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EmmaDada
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello- I'm new to this forum and am here with heartache. On Tuesday we lost our 2.5 year old golden, Emma. We awoke to find she had died in her sleep- laying on our bed at our feet. We are struggling to figure out what happened.

Emma had been to the vet three times since 1/19. We took her on a pretty mellow but hour-long hike on 1/17 and she stopped about half-way through. We took her to the vet on 1/19, and they diagnosed her with hypothyroid. This made sense, as she'd been pretty mellow for the past few months. We left the vet that day at 6:00 p.m. and by the next morning, realized that Emma was holding her tail straight down and wouldn't move it. We took her back in, and saw a different doctor that day. Our thought was when the first vet took her back for her exam (why on Earth do they not do that in front of us?), they inadvertently pulled her tail and maybe sprained it. The new vet suspected Valley Fever (those of you in the southwest are probably very familiar with that - it's a fungal spore that lives in the dirt/dust out here). VF can sometimes cause pain in isolated areas. We ran Xrays the next day (1/21). We also saw and Ortho specialist on 1/28. The Xrays confirmed she had no ortho injuries, but additional blood work confirmed VF.

Emma was on meds for both hypothyroid and VF. She showed significant improvement as each day went on. Her tail improved, but she would only move it up and to the right, never the left. We were horrified to find her on Tuesday morning. I contacted both the vet and the ortho specialist to see what they thought could of happened: overdose or reaction from meds? Valley Fever? seizure? what??? After running through all the possibilities, the ortho suggested an underlying heart condition, or possible blood clot. After all that - here's my question: does anyone know if a blood clot could have resulted from that first vet pulling on her tail? I sure do hope this was an underlying heart condition - versus a blood clot that was caused by the first vet.
 

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EmmaDada
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Dallas Gold - we were told that the necropsy would not do any good to identify a heart defect, and may not even show if there was a blood clot. We did initially consider that, but because the process is so brutal and may not yield any determinable results, opted not to proceed.
 

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Mandy's Mom
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My heart aches for you, I am so very sorry for your loss. Emma was a beautiful.
 
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Oh my, I'm so sorry for your loss, especially in such young dog. My deepest condolences.
 
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I teared up reading your post. That must have been absolutely devastating. I am so sorry for your loss. She was so young.

Sadly, you may never know what happened without the necropsy. It's impossible to guess what happened. I'm just so sorry.
 
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I'm so sorry.
 

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I am so terribly sorry for her loss. She was much too young to leave.

I don't see how pulling her tail would have caused a blood clot, it doesn't seem likely to me. And I really am not sure that, that even happened. I think it's more likely the limp tail was due to the infection. Based on the suddenness, I would agree with an underlying heart problem, if she had one an infection could have caused stress on the heart.

Again I am so terribly sorry. I hope that you will be able to move past the whys and what ifs, I know that's a hard thing to do with this being such a shocking loss.

Sleeping at your feet in your warm bed...she did not leave you sick or scared. She left surrounded by your love. I hope that doesn't come across the wrong way.
 

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EmmaDada
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mylissyk - thank you for your heartfelt and insightful words. It is hard to deal with both the shock and the grief. I think your thoughts about the illnesses just contributing to this problem may be true.
 

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I'm so very sorry for your loss of Emma, she was beautiful.

It's overwhelming and devastating any time you lose a dog, but to lose one so young and unexpectedly is even harder. My heart goes out to you.

I believe life and death are out of our control for the most part and your questioning Emma's loss is part of the shock of it as well as the grieving process.

My thoughts are with you as you begin this journey for your heart to heal and find peace.

Godspeed Emma
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss in such a young beautiful golden. Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing she was not alone when she passed, but with her family.
 
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Nancy
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I am so very sorry for your loss. I also think the tail thing does not have anything to do with her sudden death, but I am sure it was a symptom of her disease.
I found a link talking about Valley Fever and I really believe that is what caused the death of your precious girl.
https://www.vfce.arizona.edu/valleyfeverinpets/vfid-symp.aspx
I agree, I don't think pulling or manipulating a tail would lead to a blood clot.

I'm so sorry for your loss.
 
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I am so sorry to hear of your sudden loss.
when Brooks was about that age we took him on a several hour walk in the woods, not overly strenuous but he was having a great time running and jumping over fallen logs, clambering over banks and jumping into the lake. That evening he kept trying to lick at his tail and if we tried to touch it we could tell it hurt him, and we noticed it was just hanging down....like you described in your post. We took him to the vet and he called it "Cold water tail" amand others have called it "limber tail". I just wondered if the tail issue for your dog coild have been the same thing (in addition to heart etc)
 

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I am so so sorry for the loss of your young girl. It is so much harder when they are young and seem so healthy otherwise.

I agree-the tail thing sounds more like dead tail or limber tail. I don't see it as related to the death of your girl.

It sounds more like an issue with the heart or something similar. I had a friend who had several young dogs out of her lines drop dead. Necropsies were done on at least 3 of them, and no cause was ever found. Hearts were normal in every way. My friend, after much research and many phone calls, speculates that perhaps it was an electrical issue with the impulses to the heart. Nothing could have been done, unfortunately.
 

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EmmaDada
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Tahnee GR - thank you for sharing your friend's experience on the necropsies - it was truly a difficult decision to not pursue one, but we felt that it was not likely to reveal the cause of death. I wish we could have at least done bloodwork. Our orthopedic surgeon was really good about (calling me back immediately - as she'd just seen Emma only days earlier) going through a list of possibilities and explaining why she thought they each were not likely. She did feel the heart was the culprit, and assured that the necropsy was not likely to reveal either heart or blood clot - the two most likely scenarios.
 
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