Yogi came to us in Nov. 2010, three days after we lost our dog Sydney, on Thanksgiving weekend. Her owner could no longer keep her as he was moving into an apartment, and Yogi was a large dog, about 131 lbs. She fit in with our family and other dogs without any problem. She was a gentle giant, big and black and furry. They told us she was half Lab, half Shepherd. We had her DNA tested and it came back basically a mutt. She did have 12% each of Leonburger, Chinook,Chow and Dachshund! Everything else was mixed breed. When she tried to talk, she made noises that sounded like a moose or other very large animal. She loved the beach, and she loved to go on trips in the RV. |
Yogi got very ill suddenly. She came in one night short of breath,acting spaced out, wouldn't eat or drink, and lethargic. Her mucus membranes were very pale. The episode subsided in a couple of hours, and we took her to the vet the following day. He ran many x-rays, blood work, and urine test. Her blood count was dangerously low. She had a shadow showing up on her spleen. But the vet couldn't tell what it was with any certainty. He said the only way to tell if it's malignant/cancer is to have her undergo surgery and have it biopsied. He thought we were dealing with a hemangio-sarcoma. He said it was something large dogs can get, and many will suddenly drop dead, or die in their sleep at night. It has a very poor prognosis, even with surgery. He said there was a slight chance it was just a hemangioma (not malignant), but it could be just as deadly. He gave us a lot of information and told us to think about what we wanted to do.
We took her home that night. She had a bad night, we thought she was going to die. But early in the morning she was up and ready to eat breakfast and go out to go potty. However, almost every night for about a week, she would seem worse with repeating symptoms. Her abdomen was getting increasingly larger, she was having tremors in her left rear leg. We decided she was too old and too weak to undergo surgery, and we would take care of her as best we could, and keep her comfortable.
One night she couldn't get up while in our yard. My husband had to pick her up and get her going. There were many nights we thought she would die that night, but she would rebound in the morning. Finally though, she was not recovering like earlier in the week, she wouldn't eat or drink, she wouldn't get up, she seemed very sad and depressed. We knew it was time to bring her back to the vet.
The vet said that she would probably not last a week. He thought the nightly episodes she was having were bleeds into her spleen and her abdominal cavity. Feb. 2nd she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We were devastated. We miss her terribly.
Hemangio-sarcoma is a very deadly disease. It's the same disease we lost Sydney to. Sydney was a Flat Coat Retriever, and they are one of the breeds susceptible to this disease. I hope that people will learn about this disease, and be prepared if this happens to their dog.
RIP our Yogi. We love you!