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  #1  
Old July 24th, 2012, 03:07
Amby's Big Sister Amby's Big Sister is offline
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Default Amber's story - a warning about Kidney failure

This is my first post on a forum: I just need someone to tell, who understands. Sorry if I go on.

I lost my precious girl on Sunday morning. She had to be put to sleep after a hidden illness came to light and a rapid, heartbreaking decline. My heart is empty and I ache with a physical pain I cannot bear. I need to put down in words the things that keep going round in my head.

Back in 2005 I was suffering from depression and my parents bought two black Labrador pups - Jet and Amber, to try and give me something to live for (I cry as I remember the exact moment I gave them their names.) They taught me how to love again when I was finding it hard to love myself.

Amber had always been the bouncy one - poor Jet suffers from the dreaded hip dysplasia - bless him. About 2 months ago, she got even pickier than normal with her food, but this seemed to fluctuate. Then a month ago her breath seemed to get really smelly and she would only eat soft foods. We tried to tempt her with tasty treats and tried to brush her teeth. We took her to the vets for a look over but he said her temp and condition seemed fine. She had lost a kg in weight but as she was such a lively character we did not worry. (I cry again at this thought - can't believe she was here so recently and now she is not.)

Just two weeks ago after further weight loss (about 3kgs) the vet agreed that maybe she had a dental problem and booked her in for a blood test and teeth clean. That was when my world ended. The blood test showed that her kidneys were not functioning properly at all. They did an ultrasound scan and found her kidneys were tiny and one had a mass on. They kept her in for a tense week on fluids. Our hearts sang - she picked up! She was discharged a week last Friday to "see how she got on" with medication and a special diet.

I can barely write about the last week. She would eat sporadically and drink, beg to go for walks, go to the toilet as normal. Our loving special girl. But she was getting painfully thin. Skeletal. As the week progressed the shakes started and she kept refusing to eat ANYTHING we gave her. We took her to the vets ahead of the scheduled appointment and he told us the worst - she was not responding to meds and diet. There was nothing more to try - what did we want to do? The end of our world. She still had her loving face, she still wanted to lie on us, she still dragged me to get out of the vets room. She was still Amber. We took her home.

The rest of Friday she barely ate. She seemed miserable until the word "walk" was mentioned when her tail wagged and she pulled herself up to go. Saturday she didn't eat. She has moments of brightness and enjoyed a couple of short walks - the only time we saw the Amber of old. I couldn't bear it. I talked to her calmly about our upcoming doggy holiday, stroked her and said my goodbyes to her sad, tired little face. A shadow of "my Amber". I don't think she was really there. I can't get the image of her out of my mind. We finally gave in to the fact that her time with us was over on Sunday morning when she couldn't find the strength to stand. She looked so unhappy though the vet said she wasn't in pain. My dad held her face and stroked her ears as the vet put her to sleep - the rest of us couldn't bear to see her light go out - or risk upsetting her with our tears. She always hated to see anyone cry.

Kidney disease is a hidden killer - her only real symptoms were bad breath and picky eating. By the time the weight loss came it was too late. I hope no one else reading this ever has to go through the shock and despair that this hidden killer has caused our family.

Please tell me this will get easier. My heart is in a million pieces. I feel guilty for eating, I wake with nightmares of my other pets and beloved Jet leaving me too. I see her everywhere in my imagination. It hurts.
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Old July 24th, 2012, 14:27
hazelharris hazelharris is offline
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hi ambys big sisiter i am so sorry for your loss i know how devistating if feels when we lose a pet they are not just a cat or dog etc they are part of your family and love them as such and it breaks your heart when they die i lost my lab 4 weeks before darren he suddenly went mad it was hell
the grief does get better my alfie i also lost 12 years ago it broke my heart but i now think of him occasionaly and always with a smile we never forget any of them but we have to accept when we love an animal their life span it's a fairly short time unfortunately but all the love they give us is worth the grief when they are gone
my comfort has always been they came to a good home where people loved them cared for them and they were happy their life could very easily been different if they had gone to a family that didn't care for them we can very often read the most dreadful cruelty to animals amber had nothing but love from you be proud you gave him a good life
the days and weeks will get better take the love and comfort from jet and your other animals they will be missing amber as well and need extra loving
love hazel
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Old July 24th, 2012, 15:32
Amby's Big Sister Amby's Big Sister is offline
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Default Thank you

Hi Hazel,
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post. It has helped enormously to talk to someone who has been there and understands how important an animal is to a family and how desperate these first few days/weeks feel.

Until today I had been going over and over the events leading to my loss (almost as though I didn't want to forget a detail) with no one to let it out to. I didn't want to upset my family any more - we all cope differently. I feel so much better for getting it out of my head.

Thank you again for your kindness and reassurance. These dark times will pass I know, and I will try concentrate on focussing on the positives. As you said Amber had a fabulous life - some may say spoilt! - and she has helped to change mine for the better for ever.
I will treasure my boy and make the most of everyday I have with him.
Take care
Steph
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Old July 24th, 2012, 16:14
hazelharris hazelharris is offline
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hi steph on sunday it was the last act of love from you when you knew ambers suffering was enough and let her go with peace going over her illness feels like she is still suffering but shes not the pain and everything is gone shes up there with all the other dogs i do believe in a doggie heaven and if amber loved the sea like mine there there all together tails wagging running free
i am here if you need me for comfort in your loss love hazelxx
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  #5  
Old August 14th, 2012, 14:31
heavenlygirl heavenlygirl is offline
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Oh I am so very sorry for the loss of your girl and for the suffering you and she have been through. The best gift we can give a pet is one of unconditional love and without question your Amber had that. Making the decision to lay her to rest was obviously the right one but in no way is it the easy decision to make. Time will heal your heart but in the meantime, please forgive yourself. It sounds as if you did everything you could.
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