Registered: 1589076816 Posts: 20
It has been 3 weeks since I lost my 5 year old dog and the pain and not knowing hurts so much, please be warned this is me putting every thought in my head down and it will likely be a long one as there's so much backstory I just need to know if this was my fault that my baby died. Dino was a very scared dog, every vet trip he would get so stressed try to hide, try to leave, shake, foam at the mouth, urinate so when COVID came around and he had to be picked up from the car park this was very very stressful for him. The vets had to put a blanket over him in order to pick him up, when I heard this it broke my heart. Dino was diagnosed with allergies when he was 2, although they could never do an allergy test to find out what he was allergic to because they needed to get them under control first. We tried every medication they suggested and nothing fixed them so he was eventually put onto steroids. The vets made us go every month for check-ups and would often lower the dose or increase it depending on how bad his flare ups were (sores on paws, ear infections), we changed his food, our washing detterent , cleaned his bed every day to try to prevent this but nothing ever worked. We were told Dino can't live on steroids however they never seemed to actually take them off him so he was on them for 3 years total. A few weeks before his death I noticed him drinking loads and told the vets, they said it was a side effect of the steroids. A few days after that Dino came back from a walk and an hour later couldn't use his hind 2 legs, I paniced and rushed him to the vets, they took him and said it was likely gastritus as he had a lot of gas and his belly was swollen. They gave him antibiotics, new food and gastritus paste, he seemed almost fine the next few days - could walk and belly went down but he was still lying around and drinking loads. A week later I noticed he was dramatically lighter, I rang them and told them hes still drinking loads and has lost weight and was barely eating a full meal at this point he'd only accept treats, they told me to bring him in for blood tests. That night the vet rang me and told me every blood result was bad. He likely had pancritus, internal bleeding, high glucose levels among other things so she wanted him in for a pancritus scan at another clinic the next day. Because Dino was always at the vets with his allergys I still didnt panic? Even though I was crying when I found the results I was still positive he'd be fine. That he'd come out wagging his tail as soon as he saw me like always. That night he was sick all in his bed, wouldn't touch any food and wouldn't get up off his blanket I rang the vets that morning before his scan and told them should I bring him in any earlier, they said to bring him at the same time 11AM. I tried to clean his eyes as there was all sleep gunk in them and he couldnt open one, he showed his teeth at me which he had never done before so I took that as a back off sign and my mom suggested he just wanted to be alone if he's in pain so I left him alone even though I just wanted to cuddle him. 11AM rolled round and I carried him to the car and the vet came out to make me sign something for the scan, I signed it and she said do you want me to carry him in.. I said you can try but he probably won't let me, I placed him in her hands and he looked up at me confused, but didn't put up any fight, I looked at her and said now that's not normal. We went home and waited for the phone call with the results as I wasn't allowed in. The vet rang 1hour later, she said he had been really good but he was a very poorly dog, she said his urine levels showed high ketones and glucose and he had Diabetic Ketoacidus... I didn't even know he was diabetic until this point. She explained that she needed a specific insulin to treat this 'medical emergency' stage of his diabetes, but the clinic didnt have it nor did the other branches she had already called before ringing me. She said his blood was basically turning to acid which is why he was so poorly so quickly, he was not in a good place. She didnt even tell me what the scan results were. She said my only options were to keep him in on fluids while they looked for a replacement medication that may not work, and I'd have to pick him up and take him to an over night clinic for more fluids (costing 1000's for just 2days) or I'd have to put him to sleep because he was in pain. I couldnt bare the thought of him thinking he was coming home just to be taken to another stranger. I asked if he'd still be in pain while they searched for the replacement insulin and she said yes, that he was in a very critical state and she didn't know if she could even find a replacement medication she'd have to get a referral. She said he'd never be the same dog and they don't know what else has already failed (he showed signs of internal bleeding in the blood tests and had pancritus) she said if he did recover he'd have to have at least 2 injections a day for the rest of his life and they'd now have to try and find a different way to treat his allergies at the same time. I couldn't put my baby boy through more prodding and poking, especially when he gets so worked up around strangers. I asked if I could be there while they put him to sleep and she said no - I didn't even get to say goodbye. Shouldn't I have known that he had diabetes? He was practically a regular at the vets, there every month if not every two weeks. I told them about his thirst and they dismissed it as the steroids, shouldn't they take regular tests to make sure steroids aren't harming him after being on them for so long? Did the steroids cause this? Did he ever even have allergies? Did I not notice my dog was diabetic soon enough and how could I not notice this? It's all my fault and that final week he must of been in so much agony and I didn't even know how bad it was because they said it was gastritus, why couldn't I have realised sooner, why couldn't the vets have known sooner?? I'm hurting so badly I just want him back he didn't deserve to die this young. He saved me from depression when I got him, and I failed him in return. If I'd have kept him on fluids for 7 days at different clinics would he have stood a chance, would they have found the insulin he needed, I don't know my head is full of so many questions - I paid 400 for the pancritus scan and I didn't even get to learn what that showed, they only told me the urine sample, I should have asked more but the moment I knew he was in such pain I just wanted him out of the stress and pain quick, was I selfish? I just want him back now, I have his ashes but I will never forget that confused look I saw when I handed him to the tech - I gave him 3 kisses as I did it, I should have give him more - I didn't know it was goodbye :( I'm so so so sorry Dino, I wish I'd of noticed sooner. I love you
Registered: 1589465822 Posts: 28
I am so sorry that your boy Dino has passed. It's going to be hard. We love them so much and want to protect them. I think you're trying to make sense of something that doesn't have clear answers. Hindsight is 20/20. We now know our strategy (and our dog's vet) did not work. But, during those decision-making moments there is no doubt about it that we were doing our best. I also am certain my vet was doing her best.
Looking back now I see signs that I kind of explained away. She exhibited a few behaviors that I would notice and wonder -- hmmm, that's new I wonder why she is doing that? I attributed a lot of the signs to her age. It became the new normal. It sounds like you attributed a lot of his signs to allergies. It makes sense that you would. You weren't negligent or bad for doing that. I'm human. I made mistakes that I regret. But, it happened. I can't go back. I need to forgive myself. The things I did right far outweigh the things I did wrong. And, I have no doubt the same is true for you. Our furbabies never liked seeing us cry or get angry. They wanted us to be happy. I refuse to let myself go into a dark hole of "what if's". I could easily go there. But, it isn't going to help anything. I have intentionally accepted, forgiven, and re-focused to honor Jasmine's life. I'd love to tell you all about how sweet my Jasmine was. She was my soul mate. My husband and sons believe she was their soul mate too. How does that happen?? The little stinker had us all wrapped around her paw. She had a great life and knew she was loved. She gently ruled the roost. We were so blessed. It's hard. Our pet's lives are so fragile. And, they were so easy to love. You're going to be ok.
Registered: 1589076816 Posts: 20
Thank you so much for replying, everything you said about yourself and Jasmine I can relate to with Dino. I wrote that at 4am whilst crying so I know it was all a bit muddled and full of emotion and lack of sense so thank you so much for your understanding response it made me feel a lot better reading that. I know hind sight is everything, it just all happened so quickly the way he deteriorated and I think I'm still in shock that he's no longer around and I know deep down I couldn't have done any more for him it's just hard to actually accept that I think. I know the vets all loved him they took such good care of him even though he was a really nervous dog I can't fault them I just wish we hadn't all become so fixated on the allergies and actually saw what else was happening but again it's 20/20 like you say they were all minor symptoms that just became normal - until they all added up together and my poor baby couldn't take it, I know I did the right thing in the end now, heck I even handed them an A4 paper 10 days prior to his death of a list of his symptoms from top to bottom.. if that wasn't telling enough that something bad was happening I don't know what was. I just can't believe how our fur babies can leave such a deep impact on the world and then leave so quickly and after such a short period of time, it's their only fault really isn't it. I hope my Dino and your Jasmine are happy in a beautiful garden with lots of treats and love right now, they really were our soulmates and you've encouraged me to stop going down the "what if" cycle. Thank you.
Registered: 1589137909 Posts: 20
I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate to your post. I, too, suffered with the "what if's" and why didn't the vet know anything sooner and the questions went on and on. I went into deep depression for a good four or five days. Through this group and putting my feelings out there, I have learned to forgive myself and came to terms with the fact that I made the right decision. The what if's will kill you, so please don't do that to yourself. This whole COVID situation not being able to say goodbye to our animals is a tragedy. My heart breaks for you. I actually had a vet come to the house to put my Midnight down because of the COVID situation.
Be gentle on yourself and know that you did the best you could. Reading that you paid for scans and you didn't even get the results hit home for me, because that happened to me as well. We pay all this money and are still left with questions. That's where the what if's come from. It's best to be gentle on yourself, forgive yourself and know you gave your dog the best life he could have.
Registered: 1589465822 Posts: 28
Hayley, you sound like you are doing so much better. You did a good job of explaining how you were (are) feeling. I have been there and I have moments when I start going back there. I'm just so happy for you (and Dino). It feels a lot better celebrating how blessed we were with them than letting our guilt consume us. Peace feels good.
That said, it's ok if you need to write another post like this. You are, most definitely, going to have moments where you start down that path of guilt and what if's. It helps to write and reach out. It is a process. We're here.
Registered: 1589076816 Posts: 20
Eileen, I actually read your entire thread and it helped me so much when I read about the scan etc it helped me know that I wasn't alone. I'm trying my best to not dwell anymore on the what if's, this forum is amazing for that honestly. I feel like noone really understands true grief of a pet unless they've got one themselves and I was surrounded by people that didn't really understand it and I think that's what made me also feel so sad. So I'm so thankful for people like you that make me feel like I'm not alone. Your Midnight sounded beautiful and I hope you're doing so much better now. Thank you so much for coming on here and I'm so glad you found a vet that offered you the chance to do it at home as at least your baby was where he belonged. Thank you for your kind words.
Thank you Gina, you were a big part in making me realise I need to be happy of all the great times and not focus on that very end, I know he wouldn't want that at all. You've really helped me and words actually can't express that enough. You gave me an idea to celebrate him and so I built a shelf above where his bed was and now I know he's safe and sound where he should be, it's kept me occupied all day and now whenever I look in that corner I don't feel as sad, I remember him. so thank you again.
Registered: 1158205770 Posts: 837
I am sorry for your loss of Dino. My little dog Piper lost a bit of weight and my vet checked her out, suspected kidney issues and sent us to a specialist who determined she was seriously ill with kidney disease. He kept her for three days, administering fluids and starting her on several meds Without extensive bloodwork he couldn't have been certain. After three days she came home and with a lot of medication and a special diet she did well for eighteen months. I am telling you this to assure you that you did nothing wrong. We all blame ourselves when our babies become ill or whatever it is that takes them from us. And when they die we think if only I had done this or that he still might be here. The fact is we do our very best to provide them a good home and love them with all our hearts. I wish they all could have a longer life span but that is not possible, their little bodies age much faster than ours. Dino's love for you was unconditional and he would not want you to feel any guilt because there is none. Let your heart heal, cry as much as you need, tears help you heal. And try to look back upon your wonderful life together. Piper left me two weeks ago and I am still a mess but I tell myself we had fourteen years together and though it could never be long enough she is a peace. We can't hold them in our arms but we hold them in our hearts forever.
Registered: 1589076816 Posts: 20
Thankyou for sharing your story with me, I’m so sorry for your loss of Piper it sounds like you did everything for her and gave her an extra 18 months that she’d never have had without you, I hope you can take comfort in knowing that you gave her 18 months of extra love as from reading what you wrote I can tell how much she meant to you. I’m slowly starting to be kind to myself thanks to this message board, night times are the hardest when my thoughts are allowed to run wild but returning here and reading messages like yours brings me comfort in knowing that our fur babies do just get sick and there is sometimes nothing we can do to prevent that no matter how much love we have to give them.
I hope one day we will be reunited with them, you’re completely right about them ageing faster than us and I often forget that so thank you for reminding me, my biggest sadness is that Dino died at the age of 5 but I know he had a wonderful 5 years and no matter how old he got, it would never have been long enough.