I don’t think I fully understood the term heartbroken until the death of my first dog, Spencer. He wasn’t even 9 years old when he was diagnosed with a carcinoma in his throat – too close to his jugular vein to be removed. A slight cough was the only original symptom and then a little choking when he ate. Diagnosed on the 3rd October 2011 and put the sleep on the 2nd of December that same year. It was so quick and he went downhill so fast. For two years it was just me and him after I split up from my ex and moved house. He was my first dog, my ‘baby’ and losing him truly broke my heart.
Since then I’ve lost rabbits too, including most recently George in December 2015. But with George I was almost relieved when he went. Of course I was sad but he’d been through so much. If you’ve read my blog about sneezing you’ll know that he had been ill since November 2013. Since that last blog he’d started to go downhill again and I was nebulising him twice a day. Another nasal swab showed signs of Aspergillosis, a fungal infection which unless induced in laboratories it’s unheard of in pet rabbits. We had some treatment for this but it was always likely to be a secondary infection. At one point he was getting the fungal medication, anti-inflammatories, gut motility medication, Penicillin injections and I was syringe feeding him, poor thing. His ears also became infected again and I was cleaning them daily. George was such as good patient and loved his extra syringed food but it was a lot for him to deal with. We managed to get him stable and I decided that enough was enough and it was now time to make him comfortable for his remaining few weeks or months. He’d had enough investigatory procedures.
Shortly after making this decision I came home one evening to find him unable to use his hind legs properly. As soon as I saw him I knew it would be a one way trip for him to the vets. The vet was fantastic, so careful with him and very understanding. She said it was possibly a spinal tumour (nothing to do with his respiratory problems) and we had to let him go.
I’ve had George cremated and his ashes are back to scatter in the garden when the weather is a bit nicer. It’s always hard to see a pet go but I felt I waited a day or two too long with Spencer and I vowed never to do that again. I always try and remember;
‘It’s better for them to go a week too early than a day too late’