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Safe Drinking Water for Cats

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  • moonkissedbythesun
    A friend s vet claims our city s (Indianapolis) water is unhealthy for cats due to additives and recommended distilled water. Is this correct?
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 2, 2006
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      A friend's vet claims our city's (Indianapolis) water is unhealthy for
      cats due to additives and recommended distilled water. Is this correct?
    • Gryphonwood
      Interesting....I have had similar conversations about the hard water in our area of Southern Ontario. A few breeders up hear swear by reverse osmosis systems
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 4, 2006
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        Interesting....I have had similar conversations about
        the hard water in our area of Southern Ontario. A few
        breeders up hear swear by reverse osmosis systems that
        they have had installed. Huge effect on tarter and
        gingevitis. Not aware of any studies in vet
        literature (if anyone has seen any I would love to get
        the citation) but seems to be fairly reliable long
        term individual experience up here related to
        dentistry. Also, within my human practice it is well
        documented in the literature that kidney stones are
        significantly more prevalant in our hard ground water
        areas...not sure if this could be extrapolated to
        cats. I have switched over to distilled as of this
        weekend and will look to an RO system in the future.
        With a house full, the return on investment would be
        rather quick when you look at the cost of veterinary
        dentistry that you may avoid. Love to hear more on
        this topic if anyone out there has experiences or seen
        studies re: chlorination and or hard
        water...especially long term stuff.
        Heather Reynolds
        Gryphonwood

        Heather Reynolds
        Gryphonwood Birmans
        www.gryphonwoodbirmans.piczo.com




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      • moonkissedbythesun
        I m not a medical professional, but I have heard that if you drink distilled water it acts like a magnet and removes nutrients and minerals from your (&
        Message 3 of 12 , Sep 6, 2006
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          I'm not a medical professional, but I have heard that if you drink
          distilled water it acts like a magnet and removes nutrients and
          minerals from your (& presumably your cat's) body. Not a good thing.
          Our water here is VERY hard; we have a water softener and we use a
          faucet-mount PUR water filter for our drinking & cooking needs.
          ...
          My cat, Bud, thanks you for sharing information and so do I.
          < '\/
          < '/\
        • diana@wetware.com
          ... While this may be true for normal cat water usage, if you are *already* dealing with a cat with crystals - which is another way of saying a mineral
          Message 4 of 12 , Sep 6, 2006
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            Quoting moonkissedbythesun <lherreman@...>:

            > I'm not a medical professional, but I have heard that if you drink
            > distilled water it acts like a magnet and removes nutrients and
            > minerals from your (& presumably your cat's) body. Not a good thing.
            > Our water here is VERY hard; we have a water softener and we use a
            > faucet-mount PUR water filter for our drinking & cooking needs.

            While this may be true for "normal" cat water usage, if you are
            *already* dealing with a cat with crystals - which is another way
            of saying a mineral buildup in the bladder/urinary tract - you
            *WANT* the water to re-attach those minerals so they can be flushed
            out normally.

            It will not hurt the rest of the cats to drink distilled water because
            they get minerals added to their food (check the ingredient list).
            Magnesium is the primary culprit, and it is one of the things added
            to "drinking" water (last I looked - I think someone mentioned that
            one of the other water types also has magnesium).

            If your cat is getting UTIs - infection/inflammation - then there
            are too many minerals in what he's ingesting, and using distilled
            water to cut down and remove the excess works. I know - I kept my
            one cat going to 19. He had repeated problems with UTIs until he
            was 12 - when I switched him to distilled. He never had another
            problem.

            dg
          • Heather Reynolds
            ... thing. ... Hi there, You are not alone, this is an old myth that completely defies physiological evidence. The body is not a long tube that you pour water
            Message 5 of 12 , Sep 6, 2006
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              --- In CatVet@yahoogroups.com, "moonkissedbythesun" <lherreman@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > I'm not a medical professional, but I have heard that if you drink
              > distilled water it acts like a magnet and removes nutrients and
              > minerals from your (& presumably your cat's) body. Not a good
              thing.
              > Our water here is VERY hard; we have a water softener and we use a
              > faucet-mount PUR water filter for our drinking & cooking needs.
              > ...
              > My cat, Bud, thanks you for sharing information and so do I.
              > < '\/
              > < '/\
              >
              Hi there,
              You are not alone, this is an old myth that completely defies
              physiological evidence. The body is not a long tube that you pour
              water into and it comes out the other end. It is absorbed, mostly in
              the large intestine and used for a multitude of functions through out
              the body. Hard water contributes minerals, like magnesium and
              calcium etc. but it is not the water that is a problem...you would
              have the same issues of stones, crystals etc... if you consumed
              tablets containing these minerals in these quantities and drank them
              down with distilled water. The minerals that appear in the urine are
              the 'left over' and 'metabolic rejects' that are either not needed or
              have no place to be put. They are 'filtered' in the kidneys and the
              body tries to draw sufficient water from the blood vessels in the
              kidneys to dilute and flush them out of the body as urine. This was
              a very simplified explaination and there are certainly more details
              that are not needed to get the idea.
              I am thinking that the RO or distilled water has more of a function
              on the pH of the mouth or minerals available to develop dental
              calci....but I am not a dentist and have not looked into it much
              beyond my little trial here. I think this myth got its start in some
              basic truth...distilled water is a great solvent and lots of stuff
              will disolve in it in vitro. As long as we are careful not to try to
              take that simple truth and apply it to a completely different
              situation invivo where there is much more at work.
            • Catwoman
              ... (lots of snippage) Thank you for a very good explanation. The reasoning behind the distilled water is, indeed, more that you are not adding more minerals
              Message 6 of 12 , Sep 9, 2006
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                Heather Reynolds wrote:
                > tablets containing these minerals in these quantities and drank them
                > down with distilled water. The minerals that appear in the urine are
                > the 'left over' and 'metabolic rejects' that are either not needed or
                > have no place to be put. They are 'filtered' in the kidneys and the
                > body tries to draw sufficient water from the blood vessels in the
                > kidneys to dilute and flush them out of the body as urine.

                (lots of snippage)

                Thank you for a very good explanation.

                The reasoning behind the distilled water is, indeed, more
                that you are not adding more minerals to a cat that is
                already overwhelmed in minerals.

                The distilled water *does* want to have minerals - and
                will help keep those extra minerals from coagulating
                into crystals - or stones.

                dg
              • Heather Reynolds
                ... Well, my little water experiment is on hold...I am still giving the distilled water. However, we had an unrelated complication that I believe started
                Message 7 of 12 , Sep 10, 2006
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                  > Thank you for a very good explanation.
                  >
                  > The reasoning behind the distilled water is, indeed, more
                  > that you are not adding more minerals to a cat that is
                  > already overwhelmed in minerals.
                  >
                  > The distilled water *does* want to have minerals - and
                  > will help keep those extra minerals from coagulating
                  > into crystals - or stones.
                  >
                  > dg
                  >
                  Well, my little water experiment is on hold...I am still giving the
                  distilled water. However, we had an unrelated complication that I
                  believe started brewing about 2 weeks ago. Lyrik (the 18 month old
                  Birman) was hospitalized for acute pancreatitis. Lots of work ups,
                  imaging, tests, meds, IV's etc. later she is home this weekend. Won't
                  eat on her own (hate's the low fat Hill's i/d and Purina ED) which is
                  making it difficult to determine how much is pain/nausea vs avoidance
                  secondary to remembered pain vs yucky food. She is taking some
                  regular MediCal Preventative canned by hand and Heinz First Foods
                  pureed chicken. But mostly I am syringing 1/8th of a can of i/d
                  slurried with warm water every 3 hours to keep the fatty liver at
                  bay. So far no vomitting at home, but I am injecting metocloprimide
                  (Reglan) q 12hrs...so that is helping too. No need for SQ fluids yet
                  this w/e...but keeping it close at hand. Hope to get her through this
                  crisis with minimal long term damage...and hoping for 'normal' life
                  afterward.
                  Has anyone had a young cat that had a severe acute pancreatic episode
                  that recovered fully? Vet is talking optomistically after todays
                  telephone consult...but this is my first acute pancreatitis and I am
                  not sure what to expect in terms of duration of symptoms if we can
                  get her through this initial insult/inflammation and spare the
                  liver/gut/kidneys.
                  Appreciating hearing your experience and thoughts...Heather
                • Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson
                  I have a middle aged cat (8 years old) who has had pancreatitis flare ups for the past two years. Diagnosis was difficult, and we still don t know what is
                  Message 8 of 12 , Sep 10, 2006
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                    I have a middle aged cat (8 years old) who has had pancreatitis flare ups for the past two years. Diagnosis was difficult, and we still don't know what is triggering the episodes.

                    I would also appreciate any discussion of pancreatitis treatments and preventative measures. My guy is in the middle of a flare up right now :(


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Heather Reynolds
                    Hi Jessica, I started this back as a new topic...hope you don t mind. Do you know what tests your vet has used to diagnose the pancreatitis? My understanding
                    Message 9 of 12 , Sep 10, 2006
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                      Hi Jessica,
                      I started this back as a new topic...hope you don't mind.
                      Do you know what tests your vet has used to diagnose the
                      pancreatitis? My understanding is that there are acute pancreatic
                      episodes that are brought on by something and then there the low
                      level chronic pancreatitis that has flare ups, but there is ongoing
                      inflammation.

                      I joined the Yahoo feline pancreatitis list also.

                      Lyrik was treated with 2 shots of Dexamethazone (a corticosteriod
                      10xthe strength of prednisone)two days apart, IV fluids, Zantac,
                      Metocloprimide (anti-vomitting), Baytril SQ (we started to get
                      concerned about secondary infection after knocking down the immune
                      system with the Dex and are giving as prophylaxis). Her refusal to
                      eat has lead me to syringe feed her 1/8 of a can of the Hill's i/d
                      with about 1/2 of warm water every 3 hours (yes, night and day).
                      This still does not meet all her nutritional needs and she will
                      continue to lose weight until she can eat some on her own...but
                      hopefully it can prevent secondary hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver).
                      Initially, my vets tech gave her the Hill's a/d...bad move...its very
                      high in fat (the thought was to get her eating and renourished ASAP)
                      it caused a big flare up as the pancrease went into overdrive to deal
                      with the fat content. Needless to say it resulted in setting her way
                      back...vomitting/diarrhea, inflammation and swelling of pancrease
                      (and we hope not the liver/gut/omentum etc>>>) Since we moved her to
                      the more easily digested lower fat food she has not vomitted and
                      doesn't appear to be in as much pain as previously. Monday I am
                      going to ask about analgesics and appetite stimulants, if things keep
                      looking up.
                      This is very new to me, there are things that are similar and at the
                      same time very different from human pancreatitis...so I am finding
                      the learning curve steep and fast. Some of the stuff that you do in
                      people just isn't readily available for the cats also, and thats
                      frustrating.
                    • Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson
                      For most of two years, we struggled with a diagnosis for my cat who went from 15 solid (slightly chubby) pounds on a large frame down to 8 pounds. Symptoms
                      Message 10 of 12 , Sep 10, 2006
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                        For most of two years, we struggled with a diagnosis for my cat who went from 15 solid (slightly chubby) pounds on a large frame down to 8 pounds. Symptoms have been weight loss, apathy, anorexia, greasy, coarse shedding hair, generalized pain and irritability, cold ears, and perma-dilated and minimally responsive irises (his retinas are fine, so far).

                        Blood tests showed he was hyperthyroid (so we medicate with methimazole) and he had elevated proteins in his urine. X-rays showed slightly rounded kidneys. He's been on Prednisone for most of the last two years as well, since there was some talk of inflammation.

                        I finally took him to the folks at Oregon State University's Veterinary School and they gave him a full work up. They diagnosed the chronic pancreatitis of unknown origin. They also found cardiomyopathy, but said it wasn't yet significant enough to treat.

                        They essentially said keep up with the prednisone and the methimazole and manage symptoms.

                        Shortly thereafter, I moved from Oregon to Montana and, much to my surprise, he rallied. I expected the trauma of the move to make things worse, but they were decidedly better for a bit. He put on almost a pound. Now, we're back at the low point again.

                        So, here we are in rural Montana. I have an equine vet and he's refilled my feline prescriptions, but I'm inclined to think that if the folks at OSU weren't able to give me any better advice, it might be asking too much to find a vet around here who can help more. So, I monitor several lists looking for ideas.

                        My primary concern right now is the weight loss -- he simply hasn't much more he can lose. Hence, the syringe feeding of baby food. He still eagerly approaches his food dish and will eat a few bites of Fancy Feast, but... well, then he sits there and sighs over his dish like he'd like to eat more and walks away.

                        So, I'm open to all suggestions for 1. getting weight on, and 2. preventing recurrences.

                        With the odd rebound he made with the move, I wondered if allergies might be a factor here. The Willamette Valley where we came from is notorious for allergens. Where we are now, we've had wicked haze from forest fires for weeks now. Does anyone have any thoughts about the relationship between allergens and pancreatic inflammation?



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • sandrarose18
                        Hi: I don t know if this will help or not but a friend said it was useful when she wasn t able to get to a vet. There is a website called www.justanswer.com.
                        Message 11 of 12 , Sep 10, 2006
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                          Hi:

                          I don't know if this will help or not but a friend said it was useful
                          when she wasn't able to get to a vet. There is a website called
                          www.justanswer.com. On this site you can ask any question about any
                          subject. She asked a question about her cat and a vet (they have vets
                          on staff answering questions) was able to help her.

                          I believe they ask $25 per answer but I think they will take less.

                          There are other resources such as www.vetinfo.com or
                          www.peteducation.com. Both of these sites may be able to give you
                          suggestions as well.

                          Hope it helps and your cat's feeling better soon.

                          Sandi G


                          --- In CatVet@yahoogroups.com, "Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson" <riono@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > For most of two years, we struggled with a diagnosis for my cat who
                          went from 15 solid (slightly chubby) pounds on a large frame down to
                          8 pounds. Symptoms have been weight loss, apathy, anorexia, greasy,
                          coarse shedding hair, generalized pain and irritability, cold ears,
                          and perma-dilated and minimally responsive irises (his retinas are
                          fine, so far).
                          >
                          > Blood tests showed he was hyperthyroid (so we medicate with
                          methimazole) and he had elevated proteins in his urine. X-rays
                          showed slightly rounded kidneys. He's been on Prednisone for most of
                          the last two years as well, since there was some talk of
                          inflammation.
                          >
                          > I finally took him to the folks at Oregon State University's
                          Veterinary School and they gave him a full work up. They diagnosed
                          the chronic pancreatitis of unknown origin. They also found
                          cardiomyopathy, but said it wasn't yet significant enough to
                          treat.
                          >
                          > They essentially said keep up with the prednisone and the
                          methimazole and manage symptoms.
                          >
                          > Shortly thereafter, I moved from Oregon to Montana and, much to my
                          surprise, he rallied. I expected the trauma of the move to make
                          things worse, but they were decidedly better for a bit. He put on
                          almost a pound. Now, we're back at the low point again.
                          >
                          > So, here we are in rural Montana. I have an equine vet and he's
                          refilled my feline prescriptions, but I'm inclined to think that if
                          the folks at OSU weren't able to give me any better advice, it might
                          be asking too much to find a vet around here who can help more. So,
                          I monitor several lists looking for ideas.
                          >
                          > My primary concern right now is the weight loss -- he simply hasn't
                          much more he can lose. Hence, the syringe feeding of baby food. He
                          still eagerly approaches his food dish and will eat a few bites of
                          Fancy Feast, but... well, then he sits there and sighs over his dish
                          like he'd like to eat more and walks away.
                          >
                          > So, I'm open to all suggestions for 1. getting weight on, and 2.
                          preventing recurrences.
                          >
                          > With the odd rebound he made with the move, I wondered if allergies
                          might be a factor here. The Willamette Valley where we came from is
                          notorious for allergens. Where we are now, we've had wicked haze
                          from forest fires for weeks now. Does anyone have any thoughts about
                          the relationship between allergens and pancreatic inflammation?
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                        • Gryphonwood
                          Just a quick update...we are now thinking that our 18month old Birman girls episode of severe acute pancreatitis has rounded the corner and is begining to go
                          Message 12 of 12 , Sep 11, 2006
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                            Just a quick update...we are now thinking that our
                            18month old Birman girls episode of severe acute
                            pancreatitis has rounded the corner and is begining to
                            go in the right direction. Many thanks to all who
                            responded. The turning point seems to have been over
                            the weekend where we syringe fed every 3 hours (round
                            the clock) after treating her on Wednesday and Friday
                            with Dexamethazone and push IV fluids. Continuous
                            Reglan, Baytril injections over the last week along
                            with SQ fluids and forced feeding. Zantac and
                            Fentanyl patches ongoing. Liver enzymes, urinalysis,
                            ultra sound and physical exam reveal minimal hepatic
                            and gut involvement, pancreatic inflammation
                            decreasing, demeaner is relaxed and interactive again.
                            Looks like we won't have to put in a j-tube (thank
                            goodness). If I had a do-over it would be to take her
                            in the minute I noticed her eating habits change and
                            not delaying the ultrasound that resulted in delay of
                            treatment for a couple of days. That brief delay
                            almost lost her ... thank goodness my vet reacted
                            quickly and aggressively. We are optomistic that she
                            will be able to return to normal eating/life and
                            hopefully not have a recurance (although I will know
                            what to watch for and immediately start treating for
                            pancreatitis). Another do - over would be to just bite
                            the bullet and do the N-J tube immediately to totally
                            bypass the pancreas and prevent stimulation.
                            Lyrik is not out of the woods yet...but definitely on
                            the edge of the forest and heading for home.
                            Hope this helps someone else, I have never learned so
                            much, so fast...
                            Grateful in Guelph,
                            Heather.
                            --- Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson <riono@...> wrote:

                            > For most of two years, we struggled with a diagnosis
                            > for my cat who went from 15 solid (slightly chubby)
                            > pounds on a large frame down to 8 pounds. Symptoms
                            > have been weight loss, apathy, anorexia, greasy,
                            > coarse shedding hair, generalized pain and
                            > irritability, cold ears, and perma-dilated and
                            > minimally responsive irises (his retinas are fine,
                            > so far).
                            >
                            > Blood tests showed he was hyperthyroid (so we
                            > medicate with methimazole) and he had elevated
                            > proteins in his urine. X-rays showed slightly
                            > rounded kidneys. He's been on Prednisone for most
                            > of the last two years as well, since there was some
                            > talk of inflammation.
                            >
                            > I finally took him to the folks at Oregon State
                            > University's Veterinary School and they gave him a
                            > full work up. They diagnosed the chronic
                            > pancreatitis of unknown origin. They also found
                            > cardiomyopathy, but said it wasn't yet significant
                            > enough to treat.
                            >
                            > They essentially said keep up with the prednisone
                            > and the methimazole and manage symptoms.
                            >
                            > Shortly thereafter, I moved from Oregon to Montana
                            > and, much to my surprise, he rallied. I expected
                            > the trauma of the move to make things worse, but
                            > they were decidedly better for a bit. He put on
                            > almost a pound. Now, we're back at the low point
                            > again.
                            >
                            > So, here we are in rural Montana. I have an equine
                            > vet and he's refilled my feline prescriptions, but
                            > I'm inclined to think that if the folks at OSU
                            > weren't able to give me any better advice, it might
                            > be asking too much to find a vet around here who can
                            > help more. So, I monitor several lists looking for
                            > ideas.
                            >
                            > My primary concern right now is the weight loss --
                            > he simply hasn't much more he can lose. Hence, the
                            > syringe feeding of baby food. He still eagerly
                            > approaches his food dish and will eat a few bites of
                            > Fancy Feast, but... well, then he sits there and
                            > sighs over his dish like he'd like to eat more and
                            > walks away.
                            >
                            > So, I'm open to all suggestions for 1. getting
                            > weight on, and 2. preventing recurrences.
                            >
                            > With the odd rebound he made with the move, I
                            > wondered if allergies might be a factor here. The
                            > Willamette Valley where we came from is notorious
                            > for allergens. Where we are now, we've had wicked
                            > haze from forest fires for weeks now. Does anyone
                            > have any thoughts about the relationship between
                            > allergens and pancreatic inflammation?
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                            > removed]
                            >
                            >


                            Heather Reynolds
                            Gryphonwood Birmans
                            Guelph Ontario




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