Join Date: May 2012
Location: Washington State
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Oh, I'm so sorry for the sudden loss of your sweet Tess.
We had a very similar experience back in March, with our Yellow Lab, Sophie. She was 10 years old. We had a fun day at the park, she even got to go swimming. When we got home, she jumped out of the back of my car and let out a yelp, then fell onto our front lawn. We could barely get her up to get her inside the house. She made it inside, then collapsed on the floor. She was shaking & trembling...but, she was still wet from her swim, so we thought maybe she was in some sort of shock from the cold water. So we heated up blankets in the dryer, and wrapped her up for a few minutes, but it did no good. We decided to run her down to our 24 hour animal hospital (it was a Saturday night), and they took her straight to the back for x-rays and ultrasounds. After a while, the vet came out and told us that she had a tumor on her spleen that had burst, and her abdomen was full of blood. She told us they could try to remove the spleen, but she'd probably bleed out during surgery. If she did survive the surgery, and the tumor was cancerous (which the vet was most positive it would be), she would have had to have chemo every week for 4 months. And, if we did all that, we were told she may live 6 months. We decided on the spot that we didn't want the end of her life to be chemo and feeling sickly. So, we made the horrible decision to put her down that night. It was so awful, being sudden like that. We were not prepared at all to say goodbye to our sweet girl. We thought she'd get old, and we'd see a steady decline, and we could prepare ourselves for what was coming. We never dreamed she'd be gone so suddenly. It was heartbreaking and shocking. And, I know what you mean about coming home to an empty house. The absence is overwhelming. Everywhere I looked, I saw Sophie. On her couch...at her food dish...on our bed...she was still everywhere. Her toys were still strewn around the house, and I couldn't bring myself to pick them up. It was too final. The first week was just awful...I've never cried so much in my life. The second week was better, but we were aching for a wagging tail to greet us at the door. So...only two weeks after we lost Sophie, we brought Aspen home. We weren't trying to replace Sophie herself...but to fill the void she left in our lives. Aspen was the "Golden' ticket! Having a rambunctious puppy in the house left us no time for grief. Her funny antics brought laughter back into our home, instead of tears. We still missed Sophie terribly...and always will. But, it has been such a help to have a new pup. Life without a dog isn't much fun at all.
I do want to add...that we noticed Sophie had started moaning about a year before she died. I took her to the vet, and was told she was probably just getting arthritis, and it was uncomfortable for her when she'd lay down. Although, she moaned with pleasure too...when I'd rub her ears, she'd moan loudly. We came to find it kind of funny. But, now I wish we'd looked into it more, because it was probably the discomfort of the tumor making her moan when she'd lay down, and maybe we could have done something to help her early on. But, we had no idea. As far as symptoms, that's all I can think of. She always ate well, played well, slept well...no symptoms at all.