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Unbelievable


Tripleplay

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It has taken a while to be able to make this post!

On February 15th my wife and daughters took my 5 yr old GSP and our 5 month old Basset Hound puppy to the vet/kennel where they were going to be boarded during our vacation. On the way to the vet, my wife called to tell me that one of my daughters had noticed that Tess my Shorthair was all yellow in the whites of her eyes. This I knew was not good and I got busy getting out of work. One of the features of boarding at this location is they always do a vet tech check and sometimes even a vet will do a quick look over of your pet before being boarded.

Sure enough, I'm in the truck driving towards the kennel (45 minute drive on a good day from my work place) and they call to tell me this is very serious and they are starting to do some blood work ($400 of lab tests) which I of course approved. By the time I arrive, the vet is back in with my wife and daughters and I've picked up my son from home figuring this isn't looking good. Basically the vet tells me Tess is in severe liver failure based on the lab results. From there, they can not accept her as she needs to be monitored 100% of the time and that if she hadn't come to the vet today she likely had less than 2 weeks to live before she bled out from her clotting factors failing. The only options are to put her down or take to the Univ of MN where they would place her in ICU and then do an ultrasound in the morning when a Radiologist is onsite. (the cost for this alone was $1,100 estimated)

The ultrasound had a 30% chance of determining the cause of the liver failure (infection and blockage were the likely candidates). From there, depending on the cause of the liver failure, there was even a lower chance of treating/curing. Next step was that because of the high degree of damage she had already done to her liver she would require special diet and monitoring (lab work) and it was possible she could maybe hunt again in a limited capacity.

Just need to remind you that at this point our family is supposed to be on a plane for vacation at 9AM the next morning! I can honestly tell you that it took in excess of 90 minutes for me to make the decision while asking if they could get the University to call a Radiologist in for the night so that I could get a diagnosis. This was not a viable option as they needed to stabilize her before the ultrasound, etc..

I finally decided we had no option but to put her down. I can tell you that this dog was as strong as they come and she wagged her tell the whole time laying on the pillow we had brought for her boarding. She managed to knock the syringe out the first time and only got a partial dose of the anesthetic which actually "excited" her. They got a second dose with my wife and I holding her (all of us have been crying for the last 2 hours) and this one only manages to basically sedate her (heart still beating faintly). In some ways this extended the pain and in other ways it allowed me to continue to talk to her and not have to let her go! It actually took a third injection.

Vacation started out crappy and then having to come home and not having her at the kennel to come back home might have been even worse.

Unfortunately I'll never know what caused this and I have to admit that we missed some of the signs and symptoms that maybe would have allowed us to catch this sooner. She definitely had a down turn in her appetite but we were changing foods and trying different flavors of Pro Plan so just thought it was a taste issue. On this dog you hardly ever would see the whites of her eyes as she typically turned her head not swiveled her eyes. Both my wife and I had noticed a darkening of her urine but not to a degree that we had taken issue with it. Upon review at the vets, her gums were yellow as well as the underside of her ears and even to an extent her belly but you had to be looking for it to see it.

I do know that the Diamond Dog Food issue actually caused liver failure but this dog was on Pro Plan which is rice based so that shouldn't have been the problem. Also, the vet indicated that they see this in dogs that are on farms/ranches and hunting dogs from exposure to some fungus that is more common in ponds but that it shouldn't have waited this many months since she was last in a pond hunting.

________________________

Guys & Gals---I've now put down two family dogs in 6 months after never going through this before in my life (15 yr old weiner dog, six months ago as well). Do me a big favor and give your best buddy a hug and a kiss as I miss my Tess something fierce!!!

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wow that was really hard for me to read. I have a 5 month GSP and already attached and I tried to put myself in your situation and having to do all that I dont think I could.

Will gladly give him and extra hug tonight, keeping you and your dog in my thoughts.

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WOW, absolutely gut-wrenching story to read tripleplay! I feel for ya man... frown.gif

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My heart goes out to ya.....reading this made me decide to go home RIGHT NOW and get my two labs out for some good fun.

Hopefully things will beging to look up for you soon.

Chris

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I feel where you are coming from.I had to make a decision like yours as my English pointer got in to some rat poison.The vet spent 600 and said with another 500 or so and 2-3 months time, he might live.He also said the dog would never gain back all his body weight and the eye loss would only to a percent return.Hardest thing I have ever had to do was to tell him to put him down.I was really sick for weeks as I know I did it to the dog.I felt for the sake of the dog it was the best thing to do as he would never hunt the same or again and was 12.

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Sorry about your loss. I will hug my best friend for you tonight!!!!!!

Good luck

Brian

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Wow... I am so sorry to hear that story and for your loss. I just got my first puppy two months ago and havnt had a bad day since. I could not imagine losing her even after this short of a time period. It must have been expontentially worse after 5 years.

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Tripleplay... So sorry to hear of your loss. They do get to be a very intergal and important part of the family don't they! My dog is now 12 and I know that in the future I will have to make that same decision some day. I dread when that days comes. Take refuge in all of the good memories that you have of the 5 years that you were able to share with her. Have a good one././Jimbo

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Tripleplay, I know what you went through. I posted a month ago now about losing my golden (will be a month on Monday, but who's counting?). Same situation as yours, except we had enough time and monitoring to know it was liver cancer. Based on the symptoms you gave, they were exactly like our dog's. Took him to the vet on a Wednesday, and he died on the next Monday. Nobody could do anything to help him. I still miss him dearly. We did get another new puppy, but it definitely is not a replacement, we just couldn't stand the silence around the house. Just remember the good times with fondness, and know others can feel for you.

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sorry to hear about your dog

We have a similiar problem my dog had a ruptured disc about a month ago and she just keeps getting worse. I know the day is coming but it's just so hard when she's only 7.

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Tripleplay,

I am very sorry to hear about this. It's tough to make a decision like that. However, I believe you did the right thing for your dog.

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I too am sorry for your loss. I am in a position where I have to be fair to my dog and give him up for adoption. It will be a sad day when I take him to his new home. Not the same as your loss but sad none the less. I have posts in Hunting Dogs and Free Stuff if you want more details.

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I too am very sorry for your loss...I have a 1 year old GSP that would be very very hard to lose...

Also, right after reading this post...I got a call from a friends who's dog was just hit by a car and died...what a sad day! I am defineatly going to give my buddy a huge hug when I get home.

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Thanks everyone for the kind posts!!!

I still find it hard to believe that I had to put down a dog that was strong enough to require three injections to get that part done. The guilt is still heavy, but in my heart I know I made the right decision for her.

I also continue to struggle with whether the timing of the vacation caused me to make this decision and whether I would have made a different decision if no vacation. Of course, I wouldn't have known about the problem without the vacation and I'll never really know because it was just one of the many factors involved.

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Sorry for your loss tripleplay. You did the right thing though. I know it's hard but you have to accept the decision you made as being the best decision for your dog. It may not have been the best for you and your family, but it was for your dog. Our dogs really do become memebers of the family. My Dad died of a massive heart attack 2 years ago next month. The doctors got his heart beating again after 45 minutes of working on him. At this point he was basically brain dead. We had to make the decision of to either take him off life support or wait for him to possibly wake up and never be able to feed or cloth himself again. So we made the decision that was best for him. It wasn't best for us, cause we didn't want to let him go, but it was for him. It is what he would have wanted.

I hope this helps ease your mind about the decision you made. You made the right call. Take care!

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