Registered: 1521118659 Posts: 2
I lost my boy Chubbs about 2 weeks ago due to what I assume was liver failure. He passed at home- which I already feel guilty enough about, but I can't seem to stop blaming myself for not catching it sooner.
I adopted Chubbs at 12 years old back in August of 2016. He was an severely overweight puggle, but other than the excess weight he was healthy. Over the first year that I had him, i helped him go from 52 to 29 pounds. He was happy, energetic, keeping up with my moms 1 year old dog. He LOVED food, walks, car rides, people, dogs, cats, and mostly, me. Around the middle of January of this year, he started not to want his carrots (his favorite treat) but was still eating his food and other dog treats. He seemed to be getting more tired, but he was also going on 13 1/2. Still liked walks, still was fairly active. Slowly he just seemed to "look" sick to me. No major weight loss, no lumps or odd swelling but something about him just seemed different. But he continued to do most things normally so I brushed it off. Then I noticed his urine was a darker yellow- I assumed dehydration since he was not a large drinker. I got some pedialyte which i diluted with water and he happily drank it. Always in the back of my head I thought is something wrong? Should I take him to the vet? But then i figured what would I say? He doesn't want carrots? He seems tired? None of those were seemingly life threatening. Around the beginning of February, his eyes seemed slighlty yellowish, but they seemed different depending on what light I was using (natural, brighter lights, duller room lights) so I again was worried but he was acting ok. A few days later, I happened to look out the window and noticed his pee was ORANGE. There was a new coat of snow that just fell, which may be why I hadn't noticed it sooner. Took him to the vet, found out he had hepatitis. Did an XRAY and ultrasound and ruled out cancer. Put him on meds. He initially got slightly better, so we thought we were doing good. Then after about 2 weeks of treatment he didnt improve, so my vet wanted me to go for a biopsy of the liver. He suddenly started getting picker and pickier with his food, to the point of not eating. So I took him into the emergency vet. They put him on fluids and did a repeat ultrasound which showed no changes. Unfortunately his blood clotting factor was low so they didnt want to do a biopsy and risk internal bleeding. I took him home that night, and though groggy from the sedative, he just didnt seem right. He collapsed around 630. I moved him to his bed and he was non responsive. he started twitching, had a large seizure and passed. I felt terrible about not bringing him into the vet, but since it was late at night my vet was closed and I was by myself so I honestly think it would have been to hard to bring him in to be euthanized. Anyway, my point is now I am living with the guilt that I didn't act sooner. Although small, I noticed those things that were wrong. I should have just taken him to the vet. The liver is highly regenerative so if I just would have acted sooner maybe he would still be here. I feel like I failed him. Now looking back, that "weird look" was his eyes. They were yellowish. I can see it clear as day in pictures now. How was I so stupid? How did I miss in in a creature that I looked at every single day? I didn't take him in because he was overall acting ok. I just can't get over the fact that if I just brought him in maybe he would still be here.
Registered: 1520952202 Posts: 12
I am going through such a similar thing. I lost my baby Gracie on Saturday night and I have felt guilt like I never have over anything. She had a few things going on but was overall acting okay so I didn't take her to the vet until it was too late. Like you I can look back now and see signs that should have sent me to the vet with her.
Dogs have a way of compensating when something is wrong with them. You saw a few things that seemed off but overall Chubbs was doing okay. It is not your fault. It is so hard to tell how serious some things are with pets. When something this serious is wrong there probably wasn't much if anything they could have done for Chubbs even if he had been to the vet sooner. Sometimes with critical illness it is painful for the pet to "hang on" and struggle to have a good quality of life. It might be more cruel to try to prolong the inevitable. I think it was probably a blessing for him to get to pass in his own home. It doesn't sound like he lingered in pain for an extended time. You are an awesome pet mom. You gave Chubb the best possible outcome considering where he came from and the physical condition he was in. I think the life expectancy of that breed is 10-15 years and considering the health problems he had when you got him, he lived a long life. I hope you can find peace soon. I am searching for it too.
Registered: 1519903880 Posts: 35
I'm going through something similar with my girl, except it was kidney failure.
There were things that didn't seem right at the time, but because she was still happy, still eating, drinking, going to the toilet, still her happy self, I didn't notice.
She had an ear infection, so when she seemed off, I put it down to that. I was still taking her to the vet and explaining what was going on, but even the vet missed it.
I was lucky enough to find a caring vet that came to out house to help her go to sleep. We didn't have to go to a strange place and leave without her.
I still feel so guilty though.
The vet that helped her at the end, told me that there was nothing that could have been done and when it comes to organs like the kidneys, there are only a few symptoms to pick it up.
Because she was a pure bred sharpei and had bouts of sharpei fever when she was younger, apparently she was at a higher risk of this.
She drunk heaps of water from when we first brought her home as a puppy, so there was never any increased intake of water to raise alarms. She acted like the same happy girl she always was.
Try not to blame yourself. (I know how hard it is)
You took care of your baby the best you could.
It's always easier to look back and see the symptoms once you know the diagnosis.