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Hello everyone,
We had a Golden named Sydney, she died Sunday at the age of 11yrs 5 months.
About 2 weeks ago I filled her bowl for breakfast and she looked at her food and went and layed down. I knew she must have been feeling bad because she always ate. I just thought she must have a little bug or something and really didn't get to concerned at that point. For the next 4 or 5 days she ate on and off and I switched her food thinking she might just be tired of eating the same thing. Then we noticed her breathing harder than normal and I got very concerned. We noticed this labored breathing on the weekend so Monday afternoon we took her to the vet. They did a chest xray and said that her heart was enlarged and she was full of fluid. They showed us the xray and it was very cloudy because of the fluid. They gave us 2 medications to try for her. One was suppose to help circulation and the other was suppose to reduce the fluid. I thought she was getting a little better but not sure. I went back to talk to my vet on friday and discussed the situation. I could tell that he was concerned that she wasn't much better. Saturday morning she ate and layed down and wouldn't get back up. She had not been this bad up to this point. Up till this point she was getting up, walking around and asking for her attention and to be petted. I went back to talk to my vet at about 11:30 and I didn't take her with me because they were closing at 12 and she hated going to the vet. He told me that he thought she had a bleeding cancer tumor and that's why the meds weren't helping. He said he thinks the fluid is blood and these meds won't help that. They were closing so I made her an appointment for Monday to have him check her for cancer. She continued to decline saturday and had no energy at all. Saturday evening our kids that are grown now but grew up with her came to see her and loved on her all evening. Even though she was feeling bad she was loving all the attention. That evening she started throwing up and I was getting very torn about what to do. We decide to try to get through the night and see if she was any better in the morning. My wife and I slept right next to her. I kept an eye on her all night and I could tell she was uncomfortable and wasn't sleeping. At times her abdomen would contract and she would moan. I'm not sure what was causing that. At about 4:30am I noticed something was really wrong and got up to check on her. She was clinching her teeth very tight and I knew she was in pain. I became frantic and called the ER to make sure we could get her in because it was time. I couldn't stand to see her suffer. As we were getting dressed I heard what sounded like her throwing up again and I ran to check on her. She was squirming around on the floor and I couldn't even stand to watch so I ran back to my room to finish getting dressed. I rushed back to her and she was gone. She was not breathing and was dead.
I'm really struggling with the fact that she suffered. She was way too good and didn't deserve to suffer at all. I was trying to do what was best for her and save her but it didn't work out. The only good thing is she died at home, she hated going to the vet and she got that last day with the kids that she grew up with and loved.
I just really miss her and wish she was still here. She was the best!
 

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My heart goes out to you and your family. It is so hard to see the ones we love sufer. I realize it wont make you feel any better but Sydney knew that you loved her right up untill the end. She wouldnt want you to feel bad she is free of pain she ran across rainbow bridge into a glorious meadow and there are so many things t explore and people and animals to meet. She will always be a part of your heart for dogs they leave footprints their.
((hugs))

R.I.P Sydney gone but never forgotten. <3
 

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Chances are that this cancer was something called hemangiosarcoma. It grows in major blood vessels and can move very quickly and aggressively. Sometimes there are slow bleeds that cause problems, and sometimes large vessels will suddenly rupture. That's probably what happened at the end. It's a heartbreaking illness, and it's relatively common in older Goldens.

We don't have perfect knowledge of when our dogs will pass, so we can't make perfect decisions. You really should not beat yourself up for not knowing when that final health crisis was going to hit, because you had no way of knowing. The fact that you slept next to your girl and comforted her for her final night tells me all I need to know about your care for your dog. You were there for her.

There's really nothing to feel guilty about, and your dog certainly wouldn't want you to feel that way. She'd want you to be happy and to think of her the way she thought of you: with great love. You made your decisions with the dog's best interests at heart, and that's the only thing that matters here.

Why don't you tell us some more about Sydney and maybe post some pictures?
 

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Bailey Boy~ Best Friend
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First peace and love to you at a terribly difficult time. Please when you can do share some thoughts and photos of Sydney- but first I hope you can find some time yourself and embrace yourself with these. My heart goes out to you. Know they watch over us. I believe that with my whole heart.
 

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Please don't feel guilty. You didn't know.

We can only guess but I think our dogs would choose to be in their familar surroundings when it is time to move on to the bridge.

I am so sorry for your loss.

You and your family had Sydney for over 11 years and gave her the best. It was wonderful that she lasted long enough for all of her loved ones to make a visit.

It sounds like Sydney had hemangiosarcoma. It affects lots of our goldens. I know that each of us grieve differently but you are not alone.

Again I am so sorry.
 

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Gunner and Honey's Mom
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Your story was heart breaking... I'm so sorry for Sydney and your family. RIP dear Sydney!
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss. It's obvious that you loved your Sydney very much.
I just wanted to second what Tippy said - you can't beat yourself up for being unable to predict the future. We're human. We do the best we can for our dogs with the information we have at the time. That's all we can do. And it's all our dogs would expect of us.

I've been on both ends of it. I felt that I might have waited too long with one of my dogs and I beat myself up, thinking that he suffered. Because of that, I was determined that our other dog would never suffer, not even for one day, and when he became seriously ill, we had him put to sleep. And of course I beat myself up, thinking that maybe we 'gave up' too soon.
The bottom line is, I think we're bound and determined to second guess ourselves and feel guilty no matter what we do. But you really should go easy on yourself - you made decisions with Sydney's best interest in mind. You can't expect more of yourself than that.
 

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Dog Lover
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Sydney

Sydney

I am so very, very, sorry about Sydney, but you did what you thought was best for her and I AM SURE SHE KNEW HOW MUCH you loved her!
Glad that she died at home with the ones she loved.
Keep coming here for support-there is so much help here and lots of fun things, as well.
I am sure my Smooch and Snobear greeted Sydney at the Rainbow Bridge.
We lost them both to hemangiosarcoma in 2010.
 

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So very sorry for your loss. Rest in peace, Sydney.
 

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Bless you for giving Sydney the wonderful life that she had with you. There is no place for guilt in your memories of your girl. Please try to begin focusing on the the good part and everything she brought to your life. She was clearly a loved and cherished member of the family. My heart goes out to you for your loss....
 

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Pippa and Watson’s mom
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I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please remember all the wonderful years you shared with Sydney and don’t feel guilty for being human. You couldn’t leave for the ER in your underwear, and you couldn’t have known that those were her final moments.

Many years ago I lost my 11-year-old Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier unexpectedly as well. He’d been declining for a while, and one afternoon I took him to the vet when he seemed to be doing particularly badly. The vet told me he had a huge mass in his abdomen (must have grown very quickly because he’d had a check-up not long before then) and was failing. He suggested I consider putting him to sleep. My three little kids were due home from school in a few minutes, so I left Phineas with the vet and ran back home to wait for the bus. I figured I’d give them a chance to say goodbye before doing anything. But when I got home, the vet called to say that Phineas was in crisis--and in fact he died before I could even respond. I felt horrible that I wasn’t there for him, horrible that the kids didn’t get to say goodbye, and horrible that I hadn’t taken him in earlier. I just thought he was sleeping more because he was old. But they go when they’re ready to go, and we don’t have a crystal ball. I know he felt loved, and I know I did the best I could for him at the time. That’s all any of us can do.
 
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I just want to offer my condolences. Please do not feel guilty. That situation could happen to anyone-I lost my Belle to cancer last year. We went a week battling pancreatitis when in fact she had a tumors on her liver, stomach, etc. She was ill for a week before getting the correct diagnosis. What happened to Sydney could have happened to Belle. Unfortunately we let her go in the confines of vet specialist's office on a cold floor. I would have much rather her pass at home. Try and find peace in that.

I am so sorry. RIP Sydney.
 

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So sorry for your loss. I went through something similar with a cat I LOVED!! It's so hard to get those images out of your head...but you will feel better in time. There was nothing you could really do..at least you were there..she knows you love her.
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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I am so sorry for your loss....how horribly heartbreaking. Your post brought me to tears.

Sydney was a beautiful girl and she looks so happy with your family.

RIP Sydney.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. And I know how you feel. I will regret forever that our Angel Polly didn't not have a good end. But you can't know what you don't know. I console myself with the fact that I did the best I could at the time with what I knew. You have to do the same.

You loved her...and still do...you did what seemed right at the time. That's all any of us can do. She will live forever in your heart.

Rest in peace, dear one.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank everyone so much for all the kind words. It made me cry when reading all the replies but it is also very helpful. Our Sydney will never be forgotten and we will always miss her.
 

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I am so very sorry for your loss. :( Sydney was very loved, I can tell that from what you've written and I'm positive she knew that.

RIP Sydney...
 
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