Is this really what caused my dog to die, or could it have been something else, and was he hurting?

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Hello. This is going to be long – as I’m trying to leave nothing out, and I’d like to apologize in advance. About 5 and a half years ago, my father came home from work announcing that his friend at work was a Chocolate Lab breeder, and his most recent litter of puppies had just gotten old enough to receive new homes. He had always wanted a Chocolate Lab, and our Black Lab had passed a few months before, and we knew that that is what our Black Lab would have wanted – for us to have the joy of another dog in our lives, to take our minds off of the pain. Well, a few days later, my dad came home from work with a puppy about the size of his forearm. We named him Cody. We immediately took Cody to the vet ( one of the best vets around voted by the area, and also a good friend of ours – as we’ve been going there with our animals for years ) for a check up, got him neutered, and made sure all of his shots were up to date. We were told by the vet that Cody was perfectly healthy. He continued to go to the vet regularly when he needed check ups and new shots, and everything was always just fine. Until about 6 months ago, everything started to go downhill. Cody was about 5, and he got to a point where he couldn’t run much at all, and he would get worn out very easily. We attributed it to him being quite chubby, (even though we only fed him dog friendly foods) and just decided to put him on a diet. He lost some weight so that he was back to almost average size. Then, we noticed a bump on his side. So we took him to the vet, and by this time it was about the size of a softball. The vet informed us that it was a tumor, but unfortunately, due to the size and location, there was nothing that could be done. The operation would be too dangerous, Cody’s healing process would go on for a very long time, and it would be very painful to him. He told us that an expensive text could be done to see if it was cancerous, but even if we knew, there was nothing to do, so we chose no test. It was right between the side of the ribs and the top part of a dog’s back leg that forms a circular type shape. He told us that the tumor wasn’t hurting him yet, so just letting him live out his life with it should be alright unless it starts to hurt. The tumor grew, but still no pain was shown. Then he developed a persistent cough. We took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with Eosinic Tracheatus (sp?). It’s a rare chronic illness with similar symptoms of Kennel Cough, but much worse. It involved growths in the throat that close the airway slightly. He would constantly cough like he was trying to throw up, but nothing would come out of his mouth. He was put on 6 different medications to treat the illness, and was doing quite well. I should also mention that by this point, his tumor was about the size of a football, but still didn’t seem to be physically hurting him, he just was a lot slower than usual. The vet recommended putting him to sleep, since this illness would get the best of him anyway. My dad held out hope with his wishful thinking, and as of yesterday, he hadn’t coughed since he was given his medication. He just couldn’t breathe as well as usual. He would breathe heavily and wheeze. Suddenly, he was sleeping on the couch, and my dad and I were in the room with him. He let out a loud cough/ almost like a gasp for air – nothing like his coughs from before. He dragged himself off the couch and slowly walked to my dad, keeping his head looking up and mouth slightly opened. It was then that my dad noticed the white coming from his mouth. He tried to rub his throat and do the things that usually help his breathing, but nothing worked. He picked up his cell phone and called the vet "Hello, is the doctor in tonight? My dog is finally needing to be put down – immediately? Okay, I’ll be there as soon as I can". Then the dog made his way to the living room, where we heard a very loud cough once again from the room next door, where Cody had his head on his paws, but his back legs were standing. He was drooling this white stuff all over the floor. I was told to say my goodbyes and I did, and my dad went to take him to the car, but he laid down on the welcome mat and refused to move. My parents carried the mat with him on it out to the car and my dad and Cody left. 20 minutes later my dad was home. Cody passed on the way there, when my dad smelled that Cody had released his bowls, he pulled over and opened the trunk knowing it was the end. Cody died with his head on my dad’s lap. My dad still drove to the vet, who examined him in the car. They believe that my beloved dog’s tumor exploded, sending poison through his body, and he went into shock on the welcome mat, causing him not to be able to move. The reason behind this theory is the white stuff coming from his mouth, and the smell of his breath. It was over in 20 minutes. Does anyone else have any other theories? And if he was in pain?
It wasn’t a little trunk that closes in a small car, absolutely not! We have a large SUV, so he was in the trunk of that car http://l.yimg.com/dv/izp/ford_escape_hybrid_limited_fwd_2009_other_trunk.jpg – identical to that. That was his favorite place to be in car rides, and the only place he could properly lay down in the car. Sorry for the confusion!
I should also add that he never yelped or cried out. According to my dad, Cody was nothing less than peaceful. He said he seemed comfortable, and that when he died he just took a deep breath and was gone. May God rest his soul.♥

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    3 Responses to “Is this really what caused my dog to die, or could it have been something else, and was he hurting?”

    1. anastasia198320 says:

      I don’t know much about dogs, other than having 3 of them in my life, plus all my relative’s. But I had a 15 year old black mini schnauzer Little Ann who died of a brain tumor. She was at the point where the tumor was pressing on her optic nerve and her eyes were seizing, looking like a cat clock. She had severe vertigo. Her legs had given out and she couldn’t get up. Originally she was vomiting, but by the end she was vomiting that same white stuff you described. I took her to the vet. They said I had a surgery option. But I would have to hand feed her and carry her for the next 2 weeks. I had promised her after another surgery that I wouldn’t do that to her again, as the vet said "she wouldn’t stop screaming until that morning" When they gave her the injection to put her to sleep, I was kneeling by her face, petting her, telling her I loved her and that it would be over soon. This look of peace came over her face, she gave me a lick, and her eyes quit seizing. She was able to look me in the eyes and she looked like she was thanking me. It didn’t make the loss any less difficult, but I hope this helps you. E-mail me sometime. I have a lot of poems I recieved that helped my sense of loss.

    2. Irving Schwartz says:

      There is a good possibility that if the tumor was cancerous, that the cancer had spread to other parts of his body, including the lungs. I doubt your dog suffered much pain, and at least he knew he was loved during his final moments. Loosing a dog is just like loosing a part of your family, enjoy the memories and rejoice in knowing that you gave him a great home for all those years.

    3. Launi~ Thundering ~ Wild Angels~ says:

      What else could it have been? I have been there. And yes, your dog was in pain. So was mine when his diseased liver & bowels stopped working. He died in the backseat of my truck. I could not get him there fast enough but up until 12 hours earlier he was fine.

      When the vet recommended to euthanize? That was the time. The dog suffered for no reason but a humans inability to accept the truth.

      Just want to add one very important thing: DEATH is painful. Unless animal/human is completely doped up on massive pain killing drugs (& even THEN it doesn’t always help) DYING is painful. What the heck? Everybody think as your organs are shutting down it doesn’t HURT?

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