Registered: 1540342229 Posts: 3
Labrador Retriever. She would have turned 13 this December. All of her checkups always showed she was healthy.
She started slowing down about two years ago. She couldn't handle our hikes anymore or very long walks without being sore for a few days after. Could this have been our first sign? We just figured it was her age. She got to the point where ahe struggled to jump on our bed at night and couldn't go for a car ride in the truck without needing a boost. Getting in the car was fine though. Another sign? We changed her food, per vet recommendation, due to frequent ear infections. She was always prone to getting them as she's a lab and loves water. Her vet suggested that since frequent cleanings haven't prevented them, maybe it's a food allergy. Anyways, she went a few days with not wanting to eat the food but if I hand fed her, she'd eat a little. We thought maybe she just didn't like it and switched her food to a different brand (with each switch we did the slow mixing with old food). She started eating just fine. She was still drinking water the entire time though. But, could this have been another sign? She started going deaf. Sometimes we had to touch her so she knew we were trying to get her attention. We thought age. But now, sign? She started looking too skinny so we upped the amount of food we gave her. I had mentioned it to the vet one time but she weighed 65 pounds so he wasn't concerned. Now that I think about that, how did she weigh 65 pounds but look so much skinnier? Sign? We felt small lumps on her side and when mentioned to the vet, he didn't seem concerned. At this point, I don't even remember what he thought they could have been. But because he was the vet, we didn't question. Total regret. This was all in the span of two years. Nothing else out of the ordinary. Fast forward to a month ago. My other female dog and her (I have... had I guess... 4 dogs) started not getting along a month ago, which wasn't normal, at all. They got into a small fight that we broke up without major damage to either dog. Sign? Then comes Saturday. Around noon it was a 4 dog fight in my house. Not usual as the last one was just the girls and while that wasn't normal either, it did happen. Another sign? We were able to break it up pretty fast and despite 2 of our dogs (not Chloe) needing some stitches, they were all okay. We seperated all the dogs. Checked them all one by one for injuries, and took the two boys to the emergency vet for stitches once we made sure the girls were okay. When I got home probably around 3 or 4pm, I tried to let Chloe out of her crate (our other girl was still in her kennel) but she wouldn't come out. She just slept. I thought she probably wore herself out trying to be a tough girl. So I let her be and let my other girl come out instead. Then Chloe started crying about 30 or so minutes later, so I put Pepper back up and I went to Chloe, tried to let her out again but she still wouldn't come. So I just sat there with her for a bit hoping if I gave her some love and attention, she would come out. She stopped crying but still didn't want to get up. When it was time to feed the dogs (6) she wouldn't eat. I was finally able to get her to come out but she was limping and ended up going back to her kennel a few minutes later. I called my husband and told him what was going on. He warned the vet that we may be back with her. My husband got home from picking the boys up (had to leave them for a few hours and return to pick them up and because the only vet open on weekends was 30 minutes from our house, he dropped me back off at home and took our son with him to have dinner in town while waiting to pick the boys up. I came home because I had just recieved some bad news about a family member and needed to come home. I'm glad I did.) around 10pm and was able to eventually coax her out and get her to eat a slice of lunchmeat. He figured he'd try that since she wouldn't eat anything else. She ate it. Drink some water and then went outside. As soon as she came inside, only seconds after being let outside, she layed down and looked at us. Me, my husband and then our son. Then she urinated... blood. All blood. Not just spots.. but I saw only blood. We took her to the emergency vet right away. My husband had to help her in the car. She couldn't get in on her own. She yelped as he was lifting her. She urinated just as much blood again as they were walking her back to check her vitals. Vitals were all good. Normal. They wanted to do an xray and ultrasound to try and find where this bleeding was coming from. When the doctor came in to give us the results, it was almost 2am at that point, of the xray and ultrasound, I could see in her eyes that it was bad news. They saw her left kidney.. looked good. They couldn't find her right kidney. It was covered by a very large mass. She told us that this was not caused by the fight. It had been there, growing, for awhile. It was so big. Cancer. The fight was just unfortunate coincidence. The fight could have been because she was nearing the end and letting off a scent that my other dogs didn't recognize. Or something like that. It's a blur as all I could focus on was "how is this possible. She seemed so healthy. She just played fetch 2 days prior. Still jumping around. We were told that due to the large size, her age, amount of blood she already lost, and the location of the mass that there was a very slim chance of her making it through surgery. She recomended euthanasia. She said due to the fact that she has lost a lot of blood already, she doesn't recommend we being her home as she didn't think she would make it through the night. She needed surgery or say goodbye with her family surrounding her. She, again, told us the risks of surgery and explained that if some how she did make it through surgery, there would most likely be complications that would reduce her quality of life. My husband and I talked for hours. Going back and fourth on what to do, On what we thought would be best for her. We didn't want to be selfish and make her suffer but we were also confused as this was a huge shock and I didn't want to believe this was even happening. All 3 of us sat the and cried before telling them to being our girl to us (My husband prepared himself. Somehow he had a feeling this vet visit wasn't going to be good. He told me we had to bring our son with us and be prepared. I kind of ignored that comment but agreed to have our son come). We talked some more while surrounding Chloe. Seeing how miserable she was. Seeing them have to carry her into the room. She looked so sad. Eventually we decided that the right thing to do was say goodbye. She wagged her tail at us one last time before she fell asleep. My heart is broken. I now have doubts that we did the right thing and regret that we missed signs. I feel like we failed our Chloe. I want her back. I want a do over. I want to bring her home. I haven't slept very much in 3 days because as soon as I close my eyes, I relive that day. I feel sick to my stomach and can't eat much. It hurts. My husband thinks that the way she looked at us before blood came rushing out was her way of telling us it was time. I can't help but feel the way I do though. I lost two that day (my cousin. I found out about her hours before Chloe started bleeding).
Registered: 1531202970 Posts: 106
Oh, Steph, my heart aches for you. Your story sounds so familiar in so many ways to how we lost our dog this summer. The suddenness and feeling like things are spinning out of control sounds so familiar. I have no words that will help other than we all understand; you are in the right place to talk about your emotions. Know that everyone is so supportive and understanding. No judgement. Just a lot of support.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Registered: 1540342229 Posts: 3
Registered: 1541068359 Posts: 3
Steph I understand completely how you feel. My 4 yr old mini schnauzer went thru something similar. She was vomiting on a Mon but thought he just had a stomach bug cause he got them frequently. Then we noticed he was going outside constantly but not being able to pee. After another day of this, we woke up Wed morning to nothing but blood leaking out of him. We took him to the vet and found he had a kidney stone. They drained his bladder and we scheduled surgery and took him home. At 1am the next morning he started convulsing. We got him in the car and as I was speeding away with my hand on him I felt him go limp and I looked over to a gaping mouth and staring blank eyes. I started screaming and crying and went back home to wait for the sun to come up and take him to the vet to deal with his body. I have hated myself ever since. Why didn't I go to the vet sooner. The vet had no reason to believe that this would happen and was just as shocked as we were. No idea what happened. Vets only guess was that maybe his potassium was low which caused his heart to stop. Why wasn't a blood test done and why didn't I think to ask for it? The moment of his death has haunted me for the 3 weeks he has been gone and I am not coping well. I hate my car. All I see when I get in it is him dead next to me. I don't know how we get past this but I think we have to forgive ourselves. It's so easy to look at it now and wish we had done something different. Dogs can't tell us what is wrong and oftentimes by the time they show signs, it's too late. I'm feeling crushed as well and wish I had better answers for you but I'm looking for them too. I'm so sorry for your loss.