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My dog died unexpectedly after surgery

My (spayed) 11yr old female Staffordshire Bull Terrier companion passed away unexpectedly after a minor surgery yesterday. I am crushed. I have had her since she was 16 weeks and she was my world. She was spayed at a year and half and has never had a medical issue in her life since that. Six months ago she started developing a large mass on her belly and a wart like growth sprouted on her ankle. I took her in and they examined her and said she looks very strong and healthy and not to do anything but wait a few months to see if the masses grew. Three months later the masses doubled in size and a sebaceous cyst sprouted by one of her whiskers. The vet saw they grew and was concerned that she would tear the growth on her hind leg off while playing and running and bleed out and he also wanted to biopsy the mass on her belly so he recommended removing the masses with a minor surgery. I asked him "isn't she too old to have a surgery?" and he said the growths were concerning and would run blood work on her to see her health. The blood work came in perfect and he said she is very strong and healthy and spirited and should be fine. We scheduled the surgery and I took her in Wednesday morning. She trotted off with the nurses very happy and the nurses were giggling and smiling saying what a happy dog she is. I got a call at 3pm Wednesday saying she was ready to go home. Excitingly I scrambled into my car and picked her up. When I got her she was obviously groggy and not her self but the vet said that it was the anesthetic and she would recover over time. We went home and she was not happy. She hated the head cone and fixated on it. I tried my best to give her lots of affection, attention and make her comfortable but all she would do was lay down and drink water (lots of water). Multiple bathroom trips and lots of my talking and petting her and when it was time for bed I put her to sleep at her usual time and I was sure a good nights sleep would do her well. She woke me up at 2am and was standing at my bed I jumped out of bed and asked her what was wrong and she seemed confused. I asked her if she had to go potty and she indicated that she did so I took her outside. We walked around the back yard for a while and I gave her her time but she just kept zoning out and standing and was teetering like she was going to fall over. It was about 330 am by now and started to rain so I gently picked her up and carried her inside. She immediately wanted more water so I let her drink and then tried to put her back to bed. She didn't want to go in her bed and wanted to sleep on her favorite rug in the front room by the fire place. She sometimes like to sleep alone in the front room so i didn't think anything of it and said goodnight. I woke up a couple hours later and she was gone. She was in the same place I had left her and in the position that she was sleeping but her eyes were still open. I am crushed. I called the vets when they opened and they were obviously distraught and asked me to bring her in. The vet and the staff told me how sorry they were and this 'never happens" and the vet said he was contemplating keeping her overnight but because she looked so good when she woke up for surgery he discharged her. I know the Lord decided it was her time to go home but it was so sudden and unexpected I was inconsolable yesterday. I am still struggling to understand what happened to my best friend and life companion for over a decade. Thank you in advance for any responses. I'm just trying to wrap my head around it. She is being cremated and I will pick up her remains in a couple of weeks but I don't think I will ever be the same without my Monkey. Thank you.
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973741 tn?1342342773
That is so painful. I'm just sorry. I have lost a best loved fur friend too and know that it is like grieving of any kid. Deep, painful. And this is like grieving someone who you live with day in ad day out. Sweet innocent love is how I describe the love for and from our sweet dogs. We don't know what we don't know. Something did not respond well with her. And you provided the surgery to help her. You have to remember that. The vet probably didn't do anything wrong and it was a set of circumstances, perfect storm circumstances that led to this. But it hurts. So bad. I lost a dog tragically several years ago. It was a shock. This is a shock for you. I got the ashes for my dog and they were in a pretty earn and I got a picture of her in a frame and we hung it. Do you live with anyone who can clean up her things from the house? I did it myself but that's hard. I bagged them up and put them in the attic. Now, everyone is different. Don't think I'm callous for this but this is me. I love animals and especially dogs. Within three weeks of our tragedy, I had gotten another puppy. Because when looking at a little fur ball, it's hard to be sad. And I missed the connection of my pet. The dog I have today is wonderful too. My sister has to take some time before she can do that. So, everyone is different. I felt comforted by simply looking at puppies knowing I'd love a dog again soon and have comfort back like I knew with our dog that passed. They are ALL very special and not replaceable but my heart healed a little faster with a new friend coming into our home.

You do something nice for yourself today, okay. Sending you virtual hugs
Helpful - 1
1 Comments
Thank you. I know it wasn't the vet's fault. He actually kept her from being put down a few years ago when she had an incident with her sister (her sister was in heat/season at the time and the neighbors got a new juvenile dog and penned him up against my fence). Her sister snapped at her when they were investigating the new neighbor dog and Monkey fought back and the outcome was terrible, her sister had to have surgery to save her life. After the isolated incident everyone was telling me that I had to put her down but the same vet told me if I kept her away from other dogs she didn't need to be put down. Her sister healed and my mother adopted her sister so it ended up just being me and my Monkey the last 3 years of her life. I haven't been able to touch anything of hers yet. I live alone which makes it even more difficult. It was just her and me that made up our little family after the fight with her sister. I tried to go into the back yard a couple days ago (Monkeys little kingdom) and the grief was unbearable so I quickly came back inside. It's been one week ago today I took her in for surgery. What has happened has happened and there is nothing I can do to change it. I hope to adopt another AmStaff puppy again in time. Nothing can ever replace Monkey and she will always be in my heart. I pick up her remains next week and I do have a very pretty urn for her ashes. I like the idea of setting it up with a photo, I think I'll do that. Thank you very much for your kind words. They help.
134578 tn?1716963197
I'm so sorry to hear your story. In a lot of ways, our pets are our lives, especially when you have a good one who has your heart. My stepmom's dog who was also her life companion went in for a tooth cleaning, and like yours, came home groggy but apparently OK, and then never quite came out of the grogginess and died within two days. Maybe sometimes this is a reaction to anesthesia (a rare one) or maybe the two weren't related, it's just so hard to know. What I do know was that my stepmom blamed herself for a long time, since the tooth cleaning was more of a "nice to do" than a "have to do." I understand that you had a stronger reason to do the surgery than that, and you had your dog checked to make sure there were no apparent risks, so at least you won't have to torture yourself feeling like my stepmom did. I do think we all go when it's our time, and for some reason we can't discern, sometimes it's time for someone we love even when we ourselves aren't ready for it. Here is hoping that you can get through this day by day. Your dog had a great life. Please try to be easy on yourself as you grieve.

(((HUGS)))

Annie
Helpful - 1
2 Comments
Thank you for sharing that story with me. I am struggling right now with guilt and shame and thinking if I never took her in she would still be here with me but nothing can change what happened. I lost one dog to cancer before and I often think he suffered more than necessary simply because I didn't want to let him go (Jack was with me for 15 years and helped me raise Monkey  by being a wonderful dog role model that she followed). I just wanted to catch this with Monkey before it got worse and do the best thing for her. She was also my life companion like your mother. I live alone and she has been by my side day and night since she could fit in my hands. Until yesterday she and I have only been apart once (for three days and two nights) and that was six months ago when I had to go on a business trip. The entire time all I could do was think about her and if she was okay and swore to myself I would do my best to never be apart from her again.  When I got back from the business trip it was obvious she was in agreement with me that I should never leave her again. After that business trip I realized that Monkey had me wrapped around her little paw toe  but I was okay with that. I did try to give Monkey a wonderful life. I know she made my life wonderful. Thank you for your kind words. I will try not to blame myself.

-Sean
If my dog had a large mass on her belly, I would have done exactly what you did, with the same motives. What if it was something that needed immediate care and you hadn't done anything but "wait and see"? You'd possibly be in the same position as right now, but with even more guilt. Try not to beat yourself up, you did the best you could with what had come. Again, I firmly believe we go when it is our time and that is also true of pets.

Best regards.

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