This post has taken me two weeks to write. My Mom's boy...Marcus died suddenly two weeks ago.
He was the full brother to my Harvey. My Mom adored him and he adored my Mom.
If you've read this blog for a long time you know one of my own died suddenly a few years ago
and it just about did me in.
I loved Marcus. But he was everything to my Mom and for him to be healthy one day and dead the next....well...It was soooo hard.
We lost our Daisy back in January and that hurt but she was 14 and her health had been slipping the past 6 months so we were prepared.
I'm going to tell you about Marcus's illness so that you can be on the look out for something like this in your own dog.
I don't know that we could have saved him if we'd known sooner.
Probably not but ironically Daisy had the same illness caused by a different source
and we were able to save her 6 years ago.
Here is Marcus at my house after my Mom's open heart surgery.
My Mom recuperated in a twin bed with seven weenie dogs!
That was crazy!
We attributed the weenie dogs to her quick recovery.
In this photo you can see Violet, Marcus...Rosie, Daisy and in the corner....Harvey.
Back to what happened....
Marcus did not look sick. The day he died...he looked just like he did in that photo.
My Mom had been busy running my sister's dog, Boomer back and forth to the vet.
We had found out that he had diabetes and she had to take him to the vet every day for about a
week and a half to check his blood sugar levels.
During this time...Marcus was his usual happy, loud, bossy self.
But one day all of a sudden he was not as active as usual...that morning he didn't want to eat.
Mom took him to the vet that afternoon. She feared he had a tooth ache or something.
He walked to the car as usual...barked on the ride to the vet...walked into the vet...wagging
The vet didn't think there was anything wrong with him but Mom insisted saying he wasn't eating.
Then he looked at his mouth. His gums were white..the pads of his feet were white.
This meant he was extremely anemic.
We had this once with Daisy...same thing...she was fine one day and super sick the next.
Mom took her in and found out that she was about an hour away from dying.
The vet gave her steroids, a blood transfusion and anti-biotics and just hoped for the best.
That time it was an auto immune disease caused by a tick born disease.
We'd never seen a tick on Daisy. Daisy stayed at the vet for a week but came home and after
some time had a complete recovery.
But my Mom had to take her in every 6 months just to make sure she was ok.
We were lucky with Daisy. Very lucky that she recuperated.
Mom always checked Daisy's gums to make sure they were pink from that day forward.
But...it never occurred to Mom to check Marcus' gums.
Mostly cause he did not act sick until that day that she took him to the vet.
The vet said he was VERY sick...he gave him steroids but did not want to give him a blood transfusion till he knew for sure what was wrong with him.
This was on a Monday afternoon.
My Mom called me at work and it scared me to hear the fear in her voice.
The vet said he'd have test results on Tuesday and for Mom to bring Marcus in for treatment on Wednesday morning, first thing.
Test results came back Tuesday morning and it showed that it was not a tick disease
(which would have been best case scenario)
It was not bone cancer (which would have been worse case)
but it was an auto-immune disease and his blood vessels were being destroyed.
I saw the vet that day...I took Violet in for a check up.
He said...that we'd probably do a blood transfusion in the morning.
He was very concerned...but had hope.
I told him I spoke to my Mom...so had he and she was worried cause Marcus ate and
went outside but he was very sluggish and breathing rapidly.
The vet said that was caused by the steroids.
I called Mom and comforted her and she said she couldn't wait for morning to take him in.
We should have taken him right then...Mom knew things were not right.
That night at 9:30 my Mom called me and said Marcus had just died next to her in the bed!
She was crying and crying...it was just terrible.
She said he'd eaten and walked out to the bathroom.
She'd put him in bed and a few minutes later he was gone.
My Mom was just beside herself in grief. Why hadn't she taken him in even though
she was suppose to wait?
Why had she not noticed his gums being pale?
Had she missed his not being well in the past month?
She had only been telling me the week before about how she had to get on to him for being too
rough with her other dog. So obviously he was feeling himself just a week before.
The vet said he could not believe he acted so normal and was so sick.
I went to see my Mom and helped her the next day.
We ended up having him cremated. We've buried all the others in the past but it's been
raining here almost every day and it didn't seem possible to prepare a hole for him in time.
A very very hard time.
I told Mom now I understand why some people just say "enough" and don't
do another dog.
In the end they break your heart.
Now my Mom still has Rosie and a couple of months ago she adopted a new Daisy
who she calls Daisy Too.
Rosie has been out of sorts since our first Daisy died and then with Marcus gone too so
soon after...she was not herself at all.
Today when I talked to Mom though she said that Rosie for the first time had gone over and
snuggled next to Daisy Too to sleep.
That is a big step.
Mom is doing better.
I know too well the pain of the sudden loss of a dog and I would have done
anything to take that pain away.
We are trying to focus on the ten wonderful years Mom had with Marcus
and not question how things might have been different.
My vet felt terrible and questioned his own decision in having us wait a day to bring him in.
I'm telling this story so that you all will know to keep an eye on your dog's gums.
If they are pale, rush them to the vet.
I don't know that we could have saved him if we'd noticed sooner.
Dogs can't tell you when they don't feel good.
I saw his body. Looking at him...he looked perfectly healthy.
You would never have thought anything was wrong with him.
A friend of mine's Mom had a similar thing happen with one of her dogs.
They weren't able to save her and she died at the vet.
Anyway...for now my Mom says she is going to focus all her love on the two girls and
one day when they are gone she will get a boy puppy.
Marcus was her special boy and he cannot be replaced but she hopes one day
she will know that sort of love again.
He was obsessed with her.
It's very hard to lose someone that loves you that much...I know cause I experienced it
when I lost my Newman.
Anyway..this is why I haven't posted much of late.
And of course I'm always at work. Hard to do projects these days.
Sorry for the long read...but I know you understand.