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Posts: 6
My 12 &1/2 year old flat-coated retriever, Liam, was put down 2 days ago, 8/22/19.I got him at 8 weeks old.

He had an extended belly with fluid buildup that had been occurring for 4-6 weeks that I originally misplaced as normal weight gain. I should have brought him in 4-6 weeks ago. He had his annual checkup mid June and nothing out of the ordinary was noticed.

I was on travel for 1 week and the marked change in 7 days scared me enough to bring him to an emergency vet he hadn’t been to prior. They decided to withdraw the fluid. It was so much at one time and did him in immediately. The 12 hours after that with him dying and his body shutting down we’re awful awful.

The underlying cause of the fluid buildup was going to get him soon (will try to find that in an autopsy we are having performed) but I quickened everything up. It was 17 lbs of fluid withdrawal and he couldn’t handle that.
He went from 92 to 75 lbs in 2 hrs.

Ironically, the fluid buildup, and the underlying reason were killing him, but the massive fluid withdrawal did him in immediately. I mean he was “there” personality wise, playing, etc, before I brought him in, but was “gone” (not himself) after the fluid withdrawal.

This grief being like a human family member is real. Very real. I Haven’t eaten in 48 hrs. Very little sleep. Don’t even want alcohol.

I’ve been beating myself up awful since his regular vet called and said they probably wouldn’t have taken so much fluid out....too taxing, and it did him in, although he was on his way out with the fluid problem and the underlying reason for it. The 12 hrs afterward the fluid withdrawal were awful awful awful.

But the real kicker was thinking it was him gaining weight with age and lack of exercise with the heat of summer....dumb on my part.

We’re actually getting an autopsy done because I just HAVE to know the underlying reason for the fluid buildup, not only for my own closure some, but it’s good info for the vets for the info gained and so he doesn’t die in vain.

As mentioned, I was in Seattle last week and he was at my parents rural house on a lake all last week so he had a good last week.

Ugh...this isn’t healthy, but I’m devastated, haven’t eaten in 2 days, took off work, and it feels like I’ve been hit by a 2X4.

I miss him so much...still in shock. I can’t believe what just happened. Hard to process.

Posts: 32
I’m really sorry about your loss of Liam. I lost my bunny 6 weeks ago she was my family and the grief has been bad, I miss her loads and I felt guilt about my actions when she was poorly, I feel guilty for not taking her to the vets more or sooner and over the vet visit on her last day which I think pushed her over the edge. I hope the autopsy will give you some peace of mind, it’s awful not knowing. You did what you thought was best for Liam, you trusted the vet and naturally expected they would be making the right decision for Liam. From my experience the first few days were unbearable but the mental torture has lessened, time does help. I hope you start feeling abit better soon and sorry again for your loss. Try to look after yourself.

Posts: 994
I am so sorry for your loss.  Your loss is so recent, early days.  Yes, the grief is unbearable, but you can and will get through this.  In time ..

He's a good looking boy!  Waiting for you up at Rainbow Bridge, healthy, happy and waiting for you.  I like to think for them it is just a day, regardless of the years down here.

I recall my first pup and losing him like it was yesterday.  February 2014.  I knew it would be very hard.  But it was much harder than I thought.  

Not only can the loss of a pet be as hard as a human family member, but for me it was harder.  I had lost my Mom the year before, and my Dad the year before my Mom.

Both were very hard and yet it was losing Tuffy that was the hardest.  I recall feeling physical pain, my chest as I walked Toby (who stayed another 11 months after Tuffy passed).  

Your reaction may not be healthy, but to me it sure seems normal.  You've lost a loved one.  You ask yourself all the 'what ifs' and what could I have done differently.  But you did the best you could knowing what you knew.

He had a good last week.  That should be a great comfort to you.   

 Take care of yourself.  Come back here often.  We all 'get it'!

Tuffy, Toby, Ellie and Missy's Dad

Posts: 6
Mondo, VBunny, thank you very much.

I’ll post any autopsy results. Unfortunately, the test results on the fluid came back too ambiguous.

The pictures/links (below) I need to post, but looking at them are insanely tough.

He became a flat out awesome dog, companion, and fishing buddy. His ability to sense my distress over the years (crying for ex) was uncanny,
but very real. He’d show up at the side of the bed and “just be there”. It was so uncanny that when I tested him by “fake” crying for example, he knew the difference.

This dog used to run 10 miles with me in his youth (flat-coated retriever owners know the deal-:). He also did this thing where he pawed his face with both paws from his ears to his snout. Over the years I thought he looked like a monkey so saying “monkey-monkey” over time made him do it on command. Also, over the years, when he did something wrong like go to the bathroom in the house (my fault of course for not letting him out in time) I would say the same thing “Did You Do That?”. Over the years he picked up on it and was the ONE command that made him scarily angry, so much so that I had tell anyone watching him not to say those 4 words in succession.

It just feels like I have bricks in my stomach.

I did have a “good” day today in that my Mom found a golden retriever breeder and we took the 4 hr drive to visit.
It was nice to just “get outta the house.

I picked out a 5 week old that I pick up in 2 weeks (too young yet to come home).
I also plan on saving one from the humane society, as I believe in that very much too.
2 dogs I’m fine with now.

I know this doesn’t work for everyone, and may not be advised, but i have found the “distraction” of a new puppy does work for me (I got Liam 3 days after a 13&1/2 year old retriever, Sawyer, my first dog, died in 2007).
I like that the previous dog has a “say”, or a link, from a time perspective, on who the new ones are.

I find I just CANNOT have a dog around, even if it’s just for the routine to start. Love them too much.


Posts: 32
What a gorgeous guy! I know what you mean about looking at pics being tough, sometimes it gives me comfort and I can’t bear to look at what I’ve lost at other times. I think the way you described getting a new pup is really nice and a tribute to Liam, also getting a dog from the Humane Society would be so kind to give another dog a chance at a happy life, they won’t ever replace Liam but will be special in their own way.

Posts: 5
Hey there hokienole, seams like we had similar situations around the same time. I hope you get better with this and for me too.

Posts: 6
Yep, Dogsrgreat3.

If u can post a pic/link, I’d love to see Bailey.
If it is too hard, I understand.

I’ve kind of gone numb at this point. The Uber amount of grief has subsided at least.
I still can’t believe what happened. Almost surreal.

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