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Posts: 8
Loz, your world is in tatters, and you feel terrible, you miss your friend so much; you must find a way to endure through your grieving until you can feel a little better. This is how it is for all of us, we know! Keep busy doing things and when you find you are dwelling too much on the loss get your mind onto something more positive, anything to distract from the heavy moments. All at the same time philosophically try to understand grief is a normal, healthy reaction, and there is nothing "wrong" with you. Peace.

Posts: 1
I am so thankful for this forum.  My daughter dog Samantha was a rescue-she was beaten starved etc...when we got her at about 6 months old.  Originally we were going to keep her for the weekend while we found her a good home.  Well, that weekend lasted for 9 years until we suddenly and tragically lost her to this horrible disease.  She was so full of life and energy and love on Wednesday 5/29-just like her usual.  The only symptoms (which we now know after the fact) were an increase in water intake.  We assumed that it was due to it getting warmer in the desert climate.  On Thursday morning there was a notable decrease in her energy, attentiveness to us and her appetite.  We put it off to just an off day.  Thursday night we noticed that she didn't really want to stand much-always laying down after walking somewhere, did not eat and was standoffish-wanting to be off alone and was staring off into a corner.  I stayed awake all Thursday night reserching what might be wrong with her-at that point I came up with kidney issues.  Friday morning 5/31 she was reluctant to go for her morning walk-her favorite, did not eat, drank lots of water and we noticed her gums were very pale.  We immediately called her vet who told us to take her an hour away to a vet hospital emergency clinic who had all facilities that could treat her.  Got there by 9:30 in the morning.  They got her in immediately and the vet came into the room with a syringe of blood and said that it had come from her abodmen, and that she strongly suspected hemangiosarcoma.  Had never heard of it and had no clue what she meant.  Had her do the ultrasound and then the reality hit and the world stopped for a moment.  Given the options-none good, we had to make the decision to put her to sleep right then and there.  The mass had started to bleed, was attached to the spleen and liver.  Hardest decsion in our lives.  If anyone had told me that morning that in the space of three hours I would come home without my best friend I would have told them they were crazy.  The pain and hole in our hearts and guts will I know go away with time.  For days I blamed myself-why couldn't I notice symptoms, should I have tried surgery etc.  That is the vileness of this disease-it has very few if any symptoms until it is too late, and the only blame can be on us-I know that is misguided but that is the reality.  Now that I found this forum,  I realize that most of these cases follow a similar path and unfortunate outcome and I know am more settled with my guilt and know that I have to have comfort in our memories of the 99.99 joyful days we had.  Thanks for a healing informative forum and may all of us find peace in spite of this horrible disease.

Posts: 12
So sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl. You are right, only time can ease the terrible grief you feel now. Slowly the good memories will replace the shock and sadness. I'm not sure if we ever stop missing our dear friends, but know that you absolutely did the best you could; and let go of any guilt feelings. Keep your loved ones close to you during this hard time; I am glad you found this forum and hope it continues to help in any small way.

Posts: 10

I’m so sorry for your doesn’t help much but just know you’re not alone. I lost my pooch Mel to this horrible disease (I’ve now come to know) on Memorial Day. My original post accounting events, turmoil, and conflict was a few days ago. His story, timeline, mild symptoms looking back, was an exact replica of your precious fur baby. Sat all fine but perhaps thirstier than normal, I too thought it was the Florida heat. Next day Sun, noticeable some subtle behaviorial changes with energy level, seemed lethargic, wasn’t too interested in walking nor of his surroundings, and a decreased appetite, I too thought 1st off day ever but being 14 yrs old, he’s entitled. By Monday Memorial Day, he was perky and essentially back to baseline with all the usuals, even slowly walked a lap around the small lake. As we approached evening, he deteriorated with his tummy hanging lower and appeared he couldn’t even stand normal. He seemed weak and lethargic and wobbly on his legs. His affect was completely quiet and non-engaging. His ears and paws were not as warm to touch, gums pale white.

We took him to the ER vet, carried him in and very promptly, we were given the same news as yourself, in the exact same manner. A syringe showing blood from the abdominal cavity...was told US showed large tumor ruptured and bleeding, said to be suspicious Hemangiosarcoma. Everything was said to be poor, poor, and poor. Options, treatments, prognosis. My heart completely sunk. Within 3 hours, I reluctantly followed the recommendations against everything in me. Never thought for 1 nano-second when I had brought my precious Mel to ER, that he wasn’t ever coming back home.

I’m slowly finding some peace and solace that I have found this link and site...The first couple days aftermath was rainstorm filled. I struggled with the guilt wondering what if the mass wasn’t malignant...(which wouldn’t know until surgical intervention) and I had euthanized my sweet boy not giving him a fighting chance!

It’s been 10 days now without Mel, everyday is a struggle. I’ve come to learn more and more that many owners like myself, have similarly experienced this awful disease and how unfortunately prevalent and frequent it occurs in claiming the lives of our beloved pet families. My sweet Boy is home again, and he is still missed everyday. His Sissy cat meows around the house looking for him. Just all truly heartbreaking. Hope those keep reaching out when needed, and thanks to all who are offering support in sharing their experiences and journey to healing.

Mel-a-rator’s Mommy


Posts: 8
Dh3031 - First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss.  And I wanted to say, don't for one second, blame yourself or feel guilt for missing any signs.  It's very easy (and yes, we try to use common sense) to find other reasons as to what their symptoms are.  It's only when they are gone that you start to question yourself.  Our Maggie was diabetic and was diagnosed with bronchitis so any of the symptoms she was having, we chalked up to this.  She had just been to the vet's a few days before and the vet thought it might be Hemangiosarcoma but the x-rays she had showed the bronchitis.  Little did we know...  Also, one of the girls at the vet's office told us that she had a dog that had been on a six mile hike the day before he/she collapsed from Hemangiosarcoma.  One day, the dog was fine, the next, gone.  It is truly a horrible disease.   I found that reaching out to people one this board that went through the same experience helped tremendously.  It helps to know you're not alone.  xoxo

Posts: 1
We had to make the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to our 14 year old Pomchi, Bug, just three days ago.

In hindsight, symptoms may have first appeared two months ago. We noticed her back legs seemed to "slip" out from underneath her when running once in awhile. I chalked it up to slippery floors since I had fallen running up the stairs around the same time. She also occasionally seemed a bit more tired than usual, but it's easy to convince yourself that age is just catching up to a 14 year old dog.

The first "true" symptom appeared one month ago. I awoke one morning to find her hovering next to me in bed. I put a hand on her and asked her what was wrong and she collpased and urinated. Within a few minutes she came out of a temporary state of exhaustion (panting, tongue hanging out) and confusion. We took her to the vet that morning and all agreed it was most likely a minor seizure. Everything checked out fine in her exam other than the fact that they had a hard time getting a blood pressure reading. This was shrugged off as no big deal since her heart sounded good.

The next three weeks were fairly uneventful. Then three weeks and one day after that first "seizure" I came home after being out for a few hours to find her slowly walking down the stairs scared, confused, and clearly unconformable. She vomited several times and seemed very lethargic. Another trip to the vet, another solid exam and assumption that she had another seizure. For the next three days she just wasn't herself: very little to no playing or running, lethargy, weakness (wanting to be carried a lot), wincing when we picked her up as if she was in a bit of pain. She also never ate another bite of dog food after this "incident". For the next four days she would only eat scraps of chicken. She did, however, drink a ton of water and urinate frequently. She seemed to "snap out of her funk" on day four and played with her sister a bit and generally seemed like herself again.

In hindsight, another symptom crept up at this time. Bug had horrible colitis which we controlled fairly well with daily probiotics and pepcid. Normally, four days of eating nothing but chicken would have wreaked havoc on her stomach but oddly she had zero issues. I now believe that her liver was having issues producing bile due to disease progression. Part of me is happy that she at least did not have to deal with colitis on top of everything else.

After four days of eating just chicken, she stopped eating even that. What was tough is that she otherwise seemed "OK". However, we decided she needed to be seen by the vet again to get to the bottom of this. That night she had some orange diarrhea (another sign of potential liver issues) and immediately after began panting as if exhausted and on the verge of collapse. The next morning she hopped off our bed, drank a ton of water, stumbled around as if drunk, collapsed, and urinated herself again. She couldn't get up on her own and needed to be scooped up and carried. We rushed her to the vet.

From the moment we arrived at the vet, the techs and Dr made it clear that she was gravely ill. Her temperature was only 97°, her pulse was faint, her gums were white. She was rushed to ultrasound and x-ray and twenty minutes later we were ushered into a private room with a couch. We knew this was bad, very bad. We were told that her heart was surrounded by fluid and they showed us the x-ray which was shocking. They said her abdomen seemed ok but x-ray could only show so much. The diagnosis was probable hemangiosarcoma and we needed to rush her to heart surgery or euthanize her. My God was this an excruciatingly painful decision. My first instinct was surgery but the Dr informed us that even with that her prognosis was very poor. He gave us one more option: he could drain some of the fluid around her heart to provide temporary relief and we could enjoy the limited time we had left. We chose this option.

The vet was able to drain 50mL of fluid from around her heart. He wasn't comfortable draining more since she had less than 500mL of blood in her entire body. He said there was blood in the fluid he drained and it wouldn't clot which basically solidified the hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Bug bounced back a bit after this procedure: tail wagging, pink gums, and she even happily ate her favorite food of all time, Arby's roast beef, which she hadn't had in a decade.

We spent every single second of the rest of the day and night by her side: petting her, rubbing her belly, feeding her roast beef, watching her favorite show (Cesar Milan), allowing extended family to stop by and say "goodbye", telling her how much we loved her. We slept at the bottom of the bed with our arms around her that night. She seemed restless: licking nonstop, swallowing frequently, slightly labored breathing. We decided this was not fair to her and that we would need to say goodbye in the morning. She finally got an hour or so of sleep around 6am while I rubbed her belly. I am forever grateful for these final moments of peace with her. She began refusing water and barely ate any roast beef offered in the morning.

A painful moment for us was when we had our young daughter say goodbye and Bug hopped up with her tail wagging. We briefly thought "she's OK, maybe we shouldn't let her go yet". However, I think she was just mustering what tiny strength she had left to put on a brave face for her favorite little girl.

Later that morning we brought her to the vet and said our final goodbyes. My heart was shattered and I'm crying as I type this. Even after reading through everything I wrote above I question our decision to put her to sleep. As irrational as it may be, I just need someone to tell us we made the right decision for her. Maybe it was benign? Maybe she could have lasted a couple more days? Maybe surgery and chemo would have given her a few more months? God I just want to be at peace with our decision.

...and maybe I can be now. I was sobbing the day after she left us, begging for a sign she was ok. A couple hours later, a bumble bee gently landed on my wife's hand, walked around long enough for me to take a few pictures, buzzed by myself and our other pup, Ruby, and flew away. My wife and I both burst into tears and said, "thanks Bug." About an hour later we got our daughter up from her nap. She ran to her window and said, "a bumble bee was at my window then flew away." She's only three and was sound asleep when the bee visited us.

I pray that you all ask for and receive visits from your beloved pups. It doesn't heal the pain, but it helps.

Posts: 10
I’m sorry for your loss but pleased Bug visited you, your wife and daughter.

Best Regards


Posts: 1
Saturday, my precious Maine Coon cat, Rosie lost her battle with hemangiosarcoma. She lasted seven months from initial diagnosis. This disease is so aggressive. Rosie had 20 radiation treatments and 4 doxorubicin chemo treatments and the cancer still grew. I pray that someday someone finds a cure so no animal has to endure what Rosie just went thru. I miss her tremendously and cry everyday. I know that someday we will meet again. I want to get involved with research on fighting this type of cancer.

Posts: 8
That's kind of cool to get a "visit" like that. Two days or so after we lost our Mokie a little bird landed on my shoulder when I was out in the yard..I just froze..he stayed maybe a half a minute chirping away, then flew a short distance to a tree, looking me up and down. Now that may have been a coincidence, but that's the only time in my life I remember a wild bird ever doing that. My wife and I would like to believe that was his spirit passing by.
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