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Old 12-27-2011, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hemangiosarcoma took my boy too soon

I'm new here but have lurked for the last month because Duncan, my 9 year old GSD, got a diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma. Now I'm trying to deal with his death a week ago last night and I'm not doing it very well.
Here's Duncan's story:It started the week before Halloween, he just got up off the floor and hung his head and stared off into space and then went to his water dish. We noticed the odd behavior and talked to the vet about it... couldn't find anything. The next day I collected a urine sample that was like Coca-Cola. We got him on antibiotics and he was fine! We thought that was it. Then it happened again, the day before Thanksgiving. Rushed him in to the vet and yup, the urinary track infection was back. He rallied, but then would have these stumbling episodes, and the head hanging, staring out into space. I knew something was wrong. We saw an internist on November 30th, had full blood work which was suspicious of hemangiosarcoma. Took xrays but didn't see anything or feel anything in his belly. They wanted to do a splenectomy and then chemo after and we were all for helping him any way we could. He had surgery December 1st and did well for 5 days, then had random episodes of the same symptoms of head hanging, lots of water drinking.... we knew we were in palliative care at that point, but I didn't think this awful disease would take my precious boy just 19 days after surgery.
Our barometer for stopping his suffering ourselves was his appetite. He was eating well, even had part of my chicken breast 3 hours before he died.
He died at home on December 19th at 9:30 pm, in my and my husband's arms, we talked to him and comforted him as best we could until he was gone. It was a very traumatic experience and I cannot stop crying.... I need to take sleeping pills to even get through the night time. I was with Duncan from the time his surgery was over until he died. I slept where he slept, I held him and talked to him. I feel like my heart is broken in half.
I have an american eskimo dog and a cat still at home and I know I'm scaring them away because I'm being so needy and wanting them to comfort me.
How does someone get through this? I am devastated, and there are just no words to describe how empty and sad I feel. I have an appointment with my therapist next week, but I just wanted to tell Duncan's story here because I know there are many who understand this feeling and I just need some support.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss of your beautiful boy Duncan. Thank you for sharing your story. Sending hugs from Dallas and lots of prayers.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am so sorry about your loss. We lost our GSD/Husky mix to the same disease at Christmas 2008. It was heartbreaking.

I know many on this board have lost our beloved dogs to the same illness. I wish there was more we could do to comfort you. For us, bringing a new dog into our lives helped us heal, but we still miss Paige everyday. We probably always will. She is waiting for us, as is your Duncan, on the other side of the rainbow bridge.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss, I lost two of mine to this terrible disease. You can read my post on my BoBo in this section, a few posts below yours. We went through surgery and chemo. It is hard but you are not alone.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm so very sorry for your loss.
We lost our first GSD, Cheyenne, almost 10 years ago to the same, he was 9. I still miss him.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm sorry for your losses as well. I will miss Duncan until the day I see him again.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss. It is tragic to lose our loved ones to this disease.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have lost two beautiful GSDs to this dreaded condition. I all too well know exactly what you are going through. It has been 1 1/2 years since I lost the love of my life, Remo, and I still cry for him every single day. If you need to talk, I have a very sympathetic ear. Shoot me a PM and I will give you a call. This particular horror has a special heartache of its own since it usually involves a dog that we thought was healthy and takes them so quickly. Cry your guts out. And then cry some more. Please know that you are in my heart and thoughts.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So sorry for your lose. Hemangiosarcoma is so insidious and heartbreaking. We lost Jaz to that in September. It was so sudden and fast I was at first convinced she had been poisoned.

Cherish the time you had with Duncan and rest assured that you did what you could and you were there for him through to the end.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I too lost my 7 year old boy a few months back. Way too young. It broke my heart.
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