Soft poop: what the vet said

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Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:17 am

The guilt I feel is unbearable. I took her there and had to leave her - the vet was going to look at ears and teeth. When the vet called me I thought it was going to be for an update, instead it was her telling us to come down fast.

Apparently a tech went in to check on her and saw her gasping, Dr. Duggan gave her emergency meds but not even 10 minutes after I got in the car she was gone. The doc said that it was very very sudden and she wasn't expecting this at all. PC was fine in the morning and afternoon and then within a second she went from fine to not fine.

I feel like such crap for leaving her there all alone and she died without me there. How terrible for her. I feel so guilty I can't even bare it. I feel like she gave up because she felt I abandoned her. I also feel like I ruined her life. She wasn't even a year old. Maybe if she were with someone else, this wouldn't have happened.

The house is very different now. She was my favorite by far and it's quiet without her wheeking. Henry hides all day and doesn't wheek much, and we all know about 'Ferd The Bully. PC was perfect in every way and I feel sick to my stomach that this happened. Why did it have to be her? Why so soon? Why after ALL OF THIS did she still have to go?

My emotions are out of control right now. I'm sad because I can NOT handle this. She was my perfect little girl that I fell in love with the minute I saw her. I feel like I took something from her and didn't allow her to live a full life. I'm angry because I went to the best docs, I did every test on the planet, I didn't think twice about my job, time, money, friends, everything else went on the backburner for her, and still I failed. I'm feeling very "this isn't fair" right now. And I don't know if my feelings are justified or not, but it's how I'm feeling and I'm totally going to barf before the days over.

The doctor seemed pretty upset as well. She was crying when we left and said she was in no was expecting any of this. It came as a total shock to her. She said she thought PC was turning around - we just had to do the no feed = no gas thing. Apparently that wasn't the case. It was always in the back of my mind that she may not make it, but it wasn't ever REAL. Seeing her lay there last night almost killed me. Dreadful isn't a strong enough word for how I feel. I can't even describe it. I'm sure most of you have gone through it though. I think the part that kills me the most is her age. If she were 6 I would be able to say that she lived a great life and it was her time. She wasn't even a year.

We're getting a necropsy, but I almost don't want to. I don't want it to come back saying "yeah it was X and you just didn't catch it in time".

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:23 am

Oh somechick, my heart is aching for you. I know how much you loved her, you did everything you could. I just have no words to comfort you, I wish I did. I'm so sorry. This is not your fault.

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:25 am

It is natural to feel guilty and sad and angry because you wanted to be able to make everything okay. You *did* do everything you could do. It sounds like your vet is very compassionate and did everything *she* could do. I hope you can get over the guilt soon, because you have nothing to feel guilty about. Even though her life was short, it was full of care and love. That is all any of us can do.

The special ones break our hearts.

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:42 am

Your feelings are completely normal and justified. It's the worst when it happens suddenly without explanation. I am hoping that you and your vet will get answers from the necropsy. It's the only way to know what was going on.

It was nothing you did or didn't do. This is what we all know for sure.

I dropped my precious Angel off for surgery to remove an abscess. She ran around my room during floor time the night before..she ran up and down the ramp to her cage..she ate like a true pig the night before and the morning before I dropped her off. I got a call hrs later telling me she passed away while the vet was putting her under for the surgery. UGH! I know how you feel. The necropsy gave me answers but I still suffered for two weeks and felt guilty.

The pain of the loss will subside..the memory of loving her and the joy she gave you will remain in your heart. Take it day by day. I am so sorry this happened O:(.

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Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:51 pm

I understand your belief that it just should not have been her time. And it does make it hurt more.

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Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:10 pm

Thanks for all your kind words.

Lynx - this does make it worse. I feel that since it's not natural to go so young, I could have done something to prevent and/or fix the problem. I feel that, as her caretaker, it's my job to make sure she lives a full, long life and I didn't do that.

Unless the necropsy shows some sort of congenital undiagnosable anomaly, I don't think I have a choice but to think that it was something that could have been stopped.

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Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:13 pm

So sorry, somechick.

I've been reading this thread with great interest since I have a mysterious gassy piggy, as well. Part of me wonders if it may have been a congenital heart condition, since heart pigs gulp lots of air into their tummies and since heart probs could have caused such a sudden departure. (I don't remember whether Xrays showed a normal-size heart, somewhere earlier in the post.)

Whatever the necropsy reveals, you certainly did all you could and shouldn't beat yourself up. And I'm sure PC knew how much you loved her throughout the ideal.

Take care.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:28 pm

I could have done something to prevent and/or fix the problem. I feel that, as her caretaker, it's my job to make sure she lives a full, long life and I didn't do that.
No. You did your best.

Many things just cannot be fixed - this is just the nature of the beast, sadly.

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 4:14 pm

"Unless the necropsy shows some sort of congenital undiagnosable anomaly, I don't think I have a choice but to think that it was something that could have been stopped."

Not true. My vet said that Angel's organs had lesions and there were other things she said (I was too upset at the time to remember exactly) but the one thing that stuck was when she said "I'm surprised she had no symptoms and lived as long as she did". So, we don't know what is going on inside for sure..we do the best we can, you and your vet.

I am sorry because she was so young. It's not your fault and like Mum said, some things just cannot be fixed.

You loved her while she was here and you took her for treatment when you saw she was sick. That's what a loving, responsible pet owner does.

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Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:51 pm

So true. Print up those words and read them when you are feeling so sad.


Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:51 pm

You did everything you could for her. You listened to us, you took her to numerous vets, you gave her all your love and care, and in the end nothing was going to help. If there was something else to have been done you would have done it. You went above and beyond what any average piggy owner would do. Sometimes nothing will help.

I think that when you get past the initial immediate intense ache of loss, you will be able to step back and realize that you did the best you could and there wasn't anything more to be done that you knew to do. It is awful, it sucks, it is shitty, but it is what it is and you can at least be glad that you had the chance to know her and were able to share good times for awhile. No one else could have loved her like you did.

I believe we will see them again. They won't forget us or how much we loved them, and we will never ever forget them.

You can quote me

Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 6:57 pm

You can fix a car. You can fix a photocopy machine.

You can't always fix a complex, organic living being.

As others have said, you and BF did absolutely everything you possibly could for her. You cared for her well, you met every need and had every test. You were right to take her to the vet, and I am confident she did not feel abandoned. Something much worse than that was wrong with her.

Her time here was too short, but it was filled with love and good care. That means a lot. A whole lot.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:11 pm

I'm going to take a guess and say strangulated intestines. Her problems were much like the baby I rescued and death was fast and sudden.

There was nothing you could have done, regardless of the necropsy results.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:04 pm

I'm so very sorry, somechick. PC knew how much you loved her.

A smart doctor once told me that you make the best decisions you can, based on the information you have at the time.


Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:05 pm

"We're getting a necropsy, but I almost don't want to. I don't want it to come back saying "yeah it was X and you just didn't catch it in time"."

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Bravo to you for getting a necropsy--it may help others to live in the future.

I also hope you see it as a tool for peace of mind, closure, and education.

I know your grief is speaking now, but when things are more clear, know that it is just not always up to us.

If money would keep the beloveds here, the money would be spent.

If time would keep them here, the time would be taken.

If love could make them healthy and able to stay, they'd all live as long as we do.

Some lives and loves are the richer for being the shorter. I had fifteen months with my megacolon bunny and the necropsy helped me to see that if I'd had even that one more day I prayed for--it would have been a day of pain and suffering for him.

I really suspect if the doctor who does the necropsy is very observant, they will find abnormalities in the cecum and intestines, maybe elsewhere.

You CAN handle this, with help, and you can love PC enough to let her go. Her little body doesn't hurt anymore. Peace and healing to you.

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Post   » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:29 pm

I'm going to get tough with you now. You need to stop feeling guilty. If you'd ignored her symptoms during all this time, you could feel guilty. If you'd noticed something was wrong, but didn't get help, you could feel guilty.

Feeling guilty for doing what you think was best for a creature in your care is not grounds for beating yourself up.

We've all wondered what else we could have done for our pigs. I second guess myself all the time about giving my Elvis extra calcium and him ending up with a stone that killed him. The reality is, we do what we think and know is best at the time. And that has to be good enough. If you had done nothing, there's a real possibility PC would have suffered greatly and still passed on. If I hadn't given Elvis calcium, he would have slowly died a painful death much more quickly. We do what we can. We do the best we know how.

It's time to stop blaming yourself. It's not fair to the rest of your piggies. You did just fine by PC. No matter what the necropsy reveals, you did just fine.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:05 pm

There's a lot of wisdom here.

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We miss our sweet Oreo

Post   » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:13 pm

Second on Holly's comments. Don't beat yourself up; it serves no purpose whatsoever and it dishonors PC. You did everything humanly possible to spare her the discomfort and illness she was suffering. In spite of what you believe, it apparently was her time. Honor your love for her by being strong and taking care of your other piggies. Miss her, love her, but don't let this destroy you and your confidence. You did good.

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Post   » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:23 pm

I just wanted to send you my thoughts, hugs, and love. There isn't really much else I can say but I am thinking about you.

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Post   » Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:10 pm

I saw this update earlier today, but just couldn't seem to find any words to write to express how awfully, awfully sorry I am. I still can't. The only thing I know to say, is that you truly did all that you could, and you absolutely must not blame yourself for any of this. I mean it.

Someone once told me "we do the best we can with the information we have." And that's so, so true. We make the best decisions we can, based on what we know or what we think is right. We can only do so much with our resources. We try everything we can to help our babies, and that's all we can do. Period. Sometimes it's enough, but a lot of times it just can't pull them through and that is NOT our faults. Some things are out of our hands. Some things happen despite our very best intentions and care. It hurts like hell when we lose one, I know, and it's okay to grieve. But please, please don't feel like you in any way let PC down. You did not. Not ever.

My words aren't very comforting, I know, but please know I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart.

Love and hugs to you,

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