Registered: 1531721844 Posts: 12
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.
Registered: 1559619279 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.
Registered: 1533154758 Posts: 13
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. Sincerely, Debbie
Registered: 1559215394 Posts: 11
I’m so sorry for your loss...it 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 Jules
Registered: 1502120021 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
Registered: 1560217115 Posts: 2
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.
Registered: 1535970667 Posts: 10
I’m sorry for your loss but pleased Bug visited you, your wife and daughter.
Best Regards Carl
Registered: 1560313762 Posts: 3
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.
Registered: 1531721844 Posts: 12
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.
Registered: 1561840108 Posts: 1
We just lost our beloved lab mix Peanut, just 2 weeks away from age 9 to this terrible disease. He was happy, active and eating until 3 1/2 weeks ago when he woke up and did not want food; he laid around all day and I took him to the vet that early evening where he was quickly diagnosed with a spleen mass. The vet wanted to remove the spleen but warned that the prognosis was not good; Peanut's mom passed at age 6 of the same thing so we decided to not have the surgery and spend quality time with him. Our youngest daughter is his best friend and she leaves for college 3 hours away out of state in mid August.
I put him on Yunnan Baiyo, CBD oil and the vet gave him Prednisone and an appetite stimulant. He did great for my daughter's graduation and she got a pic with him while in her cap & gown and her big grad party was last Saturday and he loved it. The vet was pleased with how he was doing even though we noticed that he lost 9 lbs from 103 lbs at his progress checkup last week. Then this past Tuesday afternoon he collapsed and could not get up; he did not want food but would drink. We made the decision that he was telling us it was time so we spend Wednesday with him in the backyard and my daughter sat with him all day; he was happy to be at her side but his eyes looked drained as he would not eat and could not play with the other 2 dogs. I called Lap of Love and arranged for him to pass at home. When the vet came to the gate, to our shock he rose from the blanket and slowly walked to greet her wagging his tail. She watched him for a little while and he collapsed twice. We managed to get him on a blanket and he passed peacefully with the 4 of us and 2 dog siblings on the blanket with him in his beloved back yard overlooking the creek. My daughter was upset at first that we opted to not have the surgery but she said that she could not put him through the big surgery and recovery only to have a high probability that the mass was cancer and he would pass anyway. She and Peanut had a special bond and she believes as do I that he hung in there for her through her special graduation events and now it was time for her to begin a new chapter in her life as he would have missed her terribly. I am heartbroken but truly believe that if he had to pass, this was the way to go and it would have been awful to have to make a decision and call my daughter at college and she could not be with him at that moment or say goodbye. I have read this thread and wish everyone who experienced this pain peace, it's truly heartbreaking when your seemingly healthy furry friend suddenly experiences this situation.
Registered: 1531721844 Posts: 12
Very sorry for your loss! In three days we mark one year gone for our Mokie who was 8. We did do the surgery which gave him (and us) another almost 4 months, but it was thousands of dollars and the time went by in a flash and the result was the same..there is no survival. I'm not sure if it was the best thing to do. He never really felt himself during that time. I think Peanut probably did hang in for everyone just like our dog did. They can be super loyal. Best of luck coping.
Registered: 1560313762 Posts: 3
I am so sorry for your loss. I feel like you made the right choice. I chose the treatment plan that was supposed to give my beautiful Rosalie 4 years and I ended up with 7 months. Hemangiosarcoma is just so lethal. It is heart wrenching to see so many pets getting this type of cancer. I will keep you in my prayers.
Registered: 1561992732 Posts: 2
It has been 3 years today since we lost Kelsey. She was everything to me and I will never forget that night or day. I have written many poems and even am trying to finish a book about you. You were a true life saver I only wanted to be able to save yours. I have lit a candle for you every single Monday night for 3 years and started a non profit to help fund the canine cancer that took you away from me. I will never give up on keeping your memory alive just like you never gave up on me. Even in your sickest moments you still tried so hard to love. I tried my hardest to comfort you and just to get you to eat a bite or two. Since then a lot has happened in life but I do find it fitting being so hit and humid today just as it was that day. I know that you see my struggles this time of the year and I know that you are here. How nice it will feel to light that candle tonight as it will light up the room so bright. I will continue to raise money to fund fighting this disgusting disease hemangiosarcoma if it's the last thing I do as you would have done the same for me like I do for you.
Registered: 1561992732 Posts: 2
It was 3 years ago today. It was a beautiful sunny day although the sun seemed so bright it could not take away what happened that night. You were a brave soul that always loved. You are the inspiration behind the non profit that we started to raise funds and fight this disease hemangiosarcoma. With that I know I will never be a loner as you will always be by my side fighting this disease until there is a cure that is for sure. I find it fitting to light my candle tonight as you have always been my bright light. To all of those that have lost the fight just remember KELSEY and I have kept up the fight.
Registered: 1559215394 Posts: 11
To Kelsey’s Parent: I’m sorry for your loss as well as all those that have had furry ones taken from this terrible disease. What is the name of your non profit organization ? I’ve been researching on this disease and hope one day, there is some light. Research shows how prevalent this disease is affecting so many of our loved pets, and our pets just can’t be that statistically “genetically” so unlucky. I truly suspect it’s more than that. The veterinary industry’s marketing on the wellness of (dry) food can perhaps play a strong role, contributing to the misleading belief we are doing best for our furries, when in reality, the dry food serves essentially no nutrition/cellular protection ? Wondering if anyone else suspects similarly ? Although animals and humans are somewhat different, but are also somewhat similar. We are what we eat. Anyone have thoughts on this ?
Registered: 1568485605 Posts: 1
I lost my beloved golden retriever 4 days ago. She was 10. I feel completely gutted. Sometimes, the pain in my heart truly feels unbearable. I have cried A LOT, and have lost 6 pounds since Tuesday. I have no appetite. I have been fervently praying for a sign that shes ok, that I made the right decision, but have not seen one yet. I am hoping it will give my heart a small token of peace. Maggie was fine on Monday. Just last weekend, she went to the the dog park and spent all day outside on Sunday with my husband and son planting. She was so happy, playing with a large piece of a tree trunk. Overnight Monday it had stormed. I woke up to take her outside, and she didnt want to go. I chalked it up to her having anxiety as it had just stopped raining. I went back upstairs to get ready for work, she did not follow me which was weird. She had gotten sick, all of the previous nights dinner which I had hand fed her. Again, I was not alarmed as Maggie has had a history with digestive issues. However, when I heard Maggie could not get up to greet my daughter when she came home for lunch later that day, I was stressed. I think in my heart I knew something was up. I knew her appetite was lacking (Maggie has always been a finicky eater! she trained me to buy her canned dog food, refused to eat kibble!), and her fur had changed. She had been losing a lot of her fur;more than usual. The vet was not worried, she felt it was due to her allergies. I raced home after work. She did not get up to greet me, but wagged her tail. She could walk a little, it almost appeared as if her legs were the problem. She clearly looked like she did not feel good. She kept her head down and actually let me hug her. My husband helped me get her into the car; I wanted to get her checked over to give myself piece of mind. The vet saw her right away. She immediately noticed Maggie had pale gums and a heart murmur, something that was not indicative in her last visit mid August. The vet told me sometimes a heart murmur is a sign of fluid buildup in the body so I agreed to an x ray. When she came back holding 2 viles of blood, my heart sank. Maggie's belly was full of blood and malignent cells from a tumor that had ruptured. Whaaaattttt????????I could have her go through emergency surgery and chemo and IF she made it, it would only extend her life maybe 6 mos. I couldnt do that to her. My husband and children met me at the vet. Maggie was surrounded with kisses, love, heartfelt words and tears as she left this world. I am struggling with guilt now. Did I make the right decision?? Why did God take her away? Is it because I did not give her the attention she needed? I work 2 jobs (my husband works from home though), cooking, cleaning, errands, etc? Did she pick up something from the dog beach? Did I clean too much with her around and she inhaled carcinogens? I feel cheated that she was only 10. I needed more time! Please, please, please reply with anything that has helped you get through this horrible, horrible period. thank you for listening, sorry for the long post. Kathy
Registered: 1560313762 Posts: 3
Kathy, I am so sorry for your loss. Hemangiosarcoma is a horrible cancer and I know you made the right decision. The cancer is rarely curable and you wouldn’t want your fur baby to suffer. Time will heal your pain. It has been 3 months since I lost my precious Maine Coon cat, Rosalie Gracyn, to this lethal disease. Just know there is nothing you did to cause this. I journal everyday about my fun memories with Rosalie, but I won’t deny there is a huge hole in my life that can’t be replaced. I will pray for you and your family. Kim
Registered: 1531721844 Posts: 12
The scientists have not discovered the cause of this type of cancer, although there is hope one day they will. Until then there's just conjecture, however it is thought that certain animals have a DNA structure which is triggered by something and then they get it.
The disease is usually quite advanced by the time symptoms lead to examination or the discovery of tumor/s. Surgical removal of tumor/s can extend life. My 8 year old dog lasted about 4 months after surgery, which cost us thousands. However, because this disease spreads so rapidly, the prognosis is very poor, and there's the inevitable end. So we are left with "why?" which happens to be the name of this thread, and our profound grief.
Registered: 1514090812 Posts: 9
Very sorry for your pain; can empathize with that helpless feeling of "How did this happen? My dog was just fine this morning/yesterday/over the weekend." I uttered those very words shortly before resignedly agreeing to let my best friend go, even though I didn't want to. I'm sorry that you're struggling with that pain; having been there, too, I know those feelings of guilt/"what did I do wrong to have allowed this to happen." It's hard not to feel that way. The cruelty of hemangiosarcoma is its pernicious modus operandi of showing few to no signs that it's there...until it's too late. We are taken by complete surprise, and the world as we knew it is turned upside down and changed forever, never going back to the way things used to be, sadly. It sounds like you did the right thing for your beloved Golden. As hard as it was to say goodbye, you curtailed the pain and stress that was being felt. That is the greatest gift to your best friend, as hard as it is right now to view it that way. BKool's mentioning about scientists not yet discovering hemangio's cause, but there's hope they one day will, is very appropriate for me personally: in two weeks a fundraising concert that I started last year, after three dogs at work were lost to hemangiosarcoma in a single month of summer 2017, will take place. All proceeds will be donated to a study through Morris Animal Foundation. Last year's concert raised a little over $4000 and went to a hemangio study at the University of Minnesota. The research team sent a nice thank you/follow-up letter to describe their studies. Morris Animal Foundation provided me with an event-specific link so that any contributions through that link will be allocated specifically to my fundraiser, not their general fund. I don't feel I should post the link here: this board is for all of us, and I wouldn't want to take advantage of it in any way. That said, the fundraiser was started, and coincidentally is being repeated very soon, specifically to fight this very disease that we've experienced. I'll just say: if anyone wants more information about the fundraiser or the link, private-message me, and I can provide it, including a contact name/email at Morris as well as a Facebook event page, to verify authenticity. Kathy: my heart goes out to you for your painful loss. Reading your post just brings back the crushing feelings of helplessness, bewilderment, and inconsolable grief. If there's a pet-loss support group in your area, it may help to attend and speak in person with others experiencing loss, too. Take care of yourself at this difficult time. .
Registered: 1560217115 Posts: 2
As painful as the decision was, and continues to be, know that you did the only thing a loving pet parent can do. We had to make the same decision for our fourteen-year-old Pomeranian Chihuahua, Bug, three months ago. I won't lie, it still hurts every day to know she's not physically here with us any longer. However, I can feel her spirit in our eight-year-old Chihuahua, Ruby, who she loved so dearly. I can also feel her energy in our three-year-old daughter, Ava, who still speaks of Bug as if she were in the same room as us because in many ways she still is :) Bug had shown symptoms for over a month. She collapsed three times, became confused toward the end, and eventually refused food and water. My wife and I along with multiple veterinarians thought she was having seizures. Once we realized she had a bleeding mass on her heart, we made the painful decision to end her suffering. You made the right decision for Maggie. This disease is horrible. The symptoms get worse and unfortunately there is really no chance of a "cure" currently. The heart-wrenching pain of loss will gradually subside but you will always miss Maggie. I promise you that one day you will think of Maggie or look at a photo and smile. It just takes time. All the best to you. The love between you and Maggie will never die. Matt
Registered: 1569291198 Posts: 1
This past summer I lost my baby. She was a nine-year old german shepherd cross that we had adopted from the shelter as a puppy. She had went through 3 leg surgeries in life with the last being only 8 months before she passed. I noticed she had been panting more, which I assumed was pain from her arthritis, so I called the vet and suggested we try some NSAIDS. A week and a half went past and her gums were pale. As a veterinary student, I knew this wasn't good news. She is my family dog, so I told my parents we should probably take her to the emergency, they agreed, and so my boyfriend and I walked her to the car. She jumped up and struggled so I helped her and I climbed into the front seat. We made it a block and a half, I was on the phone with the emergency hospital when I heard her cry. I turned around and saw her throw her head back and collapse. I immediately hung up and jumped in the back seat to start CPR. However, after several minutes I realized that even if she woke up, she wouldn't survive. I then had to call and tell my family that I let her die. Im surrounded by guilt and regret. I have worked in clinics for years and am going to school for this. I should've known better when she was panting to take her in, I should've never let her jump (what most likely caused the rupture), and I should've stayed in the back seat with her.
Registered: 1531721844 Posts: 12
When it comes to hemangiosarcoma and a rupture inside (likely the heart or spleen) there was going to be basically no chance for survival, so you did the right thing and let her pass. We had to do the same for our dog when the time came, although we had a surgery a few months earlier of a tumor which was very expensive but basically just delayed the inevitable. Actually it is a fairly quick end without too much suffering. Don't beat yourself up over the could-a should-a because hindsight is always 20-20, and we all would like to live our lives over with what we know now! Sorry to welcome you to our thread, I guess, but we personally all are dealing with the grief of losing our pets to this cancer so we remember how it feels when it happens, and it hurts.
Registered: 1569290499 Posts: 2
I have been reading through this thread for the past 24 hours, trying to find the right time to tell my story. I am devastated and can barely find the emotional strength to get this out. I need help. I need to forgive myself. I need to stop second guessing my decision. I need to find peace.
I lost my 10 yo beagle/bulldog on Saturday afternoon. I can't wrap my head around how it transpired and how i missed the signs OR if I missed the signs. Benson was lazy or crazy ALL of the time. He would run like a puppy, eat like a monster, be able to sprint up the stairs or jump on off the couch/bed with ease OR he was the laziest dog, the biggest snuggler and the worlds stickiest velcro dog. He was MY dog. He was my soulmate. He had ACL surgery 6 years ago. He came out great but he did have health issues that I should have addressed the past year. I am beating myself up over not being more diligent as I know he had something going on with his ears lately and he was in desperate need of a teeth cleaning and nail trim. In his exam last year, everything was fine. There were no health issues. He was 9 and arthritic and sometimes slow moving but sometimes he was the complete opposite. On his slow days, I chalked it up to old age or sore legs as he had had surgery on his hips. He would fall up the stairs randomly but other times he would get up them as swift as ever. I felt bad for him when he would slip or when he seemed tired and would get his hind legs up on the couch one at a time but I didn't think it was indicative of anything bigger. I will always regret that. I have a 14 month old son. It was difficult for us to get pregnant, losses and then pregnancy and then being a new mom- I feel like I didn't give Benson the love and attention that he deserved and I feel like I should have known something was going on. I feel guilty because once the baby came, he no longer was able to sleep in our room because he would wake him up. He slept on the couch downstairs which I now feel terrible about. When my alarm would go off at 7am, Benson would hear it and be at the bottom of the stairs whining to eat. Saturday morning, I came downstairs and made coffee, poured a bottle for the baby and took out the dog food and filled Benson's bowl. He remained on the couch just looking at me but didn't get up to eat. From 7-11am he moved three times. He was not steady on his feet, he got off the couch, only to lay down on the floor in the middle of my son throwing toys at him. He usually would not put himself in that situation and goes and lays in his bed. He just couldn't get up. He looked confused and his breathing was labored. My husband left for breakfast with his sister and I told him that something was wrong with Benson and that when he got home, I was going to take him to the vet. Benson got up one more time and that was to vomit in the corner of the family room. He then went into the dining room and laid on the floor behind the chairs. When my husband came home, he had to carry him into my car. I was crying- I had a horrible feeling. I drove to the ER with him in the back of my SUV not making a noise. He usually hates the car and is up and anxious. I was sobbing the whole way because it felt like i was alone in the car. I was convinced I would get there and he was gone. I was talking to him the whole way. I think I knew something tragic was coming. I got to the vet and he was panting and I couldnt get him out of the car. They rushed out and picked him up and took him back. I was told to go into a patient room and wait. I was hysterical. The vet came in and said there was fluid around his heart and she suspected that it was blood but would let me know once they went in to remove it. She said best case is that it is clear fluid which means he has CHF and with draining the fluid (if it doesn't return right away) he may have a few weeks to a couple of months. Worst case and what she predicted was that it was blood, meaning he had a bleeding mass/cancer. She said she would be back in to let me know. I called my husband and could barely muster the words but more or less knew that Benson was dying or was going to die. He said him and my son would come there to be with me. In that time, the vet came back in confirming it was blood; Benson had heart cancer. She said we could see him, said that the fluid had not yet returned, said that she recommended monitoring him the rest of the day to make sure it didn't return. She said euthanizing was an option because the prognosis was poor but that short term, he may bounce back from this since the fluid has been drained but this will most likely happen again. We kissed him, told him we would be back to get him and to hang on and feel better. I was a mess. I paid for 12 hours of monitoring, ultrasound, draining and oxygen and got in the car. I could barely drive home through the tears and what this meant for Benson and for my time left with him. What state would he be in for the next couple of weeks? Would he be in pain? Could I get him better? Then I got the call 3 minutes after I left. Benson had a lot of fluid in his abdomen as well. She checked the fluid and it was blood and a lot of it. She concluded that he had an actively bleeding mass in his abdomen as well and that he needed immediate surgery to remove the bleeding mass but given the condition of his heart, he probably wouldnt survive the surgery. She said "the conversation that we just had at the office, is no longer the case". He would not improve short term without surgery and she recommended that we euthanize and do it fast. My heart has never felt so heavy. I drove home, grabbed a his blanket and headed back to the hospital. They brought him in the comfort room and he looked like he was in so much pain. I asked them to put him by my legs as he loves having his head in the crevice of my knee. He couldn't even get his head up, it was like he was already gone. She said to take as much time with him as I needed and ring the bell when I was ready. He was in so much pain. He was trying to hold on for me but he was almost gone. I rang the bell and told her that he seemed to be in pain. She said he was and that the blood was pushing on all of his organs and making it hard to breath plus his heart was being so suffocated that it couldn't pump blood to his brain and other organs. I told her to do it and 10 seconds after she put the first shot in, he was gone. I felt his breathing stop. I told him that I loved him and that I was so sorry. I feel like I died in that room with him. I have never felt such sadness in my entire life. The guilt and remorse and the questions are rapid fire NON STOP. How did this happen? How did I miss it? Did he die of a broken heart because he felt I abandoned him once I had a baby? Could I have done something? Did I jump to say yes to her recommendation without giving him the chance to fight? Maybe he could have and maybe her assumption about the diagnosis wasn't right. What I do know is that he was suffering on Saturday. He may have been suffering before that on and off before that but not like this. I have to give myself a break and know that I was there, I noticed he was off, I took him as soon as I could and I would have paid every dollar in the world in order to keep him painfree for one more day. I have this pain in my heart that I didn't know was possible. I am a shell of myself. His absence is so present in every thing I do, as he was always with me. He loved me SO SO much. He hated when I cried. He would climb in my lap (at 70lbs) and lick my tears. I know he wouldn't want me to feel this broken but I don't know how to get out of it. I hate going to sleep, waking up, coming home and having him not here. I can't function. I had a phone consult with the vet sunday to have her go through everything that happened bc I knew that I wasn't going to get to my next stage in grief unless I felt confident that I understood what happened, even if it meant realizing that i made the wrong decision. Now I am stuck in the guilt phase. I just can't stop blaming myself for not only not noticing but putting life before him the past 2 years. I feel like I wont ever forgive myself, as I know that I could have been a better mommy to him. I just have to hope that the 8 years that I showered him with enough love, to get him through the life changes that occurred. I have to believe he is free of pain and I have to find some sense of peace or I am going to drown in this. Can the people that have walked through this and gotten somewhat to the other side, help me? I feel so stuck.
Registered: 1547824454 Posts: 38
KHunter. I am sobbing reading your post .This is what happened to my Beautiful girl Berry on New years eve 2018, If you look for my post my story will be under this topic as I cannot bring myself to write it again.
This disease is so evil and silent , a thief in the night as its been called. You will be devastated and I totally understand ALL your emotions. We feel cheated , guilty, heat broken. I too spoke with the vet after we lost Berry and another vet just recently. They have both assured me that the out come of a ruptured tumour isn't good even with surgery. Berry was 4 days from her 14th birthday and had collapsed so she had no pain but was still breathing. Basically with the massive drop in blood pressure she was brain dead. I told her that I would always love her and always be with her and for her to wait for me on the rainbow bridge because I was coming and coming soon. 9 Month on and I still cry every day for her but also I am so grateful for the unconditional love she gave me, for all the adventures and wonderful 14 years we had together. I now paint rocks and place them wherever we walked as a memory to her the idea( Facebook Hidden rocks)is to move them on so she is still out having adventures. Please DONT FEEL GUILTY, you gave Benson a wonderful life full of love. You will grieve for a long time because of the nature of his passing and there is no easy way to get through it. All I can say is be kind to yourself and one day you will smile knowing he is free of pain. I wish you peace and love. Lorraine x
Registered: 1531721844 Posts: 12
Sorry for the pain you are feeling. There is no magic wand to touch you with, but you were very attached to him so it will take a lot of time to get through the process, and that is how it is. Think of it as a testament to the joy you received over the years; that helped me. Sort of a yin-yang, what goes up, must come down. You feel stuck but you have just begun a new journey. Your family is relying on you to be strong, so focus on that.
Registered: 1569290499 Posts: 2
Thank you Liz and Bkool. I love the rock idea. I got the clay paw print the ER did on Saturday. I got it an hour ago when I got home from work. I have had some ok moments the past 36 hours which is far different than the first 36 hours. It’s not been 4 days. I miss him immensely but I think about if the vet hadn’t called me to tell me they found the fluid (blood) in his belly. How would he be today? I think I would be wishing that I didn’t have to wonder whether he was suffering or not. I think I would be paralyzed with fear and waiting until we were in this same position again. I wish it had been good news and that he had a bug or ate something. But if they knew initially that he had a tumor on his heart, whether it was this week, or next or next month or 2020, I don’t see how I would feel ok putting him through that. I hope to get to a place where someone else is going through this and I am able to help them see the other side, to not hear themselves up, to grieve but to also be able to see pictures or stumble upon a memory or piece of fur and smile rather than breakdown. That is my goal.
Registered: 1533154758 Posts: 13
I love how everyone is so supportive on this message board. It is over 10 months now since I have lost my Golden boy Louis at the age of 4. My heart goes out to the people reeling under the bitter blow of losing a beloved companion. Time passing does ease the pain, and yes memories can bring a smile instead of tears (sometimes both at the same time still though!)
I have read each post these last months, and wish I had responded more often, though each time my thoughts have been with those mourning. I still find comfort in the kindness of people reaching out to those with recent losses, while reliving their own shock and grief each time. Best to everyone, keep going forward and know you are not alone and that time does help heal the pain eventually.