Yesterday was a day that will live in infamy and one I'll never forget no matter how much I want to. That cute pup on my profile pic? That's Maggie. And that smile is the one she presented to the world every day. Three weeks ago she got sick and went off her feed. We took her to the vet and he ran every lab test he could think of and even did x-rays. Nothing wrong; treat the symptoms. A few days later she was back to her old self. That lasted a couple of weeks when she went off her food again. We had some meds leftover from the first round and in another two days, she seemed all right. Meanwhile, I noticed she just seemed "off." Nothing I could really pinpoint for sure, and it seemed like she was losing weight even though she was eating fine.
Sunday night Maggie had a horrible seizure. Knowing what we do about dogs and seizures, we elected not to go to the ER and to let her sleep it off and go to our vet clinic in the morning. We didn't know her time with us was over and we certainly didn't know the horrific pain she was experiencing. She never made a sound or any other indication that anything was so horrifically wrong. She died quietly at 5:30 yesterday morning. I keep reliving my husband screaming, "Maggie is dead!" and I get a shot of adrenaline and start crying again.
We took Maggie's body to the vet for an autopsy as soon as the clinic opened. Thankfully, the vet didn't wait and performed the exam as soon as he arrived. Maggie was literally packed full of cancer. Her spleen ruptured and she bled to death. Not one peep out of her and not one indication of the unimaginable pain she had to have been experiencing. I didn't know hemangiosarcoma is almost an exclusively dog cancer and it is terribly aggressive. By the time any symptoms show up, if any, it's far to late to do anything. On the rare occasion it's detected early, treatment may only buy one to five months. Since it typically doesn't grow into big tumor masses, it doesn't usually show up on imaging studies either.
We have always prided ourselves on doing right by our dogs. They get any medical care they need and when the time comes, we don't allow them to suffer. Poor Maggie suffered and there wasn't one thing we could do about it. She was only nine and the sweetest, most friendly dog we've ever known. She loved everyone - human or canine. If anyone was hurting physically or mentally, Maggie was the first one on the job.
I literally cried myself sick yesterday. Hopefully today will be a little better. Give your dogs an extra hug today.
Oh, Jaybay....I am so terribly sorry about Maggie. That is so sad! I can only offer that you have enlightend a lot of us out here about that horrible disease. I know I didn't know about it. Poor Maggie...may she R.I.P.
Focus on the good times. It sounds like Maggie had a great life with your family. How old was she? Cancer is yet to be conquered and continues to kill both animals and humans. More sadly, it can also attack the young.
I've been told that dogs have a high resistance to pain, of course I don't know what that really means, but is sounds like Maggie handled it well.
Loving your family, including dogs, is the path to healing. Then you can remember but still go on enjoying the good things yet to experience.
I'm so sorry to hear about losing your best friend, you must be devastated. After reading your post, I gave my 13 yr old mutt a hug, like you suggested. Thanks for the reminder not to take them for granted, I know I do. Take Care.
Maggie could not have had better person to take care of her. I know dogs go to heaven, because I still feel Jack is always around. Dogs fill our lives with joy and I know you will remember all the good times. It will take time to heal, but you come to the right place. So many understand what you have been through.
We're still crying a week and a half later. Maggie left big paws to fill in this house. The only thing keeping us going is our other two dogs. We have to take one to the vet tomorrow to have his teeth cleaned and I'm dreading going there. Yes, it's a ridiculous thought, but I can't help but feel that something is going to go wrong. It's totally stupid on my part, but there it is. We have the most wonderful vet in the world too. He sent us a beautiful handwritten card after losing Maggie that sent both me and my husband in search of the last Kleenex box in the house. Maggie is back with us now, in a small box. It's just so wrong...
I am so very sorry for your loss and the absolutely dreadful way it all happened. I fully appreciate how you must be feeling. The loss of a dog can be far worse than losing a human, simply because they share so much of our daily routines, our lives and our love. And they give back so much loyalty, affection and love too. Clearly, you have nothing to reproach yourselves about, as you clearly did everything you possibly could have done - without knowing there was actually nothing that could be done to help. Most dogs only show pain when it becomes truly unbearable, because their instinct is not to display injury or pain (otherwise the pack would simply shun them or kill them). It is therefore perhaps understandable why you had no indication of what was happening with Maggie. If there is a glimmer of anything positive to say, at least she passed away at home where she would feel the most safe and comfortable, and it probably happened in her sleep, so she may not have been conscious of life slipping away.
Although heartbreaking, please try to remember what a fabulous life you gave her. If she could talk to you now, she would say 'thank you' for so much love, so many adventures and for being wonderful parents and loyal friends and companions. No dog could ask for more. You are both in my thoughts. And you still have your other two to keep you company, to love you and experience each day together ... and they will need you even more right now, so give them an extra hug from me. Maybe not tomorrow, but next week or the week after that, you will start to remember the happy times you have shared with Maggie. Stay strong ... and yes, cry when you need to. There's nothing more natural than grieving, even though it's a dreadful process. Please come back to the forum whenever needed to talk about how things are going, how you feel and of course, anything you want to tell us about Maggie. Much love, Tony x
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