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Posts: 1
My husband got a yellow lab a little over 11 years ago while we were dating. I didn’t want her at first as I didn’t like big dogs and I wasn’t over the loss of my childhood dog, but I completely fell in love with her. She grew every kind of lump and bump known to man, it started when she was only 2 with an epulis on her tooth that ended up causing her to lose her tooth and ended up needing to be removed twice. After that she didn’t grow any bumps for a little while except for lipomas once she got to be around 6 or so. We found out she had hip dysplasia along with spinal spondylosis at that time, but she was a tough girl and didn’t show pain.

She developed more lipomas (at least 20, some we had removed, but kept developing more, one the size of a tennis ball on her chest, another on her side close to that size), skin tags, follicular cysts, an adenoma, and the thing that really caught us was a fibroma on the back of her leg at the age of 9. They thought it was for sure mast cell cancer. They took it out and cleaned her teeth, while cleaning her teeth the vet found a small lump on the side of her face internally that we had no clue about. He took a sample and that turned out to be mast cell cancer, this was September 2017. He removed it and they did not get all of it out, it was graded as a stage II.

Oncologists told us to submit her to more surgery and that they would have to sew part of her mouth closed. It was at this point that I said this is enough. She had to have undergone at least 10 different surgeries in her lifetime and that mast cell tumor removal was very hard on her, part of her mouth was swollen from the removal and she drooled quite a bit more following the surgery. We decided to check her liver and spleen to see if it had spread and it did not. During this procedure no one would update us for hours and I honestly thought she died. Thankfully she was fine. My husband and I said no more surgeries, we would just observe it from then on and love her as much as we could. She developed urinary incontinence and became prone to bladder infections, so we had to clean her vulva every night.

We had her on pain medication for her spinal spondylosis and hip dysplasia, she was a trooper and rarely showed she was in pain. She loved her walks. I took her as much as I could, they made her so happy. She would harass me for them, she was a gigantic brat. The day before she passed I had taken her for a walk. She was slowly going less distance than before and taking longer to recover. That night I went out and she refused to kiss me goodbye. I don’t know why I didn’t think it was weird, she had never refused before. When I came home my husband said she seemed like she acting weird. I assumed she pulled something on our walk as even at 11 years old, she almost pulled me over on our walk so I had to pull her pretty hard. That next morning she did not come to wake my husband up. We went to go see her in the bathroom and she wagged her tail, probably the last time she ever did. She refused to eat that morning unless I fed her out of my hand. She was not acting right at all, just didn’t want to move or do anything. She refused to kiss my husband goodbye when he left for work, didn’t want to walk off the deck, nothing.

It was the day before Memorial Day so her vet was not open. I loaded her into my car which was quite a feat because she weighed 80 pounds. I brought her to a vet and when she jumped out of the car she almost collapsed. I got her in the vet and she barked once at the other dogs, but not at all in her typical fashion. She tried to act normal, but I knew she still wasn’t normal. They took her back for tests and she was back there for at least 45 minutes. Her CBC showed a hemoglobin of 10 and slightly elevated WBC. Her CMP was normal. Her chest and abdominal X-ray were normal. The vet checked all of her joints and told me they were all horrible. She showed me on the X-ray all of the bridging in her back. They straight cathed her for a urine sample which breaks my heart as a nurse because I know those aren’t comfortable, but it did not show a bladder infection. I had mentioned we thought she had some heartburn so they switched up her pain meds and gave her some carafate for her stomach. They told me she peed on herself during the X-ray so they were giving her a bath. I felt really bad that they gave her a bath. They brought her out and she seemed exhausted. I felt like maybe with the results we got, that we had some more time.

I had to pick her up to put her in my car. When we got home, she refused to stand up to get out of the car. I had to drag her out. I felt so bad. I carried her in the house and she laid down. I got the carafate ready and she wouldn’t swallow it. Her eyes looked blank and she was panting. I looked at her gums and I saw they were pale. I assumed she was in a lot of pain from the trip and wanted to give her pain medicine and time to calm down. I got her to eat a piece of cheese to take the pain meds. I told my husband I gave her the meds. About a half an hour later, her breathing continued to worsen. She suddenly stood up, stumbled, and got herself across the room and fell in the corner between the couches. I knew then she was going to die. I ran to her, called my husband, he told me he’d try to get home.

I freaked out, tried to pick her up to load her in my car again, but she was too heavy so she collapsed in my lap. My husband called me that he was on his way. As soon as he did that, she began agonally breathing. I started sobbing hysterically as I told him she was agonally breathing. I barely remember what happened, but I wish I could have maintained my composure better. I know I told her I loved her, that she was a good girl, and that her daddy loved her too. She took her last breath 5 minutes after my husband called to tell me he was coming home. My dog died an hour and a half after leaving the vet. She was just not acting right for less than a day and had barely abnormal labs. How did she die so quickly?

My husband still hates himself for not being there. I told him she didn’t want him to be there to see it. It was very traumatic to witness and I am a critical care nurse. It’s so different when it’s your own family and it’s so sudden. I feel badly like I shouldn’t have taken her to the vet or I should have taken her right back after we got home. I think her cancer had returned and maybe she had a pulmonary embolism, but I will never know. What I do know is I miss that dog so much.

The night she had passed away, a candlestick randomly fell off of our dresser which had never ever happened before. My husband and I were undergoing fertility treatment after a miscarriage last year and I find it crazy that the cycle after she passed, I finally became pregnant after 9 months of trying. The day I had gotten my period not even a week after she passed away, I was changing the sheets I found a heart shaped dryer sheet under where my husband sleeps. He had no idea it was there. Is it all a coincidence? It could be, but I’m not so sure.

Posts: 32
Hi I’m really sorry about the loss of your lovely girl. It sounds to me like she was so lucky to have you, everything you did for her to keep her healthy and pain free, I wonder if she would have lived as long if she didn’t have your love and care. Every decision you made was in her best interests. Guilt is so common when we lose our loved furry ones but we don’t have a crystal ball and can only do our best at the time. I have guilt about the circumstances of my bunny’s health deterioration and passing, she had been to vets not long before she died and I worry that the stress and extra medication was too much. Not knowing is hard and I have replayed things so many times but time is helping. We didn’t make our girls poorly and would have saved them if we knew how. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I have read a lot about people believing they have sensed their pets after their passings or have received signs in some way so it very well could be her gift to you. I hope she is in heaven watching over you and playing with your childhood dog. I’m not really religious but I think there has to be more when we have so much love to give and I hope our lovely pets are healthy and happy once more.

Posts: 639
Wishing you well during this hard time.
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