calcium oxalate stones and food!

Jill JohnsonJill Johnson GarlandMember Posts: 1,862
edited 22 September, 2007 in Cat Health
Hey all...my brother Max went in on Monday with what we thought was a UTI. He ended up having surgery on Weds for bladder stones. The vet explained that the food that we were feeding him (Wellness Indoor Formula) was a contributing factor in the formation of the stones. Because of the cranberries and blueberries, his urine was very acidic (usually good at keeping UTIs at bay) caused the Ph to be low....Here is a better explaination, but I thought that it was important for all kitties to know because Max has had UTI issues and we wonder how long these stones have been there...when in doubt...take an x-ray! WHY DO CATS DEVELOP CALCIUM OXALATE BLADDER STONES? In older times (20 years or so ago), cats virtually never developed calcium oxalate bladder stones. Cat bladder stones could reliably be assumed to be made of struvite (a matrix of ammonium-magnesium-phosphate). In those days, feline lower urinary tract symptoms were generally caused by struvite crystals in urine (or at least this was the assumption). Also in those days, feline lower urinary tract symptoms were extremely common. The pet food industry responded by acidifying cat foods to prevent the development of crystals. In a way it worked. Feline lower urinary tract symptoms declined. Male cats with struvite urinary blockages became far less common. The trade off was that calcium oxalate bladder stones began to develop. Acidifying the body leads to an acid urine pH and more calcium loss into the urine, both factors in the development of a calcium oxalate stone. Currently most bladder stones formed by cats are calcium oxalate stones. Burmese and Himalayan cats appear genetically predisposed to the development of calcium oxalate bladder stones. Most calcium oxalate stones develop in cats between ages 5 and 14 years. 35% of cats with calcium oxalate bladder stones have eleveated blood calcium (hypercalcemia). Cats with calcium oxalate bladder stones tend not to have crystals in their urine (while those with struvite stones tend to have struvite crystals in their urine). Cats with calcium oxalate stones tend to have acid urine pH on their urinalysis.
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