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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Goodbye Megan 10-12-97 ~ 5-10-08

My husband Bob wrote this for me to post:

While we were on Vacation last month in North Carolina, Megan, our female Golden Retriever became ill and on April 16th and had to be taken to a local Veterinarian for treatment. She was fine one minute and on the floor unresponsive the next. She was somewhat better the next morning and we were able to bring her home. We took her back to the Veterinarian on April 21st and were told that she had the signs of early Liver failure. We began giving her medications that would take some of the load off the liver. On April 27th we brought her home and had her checked by a local Veterinarian who said that she appeared to be improving. On May 2nd she became ill again and we took her back to her local Veterinarian the afternoon of May 3rd. She had a distended abdomen that was filled with blood. They did an ultrasound and saw some masses on the Liver and Spleen. They had us immediately take her to Auburn University (a teaching hospital for Veterinary Medicine). They checked her out and told us that she had a hemangiosarcoma, which is a rare, rapidly growing, highly invasive variety of cancer. It is a blood-fed sarcoma; that is, blood vessels grow directly into the tumor and it is typically filled with blood. A frequent cause of death is the rupturing of this tumor, causing the victim to rapidly bleed to death. They gave her whole blood and ran several tests. They advised that the liver and pancreas were both highly involved and that she was not a candidate for surgery. They gave us days or weeks, so we took her home on May 5th and tried to love her and make her as comfortable as possible. On May 9th she got worse and would not eat and just lay around. Finally on May 10th we took her back to the Veterinarian for euthanasia. She died in my arms on May 10th at 1:25 PM.

It seems that Golden Retrievers have one of the highest rates for cancer in dogs. One in five Goldens have this condition. They don’t inherit the cancer itself but the inability to fight it off. They think it comes from something in the environment such as pesticides or other carcinogens. I was very careful with my dogs; I did not ever spray pesticides or fertilize the lawn. I guess I will never know where or how she became exposed. She had received good lab results back in September 2007 and again in March 2008. The Veterinarian said that they usually don’t find it until it is in the late stages . It can be diagnosed using ultrasound so it might be worth it to have an ultrasound run once a year, as they get older.

Megan lived to be 10 ½, which is about average for a Golden. She was born on October 12, 1997 and Died May 10, 2008. But boy did she change my live in that 10 and a ½ years in between.

While all of this is happening, Jordan, our male Golden Retriever got sick and started vomiting on May 8th, which turned to diarrhea on May 9th. We took him to the Emergency Animal Clinic early the Morning of May 10th. His packed red cells were almost double what they should be so they started him on a saline drip, as he was apparently very dehydrated. We went back to see him last night and they had him in an inverted lamp shade (apparently he decided to remove his own IV port. His eyes were all red and he was shaking all over. We took him outside and got him calmed down with the help of some Valium. On the evening of May 8th we gave him two Pepto-Bismol tablets, which we had been told for years and years to give to dogs for upset stomachs. Well it seems they have had a formula change and these tablets were still in his stomach on the evening of May 10th. The Veterinarian told us that she has seen more and more of these lately and they will not dissolve in a dog’s stomach. They contain a compound similar to aspirin and have been known to cause bleeding ulcers in dogs. They ran X-Rays on him and you could see the tablets plain as day, completely intact. They finally got his diarrhea and vomiting under control and gave him food and Metamucil in an attempt to get these tablets to moving and hopefully they will come out on their own. If not, we will have to have them removed surgically. This is a warning to everyone else; DO NOT under any circumstances give your dog Pepto-Bismol TABLETS! They are going to retest his blood today and run another series of X-Rays to see if the pesky little tablets are moving. We are keeping our fingers crossed that everything will come out OK and we can bring him home tonight. If not we will be going into surgery.

I hope and pray that this nightmare will be over soon and we can bring Jordan home and he can have a good life for the years that he has left. His daddy, Bo, is still alive and doing great at 12.


Jen said...

So sorry to here about your companions. People without pets cannot fathom why our hearts ache so much for their pain, and how much a part of us they become. I will pray for you and your family (doggy & human)for healing and comfort.
~Jen @ Visions & Verses

Cora from Nelia's Primitive Place said...

Cyndi, I read this the other day, and just couldn't comment. My eyes were all blurry from tears, and my heart too full! I know the pain you must be feeling, and I want you to know that you and your husband are in my prayers. I love you!!!!!


val said...

the loss of a loved one....any loved one is so hard t bear. Hold on to memories. That is what I like these blogs for....they are like journals.
I hope Jordan improved.