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Posts: 2
This morning my dog Sally, a beautiful 1 1/2 year old Spring Spaniel / Pointer cross, reacted badly to an anesthetic used on her while being spayed and died from it.

How incredibly ironic, aside from the prevention of puppies, that a common procedure that is supposedly to help prevent cancers and such... kills my dog during the process.

I am seriously hating myself for bringing her to the vet, as I was the one who suggested to get her fixed.

Because of me, Sally is gone.

I got her a few months ago from the Shelter, as I felt ready of getting another dog after losing George [a springer spaniel, lived to 14] back in March 2006. I waited two years before getting another dog, so losing her not too long after I felt ready is a serious wrench to me heart.

Sally, to what I was told from those taking care of her before I got her, had an abusive owner and needed to be rehabilitated as she was afraid of people. It took me awhile to get her trust, and when I did she was an incredibly affectionate dog.

When she got used to the people around her, she opened up and from there on became an endless ball of energy and life, becoming incredibly happy [living in the countryside helps with all the open space]. You never see her staying still for any moment, and those moments when she did her tail wouldn't.

She had an odd way of greeting you when she saw you, where she would show her front teeth in a weird sort of smile. Often she would stand up against you, then spin around so you could give her a belly rub while being hugged upright. And when asked would immediately jump onto your chest to be picked up. She was a real affectionate baby full of love.

Another cute trait of hers was her fetish with shoes, particularly mine. Whenever she went to rest or sleep, she would surround herself with my shoes... be it on her mattress or couch. She never chewed on them, they were a comforter to her. How often I spent my time looking for shoes, though predictable spots, if she managed to get her maw on them if a door was left open and went outside.

And now she's gone.

I've laid her to rest in her favorite area, the lawn out back between the barn, greenhouse and children's play area, where she so often ran around at - in particular chasing the swallows that were miles high.

God I really miss her already.

And for the short time she's been with me, I never once thought of taking a picture of her.

How I hate myself...

Posts: 540
BeerWolf, my heart is breaking for you. I am so very sorry for your tragic loss of your beloved Sally.  You cannot blame yourself for what happened.. how could you have known she would have reacted that way.  Yes it is ironic that you were having a surgery performed to help her and instead it caused her passing. Perhaps she had a weak heart or there were some underlying health issues she had that you weren't aware of. You were doing what you thought was best to spay her, what anyone else that had adopted her would have done as well. I know most animal shelters make you sign a waiver saying that you promise to have them spayed soon after adoption. So please don't second guess your decision to do that. What happened was a tragic accident and you did nothing wrong.  You also said you hated yourself for not taking any pictures of her.  Yes pictures are nice to have butagain this is not something you anticipated would happened. You have a picture of her in your mind.. remember her curled up on her bed surrounded with your shoes, content and happy, keep that picture tucked away in your heart and bring it out when you are really missing her.  Again I am so very sorry for your loss but please let that guilt and blame you are carrying go. I know guilt all to well and it will really eat at you if you let it.

Take care.


Posts: 16
Beer Wolf, I too recently lost my dog, a beautiful Golden ten years old. She died of colon cancer. I know what you are going through, I especially know because our family cat went in just the beginning of this month to be declawed. She was only 4 yrs old and the vet called and said she was fine, woke up and everything, but when we went to pick her up she was gone. She had a bad reaction to the drugs given to her I guess...I know how hard it is and how you are blaming yourself. But you have got to understand that it is not your fault, this was not planned and you never meant for this to happen. You were simply being a good owner to this beautiful girl. Things happen that we cannot change, and it's hard because you had such a strong attachment to her. This forum really does help and the people here really understand the pain you are feeling. Just keep writing and telling stories, this will help with the grieving process. How lucky Sally was to have a wonderful owner that loved her so much, she realized that you loved her and she learned love and trust through you. You should be proud that you were able to teach her that much. She will always be in your heart.
-Sadie's mommy, Kathleen.


Posts: 846
Dear Beer Wolf:  Oh goodness, what a tragedy.  Please please don't hate yourself for Sally's death.  It was no more your fault than the vet's - it was just her time.  You did absolutely nothing wrong.  In fact, I salute you for doing the responsible thing.  Getting our dogs spayed or neutered is one of the many important things we must do as fur parents, to help prevent the population problem.  It's SO rare that a dog would die during the procedure, but unfortunately it does happen from time to time.  Please don't hate yourself - you were only being a responsible fur parent.  You know Sally isn't mad at you at all.  She knows your heart and loves you forever.  You gave her a wonderful life - remember that.  I know she will.  Sally sounds like such a sweet, funny girl.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I can sense your pain in your post and my heart hurts for you.  We just never know when God is going to call them back home.  I lost my yellow lab Luna when she was only 4 to cancer back in 2007 and to this day I cry for her.  I was very angry for some time after her death, and like you, I blamed myself.  I no longer blame myself, but her death truly tore me apart.  She was my baby.  Take time to grieve for your baby and please don't blame yourself.  I'm just so, so sorry.  I'll say some prayers for you during this difficult time.  Please come back often and let us know how you're doing.  May God hold you in His arms and grant you peace.  Many hugs to you.

Gerlie (Gypsy and Luna's forever mom)

Posts: 1,400
Dear Beer Wolf:
I don't know where to begin to tell you how sorry I am about Sally.  Please do not feel any blame for what happened.  It is truly heartbreaking that it happened but you were doing what was best for her.  You were trying to help Sally. 

From what you wrote I can tell that you had so much love for each other and you have some wonderful memories.  I am truly sorry for your loss.   

You will miss her but she will always be in your heart.  My prayers go out to you and Sally.

Meisters Mom

Posts: 2,245
Deer BeerWolf:
What a horrible tragedy.  I am so sorry for your loss of Precious Sally.  I know what a nightmare your life is right now, but what happened is not your fault.  I have had all of my animals spayed and neutered as that is what we are suppose to do.  There is absolutely no way of knowing if someone is going to react that way to the anesthesia.  I just wanted you to know that you and Sally are in my Prayers and that we are all here when you need us.

Big Hugs
Georgeann and Christopher

Posts: 567

I am so, so sorry for your tragic loss of Sally.   It's truly sad a common procedure caused her passing.   Please try not to blame yourself, you could not have known what would happen.  Your post obviously shows how much love there was and even though it was a short time, you gave her more love than she ever had.    I will say extra prayers for you, I know you are going through immense pain. 

Hugs and prayers,
Nina Maria's Mom

Posts: 115
I'm so hearbroken reading your story!  :-(  You did the right thing for your pet and for the animal world, and yet paid a heavy price.

I was very worried when my pups were neutered a few years ago.  While most dogs are fine under anaesthetic, it is well known that sadly some have a strongly adverse reaction.  Fortunately, my dogs were fine, but I can feel your loss.

I do feel that vets should be more careful in monitoring this - some vets are, but some I question.  If you know this vet is good, then this is a sad story.  But if this vet is new or questionable, I would never use them again.

It is not your fault that this occurred.  You were doing the right thing - with the hope of prolonging her life.  Sadly, God had other plans.  Thank you for giving your dog a new life so she could experience joy, even if it was for a far shorter time than you imagined.  You have my condolences during this difficult time.


Posts: 76
Oh beerwolf,

I can hear what you are saying. My baby boy, Jackson, was taken from me suddenly from an illness of his blood...but also from a series of mistakes from one vet practice. I truly believe his troubles started a couple of months ago when I had him spayed, later in life but recommended by the vet for cancer.  He had an allergic reaction to some of the medication that they gave him then, and that is what I think weakened his immune system that lead to his death last Sunday. I blame the vets,  and I blame myself for listening to them in the first place.
The hardest part of all of this is that what is done is done, and we have to somehow try and go on without our beloved furbabies. Please don't beat yourself up beerwolf, it is hard enough to cope with our loss without hating ourselves as well. They will understand and know that they were loved. You loved and cared about your baby, otherwise you would not be here on this site trying to make sense of your loss.

My thoughts and prayers are with our beloved furbabies. May they return to us in spirit and be happy once again in the light.



Posts: 686
Dear BeerWolf

I am so sorry.  I know what a shock this is.  Quite a few years ago, I lost a cat in the same way.  I had never heard of this happening before that.  My vet told me that it is very rare--he only had it happen every 2 or 3 years.  I know how you blame yourself though--you think you are doing what is best and then this happens.  My thoughts and prayers are with you,

Kate (Gus' mom)


Posts: 180
I am so sorry to read of your loss.  I think this situation may occur more than any of us know.
I know of a situation where the dog was put under anesthetic for spaying, and she suffered heart failure.  The vet worked on her, and was able to bring her back.  He was honest enough to tell her parents about this, and recommend to them that she never be given anesthetic again.
I wish I had something of value to say except "I understand."  I lost my precious Dakotah almost 4 months ago. I have been here almost daily, but have just not been competent enough to post. 
I am so sorry.  She is with God now, and her life is perfect in his loving care.
Dakotah's Mom

Posts: 117
our heart goes out to you BeerWolf and your family
Bless sweet Sally- but please know it wasn't your fault.


somewhere in there is the big universe part-of-the-equation:
'it was meant to happen'...
believe me... we've been there- and are 'still' there...

whatever you do, don't blame yourself.


Posts: 1,328
Heartbreaking to read your post. You gave her alot-- a family, yourself, for whatever short time she had here on earth. At least she knew love and someone caring for her,if even for a short time--some animals never know it at all.
Going in for a routine procedure and then losing her must be beyond words. I guess I would feel every emotion there is. Hope things get better for you. Take care.
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