We got Ron back from the vet's office last week and he finally has a diagnosis, after the vet conferred with specialists in Utrecht. He has the following:
Chronic renal failure
The last two have been steadily damaging his kidneys for some time. The stone has enlarged one kidney and the chronic renal failure has made the other smaller. The vet cannot risk removing the stone, because he needs to preserve what little kidney function remains - cutting into it would cause too much permanent damage. The presence of the stone is a problem because it makes it very difficult to completely cure the kidney infection. The bacteria thrives within the stone. The intended treatment plan is an extended course of antibiotics, a special diet and medication for the chronic renal failure. The vet, after much nudging, estimated that Ron has perhaps another two years of life. It could be longer if he responds well to the medication, it could be shorter if we can't protect him from further kidney infections. He seems to be stable right now so we're hoping for the best. I'm going to have to call the breeder who sold Harry and Ron to us. She needs to know that two of the litter have developed chronic renal failure very young. Ron's treatment so far has cost in the region of 750 euro. To anyone reading this contemplating getting a cat or dog, make sure you get them insured. Fortunately, Ron is insured and we can agree to whatever care the vet thinks is necessary.
Now... news about the baby. Baby O is exactly where he was when I last posted and with no sign of planning to leave. I had a midwife appointment this morning, and he is measuring around 4.2kg (9lb), so exactly what Michael weighed when he was born. Baby O has a lot of amniotic fluid around him which is unusual for this stage, but great for him. He can move around much more freely than most babies at full term. He has been exercising this privilege by spinning around and causing me considerable pain. At my midwife appointment two weeks ago, he was facing to the right. Last week, he was facing to the left. Today, he is facing to the right again. Goodness knows where he'll be tomorrow but I feel black and blue inside. His due date is tomorrow, 08/08/08 - such a fabulous date, but I don't think there is any chance of him being punctual. For the last 3 weeks I have been convinced that he'd be early - shows what I know!
Michael has been pretty miserable for the last week due to the teething and is steadily wandering into the 'terrible twos'. It is his birthday next Tuesday and we hope to make the day special for him with presents and a little family party. We haven't been able to organise anything more elaborate because we have no idea when Baby O will be born. One thing is certain - I'll be keeping my legs firmly crossed on Tuesday. Michael might never forgive me if he has to share his birthday with his little brother.
I think that's all for now. Perhaps the next time I post will be with a birth announcement..?