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    1. #1
      Ashley8706's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 2015
      Brooklyn, NY
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      My dog died after having seizures, and I have no answers

      Last night we lost our wonderful 13-year-old labrador. It all happened so quickly and we had to make a choice without having answers. I'm looking for any experiences or advice to make this choice easier.

      Two nights ago she was extremely lethargic and had a small twitch. We took her to the emergency vet who ran a battery of tests and they all came back fine. They said she could stay the night or go home and rest and see if she comes to. She's a nervous type so we opted to take her home.

      In the morning we woke up to her excessive drooling and a very wet spot where her mouth had been. We called the vet and they said the pain medicine they gave her could have caused excess drooling and to keep monitoring her. She ate and drank a little, but was still disoriented. We decided to nap since we hadn't slept. We woke up to her having a seizure and we don't know how long it had been happening. We rushed her to the emergency vet again and they were able to stabilize her. Since it was the weekend, we were unable to get an MRI or CT, but they suspected it was either brain cancer or pancreatic cancer because her glucose levels were somewhat low.

      We opted to keep her comfortable and hospitalized until we could get more answers. Overnight they called us and said she had another grand mal seizure and since then was not coming out of it, had a temp of 107 and overall wasn't doing well. We decided to end her pain instead of letting her suffer through the night.

      Three years ago she had mammary cancer that we treated with chemo. She's also had mast cell cancer. But she was doing fine until this episode. A few weeks ago she had a spell of lethargy but the tests all came back normal and she recovered so we were told it was probably just exhaustion.

      I'm feeling so much guilt and confusion right now. I never wanted her to go this way, and I worry that taking her home the first night ended up killing her. Everything I read about brain cancer online says it happens gradually, that we would have had warning signs. We knew she was twitching that first night but since it had stopped when we got her to the vet, the vet said to see if it happened again. I wish we hadn't ignored it - maybe they could have started seizure medication earlier and it wouldn't have progressed like this.

      Has anyone experienced something like this? I've read online most dogs with brain cancer have seizures and then they bounce out of them - I just can't understand why it took her so quickly and without any warning and I'm riddled with guilt that we didnt keep her overnight when she was acting weird. We had an autopsy done and in 6 weeks we'll have answers and I'm terrified for them.
      Last edited by Ashley8706; 11-05-2017 at 11:52 AM.

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      smartrock's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Carolina in my mind..
      Thanked: 2891
      It sounds like a heartbreaking experience for you all. Having lost our older boy this summer quite unexpectedly, about all I can say is that bad things can happen very quickly and the guilt can feel overwhelming. You took her to the vet each time and did what they recommended. If she was that unstable the first time, they would have said she should stay rather than give you a choice of leaving her or taking her home, where you knew she would feel more secure. In other words, you pretty much did everything you could have done even though the outcome was not what you may have hoped for. Whatever the autopsy shows, it was not your fault and there was probably little else to be done. I am so sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to you. Rest in Peace, dear girl.

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    4. #3
      Senior Dog
      windycanyon's Avatar
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      Jun 2014
      C. WA
      Thanked: 1106
      First, accept my condolences on your loss. I have lost seniors rather suddenly/ unexpectedly myself, but have come to accept several years ago that everything over 10 is really a gift so we have to just be at peace w/ ourselves knowing we provided all we could while they are with us.

      13 is a good lifespan for labradors anymore. I know I used to tell my owners 12-14 was the normal range and was shocked when reading in Dog Fancy at the vet clinic one day that labs were listed as 10-12. I mentioned it to my vet who told me she had just had a lab go downhill, took her in for exploratory, and she was full of cancer.. just like that. She had just turned 10 whereas many of her labs (she used to breed) have lived to 14+ otherwise.
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    6. #4
      Senior Dog
      SunDance's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Ellicott City, MD
      Thanked: 2485
      Do not beat yourself up. There's a good chance that things were already to the point where a different course of action on your part would have made no difference. My guess is that there was spreading of mammary gland cancer to her brain...and symptoms can be either gradual or very abrupt. Her drooling could easily have been from apprehension of another seizure coming on.

      She knew you were there with her and would make the right decision for her...please don't doubt that. Dogs know when they can rely on their humans. I have to believe that that brings them a measure of comfort.

      Rest in Peace, sweet girl.
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      Mollysmomma (11-05-2017)

    8. #5
      Real Retriever
      Black Labbies's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Thanked: 253
      Sorry for the loss of your sweet girl. Sounds like she was a trooper having battled other illnesses/diseases. You did the best you could for her and gave her a fabulous life.

    9. #6
      Senior Dog
      Annette47's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Central NJ
      Thanked: 1973
      Very sorry for the loss of your girl, but I really doubt there was anything you could have done. We lost Mulder to what we are guessing was a brain tumor. His only sign was seizures that started around when he turned 15 (he was a month shy of 16 when we lost him). At first they were mild and infrequent but gradually got worse and worse, and began to cluster. At the end, he had a cluster of seizures that left him pretty much paralyzed, which is when we let him go. What we were told at the time was that seizures in an elderly dog are very likely to be from either brain tumors or organ failure, neither of which is readily treatable.

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    11. #7
      Senior Dog
      POPTOP's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Thanked: 6264
      So very sorry for your loss. As other's have said, I believe you did all that was possible and the vets did all that was medically possible. As much as we wish they lived longer, there are so many ailments that can't be "fixed".

      Just weeks ago we lost our Archie, a GSD, to cancer; he was only 9 years old. He woke up one morning fast losing use of his right rear leg, loss of bowel control, vomiting. X-rays shows splenic tumor, prognosis grim. We too had to make the terrible decision to let him go. My only peace was knowing that he was no longer in pain.

      Rest In Peace Sweetie
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    12. #8
      Senior Dog
      lovemylabby's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Upstate New York
      Thanked: 394
      I just want to say how sorry I am to hear of the loss of your sweet girl.

      It sounds like she had a brain lesion/tumor...but you made the right decision for her...you could not let her suffer. I don't think it would have mattered whether you took her home or not.
      There's really not much you or a Vet can do...

      Please remember you gave her a very good life...

      Again, I am sorry...run free sweet girl...

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      Mollysmomma (11-05-2017)

    14. #9
      Chief Pooper Scooper
      JenC's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Thanked: 2456
      It's heartbreaking and hard to make sense of, but your dog lived a long life, and I would try to think about the good times. We lost our Maddy at 11 1/2 to some kind of brain problem. Healthy one day, and she had progressed to such a poor state that we helped her cross 6 weeks later. Seizures were sure to come, but we didn't make her suffer her problem too long.

      I was talking to a co-worker about my sick epileptic dog, and she was telling me how she is still crushed a year later after losing her 16 year old dog to old age. My feeling is that as long as we help these dogs have a fantastic life the their whole short lifespan, that's the BEST we can do. Losing them hurts, but getting 13 years out of a Labrador is a wonderful thing.

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      Mollysmomma (11-05-2017)

    16. #10
      Best Friend Retriever
      Mollysmomma's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Moses Lake
      Thanked: 321
      Just wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your precious girl.....You gave her a great life and loved her, and did everything you possibly could do for her......Nobody could have done any more. She knew how much you loved her....sending along hugs! Run with the wind, sweet girl!

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