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The Loss of a Beloved Pet

It is time to share the devastatingly bad news. Vegas my beloved German Shepherd daughter passed away Wednesday March 12, 2014. It was very sudden and unexpected.

I posted previously about Vegas’s recent cancer (hemangiosarcoma) diagnosis. However, it has taken me a few days to be able to write about her death. If you are a true animal lover and see your pets as your children as I do, then you understand exactly what I mean.

This is a very difficult time, and although I have had many pets a.k.a. children throughout my life that have passed away, losing one never gets easier.

pet lossVegas had been doing amazing since her cancer diagnosis. As far as she was concerned everything was fine and she didn’t have cancer. My vets and I thought we would have a few more months at least before the cancer started to affect her.

On Tuesday March 11ທີ, 2014 Vegas had a sudden bought of diarrhea. We were having some duct work redone and some furnace repairs made, and we think all the loud noise and banging stressed her and our other dog Stryker out because they both got diarrhea.

However, Vegas’s was severe. She also started vomiting but we think it was because she was drinking excessive amounts of water quickly due to the diarrhea. We took her to the vet the very next morning, and by then she was doing a bit better. She was no longer vomiting, and seemed to be feeling a little better.

The vet ran bloodwork and checked her over, and luckily her bloodwork had barely changed from the last time we had it checked. Everything was a great sign. Our vet thought that this was stress induced, and prescribed some anti-diarrhea and vomiting medication, and some prescription canned dog food that was easy to digest.

Once we got Vegas home from the vet she was chipper and doing great. We fed her one can of the prescription dog food so she could get some food in her stomach and feel better.

After eating Vegas seemed like she felt much better and she just relaxed on the floor next to me while I sat on the couch. Very suddenly about an hour and a half later Vegas got up walked across the room and tried to vomit. However she wasn’t successful, nothing was coming up, and I literally watched her bloat up right in front of me.

I realized immediately what was happening. She was bloating, a life threatening condition where the stomach twists and cuts off all blood flow to the stomach. This condition left untreated is fatal. I rushed her immediately to the vet and we were there within 10 minutes of her starting to bloat.

The veterinarians took her back and x-rayed her immediately and confirmed the diagnosis that she had bloated.

They did everything they could but in the end they could not correct the condition without surgery, and unfortunately even though Vegas was doing really well since being diagnosed with cancer, she had still developed a bad heart murmur as a result of the cancer.

Dogs don't live foreverThe vets explained that due to the severity of the heart murmur Vegas had, she would not survive the surgery to correct the bloat.

This left us no option but to have Vegas euthanized. It was horrible to see her like that. She was in so much pain and kept trying to vomit. My company and touch was no comfort to her in her current state.

They took us into a private room and while holding Vegas and looking her in the eyes we said goodbye. I was with her the whole time and for about an hour after she had passed away.

It was so hard to leave her, knowing I would never see her again.

Now the grieving has begun, not just for my husband and I but also our other pets, especially Stryker our other GSD. I am glad that we are currently fostering “Lovey” a German Shepherd with the German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Iowa, for it is helping Stryker deal with the loss of Vegas better because he still has a canine companion.

After much reflecting, research, and speaking with the vet I know that there was nothing that we could have done to prevent this tragedy. Since the removing of Vegas’s spleen, she had much more room in her stomach area than she had before. We followed every recommended preventative option to prevent bloat from ever happening, and unfortunately it still did.

Only time will heal my heart from this loss. RIP my darling Vegas. I will miss you every day, forever. I love you.

Why Do I Have Pets If It Is So Hard To Lose Them?

I am often asked “why do you even have pets if losing them is so difficult for you?” The answer is simple. I am not willing to go without the love and companionship of animals just because it will be painful for me when they pass away. That is selfish. There are so many animals out there that need homes, and animals provide unconditional love, laughter, joy, and comfort like no human being can.

The best most unselfish gift I can give to my pets is to promise them that when I have healed from their loss, that I will rescue another and provide its forever home.

a dogs last will and testament

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