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This past sunday I lost my sweet girl Reina she was only 11 yrs and 1 month old. 5 years ago i lost my first golden at 10 years old.

I give Reina the best food including freshly made food as well as leafy greens and carrots, blueberries are her normal diet for the last 5 years. since she turned 10 i've made sure to get her blood work done every 3 months. Her latest bloodwork was back in end of August where everything came back clean Chest xrays, bloodwork etc. one Metric was her blood platelets were low but every other metric was normal. Her attitude, demeanor were all normal.

Fast forward to week of Nov 15, Monday thru Wednesday she is her normal self, very energetic eating normal playing normal. Thursday morning she acted a bit "off" meaning she didnt wake me up at 630am. She is like clock-work regardless of daylight savings time change, she barks at 630am each and every day to let me know shes hungry and wants breakfast. So thursday, i fed her around 7am and she did eat. but afterwards she went to lay on her pillow. she usually come to me right after for a treat after a meal. I had to go into office that day so i didnt get back until later evening. My wife was home but didnt noticed anything else unusual beside the fact she just wasn't as energetic. When i got home she was resting on her pillow and I figured let her get rest.

Friday morning, she didn't bark at 630am again, went to feed her and she didnt want food. I gave her some boiled chicken and she took few bites. few hours later she regurgitated all that out including what appears to be those while cottonish stuffing from her chew toy. So i thought maybe she isn't feeling well because of that. few hours later about 12pm i took her out to pee, when she went i saw a puddle of urine with blood. not heavy blood but diluted with urine. i immediately call my vet to get appt. he was booked, so i called a number of other vets to get in asap. Finally got a hold of one and took Reina there. they took bloodwork and i waited there for over an hour to get results. what they told me was Reina is anemic and have no platelets and very low RBC and needs to go to hospital for possible blood transfusion. They took xrays and all came back clean, no mass or anything. At this point i really have no idea what is happening to Reina. The closest hospital was 45min drive south of me. So I drove Reina down there, by this time it was later evening already. When I arrived, I had to carry Reina into the hospital because she either too weak and she didnt want to go in. Once in, i saw she had some blood dripping from her nose and was just lying down as i check her in. The Triage team came right away to take her in. Due to covid, i had to wait outside and i cannot even be in with her.

I waited more than an hour the doctor finally called me after running test and diagnose her with autoimmune disease ITP, where her body is killing all the good blood cells thinking theres an infection. And the fact that she has little to no platelets any sudden bleeding is life threatening. When i heard this i had no words, i felt my stomach was in my throat. i'm just so ill. Doc said she will have to stay in hospital in ICU until she stablize. So i went home friday without Reina. I don't know how i drove home for 45min while crying.

Saturday morning, Doc called and said Reina blood dropped again and need immediate blood transfusion, i said ok do everything you can to make sure she's ok. that process took 3-4 hours, then after they did an abdominal ultrasound. Saturday procedures all went fine, results of ultrasound also came back clean. Doc confirmed diagnosis of ITP but in Reina's case is pretty severe. The also gave her the chemo drug "Vinchristine" i beleive, that is an immunosuppressant drug that can help. But they said it'll take 3-4 days to take effect. I would call every few hours to check in and doc told me in a friendly way, "no news is good news" when you keep calling it is disrupting doctor from treatment. They said that they see alot of cases of ITP so they are well versed. I understand but I am just so nervous.

Sunday morning 11am doc called me and said Reina losing alot of Blood again. need another transfusion i said yes ofcourse you have to make her better. I didnt get a call until almost 6pm. She said Reina blood is holding steady at 20 PCV. she drank some water but still didnt want to eat. Her demeanor appears "slightly" improved. Now when i hear this news and i am just trying to grasp to any positive news i can...this is positive news. so they said doc will monitor overnight, no news is good news. if any concerns doc will call me.

around 945pm Sunday night, i texted my wife( she is at her moms) i said, "i'm nervous, my stomach is turning i can't sit still...i dont want calls from doctor tonight and i dont know how i'm going to make it till morning." within 5 seconds, i got a call from hospital. Doc said Reina just went into cardiac arrest, she's dead. I said WHAT?! doc said you need to drive down here now.

I didnt' ever get to say goodbye. Friday i thought i just brought her in for treatment. She is such a healthy dog, no diseases no cancer i was so diligent in getting her closely monitored. But now its this "Autoimmune disease" that came out of nowhere?!!
I dont know what to do anymore.

I have a 4 year old Golden now, she stares at the front door each day waiting for Reina to return. I am so sad. This is just too sudden.
 

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I am sorry, that is heartbreaking. I don't think it's "you" that is causing them to not live into teens. This wonderful amazing breed just has more problems than is fair.
 

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I am so sorry. This is such a sad story. Both my previous Golden Retrievers only made it to around 12.5 years old. I hope you can find comfort in thinking about what a well loved life you gave her.
 

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I’m so sorry. What a terrible thing for you to go through.

I’ve lost three dogs suddenly at age 10…and one was barely age 10. One to hemangiosarcoma, one to idiopathic kidney failure, and one to intestinal lymphoma. They all had the best life and the best care I could give them, just as you obviously did with your lovely girl. My other dogs lived into their teens…and they all had the same care, the same diet, the same exercise, the same environment. Just different breeds, different genetics.

In the end, all we can do is all we can do. There are parts of this that we just don’t control. I found out later that my dog who died of lymphoma had a litter mate who died almost on the same day from the same disease three states away. In a strange way, that was a comfort to me, because it meant that there was something a lot more powerful than I was that was involved. I wasn’t going to win that one, no matter how much I loved that girl.

You did everything you possibly could. I send you my sincere sympathies.
 

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I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Reina, I love her name so much.
I’ve had something similar with my cat, severe anemia that came in suddenly and is caused by an autoimmune disorder.
I’m so sorry you didn’t get to say goodbye to your girl, please take comfort in knowing you did everything you could possibly do to give her the care she needed. Obviously you loved her very much and I’m sure she had a wonderful life with you. None of this is your fault.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss of Reina. We lost our Honey at 11y1m old earlier this month to hemangiosarcoma.
Sending hugs and I'll keep you in my thoughts.
 

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Oh, look at that face. Impossible not to fall in love. I'm so sorry for your loss. Even if they lived to their teens, it wouldn't be long enough. :(
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss of Reina. My Golden, Luke, got an aggressive cancer (it destroyed his red blood cells) at the age of eight and died four months later right after he turned nine. It broke my heart and I can understand why it would be even harder if you didn't get to say goodbye. Luke took a piece of my heart with him. I cried every day for about six weeks. My little Cavalier King Charles, Abby, would run around me for at least a month after Luke died looking for him every time I came in the door. It was awful.

It's been over two years and I think of Luke often. I have a Golden named Logan now and he is also the light of my life. He's not a replacement for Luke -- he's his own kind of wonderful -- but it was too hard for me to not have a Golden Retriever in my life. We also like to have two dogs at a time -- partly so they can have company when we are out and about.

Your grief is so fresh. I hope, in time, memories of your time with Reina will make you smile and give you comfort. Again, I'm so very sorry.
 

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Our life with these precious dogs is so short but you did everything you could to make her life the best while she was here on earth. I'm so sorry you lost your Reina. I hope you find comfort at some point knowing you gave her your all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for all your condolences. Also, please accept my condolences for Luke & Honey & Winniesmom's cat.

I just love Reina so much, i understand we outlive our dogs but it doesnt matter how they pass it is always a shock and I am devastated. the struggle right now is obviously I am in the beginning stage of grieving. 2 main thought that keep running into my head that is constantly bringing me to tears....I didnt get to say goodbye to Reina, I didn't know i had to say good bye to Reina. I just rushed her to vet and then hospital to get treatment. once they took her in, i never saw her again. 2nd is how she went from normal self to so sick and internal bleeding so fast that took her life. I feel I brought her to medical attention as soon as i saw warning signs from her that require doctor. But that was still not fast enough to save her.
 

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For what it’s worth, as a former LVT, I’ve seen a lot of dogs leave us. It never got any easier.

But I do believe that dogs don’t have the same fear of death that we do. Death is a natural process and it’s my belief that animals are more at peace with it than we humans are, by far.

The staff no doubt kept her as comfortable as possible medically…and they would have cuddled and soothed her as much as they could, especially given what a lovely dog she was. The sweet pets always are staff favorites.

You gave her a wonderful life and you were doing the best you could for her at its end. She knew how very much you loved her, always.
 
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