I have 7 year young male ferret (Tate) who has multiple stones throughout his ureter, bladder and urethra. Due to the location and number of the stones (and his age), my current vet (who is GREAT) does not believe surgery is a good option for him. He is not blocked at this point, just "slow-flow". I have had him on Nature's Variety Limited Ingredient Turkey cat food (high in pea protein) for around 4 years now, on the recommendation of my previous vet, following what she thought were food sensitivity issues. Given that she also mis-diagnosed him with cardiomyopathy AND insulinoma at the ripe age of 2, I have no idea why I trusted her on the food issue, but that's now a moot point and I'm trying to do the best I can for my boy.
My current vet prescribed Hill's Prescription Urinary Care s/d cat food, which has been shown to dissolve stones, and Tate is due for Xrays in 90 days. I have read several threads here that have switched to raw following stones, but most of those cases seem to be diet switch AFTER surgery to remove existing stones. Can anyone tell me whether a raw diet alone will cause dissolution of existing stones, or does it simply reduce the likelihood of more stones forming??
Will post his Xrays later. Also, my girl is already switched to Darwin's raw + Epigen 90 (for when I'm out of town, pet sitter doesn't handle the raw well!) which is what I do with my boy as well.
Any and all help (including prayers for my little man) much appreciated!
I had a boy come in with stones, Azrael. Did it dissolve them? Possibly. He was treated strictly with antibiotics and a raw diet as requested by the vet. He did block up about a week after I got him and spent a few days at the vet's getting fluids and antibiotics. He was returned within 5 days (this was my vet's rescue not mine....I agreed to foster him and get him on a good diet and he could live with me....it was really great) We never had a problem after that with the stones. Xrays were done and from how it was explained to me was that the stones had broken down to a point that they were being passed. The reason for the blockage was that the stones piled up and caused the blockage, the extra fluids helped move this. My understanding it's also very dependent on what type of stones these are as well. Azrael has cystine stones. ciao
@kelsie Prayers will be said for your little one and hopes that he will stay strong and get through this.
How long is he supposed to be on the Hill's? And I'm going to assume it's the kibble, since he's been kibble-fed before.
I would really consider feeding something other than Hill's, a raw diet being the best of all. Hill's food is incredibly bad for ferrets (even cats and dogs for that matter) and just a very low quality food in general. But vets LOVE shoving this stuff in our faces, even more so the vets who do not condone nor understand raw diets as most vets receive very little or very basic training in nutrition overall, and nay-saying those big companies with the unhealthy products can cost them their jobs, especially since Hill's is usually providing those nutrition courses. Have you looked at that ingredient list on the Urinary Care foods? Most of the first ingredients, those usually included in the biggest amounts, are all indigestibles to an obligate carnivore. Looking specifically at the ingredients in the S/D bag, the very first ingredient is an indigestible, it's Brewer's Rice. So you can almost picture in your mind that maybe best scenario 50% of that bag of kibble, is something your ferret cannot digest.
Even back when my cat and ferrets did get kibble, I steered clear from Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet foods for the amounts of fillers and by-products they put in them in general, they tend to be insanely high in carbohydrates (which can quickly lead to insulinoma in your ferret), some people's animals have ended up with kidney disease or others from living on a diet of Hill's food, and they can be detrimental to the animal's health overall while not even properly treating the problem they had been prescribed for. End of the day, that's always scared me enough to just steer clear of all of them.
I agree, I am not generally a fan of Hill's either. I'm on board with avoiding them under normal circumstances! My understanding is that this particular food (and he is on the canned stuff) is designed to help dissolve kidney stones by three mechanisms: low phosphorus (0.66% dry matter), low magnesium (0.06% dry matter) and acidifying the urine. All of these things would encourage dissolution of the stones. Higher protein content is supposed to acidify urine as well (so a raw diet will do this) but a balanced raw diet would have higher phosphorus and magnesium levels (at least that is my understanding). The vet recommended keeping him on the Hill's s/d until the stones have dissolved, then switching him over to raw. Maybe I'll push up his re-check to 30 days instead of 90 days and see where we're at.
Last Edit: Mar 22, 2017 18:36:22 GMT -5 by Deleted
So basically, if the product helps as planned, you could be done with it in say about 90 days (so 3 months)? That should be okay I guess, granted the product works as intended in this situation of course. The first ingredients on the canned looks a bit better than the kibble at least. If anything, at least he gets some moisture out of it, that kibble usually doesn't provide them.
When he's done with it, I'd definitely try to get him onto a raw diet though, and help prevent future concerns like these.