The key role of nutrition in helping to manage feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), was confirmed by new scientific evidence presented at the 2014 Hill’s Global Symposium in Prague on 23-24 April.
The two-day Symposium, which attracted more than 130 leading experts from 30 countries around the world, took Feline Lower Urinary Tract health as its theme with the role of stress as a risk factor as a particular focus. Speakers discussed a range of topics relating to FLUTD, such as problem behaviours induced by stress and anxiety and how certain ingredients and nutrients can be used to help manage feline stress.
The Symposium also marked the launch of a new feline Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ c/d™ Feline Urinary Stress in Europe. It is based on the nutrition of Prescription Diet™ c/d™ Multicare but with the addition of L-tryptophan and milk protein hydrolysate, which have been shown to play a role in modifying stress-related behaviours in cats.
Lower urinary tract disease is one of the most common reasons for owners to take their cats to the veterinarian. Many animals develop inappropriate toileting habits, such as soiling inside the home, and are given up to rescue charities as a result, making the effective management of FLUTD, including FIC, an important welfare priority.
During the Symposium, the results of a randomised, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial into the efficacy of Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ c/d™ Multicare were presented by Dr Jody Lulich, Co-Director of the Minnesota Urolith Center at the University of Minnesota. The results showed that this food, in both its wet and dry formulation, reduced the recurrence of the FLUDT signs.
“This study shows that specially designed nutrition has a positive impact on reducing the recurrence of urinary signs in cats with FLUTD. We recommend that it should be used together with environmental enrichment and with stress reduction strategies,” explained Dr Lulich.
Dr Andy Sparkes, Veterinary Director of the International Society of Feline Medicine, a speaker at the Symposium, added: ”This was a well-conducted study and will contribute Grade 1 evidence when it is published. The difference in the cats fed with the Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ c/d™ Multicare was significant and gives confidence that it can make a difference.”
“FLUTD is a common problem and the Symposium brought together experts in related areas who were able to pull together the latest knowledge, confirming what we know – and what we still have to learn,” said Symposium delegate Mike Davies, Associate Professor, Small Animal Clinical Practice, University of Nottingham: “The results of the Study into the long term management of FLUTD were compelling.”
Dr Lulich also presented a double-blinded study which confirmed the role of the Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ c/d™ Multicare in dissolving struvite uroliths in cats in as little as seven days². He commented: “The results of this study indicate that dietary dissolution is an effective, safe and rapid method of eradicating sterile struvite uroliths from the urinary bladders of cats. The use of a prevention-dissolution food eliminates the need to transition cats to long-term prevention food.”
Dr Hein Meyer, Director of Professional and Veterinary Affairs at Hill’s, said: “FLUTD is a frustrating condition, causing distress to owners and threatening the welfare of cats. We are delighted that these new studies confirm the key role of nutrition, in the management of FLUTD and in the stress and anxiety which play a role in its development. We are committed to the advancement of feline clinical nutrition and thank all the expert speakers who contributed to this year’s Global Symposium.”
Full details of the Symposium Scientific Proceedings can be viewed here: www.hillsvet.co.uk
¹ Kruger JM, Lulich JP, Merrills J, et al. Proceedings ACVIM Forum 2013
² Lulich JP, Kruger JM, MacLeay JM, et al. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013