spray.
                                Removing stones (cystotomy) is a separate surgery than removing the penis and rerouting the urethra (perineal urethrostomy.) Perhaps some vets do both in a case with stones, but that's not a forgone conclusion. The cystotomy can certainly be done without the PU.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CanadianTrotter View Post


                                  I do and have always ran all of my cat's water(city)through my Brita Filter, but if I was on a well I would do the same. When I was on a well I had an Away Filter that filtered out the minerals as far as I know.
                                  That's a good idea too! A filter does not fit on my kitchen sink the way the removable faucet handle works. I also cannot fit a filtered pitcher in my smaller European fridge. The sink in my laundry room is a candidate, so maybe I'll look into that option.



                                  Also, OP, my male cat that had the bladder issues is a gray and white too. The vet said for whatever reason she sees this more in gray cats. I think someone up thread said orange cats, and perhaps the experience differs by vet/general population.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Laser surgery will zap the existing stones but won’t solve the underlying cause of the stones. A blockage can cause uremic poisoning. Plus intense pain.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post

                                      That's a good idea too! A filter does not fit on my kitchen sink the way the removable faucet handle works. I also cannot fit a filtered pitcher in my smaller European fridge. The sink in my laundry room is a candidate, so maybe I'll look into that option.



                                      Also, OP, my male cat that had the bladder issues is a gray and white too. The vet said for whatever reason she sees this more in gray cats. I think someone up thread said orange cats, and perhaps the experience differs by vet/general population.
                                      My Amway filter sat under the sink and had it's own tap than ran up through a drilled hole and sat next to the existing taps.

                                      Bringing up the type and condition of water source is a very good point. We struggle to decide what is the best diet for our cats but rarely hear anyone stressing the condition/quality of their drinking water.

                                      Funny how your vet said grey cats and mine said ginger cats, I think you're right and that it does depend on vets and general population. I wonder if the majority of cats regardless of colour are tabbies?
                                      Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Hrm...interesting thoughts on grey cats...and possibly orange cats? Maybe it's a testament to how frequent this happens in cats? Crap, I have one of each! I'm going to call the vet tomorrow when they open. I had asked about the possibility of laser (shock wave kind of stuff?) but they said they don't do that kind of stuff here at my vets. I'll give a call to one of the bigger emergency hospitals in my area to see what's available.

                                        I've switched all their water over to distilled water. Ok, I confess, I spent more money and bought some "Cat Water". It's water that has been adjusted to a pH of 6.2 - 6.4 I don't have access to a pH meter unfortunately so I can't verify this

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