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IzzysMom1

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Posts: 4
 #1 
Almost 11 years ago, fate brought me and my sweet Izzy girl together. I happened to be in the vet's office for a check up with my other pup. Someone brought Izzy in requesting to put her down for no apparent reason. My vet refused to do it without attempting to find her a home first. I really did not want to take on a new pup, but this girl had me from the moment I saw her. I asked the vet to try to find her a great home (secretly hoping she would not be able to) and if no one would adopt her, I would take her. One of the best decisions I have ever made. I thank God I happened to be in that vet's office on that day at that exact moment. The unconditional love Izzy had for me was overwhelming and I couldn't create a more perfect friend if I tried. the two of us have been together through 2 moves, one crazy ex-boyfriend (fortunately followed by an amazing hubby) and 2 extremely difficult pregnancies. This girl was my original ride-or-die friend!

As pet owners, we knew that one day we would have to say "goodbye". I always thought that if the day came where I had to make the decision for her, it would be due to old age and I would be able to prepare for it and accept it. We reached that day yesterday and while she is older (we think 11 or 12) there was no warning and no preparing. Last Thursday, I had a happy, lively, healthy girl. Friday morning, she refused her morning treat; which seemed odd, but she took it when my son offered it to her. This was their special thing every morning before daycare so I didn't read too far in to it. I came home from work that day and my husband said she had been acting a little strange and vomited. I went to check on her and she couldn't muster the energy to stand up. I immediately rushed her to the animal hospital where she was diagnosed with pancreatitis. The vet said she would be in the hospital for about 3 days getting IV fluids and antibiotics. The vet called with a status update Saturday morning to say Izzy's spirits had lifted tremendously, but she still didn't want to eat so she wanted to keep her at least another day. I thought everything would be ok. Wrong. Later that afternoon, the vet called back to tell me the pancreatitis was caused by an immune disorder. Izzy's immune system was attacking her red blood cells.  Her condition continued to get worse where we needed to suppress Izzy's immune system and we were running out of time. The only way to buy more time for the medication to kick in was a blood transfusion. Her immune system tore through the RBC's from the transfusion and we were looking at having to do a second transfusion to buy more time. Then, finally, a small beam of hope. The rate at which Izzy's immune system was attacking the cells slowed down. I just knew this was the medication kicking in and soon we would be seeing her levels go up.  The vet said she was not in physical pain pain (due to pain meds) but jaundice had kicked in pretty badly and my sweet girl was turning yellow and was so swollen. Every visit broke my heart. There was a sadness in her eyes that hurt my heart in ways words will never explain. She couldn't hold her head up and was sleeping all the time. My sweet girl was not living. She was existing. If she did beat it by some miracle, the vet said it would be a long, hard journey. This is the point where we opted not to pursue further treatment and helped our baby let go because we didn't see improvement. Just maintaining. I am wracked with guilt that maybe we would have turned the corner if we gave it one more day for the meds help. Did I act too soon (all if this transpired over 4-5 days)? Did I rob her of the opportunity to get better? I love and miss my sweet girl every minute of every day. The guilt is unbearable.
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #2 
I am so sorry to read your story of your loss of your precious pup. It is heartbreaking when we have to say goodbye to a beloved companion. You absolutely did the right thing for your precious baby . Her eyes told you what she wanted & that was to be set free of her pain. You tried so hard to fight for her, you did everything that you could do. You gave her the gift of being set free to run free of pain at Rainbow Bridge. She knows how much you loved her, & although they can’t tell us in words, they tell us in other ways. Her body was fighting against her, & what you did for her was out of the greatest ending gift you could give- LOVE.

It hurts , its heart breaking loss. You gave her a good life. Now she will be your forever angel. I hope you find peace and comfort in her memories.
Jadas
Mom
Whippitless

Registered:
Posts: 9
 #3 
In a word ;

No.

In the time leading up to your decision, you acted on what you saw & felt. You knew Izzy (love the name, btw), understood her, felt the moment, & acted on your intuitions. Those intuitions are never wrong. Possibly painful, but never wrong. In reality, you actually gave her the best resolution based on the circumstances you describe. I have zero doubt that Izzy is grateful for the compassion & love that you gave her from the moment fate brought the 2 of you together, all the way up to the incredibly selfless decision you made to spare her the anxiety & possible agony that would have accompanied pulling out all stops to give her what, at best, would've probably been very limited extra time at a diminished quality of life. You robbed her of nothing, you were actually her hero(for the 2nd time in Izzys life). According to everything I read here, all pets should be so lucky as to have someone like yourself looking out for their interests, & thats no lip-service.
Perfectly natural & totally expected to question ones self in the wake of such an emotional event, but take a bow my dear, you met the moment with grace, selflessness & wisdom of the highest magnitude & gave Izzy the dignity she deserved, its just that the grief obscures the view of reality in times like these.

This past february, I watched my most faithful companion go from her normal, happy, aging but healthy self, to making the same decision you just did in a span of about 12 hours(heart/lung issues). No prior indications alerted me that we were near this stage. Like Izzy, Riley my whippet was presented a few options that were
less than encouraging going forward. I knew in my heart when I put her in the car to go to the vet that morning that she was not the same dog. Looking back, Im so glad I didnt put her through what the vet said would've been necessary to extend her time with me. The loss is still fresh, the grief is still real, but I do take comfort in not having put her through extensive treatment & anxiety for the purpose of me not having to let her go.

Im so sorry for your loss, and wishing you peace & comfort as you work your way through this painful process. It will get better, I promise.


doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #4 
Whippitless ,
You said it much better than I did. I totally agree with you. It is the final act of selfless love to give our loyal , beloved companions the gift of dignity by letting them go and not having them suffer any longer for our own selfish reasons. I see too many pet owners who keep their pets alive through much expense & modern technology , but these pets have no quality of life & I can’t imagine how scared & terrified they are going through all of this modern testing in vet hospitals without their beloved human at their side, & then given medication that makes them feel worse so that us pet parents can have a few more days or weeks.
I get it, I really do undetstand how difficult it is to make that heartbreaking decision. My first cat was sick for @ 6 months & I didn’t have the courage to do the right thing for her. I’m embarrassed to say that she lived in the bathroom for 6 months- because she was peeing everywhere and she was 18 years old and she was scratching her head until she made a hole in it , and we would find her pressing her head into the wall quite often . I have to partially blame my husband because every time that I tried to make the appointment he made me feel terribly guilty . That was no quality of life , living in a bathroom & it makes me so sad to think about that. Her and I were so bonded we had an unspoken connection. She could read my every emotion. I just couldn’t bring myself to let her go. She was sick, & kidneys were failing, & she most likely had a brain tumor , but the vet I took her to wasn’t helping me to do the right thing for her .
He actually suggested that we do some kind of kidney test where she would have to be sedated and then also suggested putting her on antidepressants to see if that would stop the constant peeing everywhere .
This really made me angry as I am bringing in an 18-year-old cat who is obviously dying & this vet is suggesting doing invasive test on her ? We had already done a urinalysis & she didn’t have a bladder infection. She hated the vets and she acted horrible and almost had to be sedated just to be examined. So the thought of having her stay there and having invasive testIng was not something I was willing to put her through. The vet actually gave me an attitude about it. So I brought her home for another two weeks and another two weeks of her life was stuck in a bathroom . After that I am mustered up the courage to make the final appointment . Unfortunately his wife was not available when we got there & we got the same attitude from this same vet, who began questioning me about why I did not try the antidepressants and actually re-suggested doing the invasive kidney testing . I could not believe my ears . Here I was with my husband and my daughter making the hardest decision I have ever had to make , and this vet is making it even worse . I asked him what he thought about the hole in her head and also about the fact that one of her eyes no longer moved back-and-forth, it only looked forward . And first of all they were supposed to tranquilize her when we got there and instead he was trying to talk me out of doing the euthanasia and doing further testing . so my cat was very extremely unhappy to be there and she was growling and hissing and he was having a very hard time examining her , but he did manage to look at her eye , and then he said wow I didn’t notice that before she probably has a tumor in her brain . Then he left the room for a very long time we waited and I was wondering why no nurse came in with a tranquilizer shot to calm down my cat . And when he came back into the room I asked him why he had not given her a tranquilizer yet and he said now we don’t have time so we are just going to do the euthanasia shot . It was a horrifying experience because my cat screamed when she got the shot and that is my last memory of her . We took her body home in a shoebox and I cried uncontrollably for two days straight . My husband buried her in the backyard. I will never go back to that vet and I will never recommend them , as they made my last moments with my best friend into a nightmare.
The reason I even bring that experience up is because looking back on that experience , I Learned something from it . I wish that I had made the decision to put her out of her misery and not had her locked up in the bathroom all those months because that was out of my own selfishness . I never wanted to say goodbye to her and I had wanted her to live forever but that is not possible in our existence . I also learned to find a very good vet that actually cares about the value of the life of the animal and not just the money that they make doing their tests and giving drugs . I have also found Vets that come to the home and make it much more comfortable for the family and the pet when it comes to that hard decision of saying goodbye . That is not always possible as sometimes there are emergencies , but I will never again allow a vet to guilt me into keeping my pet alive longer for invasive testing or drugs that make them more miserable when they are already suffering & dying.
Lynnsa

Registered:
Posts: 63
 #5 
Izzysmom I am so terribly sorry for your loss. This is exactly how my boy died in April and I am still devastated. Like Izzy he wasn’t ill up until the day before he died. He was hospitalised but there was nothing they could do. I know how painful and devastating it is to lose what is essentially a healthy dog on the outside and so quickly too. The shock is dreadful and I do feel for you. Remember the lovely happy times with Izzy - it will get easier eventually but it is such early days still both for you and I. Stay strong and all my love 😘😘😘
IzzysMom1

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #6 
Lynnsa,

I am so sorry that you and I have this in common. Whatever this disease is (I am pretty sure it was IMHA, but our vet never specifically called it that), it hits hard and it hits fast. Our sweet babies didn't deserve this! I plan to ask my vet for suggestions on where I can make a donation toward IMHA research in Izzy's name. I may not have been able to save Izzy, but no pet parent should ever have to go through this and I can't think of a better way to honor my sweet girl. Hoping you can find some comfort soon. Hugs!

Lynnsa

Registered:
Posts: 63
 #7 
That is a lovely idea to make a donation. I shall ask as well to try and help other pets and owners. Apparently it is very common but i don’t personally know anyone who had lost a pet to this shocking disease. My boy Max was being his normal nutty self on the Thursday - sick and put on antibiotics Friday hospitalised Saturday as not eating and couldn’t keep water down and he died on Sunday afternoon 💔so as you say so quick and devastating. It’s a complete shock. I’m still struggling with this and cry everyday as I’m pining for him. But you know all about these feelings. Love and hugs to you and again I’m so so sorry xxxx
IzzysMom1

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #8 
Whippetless & Doglife,

I replied to your posts, but I am not sure why it is not showing. I could not let your kind words go without you knowing how much they meant to me. I am not sure why sometimes words of strangers seem more comforting than the same words said by friends and family, but they do. 

I find (to my surprise) I have found so much healing in sharing Izzy's story. I came to this message board still reeling from shock, devastated and lost. I was scouring through pages of heartbreaking stories of people who felt just like I did....guilty. And while reading the details of all of these stories, not knowing any of the posters personally, I found myself asking these strangers "how in the world could you ever think what you did was not right for your beloved friend?" But I still didn't get it. OUR story was different in my eyes. Izzy was not as old as all the other dogs. We didn't have a history of declining health. She was never "officially" diagnosed with anything. Research articles said "this doesn't have to be a death sentence". So did we just need to endure a rough patch temporarily? Izzy was a superdog. Of course she could beat it.  You name it....I made every excuse I could for her death to be my fault.  So I came here to share our story; hoping someone, anyone, could magically know how to take the guilt away. Turns out, that person was me. I read my original post over and over and over again as if those words belonged to someone else. Would I have asked that person the same question...."how in the world could you ever think what you did was not right for your beloved friend?" You bet I would. Through my own grief, I couldn't see the truth that was in front of me. All signs indicated Izzy was not going to beat this and she was miserable. Period. I did not cause her death. This awful disease did. My guilt was nothing more than wanting so badly for things to be different and lacking the ability to make it so.  I could have chosen to let this continue to hurt both of us or I could take it all upon myself. So, subconsciously, that is what I did....for her. I owe her that and so much more. So for now, I will promise my sweet girl that I will not cry (or at least try) because she is gone, but I will smile because she was here.  

Whippetless - we were never quite sure of Izzy's breed(s), but we suspect mostly Whippet. Such beautiful creatures with beautiful souls!

Sending healing wishes to all of us! Hugs!


doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #9 
I too find it more helpful talking to strangers here on this forum.  I don't know why.  Maybe because we all have something in common.  We are deeply grieving the loss of our beloved fur children.  I didn't ever think that I would be here at this place writing letters to my Jada because I thought she was a healthy dog with at least 7 more years left.   I get it about the shock of having a healthy dog one second and the next second they are gone.  She left this earth on May 23, 2018, and I thought that I was doing better about crying over her.  I was actually getting through some days without crying.  But for whatever reason, last night, and almost every night, it HITS me like a ton of bricks that I will never see those beautiful brown eyes again, or get to hear her special grunting when I rubbed her ears.   I will never get to see her tail and her body sticking out from under the bed, while she hides her head underneath it because she thinks that way we won't see her and she won't have to have her ears cleaned.  She was as strong as an ox, and always a picture of health,  and looking at the videos I have of her running around and playing with her brother and eating everything she possibly could, and just being a silly healthy dog,  I just don't get it.  I don't understand how she could have gone from running and playing to dropping and dying.  I have a German Shepherd named Leo and although I will be utterly devastated when he goes,  at least I am expecting it.  He is just holding on this year.  He has been holding on the past two years.   He wasn't even suppose to live past 5 and he is 9.  He's my first dog, that I ever owned and I love him to pieces.  I just feel so bad for him because he's had a hard life and he doesn't deserve it because he has a heart of gold.   I would be able to understand it , if he were to pass. 

But Jada, the dog who never stopped eating, never stopped running and playing, never stopped doing everything that she loved, she never showed fatigue or lethargy or not wanting to eat.   She threw up sometimes, but that was Jada from a puppy, she always sometimes just threw up, because she was a gobbler.  She walked away from a frozen cherry on the floor earlier that day,  which is unlike her, but she had already eaten her breakfast, and she wanted to be outside and she was pulling the little kiddie pool off the patio to let me know that she wanted me to fill it up for her.  The vet says it's HSA, a cancer common to female GSD's, but I never heard of that before.  

What is IMHA?  I never heard of that either.  But whatever these diseases are , they come out of nowhere and steal our otherwise healthy young dogs.  It's so unfair , and so hard to wrap one's head around it, and I really feel bad for anyone who has lost their otherwise healthy dog so quickly , without a warning or a chance to say goodbye.  It's hard no matter how they leave us,  but this sudden death thing really has my head in a whirl. 

I relive that day over and over in my head, and the days leading up to that day, wracking my brain for signs, but there weren't any visible signs that she showed me.  I keep thinking there's something that I could have done, even though I know I couldn't have.  Last night, I played the part over again,  where she left her body as I watched helplessly on the ground beside her weeping,       and I cried for a good hour.  I thought that I was done with the crying, but it literally came out of nowhere and it needed to come out.   I do smile when I think about her silly antics, because she had a lot of them,  but I do still cry because it's so hard to believe that she's gone.  

Lynnsa, I am sorry for the sudden loss of your boy too. 

Love and doggie kisses to all of you,
Jada's mom
IzzysMom1

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #10 
Doglife

IMHA is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the red blood cells. It causes severe anemia and deprives the vital organs of oxygen. Odds of survival are best if the disease is caught early; which is difficult because the early symptoms are so subtle or not present at all. This disease hits hard and hits fast. We had zero warning signs until it was too late. Major telltale signs to keep an eye for are white/pale gums, dark/red urine, and jaundice of the skin or whites of the eye. If you see ANY of these symptoms, no matter how slight, get your baby to the vet ASAP. This is not a wait and see type of situation!! Other symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting and lethargy, but those can be characteristic of many issues.

I had no clue this existed in the dog world. From everything I have read, Cocker Spaniels seem to be at a higher risk; although any dog can get it. The best thing we can do as parents is share our heartbreaking experiences to educate others. If my loss can help any animal lover avoid this same fate, then I have done a small act to bring my Izzy the honor she so justly deserves.

Wishing you healing thoughts and prayers!
Izzy's Mom


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