Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Recently lost my companion.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Manteno, IL
    Posts
    3

    Default Recently lost my companion.

    Hello. Two weeks ago, I lost my 13 yr old shepherd/chow mix, Nikita; two weeks prior to her passing, she was diagnosed with adrenal-dependent Cushing's. Leading up to her diagnoses, she had been exhibiting all the classic symptoms (excessive panting, excessive water drinking, excessive urinating, pot belly appearance, ravenous appetite, didn't want to go on long walks anymore, weight gain). Blood work leading up to her diagnoses showed high liver enzymes, low albumin, an ultrasound showed an adrenal mass approximately 2.5cm in diameter, and a full body X-ray showed no sign of metastasis. Urinalysis showed proteinuria. Low-dose dexamethasone test confirmed that she was a cushing's dog. After her diagnoses I started her on 30mg once daily trilostane (at this time she was about 60lbs - her usual healthy weight was between 45lbs and 50lbs).

    After two weeks of treating her with trilostane, her albumin had gone back into range (though still on the low end), her electrolytes were good, still showed proteinuria, and the ACTH stim test showed that her cortisol levels were within range and that the trilostane was being effective in lowing her cortisol levels. Her excessive panting, water drinking, and urinating had decreased. She even began to want to go on walks again. Unfortunately, two days after the appointment that showed the treatment was helping, she passed suddenly in the night. The day prior to her passing, she had been exhibiting excessive panting during the day, an inability to get comfortable, and pretty elaborate hind leg weakness. Also the two days leading up to her passing, she seemed like she had insomnia pretty bad. I would stay up with her until she could calm down and get comfortable and fall asleep. The night she passed I waited for her to fall asleep before I went to bed; I found her early the next morning away from her sleeping spot, she had passed. She passed on a Sunday night into a Monday morning. I was going to bring her to my vet the next day (that Monday) because her behavior that Sunday was worrying me (the panting during the day and the inability to get comfortable). Looking back now, I am filled with guilt and regret that I did not take her to the ER Vet 25 miles from my home on that Sunday.

    In talking with my vet after her passing we came to the conclusion that she may have thrown a blood clot, incurred ascites, or succumb to what was actually a malignant adrenal tumor. It has been so hard losing her so suddenly. She was healthy as a horse her entire life until the last 2 months of her life; all of these things just hit her and took her. She was a senior dog, but I thought I could make her comfortable and give her a good quality of life for maybe a year. I know there is nothing I can do now to change what happened, but I'm curious if anyone else has experienced this type of ending with their beloved companion? What hurts the most is not knowing if the ER vet would have been able to identify the issue and help her. I feel like I let her down. I was fortunate to find this website. Reading the forums has helped me a lot. Any insight anyone can provide based on their experience(s) would be appreciated. Thank you.
    Last edited by NovNikita1111; 10-10-2018 at 01:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Glen Cove, NY
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Recently lost my companion.

    My Lena was acting the same way two days before she died. We were in the ER on Wednesday night for those same symptoms. She had to stay over in an oxygen tent. I picked her up the next day, and the same thing happened that night. Back we went to the ER where they admitted her again and kept her in the tent. She died a few hours later after I had gotten home. I wish I had stayed or had them put her to sleep while I was there. It still kills me that she died all alone in a strange place without me.

    I'm not sure if this helps you, but I sure know how you feel....
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Manteno, IL
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Recently lost my companion.

    I'm sorry for your loss, Joan. I hope the memories of all the good times you had with Lena comfort you. That is what I try to focus on. Ultimately, it's painful to lose them regardless of how and when. I guess we just have to realize that we loved them the entire time we had them, and sometimes there is only so much in our control. It certainly wasn't our will that they come down with this disease. Thanks for your response.

    -Nick
    Last edited by NovNikita1111; 10-10-2018 at 01:48 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    13,626

    Default Re: Recently lost my companion.

    Hello Nick. I am so sorry for your loss of Nikita, and I surely understand why her sudden death is so painful for you and has raised so many questions. I’m really grateful that you’ve come to join us here, though, so that we can help to always honor Nikita’s memory and also offer our support to you.

    We maintain a special memorial thread of honor here for all our pups who have passed. It will be our privilege to add Nikita to our thread if that would be a comfort to you. If you’ll tell us the date of her passing, we will add that to her line. We’ll be happy to add a photo link, as well. If you’d like, you can send any photo of your choice to us at k9cushings@gmail.com. So just let us know. So you can see it, here’s a link to our special thread:

    http://www.k9cushings.com/forum/show...Left-Us-(2018)

    As far as what happened, any of the alternatives that you’ve talked about with your vet are certainly possible. Dogs can remain amazingly stoic when it comes to pain or discomfort, so I don’t think it’s uncommon for crises to arise with only a few hours of warning. I do understand why you now wish so dearly that you had taken her to the ER. But in honesty, there was no way for you to know that anything that serious was going on. And there may not have been anything the ER vet could have done, anyway. I’ve now had two friends with dogs who suddenly seemed uncomfortable, and within a matter of hours succumbed at the ER with ruptured spleens. There was absolutely no warning beforehand that anything was wrong. Knowing what we do about Nikita’s adrenal tumor, I think it’s highly possible that it indeed ruptured or somehow precipitated a clot. If so, there was likely nothing that could have been done, anyway. Although it doesn’t ease your own pain in any way, I’m thinking that perhaps Nikita herself had a quick release from her illness and future struggles. And she was right there in her own loved home when she passed.

    Do keep writing, though, if there are more thoughts or questions that you’d wish to share. We’d love to read more about your lives together if it wouldn’t be too painful to write. And if not now, maybe sometime in the future. Once again, welcome to our family. And I’m truly so sorry for your loss.

    Marianne

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •