My precious female boxer ,Patty, died last Saturday Oct 10th, 2009.She died a very painful death & I wasn't there to comfort her.I've been wracked with guilt and pain over it as well as missing her so much.She was so ill & I missed the signs.She was an abused dog who was left by her owners at the vets.One day my older son brought her home because she was going to be euthanized.We were reluctant, but she grew on us fast & was the most beautiful, polite, gentle, sweet, loving & funny dog I could have ever wished for & didn't even know I needed until she made my life so much happier than it had been.We had her for 6 1/2 wonderful years.She was like our baby.She was so wide-eyed and innocent.She really acted like a toddler would in every way!She absolutely loved everyone & everything.I even saw her trying to play with a fly a few times! lol.She was very timid out in strange places and clung to us. Well, she got a mast cell tumor on the right side of her neck 3 years ago.It was benign and removed but not completely.It grew back larger.We were hesitant to keep getting her cut open.Maybe we waited too long, I don't know but the second time, it was malignant.She had surgery & radiation treatment even though the tumor was removed with clean margins.The vet hospital charged us almost 10,000 for everything.We are broke as it is..seriously.She was fine, but started showing signs here and there of feeling sick the past 2 months.It started out with tiny things.20/20 hindsight says it was over 2 months.Things like eatting grass too often, not as energetic.I thought she was just getting older.All kinds of small signs that worried me but I ignored..hoping the best.I knew we could never afford to get her treated again.More recently, her neck seemed thicker but it was symetrical so I didn't worry too much.In the past two weeks, she threw up, then seemed fine..had clogged sinuses, it progressed.We had actually no income for all of august.She was even crying to me 2 weeks ago trying to tell me something was wrong.Then she seemed better.I knew all of these signs were adding up to something worrisome but I put it off too long.I finally made an appt for Oct 10th as soon as we could get her seen.I had tried to get one with the specialist in Red Bank but the earliest w/e appt he had was Oct 25th so I scheduled with our local vet.Thurs the 8th, she had vomited that morning for the second time in 1 month,later in the day she had frequent urination.Not much of an appetite thurs but in the evening she perked up when I made her some chicken breast.On friday,the 9th of Oct, she was very listless & then in the evening her neck started to swell out of the blue.She started having labored breathing.I had no car so a few hours later, my husband got home & rushed her an hour away to the vet hospital.By then she was getting worse.I said goodbye to her thinking I'd see her the next day & she'd be fine as soon as they could treat her.That was the last time I saw her.My husband stayed a couple hours at the vet hospital and left there at 4AM and came home.They made him pay 1000.00 before he left..part of the cost.We used the rest of our credit card and what was in our check acct.I'm not sure how much they told him or even knew at the time as far as the severity of her condition.I had called the Triage nurse earlier before my husband even got home .She thought it might be an infection or mast cells inflaming her throat.We were still very hopeful.My husband called me before he left there and told me her breathing seemed better and her blood tests were normal but had elevated WBC.She also had a fever.They were giving her benydryl & had put her in an oxygen tent & her breathing seemed less labored.I was able to go to sleep then with a somewhat eased mind. At 9:45 am, Sat morning..a dr called and told me she had thyroid carcinoma and it was squeezing her trachea closed.It had also grown into one lung.I missed or ignored all the signs.I do have to say that never in a million years did I think that.I was starting to worry she might have another MCT somewhere and feared the decision we'd have to make about treatment this time but nothing this horrible and urgent.Well, they had only given her ACE.Its like a valium.She laid there all night into morning choking and in pain.They recommended euthanasia.They couldn't do a tracheotomy because the swelling internally was so bad, nothing would work.He said she wouldn't make it through the next night.We tried to process it and my husband called back too.Woke our sons & cried a lot.By about 11, we got ready real quick.We were about to leave at 11:32 and the phone rang that her heart had stopped.They asked if we wanted them to resusitate her but we knew that would just cause her more agony .She had no way to breath.I hate to think this, but I know they really only care about money down there.The cahrge would have been 800, but we would have paid anything like that if it would have helped her.It would just have been very inhumane.I never saw her again.She died alone, without us there to comfort her.I researched Ace & thats when I knew she wasn't really "sedated" and it was just like a valium and realize now that she just lied there suffering & yearning for us until one of the flunky docs in training finally looked at her.She died from the pain of cancer pushing on her trachea and slowly suffocated for 12 hours while they did nothing.I can't get over the anguish she felt of not having us there to comfort her and love her and end her suffering.Its a very high tech hospital.The worse part is that there were only a few people there that night and that all 40 doctors(the specialists) and staff went to a co-workers wedding on sat.The dr who called (not a specialist)had finally gotten there at 7:30 am.Why didn't he call shortly after he arrived?! It's all so horrible.She was not given good care by them.They had no way to do a tracheotomy by the time that terrible dr saw the severity of her situation.I called a couple days later when he was working again.He described in detail how horrible it was.Said she suffered and that she knew we weren't there.I miss her very much and I can't forgive myself for not being with her.I know it's everyones fault & noones but it still haunts me.I know we loved her with all our hearts but I think she felt abandoned by us in her last hours and she was hanging on as long as she could, waiting for us.I had a dog when I was a child.He was a backyard dog.He protected me .We got him when I was 2.He died at the age of 17 in our basement on the cement floor.I stayed with him for an hour and then went to bed.He died alone.I never forgave myself for that but I was younger & not as patient as I am as a mother now.There was NEVER any question in my mind that I would do anything to comfort Patty & love her till her last breath.She deserved that from us because she was such a purely loving soul.She had no no negative qualities at all.She never got irritable & she didn't even bark!My baby died a horrible death without any love & comfort from her Mommy & all of us who loved her.I fear she felt abandoned by us.I really can't get over this.She had a rough start in life and a horrible end.It's so unfair.If I had gotten her to the dr even just a little sooner, we would have have known what she had and been able to help her & ease her pain.I do the bills & I do give my sons money,..more than I should.I know I just put off getting her seen because I knew the cost could be substantial.Thanks for listening.Any help would really be appreciated.
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