Kobster, thank you for that info! I just joined the Yahoo group and I have Tanya's CRF page bookmarked. I will talk to my vet about BalanceIt.com and see what he says.
I agree that Milner's case is quite mild. I'm actually a little confused by the diagnosis... Several weeks ago Milner fell very ill. It was sudden and within a matter of a couple days he went from slight lethargy (which I originally attributed to a couple 95-105* days we had) to total lack of appetite and being so weak and painful that he would barely walk around. Of course I got him straight to the vet. He drew blood and took urine, which he said looked cloudy, bloody and all around AWFUL, so he put Mil on antibiotics thinking it was the result of an infection. The next day he called me and said Milner's kidney values came back very strange, definitely not normal, but didn't really fit with any condition he'd seen either. He said they were "All over the place" and to see what happens with the antibiotics and call him if Milner worsened. Not even two days later, Milner began vomiting constantly. He was spending a lot of time hiding in weird places, which is very strange for him. We went back to the vet and he thought Milner needed to be hospitalized. I had done so much reading that I was bombarding Dr.Wells with "Could it be Addison's? Could it be Lyme? Could it be CRF/CKD? Is my cat dying?" He didn't think it was any of those things but couldn't pinpoint what it was. After the second round of bloodwork Dr. Wells called me and said Milner's kidney's had "crashed and burned". Mil was hospitalized for over a week, in which time they took xrays (which showed no obstruction, mass, or anything), got him rehydrated, started him on aluminum hydroxide and got him eating. Toward the end of Mil's stay, Wells did bloodwork again and told me that his values were still on the high side, but the best thing I could do was get him back home and continue treatment here. He also discovered that Milner was having trouble with one of his hind legs. It would sort of pop out at the knee from time to time and he looked uncomfortable walking on it now that he was finally feeling well enough to be mobile again. That's when he came to the conclusion that there was some type of accident and all of this was a result of physical trauma to his back end and kidneys.
In the last few weeks, Milner has just flourished. He's back to a good, healthy appetite, started getting very antsy during his fluids, is wrestling with/chasing the other cats again and has regained the ability to jump up on things lower than the kitchen counter. I don't think the vet expected him to make such a recovery based on his previous condition and all of his bloodwork. And like I said, the last time we had it checked everything was pretty close to normal except his creatinine, which was elevated but vastly improved since the last panel.
Dr. Wells has never officially named it, but obviously we're treating it like CKD. I mean, if the kidneys practically shut down and that damage was done, his kidneys will never FULLY recover and that would be considered a chronic disorder, right? I also read of acute renal failure and very opposing things about it. One site said cats usually don't pull through it, and one said that cats normally recover from it and its not degenerative like CKD. What gives?
Either way, I do think he'd benefit from a real kidney support diet and I look forward to finding the right one for him.