Registered: 1522187949 Posts: 1
Yesterday morning my husband and I got up like usual. We let the boys out and gave them their food. Talon-our 8 year old lab-was uninterested in his food, which is extremely unlike him. He laid on the floor and wouldn’t come near my husband or myself. Instantly my husband took the day off and decided to take him to the vet because something was off. I laid on the floor with Talon and noticed his abdomen felt a little firmer than normal and he was using his accessory muscles to breath.
The vet called about 11am and wanted to do a pericentesis (aspirate fluid from his belly). I’m a critical care nurse-so i knew right away this was going to be a bad day.
Talon had a mastcell tumor on his leg about a year ago-but we had it removed and were told it was not bad enough to really worry about it spreading. 6 months later he had another one that we chose not to treat—it also went away on its own. Talon was overall happy and healthy, till yesterday.
After the pericentesis the vet called to inform me that he aspirated blood from his abdominal cavity. And that an ultrasound showed he had a mass on his spleen that had ruptured and was continuing to bleed into his abdomen. We had two choices at this point...surgery which could tell us if it was a hematoma or a hemangioma, but in Talons case there was a very high probability it was the later of the two. Our other option was to let him go, either by euthanasia or we could take him home and let him pass on his own here. My husband and I chose to save him the suffering of surgery and all that goes along with that, even if it could have given him another month or two, and let him go. We opted to do it at the vet last night instead of bringing him home and letting him go here, he looked so uncomfortable.
The whole thing happened so fast I still can’t believe it. I woke up this morning and looked for him, and had to remember he’s gone. I miss him terribly and feel as though I failed him. Maybe I should have taken him to kstate for surgery and given him the extra month or two. Or what if it was just the hematoma and taking the spleen would have solved the problem?
Does he know that his dad and I did what we thought was best for him and not what we wanted for us? Did he know how much we loved him and how much happiness he brought to our family? Or does he think we abandoned him, gave up. Did he know that his brother loved him unconditionally?
I just don’t know how to cope with this. The guilt is unreal, and the tears will not stop.
Registered: 1498611382 Posts: 580
Oh Talon's mom I am so sorry for you and your husband's loss. It hurts your soul when we have to say goodbye. The heart ache seems so unbearable, I know. I've been in your shoes of letting go. I believe you did the right thing. I know the guilt is tearing you apart but what you did for Talon was release him from suffering. Yes surgery may have given you a few more months but at what cost. At a time like this we have to think of our babies quality of life. The next morning is always the hardest and all the little things that remind us of the emptiness that surrounds us. It does get better, in time. I lost my heart dog in September and I still cry and grieve for him daily. But the tears have subsided some what. I too felt the guilt of making that dreadful decision but I also learned that we dishonor their memory by feeling guilt. Talon had a beautiful full life with you and the memories that you shared will never fade. Talon knows you did what was best for him and he holds no grudges against you. This is in their soul to know unconditional love and to give it. He would never think you abandoned him, ever. He is with God and looking down at you both with all the love in his heart knowing you gave him the final act of love and releasing him from anymore suffering. You didn't give up!!! and he understands. Cry and grieve all you need to but also try to remember the memories and the journey you shared with Talon. Just I did tonight when I heard the birds chirping for bed time and I used to tell Termy that there are birds in the yard and he would take off running and chase them off. I smiled but felt a little teary to. It's been just over 6 months since saying goodbye to Termy and I do know how you feel. I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better and ease your pain but sadly I haven't found them yet. I am sending you support and comfort during this time.
Love and doggie hugs Termy's mom
Registered: 1444060919 Posts: 639
Talon knew when he went to the vet that you were watching out for him. He knew this from previous vet visits. And so on this day, it was for him another trip to the vet. What he was feeling and thinking was that something was going on..just like all the other times he had been at the vet. And that you and your husband both were there. He was not alarmed. In many respects it was business as usual, a vet visit. No matter what was happening or about to happen, Talon was fine with it. He was not anticipating the worst or fearing for his life. Talon never thought on that day or any day that he was a second class citizen. He always felt valued and appreciated. That day was no different. He did not feel cheated by you. He did not feel betrayed. Talon was always aware that he brought happiness to the family. He lived confidently. He had no hangups about his standing in your lives. Ever. He never felt abandoned by you in his life. Ever, never. At any time. And he never doubted for a moment that his brother loved him. Talon was a happy dog. He finished living exactly as the dog he had always been. For him it was just another day. He was not worried. He was okay. Does he know that his dad and I did what we thought was best for him and not what we wanted for us? Did he know how much we loved him and how much happiness he brought to our family? Or does he think we abandoned him, gave up. Did he know that his brother loved him unconditionally?
Registered: 1183598456 Posts: 7
Talon's Mom, I have not posted for some years here, but I do visit from time to time and wanted to respond to your heartfelt post. We lost our 12 year old mix, Annie, just a year ago from Hemangiosarcoma and it was just like your experience. Annie was fine except a "bit off" and I took her to the vet thinking perhaps I was being silly because there didn't seem to be really anything I could put my finger on as to what was wrong. She had her usual great walk that morning, ate well, but then seemed much too tired for mid day. I made an appointment with the vet, and Annie seemed fine when we arrived. She hated the vet and fought like hell during the entire exam. Our vet took a blood test and promised to call me with the results in about 45 minutes. By the time the vet called me back and said Annie needed to be rushed to emergency just a bit later, Annie could no longer hold up her head. By the time we got her just down the road to emergency, she couldn't stand. Testing showed a ruptured spleen more than likely caused by Hemangiosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma is an evil and sudden cancer. There is no remedy. Annie stood around 30% chance to survive the spleen removal. If successful, that move would have bought us a few weeks. We discussed other options. Removal of the spleen with many weeks of chemo would have bought her at best another 3 months, a miserable 3 months. I am writing this to assure you you did the right thing. You did not fail Talon. Hemangiosarcoma failed Talon, and there was absolutely nothing you could do to save him. Just google Hemangiosarcoma and you will see what I mean. There is rarely, if ever, any forewarning or symptoms. Feeling guilty is all a part of the experience of losing such a special and loved friend, but you should give yourself a pat on the back, too, for standing up and doing the right thing in the worst of circumstances. I have taken some solace in knowing that except for that one day, Annie never suffered. She loved her life every day, and she loved me too. She knew I would always be by her side, and I was. So were you for Talon, and you are a very special person for that.