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Posts: 657
Those of you who have read my threads know that for six weeks I have been trying to get to the bottom of my dog's death.  With one exception, the many doctors I have contacted all believed that there had to be something wrong with my dog besides a reaction to aspirin that led to her death.  I probably talked to at least 12 different vets as well as my own who believed it was some kind of autoimmune disease with the aspirin as a contributing causee or problems in the liver. All but one could not believe that 3 -4 aspirin  in five days could have caused that kind of damage.

 I think I knew in my heart it was just as simple as an aspirin overdose.  Today I received a theory that makes the most sense--the continued aspirin use caused a problem in the duodenum which is where aspirin usually causes trouble--that led to all the destruction in her small intestine --which caused peritonitis.  It is the only theory that makes complete sense. 

I am pretty much in a state of shock because I was always hoping there was a little more to it--but in my heart I knew.  Had I stopped aspirin when signs of bleeding were first there, she would have been with me today.

Her arthritis was just what it was--getting worse and needed to be treated but not with aspirin. I am stunned.  He was the only vet that laid it all out step by step and it makes 100% sense.

THis is like being hit with a truck.  Thanks for listening as alwasy.


Posts: 657

I just heard from that doctor again.  He was an er doctor for three years and said that ONE aspirin could have caused the kind of damage seen in my dog.


Posts: 180
Dear Becky,
Once again, this is just another vet's "theory."  I really would not totally blame myself.  I still say, we all have regrets and guilts.  These feelings come in many forms.  They are all very destructive.  My guilts and regrets eat away at me everyday.  I'm sorry to say it, but you have been searching for 6 weeks for someone who would agree with you and tell you that you caused your dog's death.  You finally found someone who did that. 
I still feel there was more to your loss than a few aspirin. 
Dakotah's Mom

Posts: 5,100
Dear Becky,

Let's see, TWELVE vets plus your own tell you it was likely autoimmune disease with (perhaps, maybe) aspirin as an aggravating factor, and ONE tells you it was the aspirin.  Add another vet to the list to make FOURTEEN, as my specialist also felt this was likely the scenario.

Becky, in the interest of caring for you, I want to be frank.  I don't think you will be satisfied unless you can take full responsibility for Lib's passing, so if this is what it takes for you to find peace, so be it.  But this type of blaming and acceptance of guilt can be very destructive.   I think we all care about you very much and are concerned.  

Again, look at the numbers and use your common sense, instead of your blind sense of guilt.  Fourteen vets to one.  This one vet sounds like an anomaly, and quite frankly, is.  But, apparently, he is the one you want to believe.

I hope this latest development brings you some peace.   You have suffered such agony over this. 

Hugs and prayers,

Posts: 657
You must have talked to my brother--those were his words exactly.  I kept looking and finally found someone.  I know I have a problem but it has become an obsession.  Maybe I still can't believe that this all started out so benign--she was having trouble getting up--so what?  Maybe I get wrapped up in it and don't have to focus on the fact that she is not here. 
 I know I have too much time on my hands--couldn't work anymore after my dog's death. 

I know you are hurting so much and I thank you for still talking to me when you are in so much pain yourself.

Posts: 846
My friend!!!

I have to go along with Melissa on this.  You need to try to find a way to make peace with your baby's death.  It was NOT your fault.  I know you're hurting so much, but I must agree I'm a bit concerned for you too.  14 vets to 1 - I'd go with the 14.  Believe it in your heart.  She's gone, but only physically - for she's yours forever in spirit and she loves you so much.  I know she doesn't want to see you put yourself through such mysery.  Please please try to find peace. You will always wonder what truly happened, but try to stop blaming yourself so you can begin to heal.  Talk to God, talk to your baby, and talk to us.  We're here for you.  I'm sending you huge hugs, and you're in my prayers.

Gerlie (Gypsy and Luna's forever mom)

Posts: 258
Dear Becky,

I think you have had what we call an "AHA moment" when you said that getting so caught up in the why of Lib's death, digging and digging for answers which bring you no satisfaction in the end...doing this DOES serve the purpose of distracting you from the loss and the loneliness of living without her.  I have seen some glimmers in your recent thread ( "it all comes down to this") that you are beginning to get to the real heart of it: life without your sweet girl. That IS what you ultimately need to focus on.

Now I am going to have to tell you a story (see what you started?!):  About 23 years ago, my Dad died very unexpectedly at a young age.  To make a long story short, it was largely due to surgical error.  Less than a week before his death I had moved back to my hometown after being away and homesick for 10 years, and I was so happy to be close to my parents again. My father's death was a huge trauma.  Afterwards I spent many months and much energy focused on the "why" of his death, raking through every event leading up to it over and over again,  consulting and consulting and consulting, blaming myself for encouraging him to have the surgery, being angry and feeling guilty and obsessively searching for "THE" answer that would finally bring me closure.  Know what?  The closure came when I finally faced the simple fact:  he was gone.  When all the searching finally failed to give me what I was looking for - resolution -I had to learn to deal with it - he was gone.  I think the obsessive searching protected me emotionally for awhile (although it in itself was indeed painful) from truly feeling the grief of his loss - but it was an unhealthy way of coping.  In the end there is no way around it though - you must go through the grief - and there are no real answers except that.

Pay attention to when this obsessiveness clicks in the most.  Is it when you are feeling overwhelmed with the actual sadness of losing your Libby?  Just notice. How is it helpful?

Come back and get support for your sadness and need that most. We'll be here.

Hugs and wishes for healing,
Joanne ~ MaxsMom  

Posts: 657
Joanne, Melissa, Steffi, and Gerlie

Thank you so much for your wise replies.  Everything you say I know in my mind is correct. 

Steffi, I have searched for someone who would have a different view than my vet or the other ones. One wise vet I talked to said both theories were good ones and that theories was all i was ever going to get with a necropsy as complicated as my dog's. 

Joanne, Thank you for sharing the story of your dad.  I know that had to have been difficult to do.  You are right--it is obsessive searching--and while I am doing that, I don't have my mind on her. I know I am doing that because the thoughts of her are killing me.I alsodid this with my sister who died very young. 

Gerlie, Talking here is the only thing that has kept me going--you are amazing people because I don't think I would have continued to reply to me-it would have been too frustrating

Melissa, you never give up trying to talk sense into me.  My brother said the internet can be a very dangerous thing for people like me--I know he is right--someone on this board, I can't remember who, was replying to someone's posst the other night and emphasized how the internet is made up of opinions and you have to be very careful.  I guess I need to go back to that post.

I thank all of you--Each and everyone of you and the people on this board are all suffering--probably the greatest suffering many of us have ever known.  I have to above all keep this in mind and try to reply more to others if nothing more than to say how sorry I am. Thank you all so very much.

Posts: 5,100

Dear Becky,

I am sensing a change in you which is why I am being a bit more blunt.   And, it is a gradual change in the (dare I say) "healing" direction.  I have noticed you have been posting very sweet and supportive replies on others' threads and this is such a BIG step for you.  You are such a kind and caring person, who is just having such a hard time finding your way down your unique path of grief.  It is almost as if you are blinded and we are trying our best to guide you around all the potholes, bumps and boulders...and those legions of vets....and that blasted internet.   Soon, my friend, the road will begin to straighten a bit for you...and you will be able to open your eyes.  Your fear will be gone.  Trust me.  That day is coming.

I had to laugh a little when you said to Gerlie that you probably would have not answered your own posts, as it would have been too frustrating.   You know what?   We are ALL a little crazy at times in our grief, or haven't you noticed?  Yesterday, I felt like screaming for Betsy.  Now, how rational is that?  Do you see what I mean?   I just don't like or understand the blame game you are playing with yourself.   It is edgy and a little scary to me, hence my ardent desire to "talk sense" into you. Your grief has been so overwhelming and heartbreaking to watch but, hey, we all grieve at our own pace.  That's why I'm sticking with you, kiddo.

Have you done anything special for yourself lately?  Do you like bubble baths or long soaks in the tub?   Do you like to go window shopping with friends?  Do you like to have a spot of tea in the afternoon and relax?   Are you getting out of your house at all?

Do something for yourself and then come back and tell me about it.  

Big hugs from your friend,
Betsy WooWooWoo's forever mommy


Posts: 774
Hi Becky;
Do you think that mabey bysearching as you have been for the answers you seek could be a way to keep your baby alive. I know it sounds weird, but by becoming obsessed, your word not mine, you don't have to "deal " with the death of one who was so close to you, your soul mate. As long as you can continue to look for answers, whether you have them or not, your baby is never really laid to rest. This is just a thought. But I know that I have done similar type things in order to not have to accept things that are to painful to accept. Everytime I lose a patient, I am devestated. Doesn't matter how old or how sick, it is a part of me that dies with them and I am changed forever. Instead of dealing with this grief I get involved with another, so I don't have time or the reserves to swell on what has happened. I am not saying what I do is right by any means. It is just how I am able to exist. So, far be it from me to ever suggest closer of any sort. I just want you to know that perhaps I understand a little. I don't know. Just think about it. Please.
Becky, do you really truly in your heart of hearts think that it made a difference what you gave to your baby? Or, do you think that mabey her fate was her fate and had it not been one thing it would have been another? I don't know. I don't have any answers. I am sorry. In my gut and I have a pretty good gut instinct about furbaby stuff, I know you did not directly or inderectly cause your baby's death.
Please let yourself off the so to speak hook for ths. It was not your fault, and i think in your heart you know it was not either.

Posts: 29
hi becky,

just chiming in, cause i agree.....13 vets to! i wish i had that many opinions...i only got 2 that said 'cancer was very likely', and i am holding on to those like dear life...that and my Faith in God and Destiny and how he watches over his little ones. not everything in life makes sense to us. and you've had so much loss already to deal with.

absolutely, positively - there is no way you can give more weight to just this one guy....and remember Dr.Baer, said it was much more than aspirin -and he is a top pathologist...

but, alas - this is why we are here - we need to be reminded and you do sound an itty bitty drop better. but this is a big hurdle (and, pardon me for saying this) that you must accept. 13 to 1 = go with the 13!
luv, vickie

Posts: 657
Loudpurring and Vickie,
I know without a doubt I am trying to hold on to my dog.  It is almost like I can make her well again If I keep researchng.  I also know that I have always been someone who wants the truth--I am not sure why but in any thing in my life I have always dissected it.

Unfortunately with my dog's case, I am never going to know for sure.  I was so hoping they would find a tumor--anything I could understand--but that is not going to happen.

Fact remains aspirin are deadly.  most people and most animals by the time they are middle aged have a little something wrong with them--it is too big a gamble to use a drug like this.  Unfortunately, I didn't know that when it counted.  Apparently the younger vets just out of college are not using it because of the latest research which proves how deadly it can be.

I do believe had I not given her the first aspirin the outcome would have been different. I believe it is unrealistic to think otherwise. I think we would have had a chance even after the second one had i stopped it after signs of bleeding.I messed up, and so did my vet to a certain degree by not warning me about bleeding so commnly associated with it.

Thank you everyone.

Posts: 1,355

Becky - First, I am so sorry for the loss of your baby.  I understand what you have been doing - trying to find the "why" - When my girl Kina when to the Bridge, I wanted to make sense of something that didn't make sense to me - why my girl wasn't here with me.  I searched and searched, called the vet repeatedly, went over the last months and days - I FINALLY figured out I killed her because I boarded her at the vet (who had taken care of her all of her life) while I took a much needed 5 day vacation - I figured out that if I didn't do this, she would not have died a week later.  Eventually, I figured out that the "why" really doesn't matter - they are gone from this earth and we are powerless to change that.  My going away for a few days had nothing to do with it - it was just her time to go....Wishes you peace.....JoAnn     


Posts: 699
Dear, dear Becky,

I have read so many of your threads and posts, have wanted to respond, but the "right" words just never came - I have felt your agony and been so very sad for you.  I know your baby girl meant and still does mean everything to you, and that is probably an understatement.  There just aren't words to truly express.  I am so sorry for your loss, and pray that you will soon find some acceptance and peace.  I have been praying for you since I started reading your threads.  Your sweet little girl shares love with you forever, and that is all that really matters.

Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever

Posts: 19
I read so many of these threads but I find that your threads Becky, are the ones that make me want to reply to.  I feel our hearts are in the same kind of place but yours seems a little more wounded than mine.  Makes me want to reach out to you.

And I want to say first off that I agree with every post I have read on this thread! 

I have been absent on this website because I have been busy reading every post on a different website dedicated to the cancer my baby died from - HSA.  I have read 1300 posts since Saturday.  Last week I went to her primary vet and got copies of all her records and reviewed every blood test and diagnosis to figure out what went wrong.  I have even written a letter to the director of her clinic to ask them to review her record.  I would like them to let me know if they feel they did right by her. 

Does this sound familiar to you?

I have said on my posts that I feel as if I failed Maya because I was her advocate.  What would you say if I told you I took Maya to the vet because she was distressed and I too had given her aspirin.  Because of this, they diagnosed her with aspirin-induced anemia instead of hemangiosarcoma.  One month later her xrays revealed hemangiosarcoma metasticized in her lungs.  In my math this tells me her anemia was from the HSA, not the aspirin.  So I felt terrible for months that I had made her ill by giving her the aspirin, and then I felt guilty that by giving her the aspirin she had been misdiagnosed.  So not feeling guilty is new to me and I slip in and out of it.  I think it will take some time.  I am sure it will take some time for you too.

But you have to start.  Start now.  Your baby's death was not your fault.  Vet's prescribe aspirin.  The dosage you gave was not sufficient to cause death.  That was validated by 14!!! vets.  As for the other vet, take that with a grain of salt.  I always get the medical sheet for all my prescriptions and I think they all say "can cause death."  That is like the fluke thing that can happen. 

I know you want to beat yourself up because you are hurting so much over this.  I hope tomorrow brings you more peace than you felt today. 

One day at a time. 

Posts: 657
LIFE WITHOUT MAYA, It would appear that you and I have been doing the exact same things. I haven't kept track of the hours but I know it has been hundreds.

 I do see the logic in what you are saying.  I sure don't know much but the huge difference in us, I believe, is the ultimate diagnosis of your Maya.  While researching for my dog, I had to also research hemangiosarcoma.  Please correct me, if I am talking out of turn, but as I understand it no matter when it is caught, the outlook is grim?  I certainly don't want to say something painful to you, but is that not true?  I guess what I am saying is that if my dog would have had hemangiosarcoma, i would have known in my heart that she could not have made it.  It appears that all my dog had was severe arthritis.  We all know dogs live for years with this with the proper medication. 

 Yesterday I was told that my dog died from necrosis of the gut brought on by aspirin.  He has no way of knowing if she would have been all right had I stopped it when I first saw dark stools, but it is possible.  Yes, I did go back to my vet and we talked for  30 minutes.  When I told him about the other possible diagnosis, he was still sure it was autoimmune because he didn't see signs of infection.  The other doctor told me this morning, there does not have to be infectin for peritonitis and necrosis of gi tract. My vet is not trying to cover anything up--I believe he is really sure he knows what she died of. 

  As far as anger at my vet, very little if any.  Just a profound sense of sadness and loss--all for nothing--no cancer, no immune disease, just some stiff joints. And even if my vet failed me, I failed also.  I knew the stools weren't right--I knew they weren't--and I failed to tell my vet.  I have no doubt that if I had told him, he would have coated her gi tract and done the proper things . I know he knew that much.

I agree with everyone on here that over a dozen people have agreed with my vet that there had to be something else going on--but I have always had this nagging feeling that something wasn't right--it just wasn't right.  The vet I have consulted with is a well-known expert--he has written me detailed explanations of the whole process--the fact that he worked emergency and has seen aspirin toxicity cases like mine also makes his version pretty believable.

This is probably how it is going to end--nothing resolved -not even close to being resolved.  YOu read about people who die for nothing--someone gives them the wrong injection, or they are given something they are allergic to, and you have the same sense of sadness and loss that anybody or anything has to die for something so insignificant. I don't mean that someone who is lost to cancer or heart or any other critical illness is less sad--it is just something where the guilt woud be less , I would think.  My mom had devastating illness, but I knew that nobody including me did it TO her.  We had no control over her illnesses.
KATHARINE, You have been here from the beginning as I well remember and I appreciate your prayers more than you will ever know.  Although on one level, I know I am trying to postpone facing her death I know also that I just want to know why she is gone.  Suspecting something and having it confirmed are so different.  But thank you again for always thinking of me.

JOANNI know what you say is true--eventually I will have to let go of the why" because the result is always going to be the same.  I can't see being able to do that but life has a way of beating you into submission, so I suppose it will come.  I understand your story about your dog and I see your point   But I also correspond with a woman who forced her dog to take rimaydl when it was killing him .  She and I both forced our dogs to take medicine which was killing them.  My vet didn't even mean for me to continue giving it to her(of, course, I beleive he should have given me better instructions, but that is a lame excuse)Thank you for thinking of me.

LOUDPURRING It is a compulsion--you don't have to reply.  Have you heard of necrosis of gut or necrohemorrhagic enteritis?  He said it is caused by asirin which results in  peritonitis--basically gangarine of gi tract, I believe is what he said.  Once necrosis starts it has to be surgically removed.  THis is what the one doctor believes happened to my dog even though my vet disagrees.  My vet said there was no infectin--this vet says there doesn't have to be. Thank you.
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