Registered: 1565419927 Posts: 3
My 11 year old puggle Jackson passed away suddenly this past Saturday and I am devastated. I also suffer the same feelings of regret and guilt as I have read some people on here post about. My buddy had pancreatitis issues and he had a flare up after the dentist cleaning for some reason. The next morning my girlfriend took him to the vet and he had lost 4-5 lbs. The vet gave him anti nausea for his vomitting and suggested blood work and IVs as a possibility. But his stomach was so distended and he had lost a ton of fluids so I believe the IV was absolutely necessary and not optional. We took him home and his vomitting seemed to be less. The next day he was still drinking some water. I was supposed to bring him back to the vet that day if he hadn't eaten yet but I saw that he was still drinking water and peed okay. He was very weak still. My girlfriends mom picked him up to care for him since she was off work and he died 3 hours later. I feel so responsible for not recognizing his lack of fluids and distended stomach needed urgent care (probably acute pancreatitis flare up but who knows). Jackson was 11 years old and in excellent shape. The day before his symptoms we had done a long run together and the week before gone mountain biking. He was still just as strong as when he was six years old. To lose him so quickly and to not have recognized his worsening symptoms is devastating. I do feel if I had taken him in to emergency care earlier he may have made it. This is what is eating at my girlfriend and I. Looking back, he was severely sick and all the signs pointed that he needed emergency care. Its crushing to think we didn't help him fight this issue properly and that he could have made it if we had acted better. I feel like my girlfriend, the vet and I all made mistakes that could have saved Jackson's life. I am trying to focus on the good times we had in his 11 years but this feeling of guilt is so difficult to shake. I just feel like I could and should have done better. He had had a similar flare up 1.5 years ago and I took him to the hospital fairly quickly where they told me IVs and blood work were absolutely needed. He recovered slowly. This time we didn't do this treatment in time and didn't recognize the severity even though the symptoms were clearly there. Thank you for reading my story and any thoughts you would have I would really appreciate. I miss my buddy so much and I love him with all my heart. Sincerely, Sanjin
Registered: 1564945101 Posts: 45
sanjin, i am so sorry you have to go thru this pain. i too understand intimately, with what you are going through right now as our shared shock and grief is similar in some ways. thank you for the courage to share your sorrow, all of us are here to provide comfort and support. you are not alone in your sadness.
your depth of love is so apparent in your words, and though i know anything i say will only diminish the overwhelm you are navigating now. what i do know is, you did everything you could to be there for Jackson when he needed it most. grief has no instructions or schedule, but it is a testament to how deep your bond was. please be gentle with yourself, come here to find some solace... sending lightness and love to you, Jackson, your GF and all that love him. Mossimo's mom - anastacia
Registered: 1444060919 Posts: 595
Right now isn't the time to be "focusing on the good times". You have sustaind a terrible injury and are entitled to address the pain. "Focusing on the good times" may come later. But right now, it's not going to help. You said you were supposed to bring him back to the vet if he wasn't eating. This was in the beginning. But you said he was drinking and peeing OK. And so you didn't. I think it would be average for a person to view eating and peeing as a good sign and not rush back to the vet. I personally think you did OK there. You feel responsible for not recognizing that his lack of fluids and distended stomach needed urgent care. Sanjin, if it is any comfort, there are veterinarians that had you consulted them by phone may have advised you to hold off taking him to the vet because he was holding his own. His vomiting was less and he was drinking water. There were good things happening. When Emerald was sick I called the vet hours before she died and the vet said to leave her alone and told me the symptoms I was descibing were nothing to worry about. In fact they were signs of an impending blood clot that was about to take her life. On another occasion I called the vet and she told me that what I was saying I oberserved was "clinicallly impossible". It turned out I was correct. So my point is that while you did not recognize the need for urgent care, there are probably veterinarians out there who would not have recognized the need for urgent care either. You say that you believe if you took him to emergency care he may have made it. As with human beings, animals pass away suddenly and unexpectantly. Think of people. People don't die 100% of the time with complete advanced notice. In fact most human deaths are predicted. The same with animals. It is very likely that Jackson died because he had finished living and it was his day to die. Not because you failed to take him the emergency room. Of course it is crushing to view your boy as being tortured. Walking around dying right in front of you...severely suffering and on his last breath. But the dog you describe was not that bad. True he had some issues but you yourself say he was in excellent shape and that the day before his symptoms he went on a long run with you and the week before, mountain biking. A dog who was actively dying would not be doing those things. His death came sudden. To make sense of it, there has to be a reason why. Right now the best reason you can come up with is that you failed him miserably and you are the reason his died. Your stupidity, your lack of knowledge. However, medicine,science and facts may prove you wrong. Think of the healthy high school student who dies at football practice in front of his teamates. Or the long distance runner never sick a day in her life who doesn't come home on time and is found on the side of the road having died of a heart attack. My point is that because Jackson was showing symptoms of illness it doesn't add up that but for your ignorance in determining what those symptoms meant, he would still be alive. He had only been to the vet the day before, hadn't he? Irregardless you were on to what was happening. You "were" addressing what you saw. The fact he died is not the same as "he died because I failed him." He had a similar flair up 1.5 years ago. Things worked out. So past experience told you not to worry, not to panic. That makes sence. The worst feeling in the world is a sudden and unexpected death. There is so much to process. So many questions, so many thoughts and feelings. You are being flooded right now with all of this. In time the severity of the trauma will ease up. For now you are in the thick of it and what you are feeling is normal given the circumstances. Please keep posting and sharing your situation. I am sorry you are suffering. God bless you, Stephanie
Registered: 1565419927 Posts: 3
Thank you for your kindness and response Anastacia. I just can't help but thinking he had more to live if we had read the situation correctly. He was clearly in distress when I look back at it now, different then when he had been just a little sick in the past. As well as we know our fur babies, sometimes its hard to read them. Especially at times when we are busy, ourselves. They are so resilient and tough. They don't show things until they are very ill. I think in the future when my dog starts getting old I will take him for more regular blood work to stay on top of things.
I read your post about your buddy that passed away 3 weeks ago. I am very sorry about your loss as well, his picture is adorable. Have you made a scrap book about him or anything else to keep the memories? I am going to start working on a scrap book/photo album of our little guy.
Registered: 1564945101 Posts: 45
sanjin, i know those looping tracks of what if and whys. and like grievingmom so eloquently wrote, you followed and trusted your instincts based on all the years of knowing Jackson with professional support. You did everything you felt necessary to be there for him. And i get it, i really do as I still each day put myself through the same thought exercises as you are now. But this is what grief does, this the story it tries to tell us because we cant make sense of the unexplainable. And i hate it 100%... not having the answers in time and trying to assign some reason and responsibility of the outcome. And because we love so deeply, we turn that blame on ourselves. thanks for reading his tribute. I have a large album of pictures/videos of Mossimo through the years. I have his ashes next to my bed, a necklace w/ his ashes by my heart, and a small memorial around his bed with flowers, clay paw print, ink prints of his nose and front paws. Eventually i will get him tattooed on my right leg to always be at my side. please continue to share your love. we are here to help support thru the hardship. sending lightness and love in your time of need.