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Old 21 June 2018, 02:22 PM
Darth Credence's Avatar
Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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Icon06 Baby Groot died on my birthday

I feel like I'm doing something wrong and causing this. Our old dog, Jabba, died in November of 2016. R2-D2 got cancer, and died at the age of two after a few months of chemo. Groot was fine a week ago - running around everywhere, playing with other dogs at the park and doggy day camp, and learning all of her commands. On Sunday, she didn't want to get up. We called the vet, and they said if she was still drinking, then we should watch her for the day, and if she didn't get better bring her in Monday. We took her in Monday and she had a high fever, they thought it was giardia. The antibiotics they prescribed didn't do anything for her, so we took her back. They thought the fever might be because of growing pains, as an x-ray showed fuzziness on the bones. They ran a few more tests, and her white blood cell count was really low. They wanted to keep her on an IV overnight and do a barium test, so my wife left her there. I got home from work, we went by the vet to see her, and she didn't move much, but she wagged her tail and licked my hand. The next morning, yesterday, was my birthday. I had been at work for an hour when the vet called to tell me she didn't make it through the night. She was two weeks short of 10 months old.
BB-8 is having a tough time with it. The two of them used to take turns chasing the ball - one would bring it to us, we would throw, the other one would get it and bring it back to us, and they'd switch. We tried throwing the ball for BB when she brought it to us yesterday, but she wouldn't chase it. She sat there for a minute, then sighed and laid down. She's probably reacting to us as much as anything, and she keeps crawling into my wife's arms. But this is the second dog in the past three months that she watched go from able to run and play, to not able to do anything, to being taken away and never coming back.
Goodbye, baby Groot. I'm so sorry that you never got to grow up, and I miss you so much.
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  #2  
Old 21 June 2018, 02:25 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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I am so sorry, Darth.

Seaboe
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  #3  
Old 21 June 2018, 02:53 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Hugs and condolences from MD. Lands, it suddenly got dusty in here!
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  #4  
Old 21 June 2018, 03:15 PM
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Darth, I am very sorry for your loss.

It doesn't sound to me like you're doing anything wrong. I don't know enough about the situation to be able to tell whether a different vet. might have done anything differently. (We have veterinaries here on the boards -- does "growing pains" seem to make sense as a possible diagnosis here? of course none of you actually saw Groot.)

It might, or might not, help to show BB-8 the body.
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  #5  
Old 21 June 2018, 03:40 PM
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Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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Thank you, everyone. I'm not thinking the vet did anything wrong. They saw some evidence of panosteitis, what I called growing pains, but they didn't stop there. They kind of left that as a 'it might be this, which wouldn't be a huge problem, but we'll keep looking'. The last thing they were doing was trying to find out what was happening to her white blood cells, as they were only getting a reading of about 100, when it should be 10,000 or more.
When R2 died, someone recommended showing the body to BB as well. That's a good point, and I relayed it to my wife to see if she can do that today. I'm not sure if she'll be up to it or not. She's in worse shape over this than me, and she has to go see her Mom in memory care. She wasn't able to go see her Monday or Tuesday, because she couldn't leave Groot.
When I think I'm doing something wrong, it is along the lines of 'is there something around my house that they are getting into', or 'are we not feeding them right, even though we are giving them the recommended type and amount of food'. Intellectually, I don't think we are doing anything wrong, but two very young dogs passing away in the space of 3-4 months is just wrecking me.
Thanks everyone, for giving me a place I can try to work through everything.
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Old 21 June 2018, 03:46 PM
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erwins erwins is offline
 
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I'm so sorry Darth. What a rotten thing to have happen. Please think about what you can do to be extra kind to yourself. That's a lot of loss to have to cope with in a short time.
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  #7  
Old 21 June 2018, 03:55 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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So sorry to hear about your losses.

I can't think there would be anything you could be doing that would cause your dogs to be getting cancer, especially so soon*. Environmental causes of cancer** tend to be long-term. Anything so severe as to cause cancer in a 10 month old dog would likely be causing harsh effects to you as well.

ETA: There might be something they are getting into, but that would likely cause things more like vomiting, diarrhea, etc rather than leukemia***.

* IANAV, so YMMV
** Things like outgassing from new carpets, etc
*** I'm guessing that's what Baby Groot had.
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  #8  
Old 21 June 2018, 04:38 PM
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I'm so sorry, Darth. When I was in high school, we had a Shih Tzu/fox terrier mix whom we lost at 9.5 months to a liver condition(most likely congenital, according to the vet).
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  #9  
Old 21 June 2018, 06:50 PM
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Tootsie Plunkette Tootsie Plunkette is offline
 
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Let me add my sympathies to all the others. It's never easy losing a fur-child, and it sounds like your losses have been particularly hard, especially Baby Groot. They leave such a big hole in your heart when they depart.

The cat of my husband's youth died of a quick-acting cancer, which the family guessed was caused by his eating or just being in grass in the yard after weed-killer had been applied. We had a youngish cat that nearly died of kidney failure (injected fluids and TLC pulled him through to live another decade), and we're pretty sure he chewed or licked some painter's tape that had solvent dripped on it. But both of those instances were just guesswork as to the cause - and sometimes little animals (and humans) just are afflicted for no particular reason.

I love that you're family has opened your home to these doggos and given them a happy life in your home. And I love the names you've given them!
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Old 21 June 2018, 09:02 PM
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You have my utmost sympathies, Darth. These creatures were lucky to have such a caring home as you provided for them. You are a good person to care so deeply.
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  #11  
Old 21 June 2018, 10:53 PM
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Deepest sympathies Darth.

Sounds like you did everything you could, so I echo Erwin's thoughts.
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  #12  
Old 22 June 2018, 12:13 PM
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My deepest sympathies, Darth

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  #13  
Old 22 June 2018, 09:14 PM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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I am so sorry, Darth. My condolences.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
When R2 died, someone recommended showing the body to BB as well. That's a good point, and I relayed it to my wife to see if she can do that today. I'm not sure if she'll be up to it or not.
That’s a very thoughtful thing, but it does sound like it could be pretty traumatizing for the person involved. I don’t know that I could do it with a pet, and as a rehabber I handle death all the time.
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  #14  
Old 22 June 2018, 09:38 PM
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Possible warning for discussion of handling commensal bodies and of upset feline survivors -- maybe I'll white this out, just in case:


I think that depends a lot on the person. I always take the bodies home if the death was at the vet's, and I always bury them myself. My mother held the body of at least one of her cats on her lap for some time -- maybe twenty minutes -- after the cat's death, continuing to pat the body. Some people are comforted by this. Others are likely to be freaked out. My sister refused to look at my mother's body at the funeral; I needed to do so. Nothing wrong with either of us; just different people.

We once failed to show the body to a surviving cat; and the next time we went out, the survivor greeted us happily and expectantly at the door; then, when he realized we hadn't brought his friend (who he'd last seen being taken off in a carrier) back from the vet feeling better, he insisted on being allowed into every door and cupboard in the house, searching and searching. When he failed to find the dead cat, he went off and sat by himself for quite a long time, not speaking to us.

Since then I've made a point of showing the body. I've gotten various reactions, ranging from hissing to sniffing to turning away to no apparent reaction at all; but I've never seen that desperate hunt through the house again.
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  #15  
Old 22 June 2018, 10:02 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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I've always carried the bodies of my deceased pets home myself. Usually they are wrapped in a towel or such for burial in the back yard. I've never shown the other pets the body of the deceased one, but their relationship was usually more tolerance than friendship.
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  #16  
Old 22 June 2018, 10:49 PM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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Yeah, I was just trying to say (as TL did, but better) that it’s an individual thing. If Darth’s wife isn’t up to it, with two losses and a mom who needs care all weighing on her heart, it’s ok.
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  #17  
Old 25 June 2018, 05:19 PM
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Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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Thanks, everyone. My wife was not able to take BB, but BB seems to have adjusted. She now just wants a treat every time she chases the ball, instead of expecting a different dog to trade off.
It still hurts, but we'll get through this. A bunch of people I work with keep asking if we are getting another dog, which seems far too soon to me, but they are doing it out of concern, so that's OK.
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