Message Number: YG1226 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Pam Sessoms
Date: 2001-03-13 18:49:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: Sonic - urine pH/diet

On Tue, 13 Mar 2001, Brett Middleton wrote:
> Pogey ate mostly Chicken Gravy for about 3 months, and then nothing
> but Chicken Gravy for about 4.5 months <snip> and the pH was 6.5.

Ah, a data point! Thanks Brett! 6.5, eh? Hmmm. Duly noted. Honestly
with all the ferrets on Bob's gravy and/or chicken baby food, I really
think that we would already be seeing a trend toward problems with
struvite crystals in some of these guys if they commonly produce alkaine
urine. Sonic is an old ferret with some odd problems, it's likely that
either her problem is from something other than diet or that whatever is
going on with her is perhaps setting her up for requiring less protein
than what is present in gravy or baby food...

> But, Chicken Gravy is meant to simulate a whole-carcass diet, so the
> protein percentage is far below that of a meat-only diet.

Oh yeah, no doubt about that. And again dogs are so different from
ferrets I'm not really sure it's totally relevant anyway, but the urea
production theory was the only thing I could find linking high protein
diets to anything besides acidic urine... Anyway, it's hard to tell from
that article (url in my first post in this thread) what they mean by
"meat-only." They don't mention if they're looking at "non-kibble animal
product diets" in general, BARF-type dog diets or other sorts of
whole-carcass diets or dogs fed hamburger and chicken breasts exclusively.
All very different things. The authors don't name a source - maybe I
should try a real literature search instead of messing around with Google.
The article kinda talks about "excessive protein" levels but never really
defines what they mean. Here's a quote:

"Diets with excessively high levels of proteins simply provide the system
with more urea to work with in the formation of ammonium and carbon
dioxide. In truth, this may be the only factor in animals fed all-meat

> I would also suspect that most chicken baby food has enough filler to
> keep the protein percentage down, though I don't have a jar handy to
> check the label.

I am looking at a little blue jar of Gerber's 2nds chicken with gravy
(chicken, water, cornstarch are the ingredients), and I'm not sure I can
figure out the percentage, but I'll take a stab at it. I've had lots of
trouble with understanding how to figure this out from food labels (even
with wonderful help from kind ferret people on this list) so this might be
mostly for entertainment value! :) It doesn't give a percent protein
(47% of daily protein value but that's different) but says each jar has: 8
g protein, 4.5 g total fat, 2 g total carb, 0 g fiber. So that's 14.5 g
of "stuff" total. If it's as simple as dividing that out, it would be 55%
protein. Any chance I did that right? (*cringe*)

Whew, not a short-winded bone in my body lately... Since I know you're
sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the Sonic Pee Report *g*, the
latest was about 6! Woo-hoo! Maybe the TF Senior is working... If so, I
gotta wonder if it's the lower protein or the inclusion of the
dl-methionine... Hmmm. I hope it sticks and that those nasty 7.5 and
over figures don't return.

THANKS again, Brett, for looking up Pogey's info. And for that really
cool book review - I must get a copy of that...

-Pam S.