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Feline struvite urolithiasis: fasting reduced the effectiveness of a urinary acidifier (ammonium chloride) and increased the intake of a low magnesium diet
  1. MF Tarttelin
  1. Department of Physiology and Anatomy, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


In three separate experiments nine male cats were fed either a canned complete diet or a commercially available dry pelleted diet or the same dry diet containing 1.6 per cent ammonium chloride for seven days and then fasted for 20 hours. Then ad libitum feeding was continued and urine samples were taken at four-hour intervals for 12 hours and a final sample 12 hours later. Urine pH and the presence of struvite crystals in urine sediment were evaluated. The food and water intake of four of the nine cats was measured at the time of urine collection. After the fast, urine pH was raised, even after feeding the dry diet supplemented with ammonium chloride. A post prandial rise in urine pH was also seen on all three diets. After feeding the dry diet the postprandial peak pH was 7.97 and struvite occurred spontaneously. Urine pH after feeding the dry diet supplemented with ammonium chloride peaked at 7.75 then fell to 6.1 12 hours after the start of feeding. Struvite occurred spontaneously at all times until the pH reached 6.1 but when the pH of urine was raised to 7.0 the struvite crystallised. Urine pH on the canned complete diet peaked at 6.8 then fell to 5.8; struvite did not occur spontaneously but when urine pH was raised to 7.0 struvite crystallised except at the eighth and 12th hour sampling. These data show that fasting initiates a post prandial rise in urine pH and struvite crystalluria even when a normally effective urinary acidifier is used.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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