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Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
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Posts: 1
My 10 year old Labrador retriever was the best dog I could possible have wanted. No Illness or trip to the vets until August 2017 when the little skin tag on his tummy started to change shape- this turned out to be mast cell for which he had it surgically removed and given the all clear in October. In November Max developed swellings and was given a diagnosis of Arthritis and put on Metacam.

Monday of this week and Max started to be sick and couldn’t keep any food down. We contacted the vet who told us to change his diet and wait to see the outcome. Wednesday he stopped being sick and we thought we had turned a corner until thursday came. On Thursday night max was violently sick, shaking, high temp couldn’t sleep very restless weak wouldn’t eat or drink so phoned the vet. The vet thought this was an adverse effect to his Metacam and arranged to see him 9am Friday morning.

Friday came and Max was very very unwell by this point unable to life his head or even move without wanting to lie back down. When we got to the vets his demenour changed as he realised how rapidly he had deteriorated since the previous night’s Phone call. Max was “hospitalised” and put on a drip in the hope that he would respond to the treatment. We were told at 12 o’clock to collect him at 5 as his tests showed nothing to worry about apart from a shadow in his spleen which we were being referred back to the animal hospital for. Unknown to us this would be the thing that unfortunately made my boy so unwell.

At 2 o’clock we received a phone call to say our boy wasn’t responding to treatment and they were concerned for him and basically called to his side. By the time I made it home from work Max wasn’t conscious and he was peacefully sedated and looked like he was having a good dream. My only saving grace is I got to be there to say goodbye to my boy.

It later transpired that Max’s life was cruely taken by Mast Cell which had spread to his spleen and lymph nodes and was producing histamine which was what wasn’t making my boy so sick and unwell. Thankfully no one knew of this neither us Max or the vet and it spread so quickly from his last check up. Max peacefully slipped away that night with his family by his side and gave one final wag of the tail(must have taken so much energy out of my poor boy) when I was saying my goodbyes.

The days that have followed have been the darkest days of my life so far. I am unable to eat, sleep and constantly cry. Dropping my dog off in the morning for an appointment and he never came home with us is something I never ever expected. My poor boy would, even if he perked up, have been on palliative care until the time was right for him to go but nature took that decision out of our control thankfully and Max was comfortable, peaceful and he is now living his life again pain free up in the kennel in the sky.

Is there a normal way to grieve? One minute I can look at pictures and talk about him the next I want the ground to swallow me up overcome with grief. It was so sudden and completely unexpected hence why I’m finding it so difficult to process.

Posts: 60
I don't think there's one normal way to grieve.  I'm going up and down in my grief for my dog, who died two weeks ago. 

I had known she had cancer for about 4 1/2 months and from very shortly after the diagnosis, I knew that the only humane thing to do would be to eventually make the decision to have her euthanized, because of the type of cancer she had.  So I really had a lot of time to "prepare."

I have cried more in the past 5 months than ever before in my life.  I'm comfortable with my decision to have my dog euthanized, but I still am so sad. 

My point is that I think it's normal to grieve and your way of grieving is normal. But if you feel, in a few weeks, as though your functioning is being  impaired, think about talking to a counselor or a therapist.  

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