Spirulina Vs Kelp For Dogs And Cats
Spirulina is a microscopic, blue-green algae that can typically be found in warm, alkaline freshwater in milder climates. Alternatively, kelp thrives in colder, nutrient-rich saltwater. Generally, kelp forests are coastal and require shallow, relatively clear water as it, like spirulina, relies on sunlight to generate food and energy.
Kelp is renowned for providing minerals and vitamins, but especially for its iodine content. However, many may not be aware that spirulina provides a substantially higher mineral and vitamin content. Plus, if you are interested in providing additional protein this is where spirulina shines due to its phycocyanin content that makes it a great vegetarian protein source.
It may be interesting to note that since spirulina often grows in shallow waters, it must produce a natural protection from the sun called carotenoids – “nature’s sunscreen”. If you want to protect yourself or animals from the sun load up on sources of these important antioxidant nutrients.
You may be wondering why kelp is found in so many nutritional supplements and pet foods even though spirulina is higher in most nutrients? The answer is fairly simple – bulk. Kelp has much more “bulk” than spirulina and is therefore a less expensive addition to pet products.
Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism In Cats
The thyroid hormones have an important role in regulating many of your cats body processes including metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and even gastrointestinal function.
Here is a list of possible symptoms that you may notice:
- Weight loss use our cat body condition tool to assess this.
- Increased appetite and food intake.
- Increased drinking.
- Coat changes their coat may appear unkempt, matted or greasy.
How Will I Know The Iodine Content Of The Ingredients I Decide To Feed My Cat
The chief ingredients to avoid are fish and sea products, particularly the type of fish products that often find their way into commercial cat food. . Iodized salt and human foods that contain it, medications that have been flavored with fish additives, supplements and vitamin preparations that have iodine among their ingredients and kelp and seaweed-containing products should be avoided. If your home water contains substantial iodine provide distilled water for your pet could be helpful. Although iodized salt should not be an ingredient in these cats diets, adequate salt, in itself, is essential.
Here are some foods that physicians tell their patients to avoid when trying to limit their iodine intake: iodized salt, sea salt, aged cheeses, egg yolk, sea-products, including kelp, cured meats, bread and pasta that contain iodated dough conditioners or iodized salt, foods and medications that contain dyes , molasses, soy sauce, soy milk, meats injected with flavor enhancers, fish oils including cod liver oil. Dairy meat and egg Iodine levels also vary depending on how much iodine has been added to the livestocks feed. If your cat goes outside unattended, whole prey animals that it catches also contain iodine.
1 microgram =0.000001 gram = 1 ppm = 1 ug/gram of food
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Cause Of Hyperthyroidism In Cats
Hyperthyroidism was first described in cats in the 1970s. Since then, cases of the disease have continued to climb. While some of that may be due to veterinarians becoming more aware of it and diagnosing it more commonly and an increase in people seeking veterinary care for their cats, most scientists believe that the incidence of feline hyperthyroidism is increasing.
Unfortunately, the exact cause of this disease has not been identified yet, though there are many hypotheses.
Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Blend Mature Wet Food
Best Low Iodine Senior Cat Food: Made with 95% animal ingredients, this is an incredibly low-carb recipe from Blue Buffalos new Carnivora line. Featuring chicken, turkey, and duck, this formula is likely low in iodine, though it contains a small amount of mackerel. It does contain some fresh vegetables in small amounts to provide natural sources for key nutrients, but the estimated carb content is negligible. Formulated specifically for senior cats, this formula contains controlled fat and calories but still has plenty of protein to support your aging cats lean muscle mass.
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Power Calculation And Sample Size
An interim power calculation was conducted after one year of hair sample collection when iodine content in n=12 hyperthyroid and n=38 euthyroid cats had been measured. In order to detect an effect size of~50% at a two-sided significance level of 0.05 and a power of 80%, each study population would require n=32 samples.
How Much Iodine Does A Normal Cat Require
Given the diversity of iodine concentration in homemade, commercially-available, and wild-caught food, its difficult to identify how much iodine cats require.
In 2006, the National Research Council suggested that the dietary iodine requirement for cats was 1.3 ppm. Newer research conducted by Hills Pet Nutrition suggests that the requirement may actually be closer to 0.46 ppm.
The 0.32 ppm iodine in the Hills diet is low. While its currently thought that iodine is only used for thyroid hormone synthesis, we ultimately dont know how an iodine-restricted diet will affect long-term health.
Because its restrictive, not species-appropriate, and isnt a real cure, think of this diet as a temporary measure or as a last resort for cats who cant undergo surgery or receive radioiodine.
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Pet Foods Have Variable But Not Often High Iodine Content
Analysis of complete pet foods revealed wide variability in the iodine content of both cat and dog foods. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the iodine content of pet foods that are commercially available in the UK has been investigated, but the results are broadly congruous with similar studies conducted in the USA, New Zealand and Germany. Using recommended methods we report that relatively few feeds were outside of current EU guidelines. Certainly, many more cat feeds were non-compliant in comparison to dog feeds, but many were close to the lower or upper nutritional guideline i.e. the cats were unlikely to be exposed to widely varying iodine content. Nevertheless, in humans, TNG occurs mostly in people with mild to moderate, not severe, iodine deficiency. Therefore, if the pathogenesis of feline hyperthyroidism is akin to that of human TNG, the iodine-deficient foods that we have currently analysed may pose a risk for hyperthyroidism in cats if they were consumed over long periods of time. But, of course, currently fed foods as tested here may not necessarily reflect the iodine concentrations in foods fed during the long aetiopathogeneis of feline hyperthyroidism.
Is There A Special Diet For Hyperthyroidism In Cats
Cats with hyperthyroidism have happier, healthier lives when their caregivers are knowledgeable about the disease and its dietary management.
Here are some hyperthyroidism management tips about what should be included in a diet for cats with hyperthyroidism and why its such an important part of managing the disease.
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Choose A Diet Thats Less Than 10% Carbohydrate On A Dry Matter Basis
Hyperthyroidism raises your cats blood glucose levels and often leads to insulin resistance and an impaired glucose tolerance. This is a prediabetic state. Even if this doesnt advance to full diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroid cats are sensitive to sugar and require controlled levels of dietary carbohydrate.
Is There A Relationship Between Canned Foods And An Increase In Feline Hyperthyrodism
In a 2004 study at Purdue University, researchers investigated the medical records of 169,576 cats, including 3,570 cats with hyperthyroidism, evaluated at 9 veterinary school hospitals during a 20-year period. The study concluded that the increasing prevalence of feline hyperthyroidism is not solely the result of aging of the cat population, and that canned foods may play a role.
A much smaller 2000 EPA study of 100 cats with hyperthyroidism and 163 control cats identified a chemical called bisphenol-A which is used to coat the inside of cat food cans, as a possible culprit. Interestingly, cats in the study that preferred fish or liver and giblets flavors of canned cat food had an increased risk.
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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey Grain
Most Popular Low Iodine Cat Food: When you cant decide which cat food to buy, you can always go with a popular brand like Blue Buffalo because they offer a wide variety of choices. This Wilderness Turkey recipe canned food is a good choice if you want low iodine because it features primarily poultry ingredients with very limited carbohydrate inclusions. It is high in protein and moisture but still contains the necessary supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. Youll also be glad to know that it is completely free from by-product meals, fillers, and grains.
What Are The Complications Of Hyperthyroidism In Cats
To fully treat a cat from hyperthyroidism, you need to do one of the following:
- Surgically remove certain parts of the thyroid gland
- Use radioactive therapy
- Maintain a lifelong drug therapy
Unfortunately, hyperthyroidism is a highly progressive disease that can even be fatal. The high production of thyroxine hormone has a lot of effects on various parts of the body.
These centers include the central nervous system, the heart, the liver, the kidneys, and the gastrointestinal system.
Also, with the continuously high metabolism, the cat will burn more resources than it builds up with feeding. This leads to a severe case of muscle wasting and emaciation.
Not only that, but itll also lead to a much higher level of blood sugar in the cat. This can easily cause glucose tolerance and make body cells resistant to insulin, which is known as pre-diabetes.
If this condition is left untreated itll quickly advance into becoming a full state of feline diabetes mellitus.
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What Do These Findings Mean To You And Your Cat
Clearly, more research is needed to definitively identify a connection between feline hyperthyroidism and cat food, but the research that has been done so far is enough to convince me to err on the side of caution when it comes to choosing cat food. Avoid foods containing soy protein, make sure the brand you feed uses BPA-free cans, and limit fish flavored foods to an occasional treat.
Photo by Kevin N. Murphy, Flickr Creative Commons
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Kelp For Hypothyroidism In Dogs
Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body which can absorb iodine. Their function is to take iodine, such as that found in kelp, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine . These hormones are then released into the blood stream and transported throughout the body where they control metabolism.
Because of this process it might seem like a good idea to provide kelp to everyone. However, not all cases of hypothyroidism are caused by a deficiency in iodine. And as discussed elsewhere in this article, there are potential consequences associated with providing too much iodine. In addition, iodine deficiency is an uncommon condition in our modern society because of the availability of fortified, processed foods and iodized salt.
Other causes of hypothyroidism in our canine friends include vaccines that can damage thyroid tissue as part of the immune response caused by the vaccination. The more vaccinations, the bigger the chance your dog’s thyroid tissue gets damaged. Abnormal growths in the thyroid can damage healthy tissue, and problems in the pituitary gland that controls the thyroid gland can impact the production of thyroid hormones. So, just giving kelp, or more iodine, may not be the answer. If you suspect, or want to rule out, iodine deficiency as a cause for your dog’s hypothyroidism you should test for this nutrient before randomly providing kelp.
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Selection Of Pet Foods
A range of commercially available, wet and dry , cat foods that had previously been analysed for mineral content were selected for determination of iodine content. These foods were purchased from local supermarkets and pet shops and comprised a range of familiar brands sold in the UK. All of the foods were labelled as complete as opposed to complementary. The foods were packaged in a range of sealed tins, cans, pouches or bags. Foods of a variety of main flavours, determined by the first ingredient listed on the packaging as comprising the highest proportion of the diet, were included. The majority of the foods analysed in the current study were intended for consumption by adult cats or dogs, although some were designed for young or senior animals. In addition, eight of the complete wet foods for adult cats were re-purchased over time to obtain between four and six different batches for each of these feeds.
What Cat Breeds Are More Predisposed To Hyperthyroidism
It seems that the older cats get, the more prone they become to developing hyperthyroidism. However, any breed can end up with this diagnostic, so all owners should be on the lookout for its signature symptoms. According to vcahospitals.com, a few cat breeds are known to be less often diagnosed with hyperthyroidism: Siamese, Burmese, Persian, Abyssinian, and Himalayan breeds.
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Wellness Complete Health Grain
This food is a wet canned food in the form of pâté is meant to be a healthy, grain-free option for your furry feline. It is filled with high-quality protein that comes from chicken. It also has ingredients like carrots, flaxseed, and cranberries. These ingredients help support your cats immunity via antioxidants and urinary health and help them grow a healthy coat and maintain healthy skin through omega fatty acids.
Although this food was ultimately crafted for whole-body health, it functions as a positive balancing agent for cats with hyperthyroidism because it has low iodine levels. It avoids ingredients that often bring in high levels of iodine, such as eggs, dairy, and seafood.
This thyroid food is completely free from corn, wheat, soy, and any other grain. It is meant to support your cats urinary and digestive health, which helps mitigate some of the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism. It is also made in the U.S.A., with internationally sourced ingredients, and it has a texture that most cats love.
All in all, we think this is the best cat food for hyperthyroidism.
This food from Solid Gold comes in 3-pound, 6-pound, and 12-pound bags, making it a practical choice if you want to try it out or commit to it for longer. It is entirely grain- and gluten-free, making it healthier for the average cat and easier for a cat with hyperthyroidism to digest.
- Includes higher iodine levels than preferred
Should You Avoid Feeding Your Cat Fishy Foods
In light of this new research, it’s probably a good idea to avoid feeding your cat fish-based dry or canned food.
Not only that, but there are other reasons to avoid feeding your cat diets heavy in fish, including exposure to mercury and the development of thiamine deficiency or . You can learn more here: “”
Fish is not a food that most cats evolved eating in the wild. Rather, rodents and small game have been the primary diet of cats in most areas of the world.
When you are deciding whether to feed fish to your cat, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t use fish prepared for humans or fish-based cat foods as your cat’s primary diet.
- If you feed your cat tuna fish, use chunk light in water rather than albacore, which has higher mercury levels. Use it as a treat occasionally, not as a primary food source.
- Cats can become addicted to fish and stop eating other foods if they have access to fish, so take care with how much of it you introduce into your cat’s diet.
- If your cat already eats a lot of fish, start mixing some in with non-fish cat food to wean down to less or no fish.
- Check out our article “” for ways to reduce your cat’s exposure to environmental PBDEs.
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Is Iodine Safe For Cats
Yes. It is safe for felines. These pets need it to avoid deficiency symptoms. According to AAFCO 2015, the minimum recommended amount is 0.45mg and 0.15mg per 1000 kcal ME cat food for growth or reproduction and adult maintenance respectfully.
Alternatively, based on a dry mass basis, the required amounts are 1.8 mg/kg and 0.6mg/kg of cat food for growth or reproduction and adult maintenance respectfully with a maximum allowable amount being 9 mg/kg.
If your feline friends depend on home-based diets, your vet will guide you on how to add iodized salt to meet this animals needs.
In the case of commercial cat foods, this mineral is supplemented using potassium iodide, calcium iodide or sodium iodide.
Where Is Iodine Found
Most of the iodine on earth is found in the seas: it is present in high quantities in fish, algae, mollusks, and seafood in general. Its also present in eggs and milk. The amount of iodine in meat, vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds is quite low, but there is some variation depending on the geographical area. If the soil is closer to the sea, the food will be richer in iodine when compared to the inland.You can find iodine amounts in food in some nutritional databases such as the ones from France, Norway, Finland, Estonia.I made some calculations of the amount of iodine in three different diets to give you an idea of how much iodine is present on average in a raw diet.
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