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I found this site last night and noticed there is an animal forum. My beloved Dalmatian died on March 1st as a result of malpractice by a general practice veterinarian. By the time I got her into a speciality hospital under the care of a board certified doctor it was too late. She spent 4 weeks in crisis from the time she became ill, and while she had some improvement in the ICU, so much damage had been done that she could not recover. Her wonderful doctor sent her home (we were still hoping at that point she could rally and we both felt that she would do better at home than in a hospital because she wanted to be with me). She rallied for a couple of days then entered multi-system failure as a result of DIC (a clotting disorder that resulted from the damage)and SIRS (Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome). She had brain damage and was head pressing the last twelve hours of her life. The latter is a pathetic condition caused by toxins in the brain that result from organ failure and the animal stands in corners or presses its head against furniture and objects. I was in touch with her doctor constantly and he saw her twice after she left the hospital. The day before she died I took her in for an opinion on her condition and whether or not it was time to euthanize her. He said it was over and to take her home and say goodbye. A friend who is a vet came the next day to euthanize her but Alex (Alexandra Spotsalot) was failing to clot so badly that there wasn't enough blood pressure to get a needle in her vein. She hemorrhaged to death in my arms before she could be euthanized.

I will never recover from this.

In addition, I'm a civilian loved one of a special warfare military community that lost eleven of our men in one day in Afghanistan in June 2005 and we lost two more last fall in Iraq, then another right after Alex died. I'm still not over the funeral I attended in 2005, someone I love dearly lost his best friend in the incident that killed our eleven men, and my life is so blown apart now I don't know what to do. I am seeing a hospice art therpapist because art allows me to manage this at a level that talk therapy doesn't. While I've had tremendous strength and have done my best to get up every day and thrive and find something to be grateful for, I seem to be having a harder time. My finances were devasted and my beloved dog's death occurred at a time when I was starting a new business which has yet to thrive because I can't afford to promote it. I'm also taking care of a mother with mild dementia and other health issues who is very negative and needy. She has home care but I'm responsible for so much still.

I am afraid my life is lost and I will now lose all my credit and my car because I'm so destitute and too stricken to know how to save myself. I've tried really hard but I'm buried under so much stress and burden and I still cry constantly.

I can never get over the image of seeing Alex suffer and die as she so needlessly did.

Thank you,

Robin

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Oh, Robin...you and your poor doggie suffered so. I can only imagine how devastated you are feeling about the loss of your beloved girl, and your story has me in tears. :( I know this never helps much, especially when grief is so fresh, but it does sound like you did everything YOU knew how to do for her as things went along, and to try and mitigate the damage that vet caused.....such a tragedy!

My girl (Nissa, the grey one in my avatar) was given the shot right into her heart, as her veins were too tiny and collapsed to take a needle (the sedative given beforehand was through a muscle), and the vet who came to our home also thought that an abdominal injection would have been too slow since her heart rate was so low as well. I don't know enough about bodily hemorrhaging to say whether either of these other methods could have been successfully used for your girl, though. Perhaps, when you're more up to it, you could ask your vet friend about it.

But the most important part, I think, is that you were there with her, holding her in your loving arms, and at home too, which I think is preferable when it's possible. She knew you were with her, committed to her to the end, and that is no small thing. I personally think it's the single most important sign of love we can give, if we're up to it and our baby doesn't want to be alone when they go.

The final images you must hold in your head must be awful (I've got some of my own, too....) and it can take a long, long time for those to fade enough to feel like carrying on. Hence, our need for places like this, where we can unload as often as we want and find supportive people who know how truly painful the loss of our furred, feathered and scaled companions is.

The fact that you've also had other pretty recent losses to grieve as well as still being a caregiver to your mother, will likely put you in 'overload' (been there, in similar situations, myself), so support is most necessary for yourself, and I hope we can be a part of that. If it helps, I lost my girl last Aug., so going on 9 months now.....and I'm still crying quite a bit (after the initial shock finally wore off), and have lost most friends over my heartbreak as well. So many of us have such sad tales to tell, but telling them, as often as we need to, and releasing as much of those painful emotions as possible is a help. The art therapy is good, too, if it helps you - personally, that form doesn't do squat for me, even though I like to do artistic things! ??? But whatever works best for each person is what works! Sometimes we have to try all sorts of different things to find those best forms of support and aid, at a time when we're unfortunately so fatigued by our loss. It's not easy. And perhaps a credit counseling company might help with any possible credit problems, before they get out of hand? (they always say that an effort to rectify bad credit ASAP goes a long way towards rebuilding it later)

I feel truly sorry for you and the situations you're finding yourself stuck in right now, as well, of course, as for your grief over your dear dog. If you'd like to tell us something more about her, her name, your memories (both good and bad) of her life with you, we'll be hear to listen and comfort as best we can. It's SO hard when their final days or hours are full of suffering and we can't take it back and change it all. I've been there myself. But I believe that she's fine again now, just as my girl is, and is with you still in her spirit form, even if you can't sense her.....yet? I also have learned over two such losses and through animal communicators, that they are often not as conscious in the body while they are apparently suffering as we think they are, but that they move between earthly and spiritual consciousness, despite how it looks to us, so very often aren't really suffering as much as we think they are. But whatever you believe, her suffering is over now (for what that's worth <_< ...another very small comfort) and now you need to take care of your own. Our grief is what comes from having lost someone we loved so dearly and our precious animals do wish for our eventual healing. In fact, most if not all of them, work on the Other Side to help bring us to that point, whenever it is to be. Perhaps your girl led you here, to be amongst other fellow grievers, where you will really be heard and cared about. :wub:

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Guest navyblue

Thank you Maylissa. Alex (short for Alexandra Spotsalot)was hemorrhaging hours before her death although it was not blatantly visible or causing her undue suffering. No euthanasia shot would have pre-empted that. And a shot in her heart would have not been right for her to merely end her life. It also would have pushed me over the edge to witness that.

She died on her terms. She did not even want the euthanasia shot. She was sick of needles and drips and procedures and she wanted to die on her own. I had a euthanasia scheduled for humane reasons because I didn't know if death could take her peacefully and could not in good conscience simply await it with no back-up. In many ways, I regret even having a vet here because she simply wanted to relax into my arms and let go. We spent 15 minutes trying to get a vein and I think she finally said "Enough" and she drew a last breath. My vet friend said she died peacefully but that's a relative thing to me. Somehow crashing with DIC, SIRS, and brain damage is hardly peaceful. There was no way for her to die anymore gracefully than she did.

She was full of life, happy every day, and had a heart of gold. She died sad, distressed, and cognitively damaged. I believe as you do that she was betwixt and between two worlds. That's one of the few things that keeps me sane....knowing she was not fully here and aware of her condition, but aware enough to know she was completely loved.

That a vet tasked with first doing no harm did this and is now taking me to collection for her bill is so unconscionable I have no words. The hospital bill was 6 times that bill and I'll gladly pay it because she received wonderful care, but the other practice can take it's bill and burn it. I told them that and told their collector that pigs will fly before I pay a nickel for her own physician to kill her. I'm also writing the veterinarian board who I trust will protect its own and do absolutely nothing.

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Navyblue,

I am so sorry about Alex. I wanted to tell you what a wonderful name she has!

It made me smile when I read it.

I am glad you found this site. It's so helpful. I lost my mom on Dec.7th 2006 and that night found out my 8 yr old Bernese Mountain dog was bleeding internally, he had cancer in his liver and spleen. We had to put him down as soon as we found out. I lost my 2 best friends that day.

You are in my thoughts.

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navyblue,

So sorry, on 2 counts - I don't know where my head was at, as you had clearly already said your girl's name was Alex, and somehow I missed it! And two, I seem to have misunderstood about the circumstances around her natural crossing, so thanks for clarifying that for me. I was rather spacey today, after having a bad Mothers Day yesterday and also waiting to have a communication session done with Nissa this afternoon.

Having planned ahead for a vet to be there, if needed, demonstrates your great love for Alex, even if you couldn't have foreseen the 'fruitlessness' of that plan. You were preparing for any eventuality, and although you may now have regrets (who doesn't have at least some?), your intentions were purely from that love. I'm positive Alex knows this, just as you would know if she'd been the one doing this on your behalf. When we love our furkids this much, we always wish for perfection for them, but from all the accounts I've read on pet loss forums, absolutely perfect-seeming passings are few and far between. But to put in in some sort of perspective, if Alex wasn't unduly suffering and she left on her own and on her own terms, that itself is quite a rarity these days, and is something I hope you can take a bit of comfort from. Our boy, Sabin (the black one) died naturally, at home, too, but his passing was not as quick and painless as it should have been, especially in my eyes. However, he has assured me (thru more than one communication) that he was "out of" his body more often than not, so I have put it to rest after many years of suffering guilt first. In fact, he communicated that what was hardest for him was seeing the way it had affected me afterwards....bless his loving soul!

I can certainly understand how you BOTH must have been "sick of needles and drips and procedures", as that all speaks to quality of not only life, but of dying as well. I think you tried your best to put everything in balance and I know how difficult it can be to try to weigh every single thing in each moment, especially when you have to make fast or relatively fast decisions and are already so distraught with grief. Most of us, though, end up doing the best we possibly could, given our circumstances at the time. And as you said, in the end, Alex did things HER way and that, I think, still speaks of a powerful Grace. You said "She died sad, distressed, and cognitively damaged," and I know how much that hurts you, but she also died very much loved and cared for by you, and that is what the animals we love always try to impart to us afterwards as being what they are so grateful for, no matter what else happened. They KNOW when we've done our very best, even when it seems to us that we've fallen short of the mark.

As for that vet....I hear your anger and don't blame you one bit. I've heard of such things far more often than should be allowed, unfortunately. We also had another member here whose cat suffered damage (blindness) after a simple operation and although she was later okay with the vet board's decision to not lay blame against her vet, I know this is as common a practice as are (usually futile) complaints against human doctors. So I hate to say it, but you're probably right about it going nowhere. However, were it me and knowing what I know now, I'd file a complaint anyway, if for no other reason than to know I stood up for my baby's rights, and to do my part to add to statistics that I believe will one day surely help change things such as this. This may also help a bit with eventually dispelling some of your anger, rather than just letting it fester. I wish you all the strength you need, should you pursue writing up that complaint, as no one who is grieving should have to go through that extra stress...but such is the world today. Most doctors still haven't learned that even a basic and sincere apology can often go so far towards helping someone to heal their grief. From what I've read, and heard from some vets and docs themselves, they are taught the exact opposite, and encouraged to tow that cold, cruel line, which seems nothing but egotistical. I'm so sorry you seem to be one of the many victims of this. I was too, once upon a time, and have forever regretted not taking more action at the time.....although at least I DID get a very heartfelt apology, without having to ask for one. But in the end, I (and his later vet) still felt that the malpractice that was done towards my boy ended up harming his body in ways that made him suffer worsening and extremely painful eye conditions, and worse, also likely contributed to his getting cancer, which is what took him so quickly a few years later (since it's now known that cancer is often 'at work' long before any clinical tests reveal this condition's presence). It's not OUR fault, though, that we couldn't prevent such mistakes. Any guilt that arises from this doesn't properly belong with US, but if with anyone, with the ones who are paid to know better. There are good vets and bad, but when it's our babies who are caught in the middle, many of us just see RED! And I'm just so terribly sorry this happened to dear Alex, and that now you must suffer because of it. :unsure:

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  • 4 weeks later...

You are carrying a heavy load my friend . Losing any friend that you could tell your deepest secrets too, like all your other friends who passed on can bring on so much shock, the feeling of helplessness, anger and every other emotion just rolls on it seems ...indefinitely. It's hard to hold onto hope, but I encourage you to try to look ahead. There are things in life we cannot change. We can accept it as a big loss in our lives. Acceptance that life will move on, with us or without us. Take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep and if you are prone to depression, please get help. You have a bundle of woe that's pulling you down. Time, patience, hope. ((((Navyblue))))

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