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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, I’d just like to vent, if you don’t mind. Yesterday I lost my 9 year old lab mix, Yoda. Up until 3 days earlier, he had been his normal self. We were so busy getting ready for Christmas, with 3 kids under 7, that it wasn’t until I sat down Christmas Eve that I noticed he had very labored breathing. I sent some videos to my cousin, who is a vet tech, and she advised me to get him seen. I wasn’t thrilled to make the 35 min drive to the emergency vet on Christmas Eve at 11:30 pm, knowing all that needed to be done the next day, but I couldn’t bear the thought of something happening to Yoda and having done nothing.

I waited an hour at the vet before they finally called me back. Much to my surprise, they told me his harness was too tight and likely irritating his larynx, causing his heavy breathing. I was a bit shocked at such a simple diagnosis. My cousin told me to push for x-rays, but I was so exhausted and wanted to trust the vet, so I accepted it and we went home. I felt relieved.

Christmas was busy and, as I do when lots of food is involved, I had Yoda and his doggy brother outside so they wouldn’t steal the turkey. I regret this greatly now, knowing what he was going through. The next day, I could see that his breathing was still troubling and he also stopped eating. I waved turkey in his face and he turned his head!! I told my husband he needed to take him to the regular vet while I was at work the next day.

The next day, I waited for news from my husband. I expected pneumonia, an infection, something miserable, but treatable. Yoda was 9 years old and perfectly healthy. My husband called me with the vet on speaker phone. They had done an x-Ray and she had “bad news”. Yoda had cancer and it was all over. It was in his lungs, his heart. His heart was enlarged and surrounded by fluid. The vet said there is nothing I can do for him and he’s just beginning to suffer, now is the time to let him go before it happens in an awful, painful way.

I left work, I drove to the vet. I cried, I hugged Yoda. I pet him and I cried. I always thought I’d have days leading up to something like this, time to spoil him and tell him how much I loved him. Instead, here I was with 30 min to process it, having to say goodbye to my 9 year old dog.

I’ve been in bed ever since, I can’t eat. I wonder if I should have given him one more day at home. The vet was so sure of what needed to happen. And my husband says it would have been selfish to make him suffer to spend more time with him. But I still feel totally blind-sided by it all. And the ER vet... should I call them? Should I tell them how wrong their diagnosis was? Will that make me feel better? They spared me spending my Christmas knowing I was about to lose my best friend, but they also robbed me of the opportunity to make the most of my last few days with him.

I’m frustrated and I feel awful. In my mind, I imagined I would be prepared when this time came, but 9 was too young and 30 minutes wasn’t enough time to process my feelings. I’m heartbroken. Yoda was the perfect dog. Not an aggressive bone in his body. Never barked. He was calm, happy, sweet. Irreplaceable.

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #2 
Im sorry for your loss.  Yesterday I had to say goodbye to my12 year old standard poodle Tessie due to mammary cancer that came back with a vengeance in October.  I tried chemo, didn't work she was too far gone, and the tumors were getting so huge they were eventually going to rupture.  I am devastated, and like you, this smart, cute, poised and sassy girl is gone.  I am devastated.  Hugs to you...

Tessie's momma

Mary Ahearn

Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #3 
Sorry to hear about Yoda. I read your story and it is so sad that the ending was so sudden and not the way you expected it. I felt the same when my golden retriever Benjalo got sick suddenly and died. I didn't understand how serious it was (cancer) as the only signs he displayed was occasional vomit, went off his food and lied around sleeping a lot. Seemed like he had a tummy bug or something. It was the last week when it became more apparent that it was more serious when he started to lose weight quickly and was drooling sometimes and looked weaker.

It's been 3.5 months since he died. With the passage of time it does get easier. The first month I was on medication for anxiety as I was having trouble breathing after he died. The shock was too much

I went against the vet's advice to put him down because although I could see he was ill, I wanted to take the chemo option to get him better. They said he could live another year with it. He was admitted in the hospital overnight to start getting his vitals stronger so we could look at the chemo option the next day. He sadly stopped breathing the next morning and died at 924am. I'm glad to say he didn't suffer and just slowed down his breathing whilst a nurse stroked him in her arms as she could see it was his time to go. This is what is the shocking part of it. I didn't expect any of this to happen as I thought it was a tummy bug by his symptoms and it all happened so quick.

Whether you put Yoda down or not probably doesn't matter as the outcome would likely be the same. The cancer is so aggressive and dogs are biologically programmed to hide their pain to prevent being ejected from the pack. You know in your heart you done the right thing

I usually don't login to this forum anymore as I'm trying to move on. However I had a flashback of one night when we first suspected something was wrong with Benjalo. He cried in the middle of the night to wake me up. I thought he wanted the toilet so I quickly got ready to take him out. He ran straight to his water bowl and drank the whole thing. He has never done that and didn't do it again after.

Some of these memories are haunting but the do fade with time and you are left with the love and happiness they brought into our lives x
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