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Feeding therapeutic kidney diets to other family cats Composition of Therapeutic Kidney Diets Everybody seems to know that these foods have reduced protein levels, and some people are aware Nutritional requirements and diet essay they also have reduced phosphorus levels.
Thus, simply replacing a renal diet with a standard manufactured diet that is lower in protein content does not meet the guideline of feeding a renal diet.
Calorie Density Therapeutic kidney diets have a relatively high calorie content. You can check the calorie content of some US foods here canned and here dry. Protein It is true that these foods are relatively low in protein. However, the key word there is "relatively": As you can see from the food data tablesthere are quite a lot of commercial non-therapeutic foods with a protein level as low as this, yet nobody refers to them as low protein foods.
What is important for CKD cats is that the protein is high quality protein. I hear from people quite regularly who say that they think many therapeutic kidney diets contain poor quality ingredients, so how can the protein within them be considered high quality?
I explain more about high quality protein from a CKD perspective below. Phosphorus Therapeutic kidney diets are also relatively low in phosphorus.
In contrast to the protein debate, nobody disputes the need to keep the phosphorus levels in foods fed to CKD cats as low as possible. Phosphorus is a mineral essential for good health which is contained in many foods. The body is very good at regulating its phosphorus levels by removing excess phosphorus via the kidneys.
However, the kidneys of a CKD cat can no longer efficiently excrete excess phosphorus, so the vast majority of CKD cats will develop levels of phosphorus in their blood which are too high, which can make the cat feel ill and make the CKD progress faster. In practice, most therapeutic kidney foods have a phosphorus level of around 0.
Essential Fatty Acids These foods contain increased levels of essential fatty acidswhich appear of increasing importance in the treatment of CKD. Potassium Therapeutic kidney diets have added potassiumusually in the form of potassium citrate because this can help with metabolic acidosis.
They are lower in sodium. They contain higher levels of B vitamins. They usually contain additional fibre. The Benefits of Therapeutic Kidney Diets I often hear from people who have little enthusiasm for choosing foods from major cat food manufacturers, or who may not have been feeding their cat a commercial diet of any kind, and they are often surprised to hear that if I had a CKD cat, I would try to persuade him or her to eat a therapeutic kidney diet.
This is because therapeutic kidney diets are one of the few treatments with strong evidence that they are of benefit to CKD cats. Research indicates that therapeutic diets may: In one older study, Survival of cats with naturally occurring chronic renal failure: Some of the cats presumably in both groups were also given phosphorus binders.
The cats fed the therapeutic kidney diet survived longer than the other cats, but it is not clear whether this was due to the reduction in phosphorus intake rather than the reduction in protein intake.
This is the first prospective dietary study involving naturally occurring feline CKD cases where survival from first diagnosis has been assessed.
The cats fed a therapeutic kidney diet survived for more than twice as long as the cats given non-therapeutic diets 16 months versus 7 months. The diet fed to the cat who survived the longest 23 months contained a relatively high level of essential fatty acids the food in question was apparently Specific Kidney Support.
The study concluded "The renal diet evaluated in this study was superior to an adult maintenance diet in minimizing uremic episodes and renal-related deaths in cats with spontaneous stage 2 or 3 CKD. Despite the differences in the phosphorus levels in the foods, there was no difference in parathyroid hormone levels between the two groups of cats.
In The kidney patient: In summary, we now know that dogs and cats with CKD stages 2 and 3 benefit from receiving a renal diet, but we do not know:If you want to take a deep dive, Dr. Gonzalez masterfully dismantles the ketogenic diet for cancer in the lengthy article below.
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