I lost my sweet boy on Wednesday, Valentine’s Day.
My Elwood was only 11 years old. He was a miniature long haired dachshund. He began having some neck problems in October and needed surgery for a herniated disc. He did so great after surgery! And had been doing well up until February 4th. He began to show symptoms of a herniated disc in his back this time, and quickly became paralyzed. We rushed him in to the specialty emergency hospital where he was admitted and scheduled for an MRI for the next morning. The dr called me right before the MRI and said he had lost deep pain sensation in his right leg but they were working quickly. He then called me right after the MRI and said he would need surgery to remove the offending disc (and a few other chronic ones). He called after the surgery, said it went well and he was recovering well. Since I am a vet tech at a general practice, he allowed me to take him home 3 days later (Thursday). He seemed out of it, but had a fentanyl patch on so I assumed it was that. Over the weekend he seemed pretty painful, he would just sit up and pant (he still didn’t have use of his hind legs but did have deep pain sensation in both legs) and when I checked his temp it was starting to creep up. On Sunday it was 103.4 so I decided we needed to go back to the Emergency vet. The neurologist wasn’t on but was in touch with the intern and when the intern examined him, he didn’t have deep pain or reflexes in either hind limb. I knew something bad was wrong but I would have to wait until the next morning for the neurologist to look at him.
He called me Monday morning and said that poor Elwood had deteriorated, and was showing symptoms of myelomalacia which is severe necrosis of the spinal cord—from the severe disc herniation, not the surgery. He said it is usually a very poor prognosis but we could give him time to see if it was going to progress up his spine, but he would definitely never walk again. I was willing to give him time and get him a cart if need be. Tuesday he was stable, no change and that gave me a sliver of hope. Wednesday he called and said it was spreading up his spinal cord and would cause him to become paralyzed in the front and then affect his ability to breathe. I knew I had to humanely put him to sleep.
It was awful. He was my first dog, and my heart dog and this was all so unexpected. I feel like I can’t go on without him, I’m so unbelievably sad. I know we did everything we possibly could and it was just a crappy outcome but I don’t know how to go on. I feel like I’m dying, or like I’m losing a limb. Help. Please someone help me because this is the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.
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Andrea,  Elwood is a beautiful boy.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I too lost my kitty Mitookie after a surgery that I thought would finally change his life for the better.  It is a long story, but the short of it is that I lost him 2 days after surgery.  I can't tell you all of the emotions that went through me.  The most prominent one being guilt.  Guilt that I put him through the surgery, even though I knew we were out of options.  I feel like I should have intervened earlier and maybe changed vets when he wasn't getting better before the surgery.  I was eaten up by guilt, then anger.  All the while wallowing in the deepest pain and sorrow ever.  It has been 3 weeks now.  Saturdays, like today, are especially hard because he died on a Saturday at the emergency vet hospital.  I hate to think about it but it plays over and over in my head.  I'm healing.  It does get better, but nothing is going to make the initial shock and pain go away except for you to try and be good to yourself.  Elwood would want that for you.  Cry, yell, scream, do whatever you need to do and don't feel bad about it.  You came to the right place.  Being on this forum has helped me navigate through the misery of the last 3 weeks.  I'm going to miss Mitookie forever.  No other pet will ever replace him in my heart.  I have two other cats I love very much, but the emptiness left by Mitookie is unfillable.  I still call his name by accident when I'm calling the other cats into the house. I still expect to see him greet me at the door when I get home.  I still expect to hear his loud beautiful Siamese cry telling me to get up and feed him.  There is a hole in my heart and a pain in my soul but I know Mitookie would want me to be at peace.  Please keep coming back when you need to talk about how you feel.  Everyone on this forum is experiencing or has experienced what you are feeling right now.  I pray that you will find some peace from your suffering as you grieve your beautiful baby.  Take care.

Marina ~ Mitookie's Mom
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I lost my beloved 15 year old Border mix Cody last Sunday at the emergency room. This wasn't my first loss and it just never gets easier. I feel your pain. Your Elwood was beautiful and a beautiful soul. Just think of all the wonderful times you spent with him and the awesome life he shared with you. There always a special place in your heart for the love of a furry companion and one of the hardest things is finding others who understand it. That's why we come to a place like this to share our grief. Talking about it and sharing our stories helps us handle the grief. It took me a few days before I could find the strength to really talk about it. I bawled like a baby for a few days. I found when I looked over the pictures and videos I had taken of Cody over the years it brought me much joy to see him alive. I felt it really helped me heal. I know he is gone but he remains alive in those moments frozen in time. You will recover and you will always have a special place in your heart for Elwood.
Rob J
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