My beloved Chocolate Labrador Eva died of malignant histiocytosis (MH) on October 26, 2006. She was my best friend in the world and my constant companion. Her passing left a huge hole in my heart. Right now I feel so terribly empty but also blessed to have shared her love and companionship for 10 wonderful years. THANK YOU SWEETIE, I miss you so much, but I hope you have fun in Heaven.
Eva started coughing and hacking and became extremely lethargic in August 2006. Needless to say I ran her to the vet who tested her blood. As she was coughing and her white blood count was high they thought she might have a respiratory infection and she was treated for that with antibiotics. After I stopped the antibiotics, the coughing returned and so we gave her another kind of antibiotic. This time the coughing returned before the course of antibiotics was finished. We were referred to a specialist who took an x-ray and discovered that my sweet girl was filled with fluid. The specialist said that Eva probably had a heart-condition. However after he drained the fluid and noticed it contained a lot of blood, he ruled out the heart-condition and said it was probably some kind of cancer. Unfortunately the lab results of the fluid were inconclusive, so we had an ultrasound done which showed a mass in her lungs. So next was a biopsy from the mass in her lungs. ALSO I had previously noticed some little lumps, but was told that they were fatty cysts which are common for a dog her age (10). But one of those lumps had changed and hardened and so he took a biopsy from that lump too. The results were devastating. I was told she had MH and it was recommended that I put her to sleep as soon as the symptoms worsened. Fortunately the removal of the fluid had eased her symptoms a great deal and she didn't seem to be in pain at all. And even though she had slowed down drastically she still had a great appetite and seemed happy to be with me. So we gave her prednisone to relieve any kind of inflammation and hoped for the best.
As I am retired I was able to be with her constantly and give her lots of love and attention. The memories of this extreme emotional 'quality time' really helped me a great deal after I lost her. I felt extremely lucky cause her quality of life was pretty good until the day she died. I understand now that others aren't that lucky. She did lose lots of weight and muscle mass and her breathing was very rapid, but she didn't seem to be in pain. However on her last morning she wasn't interested in her food. She went outside to go potty and her legs gave out. I knew that this was the end. Even though she got back on her feet, she still didn't want to eat and now she was clearly in pain and very distressed. I made that horrible dreaded call to the vet. I will never ever forget that day; the pain and emotions are still overwhelming.