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1561423 tn?1324424900

Wish I knew what happened to my dog.


My dog would have been 2 years old today, and we have to bury him on his 2nd birthday. I still don't know how he got sick or how he died, and it makes me feel incredibly guilty. My heart hurts and I don't know how to stop it. He had been under the weather a day or two beforehand. He didn't seem very sick, just not as playful and slower to move, nothing that really set off alarm bells. Later that evening he vomited a small amount of something bright green, which I assumed was bile because he didn't eat that evening as usual. I gave him some anti-nausea meds given to me by the vet and they did help, but he still didn't seem like himself. Later that night while I was sleeping, he vomited green/yellow a couple more times because I found the stains on the carpet. I went to look for him and found him whimpering under my son's bed. I immediately took him to the vet and although she was packed, she allowed me to drop him off and would keep me informed by phone of his progress and consultation results. I got a call about 11 that morning (yesterday morning) and she said after given intravenous fluids, he was having some pretty bad vomiting and very slight diarrhea. On the exam findings, she noted he had extreme tenderness of the abdominal area and his ab area was as tight as a drum. At this point she suspected ingestion of a toxin, an abdominal obstruction, or a remote possibility could also be a back injury, since these symptoms could indicate pain and he is part dachshund. She did tell me that, in the event that it was an obstruction, something made of rubber or certain other materials would not show up on xray due to them being the same density as the tissue. Turns out that all images were normal, but showed some accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. She gave him IV reglan and tested him for Parvo just in case, although he had been vaccinated..parvo was negative. She diagnosed him with having a mild case of gastroenteritis and prescribed him an antibiotic, another anti-nausea med, and a stool solidifier, as well as some cans of bland gastro intestinal dog food. I went to pick him up around 4:30 yesterday afternoon and he looked horrible. He had vomit on his chin, smelled bad, and could barely hold his head up. On the way home, he laid down in my lap wrapped in a towel, and I tried to comfort him the best I could. I noticed he was breathing heavily and his heart was pounding, I could see it right above his leg in the lower abdomen. I thought it was just because of the stress of being at the vet that day. He didn't seem very responsive either. When we got home, I laid him down in his bed and sat next to him...he never moved after that. He cried out a couple of times and vomited once, but that was it. I felt so very helpless. At around 5:30, he let out a cry, his body tensed, and he was gone. It all happened so quickly, and I have no idea what happened. I feel an incredible sense of sadness today, and don't know what I could have done to change the outcome. I began to think someone might have poisoned him, but we have a privacy fenced back yard, and the only time they are out there is to potty or occasionally we when leave..so it doesn't seem likely. I just don't know. He was vaccinated and my other two dogs are fine. My female doxie (his sister) did get sick like this a couple of months ago as well, but she mostly had diarrhea and recovered completely. I'm wondering if it's possible that there is some kind of plant or environmental toxin in the back yard that I am not aware of? I'm grasping at straws because I just don't know, and I am afraid of my other 2 dogs getting sick now. I can't help but feel like this is all my fault and it hurts. :(
24 Responses
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1916673 tn?1420233270
I am so very sorry to read your story. It must be heartbreaking to have this happen to your dog at such a young age (truthly, it would be aweful at any age). I can't imagine there was anything more you could have done to change the eventual outcome. You did all that a loving and responsible dog owner should do. I know you may feel guilty, but please don't, as you have no reason to be. Sadly, it is just one of those things.

Without an autopsy you may never truly know what your little friend may have ingested or what caused the problem. You could do something positive however that might help protect your other dogs. You have already mentioned plants and shrubs in the back yard. Try to identify all the plants out there and then check to see whether any are toxic to dogs. This may take a bit of research, but the internet is very useful for this. If it isn't a plant or shrub, it could be something that someone has put down such as a weedkiller or algae spray - does anyone else have access to the back yard other than you and your family?

It could also of course just be something he has eaten, such as plastic or rubber parts. Dogs often pick up small things to chew on and even the most careful owner can't prevent some dogs from eating things that might cause an abdomenal obstruction. All we can hope to do is maintain our vigilance against such events by being as careful as possible.

I am really sorry for your loss and I know you are grieving. It's a dreadful process that we all go through when we lose our best friend. I am also grieving after losing my 12 year old lurcher, BB, just a few weeks ago because of kidney disease. As the days roll into weeks, it will get easier, even though right now it must seem like it won't. My heart truly goes out to you. Big hugs, Tony
Helpful - 0
675347 tn?1365460645
COMMUNITY LEADER
I am terrible sorry to hear your dog passed away like this. You did your very best for him, that much is obvious, and he would have known you were trying to help him. They do.

The only thing I question is why, when he was obviously so critically ill -did the vet let him go yesterday?
The one good thing was he passed away at home, with familiar things around him, and with you and your love. He may have died at the vet's office, and that would have been worse for him.

I know how awful losing a beloved dog is I understand your pain.
Hugs from me too.
Helpful - 0
974371 tn?1424653129
Oh, how heartbreaking and I feel so bad for you. As stated, unless a necropsy and blood work was done, probably no way to tell what happened exactly. I take it your Vet did blood work?  I question also why she sent such an ill dog home but at least he passed in familiar surroundings.  
Yes, do check around the house and yards to see if you can come up with something, if it was something he ingested.  
So sorry for your loss.
hugs  
Helpful - 0
675347 tn?1365460645
COMMUNITY LEADER
It couldn't be that you have cocoa mulch either in your yard or on pathways? Apparently it smells interesting to dogs, and they often ingest it, and it can cause blockages, as well as being toxic
Helpful - 0
1561423 tn?1324424900
Thanks everyone, I wish I knew. I keep asking myself the same thing, why in the world did she send him home when he was so obviously sick. He looked terrible. I sincerely hope this isn't the case, but the only thing I can chalk it up to is the fact that it was Friday afternoon and closing time, and they just didn't want to deal with it. Being a trained professional, how could she have not known that he was gravely ill? I just don't understand. This very question will be addressed first thing Monday morning when I call to tell them he died only a hour after being released from her office. I keep trying not to place blame, but yes, I have been angered by it ever since. I switched to her a year ago after strong recommendation from a family member, and now I just don't think I will be able to take my pets there in good faith anymore. I took him there in trust that she would do everything she could for him, but I couldn't believe that he came out of there looking even sicker than when I took him in. It pains me to know that he had to spend his very last day scared and stressed in unfamiliar surroundings, and that he might have been suffering during that time.  However, as you guys mentioned, I am glad he was at home surrounded by us when he passed rather than at the vets office. I am thankful that I was able to comfort him in his final hour. Maybe that is what he was holding out for.
Helpful - 0
1561423 tn?1324424900
Forgot to add, I will check the plants and if there is a possibility of cocoa mulch used in the landscaping. We just bought the house and moved here in August, and my dogs never got sick before then. There was preexisting mulch, but I'm unsure of what kind. The only people that have access to our backyard are the pest control workers that check the termite traps/barriers around the perimeter of the house. I don't know if it's a possibility that the termite traps could be making them sick, but I didn't think so since they are enclosed. Maybe I should check with the pest control company just to be sure.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I don't think your dog should have been sent home in the condition he was in, no matter how busy the vet was.  He should have at least stayed overnight for observation, where he could have been checked periodically by a professional.  I would lose your vet.
Helpful - 0
1801781 tn?1461629469
Your story makes me cry and want to smack the vet!  If the vet did not want to deal with it, she should have sent you to an all night emergency hospital for further care.  We have one here in our town that is very reputable and we have used it as it is open 24 hrs. and although not cheap..good to know it is there when we need it.  I am so sorry for your loss and hope you find what happened.  
Helpful - 0
675347 tn?1365460645
COMMUNITY LEADER
Many vets are trustworthy, professional and caring, who have great skills in medicine. But what we have to do is never to be afraid to ask questions of them. We can all sometimes just accept without question whatever a vet (or doctor) does or recommends. We are inclined to think that they know best, thus even if we see something our instincts tell us is amiss, we blindly trust. Medicine -veterinary or otherwise -s a mystery to many of us, so we trust the professionals.
Most times there's nothing wrong with that. They do know best.....
But there is no harm, ever, in asking questions. Remember, we are paying them for their services.
So ask questions if you feel something isn't quite right. Even if you think you're being a nuisance.
Helpful - 0
1916673 tn?1420233270
The termite traps are a distinct possibility ... even if they are enclosed, you should identify if they use any poisons or other substances in them and, if so, whether a spillage could have caused your dog's problems. We don't have termite traps in the UK, but similar traps used for mice and rats use very dangerous poisons - just a thought.

I also agree totally with what ginger has said, it's always worth asking questions of your vet, particularly if you think they did something unprofessional. If you do, try to stay calm and take in the answers he or she gives you, then once you leave, write the answers down as best you can remember them. This may prove useful if you feel you want to take matters further, for example, consulting with a professional body or organisation.

Once again, I am so sorry for your loss and your bad experience with the vet. The vast majority of vets are amazing people with a wealth of knowledge, ability and compassion - but as with all professions, there are also a small minority of vets that fail to meet expectations. Tony
Helpful - 0
1561423 tn?1324424900
I hope to be able to go in tomorrow and keep my cool. I'm afraid of getting emotional since the "wound" is still fresh, but I definitely plan to pay them a visit and have my say. I plan to switch vets regardless, since like I said, I don't think I'd be able to take my pets there again in good faith again, but I am hoping she can offer me a logical explanation as to why she released him in his condition. I was doing some research last night, and the more I look into it, it seems it was most likely an abdominal/intestinal obstruction. In the end his vomit smelled of feces, which is a red flag for obstruction. That combined with his bad habit of "vacuuming" anything he could get ahold of, the abdominal tightness and distention, obvious pain, and very insignificant amount of diarrhea. I do believe that if this was the case, she should have went ahead with barium imaging rather than only regular xrays. That would have ruled out the possibility of any kind of blockage rather than just certain kinds. Instead, she sends him home gravely ill with meds to only treat the symptoms. It just doesn't make sense and still nags at me constantly..the guilt is tremendous. I loved him so much and miss him with every fiber of my being. My husband doesn't understand my love for my pets and thinks I'm being ridiculous..and that only makes matters worse. I was able to talk to my dad in length yesterday though,  and he helped me bury my baby. His yorkie was hit by a car and died soon after right before Halloween this year, so he is really the only one that understands...well, that I know personally. I was very attached to that little dog as well, so it's like a double whammy. This time I plan to go with SEVERAL personal recommendations and lots of research before choosing another vet.
Helpful - 0
1916673 tn?1420233270
No, you are absolutely not being ridiculous feeling the way you do about your little friend. Just about everyone on this site knows exactly how deep the love goes. They are like our children - and the heartache runs deep, when they leave us all too early. I still cry almost every day and I can't imagine a week going by without shedding a few tears for my own dog, who left me last month. I am pleased you have an understanding dad that you can talk to about your feelings and about your dog. Someone who understands and can be supportive is so very important. Good luck tomorrow ... please post back to let me know how it goes. Big hugs, Tony
Helpful - 0
675347 tn?1365460645
COMMUNITY LEADER
I love my dog like my little sister and so I do fully understand how you must feel. But don't whatever you do -blame yourself. Like I said, we feel we are able to trust what a vet does or recommends.
But in this case it does sound like he had an obstruction. It is very possible he had, by this stage, a necrosis of the gut. It is very likely he wouldn't have made it anyway, as serious damage could have been done, and the tissues had died. But of course, the vet should have known that, and like you said, not just sent him home with medication for his symptoms.

Thank goodness your Dad understands what you must be going through. Many of us here understand too, having been through traumas, and loss of our beloved dogs.
Hugs from me too.
Helpful - 0
996946 tn?1503249112
Just wanted to add my condolences for your loss.  I'm going through a very similar situation and my dog will be spending his second night at the Vet's tonight.  IV fluids but no idea what is really wrong.  I feel so bad for you but you really did everything you could do, just like I'm feeling like we are doing all we can do. I am praying our dog makes it.  I just don't know what else I can do.
Helpful - 0
1832268 tn?1326816010
First and foremost, I would like to extend my condolences for your loss.
Please do not blame yourself . You did everything you should have done, and everything you could have done.
It is heartbreaking that your vet could not determine what was wrong with your dog in time to save him....(may I ask your dogs name..?)
This has been a terrible chain of events that has left you shocked and looking for answers and I sympathize with you.
I know that you are going to talk to the vet to ask questions about your dogs treatment....
I have been in the same type of situation...(questioning my vet)
I know how easy it might be to come across as if you are looking to blame someone, and depending on your approach, your vet may feel that this is what you are trying to do. If that happens, you won't get very far.
I know that for me, if I noticed that the vet was becoming defensive or hesitant to answer my questions, that it was to my benefit, to remind her that I was   "Not trying to place blame on anyone,  I was just trying to make sense of it all."    I had to use that line several times, but as a result, my vet, along with everyone in the clinic were very understanding and cooperative.
I don't know if this will work for you, but if things start to get tense...you might give it a try.
I know that you are wondering why your dog was not kept overnight for observation.
I can tell you in my Vets clinic, they do not have anyone in their clinic after they close....So I will never leave my dog there overnight. They are better off at home, where I can watch them.  Maybe, your clinic is the same...and they don't have anyone there after hours.
I will be hoping that the answers you get from your Vet will help you make some sense of it all, and find some peace.
I am so sorry that your dog died, but I am thankful that he died in the comfort and safety of his home, with a family who loves him.
  The heartache of my own loss is still with me, and I understand only too well, the pain you are feeling.
Please accept my heartfelt sympathy....
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your dog....
God Bless His Beautiful Spirit and Soul.
Connie
Helpful - 0
1561423 tn?1324424900

You don't know how much the kind words here help me through this, and I thank each and every one of you so much for that. I am extremely grateful to have this forum to talk through my sadness, frustration, guilt, and anger. Also, I am saddened to hear that many of you have dealt with this very same thing, whether it's a loss or vet troubles. His name was Mason and he was a Dachshund/Pom mix. He had jet black fur with a reddish hue, and it was long and wavy. He had big beautiful "doe" eyes characteristic of Dachshunds and was so very sweet. I'll look for a pic of him to post as my profile pic. I can still remember him putting his little chin on my leg when he was sick and looking up at me with those big, beautiful eyes. He did this even before he got sick almost as if to say "I love you".  I did call the vet this morning, and unfortunately I wasn't offered condolences or a feasible explanation. They were basically short with me (although I wasn't short or condescending in my tone at all, just concerned...I remained very calm), and told me they did what they could do at the time, and sometimes it happens. While that is true, it still leaves me uncomfortable with their practice and I will be searching for another vet. It could have been a fluke and just one of those things, but I believe that I should find a vet that I am 100% comfortable with. Anyone know of any helpful sites or resources I could use to aid in my search?  
Helpful - 0
996946 tn?1503249112
I feel like my Vet  is very knowledgeable and conscientious but she is releasing my dog home tomorrow on antibiotics and pain meds. My daughter who was visiting us this past weekend is a Registered Vet Tech and has suggested that we take JJ to the diagnostic clinic where she went to school at Texas A&M.  With a referral from our Vet they will provide us with a diagnosis/prognosis before they start treatment.  I don't know what the initial charge will be but we should find out just what we are dealing with.
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1916673 tn?1420233270
I think you are absolutely right to search for a vet you have full confidence in and I hope others on here might suggest a way of achieving that. The alternative may be to just ask around your local area or seek recommendations from agencies such as dog training centres perhaps. Your description of Mason made him sound adorable - please post that photo up on your profile, when you feel able and have the time to do it. Big hugs, Tony
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Avatar universal
We always had Dachshunds when I was growing up, they definately are a handful. You have to keep reminding them that their not a German Shephard. they are fearless, but also very devoted.  I would ask friends that I trust which vet they go to, and if they ever had problems.
Helpful - 0
1801781 tn?1461629469
check with your local rescue sites....esp. those that specialize with dachshunds or whatever breed you have.  Sorry you did not get any good answers.
Helpful - 0
1832268 tn?1326816010
I am so sorry to hear that things did not go well for you with the vet. I cannot believe that they did not have the common courtesy to at least offer their condolences. You are right to try and find another vet. I'm not saying she is a terrible vet, it does sound like she did try to find the cause of Masons sickness, and sadly, she missed something, but surely she can understand how devastated you are, and could at least be a little more empathetic.
Is this the same vet that you use for your other 2 dogs...?  
I know you are looking for a different vet...If you do a search, for veterinary ratings.....you will be surprised what shows up...!   Look for the one that is vetratingz you can click on your state, and read others reviews, or you can even add your current vets clinic, and leave your own review.
I will be looking forward to seeing Masons photo....he does sound adorable.
God Bless Mason's Beautiful Spirit and Soul.
Connie
Helpful - 0
462827 tn?1333168952
Oh my....What a terrible ordeal....Made me cry for you, too....I suppose your Holidays are ruined just as mine would be....I'm also sorry your husband doesn't understand your heartache for your fur-baby...That even makes it harder!

I know it's not much consolation, but we here all understand your loss.....If you want to return over & over, please do......We are here to listen and help....I know it's not the same as in real person, but our love for animals is just as yours is & sometimes it's hard to find that out in the real world, I'm sorry to say!

There's is no doubt that I agree with changing Vets for your others....You can search for a Holistic Vet in your area by going to the AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) webpage.....Or you can use www.Holisticvetlist(Dot)Com for a search by state......

I wish you peace in the days ahead & my sincere sympathy on your loss.......Blessings to you & yours......Karla
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I too am so so sorry to hear of your loss. I agree that your vet should not have let your baby go home, They should have recommended an emergency vet for treatment if they did not want to do it. That would be the last time for me at that vet. I have 3 pomeranians and one has chronic pancreatitis and when it flares she vomits that yellow foamy bile I know the signs and all I have to do is call my vets office and they will take the blood panel and see how high her count is. Stress is the cause of it. It sounds like your baby had alot more going on than just a gastro problem. I wish you could find out what it was so you could have some peace but just know that you did all you could to make the last moments peaceful and with you. Again, I am so very sorry.
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462827 tn?1333168952
Good Lord!!  You have an emergency!!!! No, Your dog has not been raped!!!! It is impossible for anyone on a public forum to guess what may be wrong with your dog....Only a Vet will be able to tell you! Your dog is very, very ill and you CANNOT just let him lay there...In such a young dog, I would suspect poison but your details are unclear......He is suffering and it's your responsibility to get him some help!!!  Get going, NOW!!!!!   Karla
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