We just put our 10-year-old dog riley down today and I’m feeling sick about it. About 1 month ago my daughter noticed he was limping so we took him to our animal hospital to be evaluated as our regular vet was not open. The animal hospital said there was nothing wrong with him and sent him home. We followed up with our vet who took an x-ray and said he has an ACL rupture which would require rest and modification of any exercise. They also instructed us to put him on a diet as he was 125 pounds and they said he was overweight and they said this contributed to his injury. After a couple of days I noticed he wasn't getting up at all only to get water. He stopped eating and looked sad and depressed. He stopped barking, retrieving and having any of his typical loving warm personality traits and he became a very immobile dog who literally wasted away before our eyes. Thinking that his behavior was due to his ACL I kept pushing him to get up and most of the time would drag him outside with him resisting but I wanted him to get fresh air and to be with us if we were outside or I wanted him to be upstairs with us as he now had to stay downstairs as the stairs in my house were too hard for him to maneuver. Still thinking he only had an ACL rupture but feeling deep down inside that something was really not right I took him to the doctor this past week because he got so bad that he looked like he wouldn’t survive the night. My vet took tests and found he had an unusually high white count and a fever and he was anemic. They waited a few days to take an ultrasound, which finally revealed a tumor on his spleen. My housekeeper actually noticed a huge enlargement of his right side, which I presented to my vet upon arrival when I initially brought him in but my vet ignored my concern. After 5 days at the vet receiving fluids and antibiotics he really made no improvement at all and my vet thought it best to put him down. I guess having only had golden retrievers in my childhood life and now and having been through each one of my former goldens ordeals with cancers but this was so rapid and a bit mysterious as we were
I'm so sorry to read about your dog. It wouldn't have made a difference if your vet didn't ignore you, but the fact that he did, I would lose him if I were you. Shop around and find one that listens when you try to explain your concerns. How could he ignore a huge enlargement on your dog? Thats not right.
Hi, So sorry to hear about your Riley. They leave such a hole in our lives. Try to think of the good times and not concentrate on the end of his life. My Belgian Shepherd died a couple of years ago and i had had him for over 12 years. I was devastated but now i often think of him as he was when he was younger and running free on the beach. Take care it is a sad time.
So sorry to read this story about Riley. This sounded like pretty typical ACL behavior at the beginning and sounds like you were just following your Vet's instructions. ACL injuries can take a very long time to heal, are painful and often require surgery. At that point, I would have probably been thinking the same as you. I probably would have attributed his not eating to pain, etc. I don't know why your Vet waited a few days to do an ultrasound but with a tumor on the spleen, you would have probably been looking at a possible spleenectomy, which can have it's own complications. Let me say that I have had many dogs over the years and have certainly been through similar situations where I've lost dogs unexpectedly or due to an undiagnosed cause. I had a Sheltie that was absolutely fine when I left for work one day, came home to find her outside and in shock. Rushed her to the Vet to find out she had a tumor on her liver. I had absolutely no indication there was a problem. I had to make the decision to put her down. It eats at your heart and conscience, I understand. We have to remember too, that dogs age and develop problems with that process just like people do. Unfortunately, they can't talk to us so we can only go on our experiences with our own pets, our knowledge of their behaviors and our *gut* feelings. I certainly wouldn't go back to that first Vet and it seems as your own Vet at least took an x-ray and gave you advice. I can't see that you made any wrong decisions here going on what you were told and what you were seeing in Riley. At least you had him for 10 years, which we have to face, is nearing the average life expectancy for a dog of his age and size!!
Please don't beat yourself up as you obviously loved this dog and took good care of him.
RIP Riley and run free with your friends at the Bridge.
hugs to you and your family.
I am sorry for your loss, if it is any comfort for you, my dog Max went up there with him last night. My dog was a BC, and I want to pass on something to you that I learned from having full blooded dogs, don't do it. Even the vets are telling me to get a mixed breed becase they won't have so many health issues.
I am sorry for you loss, I know that can too sudden for you.
I was not planning to put my dog down last night, but after he had 5 seizures in three hours, it was what I had to do. It hurts like c***...so I know you feel like this as well... I am sorry. He is pain free now and happy.
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