Klaus and Otus' Family: Welcome to the forum. Please accept my feelings of sympathy and condolence as you deal with Klaus' death, and with Otus' illness.
I lost my female GSD to hemangiosarcoma in 2008, and her death introduced me to a nightmare of unspeakable grief from which I thought I could not recover. But eventually I have come around, and as you can see from fellow posters, there is a way out of the grief eventually. For me, it was a time of sleepness nights, sobbing at all hours, shock, and practically an obsession to find out everything I could about hemangiosarcoma.
A week before she died, she couldn't clot and her back leg began to swell with a real ugly hematoma. The vet saw the tumors on the spleen with an ultrasound, and said she only had about a week left. A week later, when she started to bleed from the tumors, my parents' vet came to their house, where I was visiting, and put her down.
There are some owners who are able to render medical treatment for their dogs with hemangio. I envy them with perfect envy, because I would have done anything just to have one more week with my princess. The guilt that I should have done something, and didn't, before she died, was so searing on my conscience. I felt this guilt for the longest time, and was often angry with myself for not having done something more for her, an anger which unfortunately surfaced and was taken out on those around me.
I wondered, and tortured myself with the thought, that perhaps my dog did not forgive me for not having taken better care of her. As I read more about this disease, that guilt and doubt began to subside, because I learned that in most dogs, it is an unbelievably aggressive cancer. I once corresponded with a vet, in fact, who had lost his dog to this disease.
He told me that if he, a vet, who regularly could check up on his own pets with medical knowledge and sophisticated equipment, and still could not catch the cancer in his own dog, I should no longer worry that I was somehow supposed to detect it in my dog. This vet called hemangio the "silent and merciless killer" of many beloved pets. It can come out of nowhere and deprive many people of quality end of life time with their dog. Many hemangio sufferers die when their owners are at work, or in town shopping.
I am a person of faith. I picture my German Shepherd with the Lord, happy in heaven, free from pain, and waiting for me. That picture of her, in a place where she runs around with my loved ones who have crossed over already, brings some comfort. The photos of her and her old collar also are a comfort. My present dog, who I got right after she passed, brought great comfort. And finally, her resting place, at my parents home, is a comfort, because I can visit and see how my parents have honored her in that part of their yard.
Again, please accept my sincere sypathies and know that in the others here who have gone through this trial, you will find many kindred spirits.