My cat Aimee is 16 years old. Except for some arthritis, she was doing very well on her Purina Pro Plan Senior diet (canned and kibble). Her vet said that her blood values looked like those of a 9- or 10-year-old cat when she was 15 (she had, at that point, been on Pro Plan kibble for six years). Aimee's arthritis worsened in the past year, and Cosequin for Cats was no longer enough to give her a good quality of life after she injured herself trying to jump, so she was started on meloxicam, .07 mg twice a week. She did fine on that for six months. Unfortunately, while I was away at Christmas, the friend caring for our two cats misunderstood my instructions and gave Aimee twice the amount of meloxicam. The way Aimee was moving when I got home left no doubt in my mind -- she looked five years younger. I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. But Aimee's extra drinking and urination after that made it clear something was wrong, and now her kidneys are damaged.My vet wants Aimee on either Hill's K/D or Purina's kidney diet, both of which I detest for their high corn/carb content and just not being food that's good for cats (not to mention that my cats don't like it). I can't figure out why vets prescribe and recommend such garbage. My mother's cat is on Hill's c/d for urinary crystals, and it looks terrible. I realize I have to change Aimee's diet to support her kidneys, but is there a better alternative? Could you recommend a recipe that would fulfill Aimee's requirements? What about something to ease her pain?
L.P., Springfield, Va Aug 09, 2009
Meloxicam is in a class of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs that can have serious side effects in cats and dogs.Arthritis is, in part, diet-related, as is kidney disease. Daily supplements in the food, like fish oil and turmeric, can work wonders, coupled with massage therapy and acupuncture treatments. Some of these expensive and often unpalatable prescription diets that you have mentioned are high in carbohydrates, gluten and even ethoxyquin (a fat preservative).I recommend Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkin's book "Your Cat" for dietary suggestions to help your cat cope better with kidney disease, for which a regimen of supplements is called for. Discuss with your veterinarian about giving such supplements as vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin E, vitamin D (calcitriol), magnesium and alpha-lipoic acid, arginine, quercetin and herbs like dandelion and corn silk.
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