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Posts: 10
My 13 year old Boston terrier died on Friday. We were traveling home (10 hour drive) five days prior. She had just been to the vet for diarrhea, but was otherwise fine. She was in the second row on a fluffy bed, facing away from me. She had been panting on car rides for about a year. And in hindsight, her breathing was more labored in general for the past year. I thought she was just getting old. She was really loud this time in the car. Louder than normal. I would reach back and pet her occasionally, but I couldn’t see her face to realize how miserable she was. When we first made a stop four hours into the drive, I went to get her out first. She had foamy drool all down the side by the door. I got her out and she could not stand. I offered her water and food, but she was not interested. I didn’t know what to do, but I decided to find the nearest emergency vet. I set her on the car seat next to me and moved my other dog behind. She seemed worse. Her eyes got glassy. So I held her, but she was like a limp noodle. When we got her to the vet, her temp was 107. They put her in with extra oxygen and cooled her down. We stayed overnight at a hotel that she stayed overnight at the vet. The tests they did suggested that she had something wrong with her liver, possible masses, possible metastasized cancer in her lungs and a bladder infection. We were able to drive her the rest of the way home on Monday. I had her into our vet on Tuesday morning. They did an ultrasound and found a large mass in her stomach and small masses in her liver. But most pressing was a lung infection from aspirating on our drive. They suggested we go see a specialist about her possible cancer, but I just wanted to get through her lung infection and see if she could get back to how she was before the drive. She was definitely not herself the past week. Very low energy, let me carry her everywhere. Only ate really special food. Friday morning I got up and her breathing was really labored. She didn’t even want the special food. I got her to take her pills with some ham, but that was it. She barely had any water. I took her to the vet and they said it had turned into pneumonia and that they too saw metastasized-like spots on her lungs. We had to let her go. I can’t stop dwelling on what ifs and regret/guilt. I know Casey was sick and it definitely contributed to her heat exhaustion...which led to her getting so sick so fast, but I can’t stop thinking I knew her panting sounded louder than usual on our car ride. Why didn’t I stop sooner? I was trying to keep good time... If she was facing me instead of the window, I would have seen her drooling and known this was definitely not typical for her. I know she was sick and we didn’t know, but she must have been so miserable and panicked. For so long. 😭

Posts: 580
Dearest Casey's momma,
Please be gentle with yourself. We all go through the what if's and the awful guilt feelings. You did everything you could have possibly done. My sweet Termy panted for the few years of his life and my vet said it was due to his heart condition so I watched him closely as did your Casey. You didn't know she was that sick because they hide their pain so well but you were a good momma. Casey loved you deeply and she knew you would be there for her no matter what and you were. The guilt will drive you crazy, please try to let it go. It's part of the grieving process we all go through, it's normal. You were trying to get home, for her, that's why you didn't stop sooner. You just didn't know. She was so strong for you. You loved and were loved deeply.
Sending you my compassion and understanding.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 10
Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to give me comfort.
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