Last weekend we lost our wonderful 13-year-old labrador. It all happened so quickly and we had to make a choice without having answers. I'm looking for any experiences or advice because I'm feeling so much guilt over missing signs, making bad choices.
Two nights ago she was extremely lethargic and had a small twitch. We took her to the emergency vet who ran a battery of tests and they all came back fine. They said she could stay the night or go home and rest and see if she comes to and can walk again. She's a nervous type so we opted to take her home.
In the morning we woke up to her excessive drooling and a very wet spot where her mouth had been. We called the vet and they said the pain medicine they gave her could have caused excess drooling and to keep monitoring her. She ate and drank a little, but was still disoriented. We decided to nap since we hadn't slept. We woke up to her having a seizure and we don't know how long it had been happening. We rushed her to the emergency vet again and they were able to stabilize her. Since it was the weekend, we were unable to get an MRI or CT, but they suspected it was either brain cancer or pancreatic cancer because her glucose levels were somewhat low.
We opted to keep her comfortable and hospitalized until we could get more answers. Overnight they called us and said she had another grand mal seizure and since then was not coming out of it, had a temp of 107 and overall wasn't doing well. We decided to end her pain instead of letting her suffer through the night.
Three years ago she had mammary cancer that we treated with chemo. She's also had mast cell cancer, always removed with surgery. But she was doing fine until this episode. A few weeks ago she had a spell of lethargy but the tests all came back normal and she recovered so we were told it was probably just exhaustion. Looking back, it was probably seizure related and we missed it.
I'm feeling so much guilt and confusion right now. I never wanted her to go this way, and I worry that taking her home the first night ended up killing her. Everything I read about brain cancer online says it happens gradually, that we would have had warning signs. We knew she was twitching that first night but since it had stopped when we got her to the vet, the vet said to see if it happened again. I wish we hadn't ignored it - maybe they could have started seizure medication earlier and it wouldn't have progressed like this.
Has anyone experienced something like this? I've read online most dogs with brain cancer have seizures and then they bounce out of them - I just can't understand why it took her so quickly and without any warning and I'm riddled with guilt that we didnt keep her overnight when she was acting weird. We had an autopsy done and in 6 weeks we'll have answers and I'm terrified for them. The vet at the ER was immediately ready to euthanize her and I worry she didn't try the right medicines to bring her out of the cluster seizures. After reading the paperwork, they only gave valium when it happened and didn't start a long acting seizure IV until the last fatal one.