my dog's toe is suddenly swollen - she can't walk

babydoggieOctober 3, 2009

hi all,

i am hoping someone here can help me figure out what could be happening to my dog.

yesterday morning i took her out of her kennel to find out that she was limping with her front right foot. i looked at the bottom of it and one of her toes appeared swollen. the hair between the toes was reddish. my husband took her to the vet and they said it looked like she was bit by a bug, although there were no visible stings. since she has allergies, it was recommended we start her on benadril and we did.

this morning the situation is absolutely heart-breaking. she can't put any weight on that foot and i'm not even sure she went to the bathroom. her toe has doubled in size and it appears very tender. also there is something that looks like pus, but it could be her saliva from licking on it - i just can't tell. there are also little reddish dots all over the swollen toe tissue - like it was burned.

should i take her to another vet, or should i give it few days? should i put neosporin on it(the vet told my husband yesterday that was not necessary)? i tried applying some ice on it, but she won't let me. she just wants to lay down on the couch and sleep. no food or water today. that really scares me...

any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. thanks

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petaloid

If I were you I would take her back to the vet myself.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 3:24PM
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sylviatexas1

yep, take her right now, & do it yourself.

never have heard of a vet saying *anything* was "just" a bug bite or some such & that no treatment was necessary.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 3:38PM
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annzgw

Yes, get her to a vet or ER. She could have been bitten by a poisonous spider.

Her symptoms are not good.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 7:55PM
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yborgal

Please take her to an emergency vet ASAP.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 9:24PM
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yborgal

What's happening with your poor dog's toe? Did you take her to a vet?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:03PM
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babydoggie

appreciate all the advise here.
we took her to the emergency hospital last night. the vet there said that it's probably allergies. at least she prescribed us antibiotic and pain medication. today the situation is not much different. i stayed with her all last night to make sure she doesn't take her 'lamp shade' off and start licking the area. she still can't put weight on the foot which now looks seriously infected and is very painful as she won't let me even lift it...
tough weekend and what really worries me is the fact that with a 9 to 5 working schedule again tomorrow i won't be able to monitor her! bosses for some reason don't care about your pets being sick and requiring care and monitoring... very very sad...

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:17PM
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texasgirl54

I would take a personal day or call in sick...........
and take my dog to the vet!!!!!

Hope she is OK.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:10PM
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weed30

Allergies?!!! As far as I know, allergies do not cause what you are describing! It sounds like she has an infected bite, an infected cut, or possibly cheatgrass or foxtail. See the link below.

Whatever it is, I would also take a sick day if you can afford to, and go to a different vet. The two so far don't seem very good.

Here is a link that might be useful: cheatgrass & foxtail

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:35PM
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petaloid

I am glad to hear that you got her antibiotics and pain meds.

Is she eating now? Please keep us posted.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 11:38PM
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babydoggie

now we are scheduled to see yet a third vet later today who was recommended by a friend.
i am certainly hoping to get some relieve for my dog as her overall condition has not improved at all. the toe now looks like a giant boil with little spots of liquid everywhere. it is really red. while i hear dogs should not have a problem getting around on three legs, that's not the case with her. i don't know if it's from not having enough energy but her rear legs appear weak and the muscles are trembling when she 's standing. she went to the bathroom twice over the past two days to urinate only. had very little food and water...
i don't know what else to do. seeing her that way just kills me.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 10:45AM
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babydoggie

i posted a picture in the home photo gallery. search for it either by my user name or the subject of my posting. if anyone has seen anything like it and knows what it could be, please reply.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 11:56AM
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mazer415

I could not find any photos

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 2:58PM
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yborgal

I can't find a pic either.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 4:56PM
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sylviatexas1

links to babydoggie's 2 other posts on this forum

teeth cleaning

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pets/msg0713562119978.html

Here is a link that might be useful: brain tumer

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 5:09PM
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yborgal

I'm anxious to hear what this vet tells you. It sounds serious when you say she's weak, her hind quarters tremble; she's not eating or drinking. There have been many changes in her condition in only 2½ days and not for the better.

I'm not impressed with the first 2 vets you took her to. Let's hope this one can do something for her.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 7:17PM
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Meghane

Sounds like a necrotizing wound, possibly caused by a spider bite or other venomous critter. Technically it *is* an allergic reaction, but a very serious one. Now it sounds that she is getting septic, of course I can't tell from here, but it does sound very serious. She could also have a foreign body embedded in the area causing the problem. Either way, she needs additional treatment.
You may have to leave her at a hospital for monitoring since nobody can be with her all day.
I hope she gets better.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 8:54PM
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babydoggie

i am not sure what happened with the picture - i uploaded it twice. maybe admin is restricting publishing???
the third vet yesterday could not "determine what could have caused it, because it was too inflamed to tell if it was a bite or cut". she said that we could either wait for few days and continue with the antibiotic or do a biopsy. i am afraid to put her under anesthesia for it as she's 9 y old. also, it just sounded as the last resort of the situation. we decided yesterday late afternoon that we would try one last vet visit for right now. we went back to the first clinic but met with a different doctor - we respect him for taking good care of our recently deceased dog. he made it sound like he's seen it before and it probably was allergic reaction to a bite or a cut (as "meghane" above mentions). he was positive things would get better but we wait for 2-3 days to seek improvement and come back if things are same or worse. they did a blood test and it came normal.
personally i don't see improvement today - maybe because i'm just her "Mom". my husband says he thinks things are a bit better today. she still hasn't defecated (4 days now) and has little to no interest in food, doesn't want to put pressure on foot. drinking a little water though.
the plan now is to wait until thursday and HOPEFULLY things are improving. if not - i have 2 days to figure out where we can get help.
I'd like to say to all of you here, that i strongly appreciate everyone's advice and support. it makes it so much easier to know how many kind and caring people are out there!!! thank you!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 7:39PM
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annzgw

What are you feeding her? While she's ill try feeding some chicken and rice or any type of meat or veges that you think she may eat. I'd be more worried about dehydration but I assume the vet checked her for that.

Don't be surprised that she's not pooping.....it's expected especially since she's not eating.
You're probably already doing it, but be sure to place food and water in front of her so that she doesn't have to walk on the foot too much.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 8:01PM
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mazer415

You might even get some chicken, boil it up and give your dog the chicken flavored water. I find my dog is more likely to drink that than eat when he does not feel well. That way he gets some calories, and keeps his strength up. Good luck with your baby, I hope all turns out well and your pup heals up in no time. Until you repost I will be thinking of you...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 11:56PM
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shellm

Could she have gotten a fox tail between her toe,causing the swelling and infection??Our springer spaniel used to get them all time and had to have them surgically removed,this sounds very similiar to what happened to her.

Shelley

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 5:07PM
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yborgal

Is she any better today?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 2:32PM
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yborgal

"No news" is starting to sound bad. I hope thing are better with your dog.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 10:08AM
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shellm

I was also hoping to hear an updaate w/good news.

Shelley

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 1:48PM
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babydoggie

hi
we have been going thru a week of hell. her toe does not seem to be getting any better. although she's trying to be braver and step on it - to me it looks worse. she's been eating some, but has not had very much water. i don't know much else to say right now, besides the fact that i will not give up on her. since i can't post any pics here, i decided to do a blog entry on my site with pictures from 10/04 and today. i wanted to keep my site positive, but maybe someone will come up and say - hey i've seen that and here is what you have to do... i recommend awareness, as pictures are not pretty . the link is http://www.whatnottolove.com/Home/Blog/Entries/2009/10/10_Bad_news_for_Baby_-_The_Most_Precious_Dog_in_the_World....html

Here is a link that might be useful: Baby's swollen toe

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 4:07PM
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GammyT

Poor thing, it has only gotten worse.

My furry kids have never had this problem so I cant help you there.

For the not drinking, I have never met a dog that doesn't love ice cubes or crushed ice.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 5:14PM
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babydoggie

thank you for writing "gammyt".
i will try the ice cubes right now.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 5:23PM
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yborgal

No wonder she doesn't want to put any weight on it. Poor thing. If the ice doesn't work, maybe she'll eat a little vanilla ice cream.

What state do you live in? Here in Tampa we have an emergency animal hospital that's state of the art. FVS gets animals from all over for specailized treatment and surgery. They're wonderful with cancer situations. Is it possible you have such a facility in your area?

Perhaps you could call them and describe the problem and they might have a suggestion. Or you could fax a picture of her paw.

Good luck.
Mona
------------------------------
FVS CONTACT INFO

info@fvs.com

Tampa
3000 Busch Lake Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33614
Phone: (813) 933-8944
Fax: (813) 936-9595

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 6:23PM
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babydoggie

"monablair" thank you so much for the recommendation and continuous help. i just called the clinic in FL - we are in the state of MD. i spoke with a doctor, and of course they can't be certain as to what could be happening without them seeing her. however the doctor i spoke with and everyone else there was so so nice... they gave me some direction and i will be taking her now to another vet here in our area.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 8:25PM
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yborgal

I'm glad they could suggest a vet to go to. Let's pray this is the one who can Dx and heal your baby.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 9:13PM
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annzgw

OMG......it's worse that I imagined! Here are a few shots for those that have trouble accessing the site.

I'd definitely find another vet since this has been going on for a week with no improvement. She has to be in a lot of pain.......

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 9:15PM
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babydoggie

i appreciate you getting some pic's here "annz" - i couldn't figure out how to do it.
currently searching for "the best" vets in the area... she's going to have to see someone else. anyone to recommend a good vet near Gaithersburg, MD?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 9:38PM
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annzgw

Here's a list of vets in your area. Personally, I'd start with James Jeffers since he's a specialist. If he can't help he can probably refer you to someone who can.

It may be worth calling his number now (Sunday) to see if he has a phone number on his voicemail for weekend emergencies.

Here is a link that might be useful: vets in your area.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 10:38PM
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quasifish

Sending prayers that you find out what is going on with your dog. I hope you get some definitive answers soon. (((hugs)))

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 11:03PM
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shellm

Hugs and prayers to you both.I hope you can find out what the problem is very soon.Hoping Meaghan will check in a be able to offer some advice.

Shelley

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 9:51AM
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ladybugfruit

How awful what you and your furbaby are going through...sending prayers that you can find someone to heal her..
~LBF

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 12:32PM
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babydoggie

thank you all. will keep you posted...
"annz" I have decided to take your advice and make an appointment with Dr. Jeffers first thing tomorrow (there is no emergency # on his recording) - thanks so much again.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 2:00PM
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Meghane

Ouch!

I just treated a dog with a similar looking paw. Must be something going around. The owner and I believe her dog was stung by a cow fly, a type of wingless wasp. Her paw swelled up and got really red like that, and she wouldn't stop licking it which made it worse. I ended up having to surgically debride the wound. Under the redness there was a lot of dead tissue and pus. That was Tuesday. On Friday she came in and the wound was almost completely healed. There was no redness or swelling and the pain was gone. You wouldn't have known anything was wrong except for the stitches. Sometimes you just have to go in there and dig the nastiness out. Of course, she is also on antibiotics and pain medication but I don't think it would have healed without surgery.

I hope your dog gets relief soon. It looks really painful.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 3:50PM
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yborgal

I emailed your photos to my local Vet. Without examining your dog, he thought is was either a staph infection or an imbedded "something".

Hope you get some good results from your Vet appointment.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 8:19AM
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Cassandra

Ouch is right! Poor thing. Keep us updated; I hope you got an answer.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 7:01PM
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yborgal

I can't help but wonder how your furbaby is doing.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 6:11PM
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shellm

Me too,I have been checking back since monday.I hope he/she has gotten some relief.

Shelley

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 8:23PM
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yborgal

bump

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 9:58PM
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babydoggie

i am sorry to all the GREAT people here i haven't being able to do an update this week. it's been a tough, long one. on Mon we called the last vet she saw because we needed a referral to see Dr. Jeffers. he said he wanted to check up on her before he sends us to Dr. Jeffers. we took her there Mon late afternoon and he agreed that the toe was not getting much better. he then suggested that we bring her in first thing Tues morning so that he can do an incision and see if he can find what caused it, as well as see if it would drain - he said Dr. Jeffers would have done the same thing. after the procedure he explained that there was nothing wedged in there and yet again it could have been an old cut or injury that was now affecting her. he didn't remove the bad tissue, but said he placed 2 drains in there. her paw is now bandaged and i can't see what it looks like or if the swelling has gone down. just have no idea and hoping it's better. she does seem perkier, happier and more willing to move around though.
he also changed her antibiotic and pain reliever meds which she'll be taking for another 14 days.
now we are taking her back on Sat to have the bandage removed and the toe reexamined.
Just praying to Dear God she's really doing better and healing finally.

i'd like to say again THANK YOU, to ALL who have been concerned.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 8:18PM
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weed30

Thank you for the update, I was worried about her. I'm glad she seems to be feeling better. Keep us updated when you can!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 8:29PM
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shellm

Sign my name to Weed's post.I am sending (((HUGS))) to you both.Keep us posted.

SHelley

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 9:01PM
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yborgal

Thank goodness she seems to be better. I was so worried.
Please keep us posted.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 10:24PM
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Ninapearl

glad to hear she's more willing to move around, that's a good sign!! i'll be watching for an update. ((((hugs))))

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 10:26PM
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olyagrove

Great news - I have been checking on this thread for updates and glad to hear the good one!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 10:00AM
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yborgal

What did the toe look like when the bandages were removed?
Major improvement,I hope.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 10:33AM
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babydoggie

hi! so glad to be able to share with all of you caring people here! her toe was not red anymore yesterday - but rather gray-brownish where the tissue has expanded. there was a little "healthy" looking blood from the incision. the swelling has gone down a little bit. our vet said that he hopes for the bad tissue to just "shed" off with the time. he noted that she wasn't in as much pain as she was before when he was touching the spot and that was good news.
they had to bandage it again and now we are going back Wednesday to have it rechecked.
over the past few days i have really felt that my 'old' Baby is back! she's happier and even attempts to run in the backyard now. she's eating and drinking water, she want's to play too!
Just can't wait for her to be back 100%, walking without a bandage on and running up and down the fence with the neighbor's dog... :):):)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 2:28PM
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cindyb_va

So good to hear, babydoggie! I was worried about that foot! Thanks for the update.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 5:50PM
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Ninapearl

gotta love happy endings!!! hope she continues to improve with each passing day. :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 7:43AM
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junebug1961

What an ordeal! I'm glad Baby is getting better.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 11:18AM
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yborgal

I'm anxious to hear what the Vet said yesterday.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 7:47AM
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yborgal

bump

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 9:59PM
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yborgal

How is she?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 10:48AM
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babydoggie

hi monablair,
she is doing better i can say. the toe is looking better but it's still a little swollen. our vet decided to bandage it for few more days when we went there Wednesday. we are going back Monday hopefully to have the bandage removed permanently.
she's in good spirits and feeling OK based on her level of energy!
thanks for checking in!!!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 12:13PM
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yborgal

Thank goodness! I was so afraid the infection might lead to having to perform drastic surgical procedures.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 2:07PM
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Sara_in_philly

babydoggie -- I just accidently come to this thread today and read through the messeges. I am glad to know that your dog is getting better. From my experience, if it's something my own vet couldn't figure out soon, I will take my dog to an emergency room affiliated with a veterinary school. They have access to the most experienced facaulty. If needed they can perform a lot tests on site and consult other specialists on site, so you don't have to make appointment to see different Vets one by one hoping to find one who knows what to do.

University of Penn veterinary school is a very good place for me. There are policemen driving a couple of hours to take their K-9 tho U Penn.

I don't know where you are, but maybe there are some good university veterinary school near where you are.

I hope you never have to go through this again.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 10:44AM
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yborgal

Just wondering if Baby has fully recovered.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 6:06AM
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yborgal

What happened with the toe injury?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 5:23PM
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Shilohbloo_msn_com

I do hope you took her to the vet already. My dog had a swollen toe, which I didn't think was a real problem since it didn't affect her walking or seem to bother her at all. I had taken her to the vet for other things and they noticed the toe, but didn't seem too concerned of it, so I figured they would know and left it as just another in a long line of benign bumps she'd previously developed. It became a natural part of life for months until it suddenly turned dark and made her limp, at which time I panicked and took her in. My deepest nightmare and regret... Even after they surgically took the toe off, she developed Mast Cell cancer from it. The surgery was too late and killed her about a month later. The kicker here is that once the toe turned dark, my vets relayed of their having heard of many other dogs getting Mast Cell cancer from swollen toes before and that if ever a dog had a swollen toe you should just take it off and not chance it, because even if it's benign in the beginning, the chances are it will turn later, and probably too late. These are the same vets that noticed it earlier and didn't say a damn thing! I'm angry and frustrated and just don't understand. I miss my girl terribly and feel I truly let her down. I know I was in denial and should have investigated further and not just count on bumbling doctors not paying attention or simply not giving a damn. I think I was afraid of knowing due to not being able to fix it, but this was fixable if caught in time. Please do not allow this to happen to your baby. You'll regret it forever. I do. My heart aches terribly from it all. I will never forget my beloved baby girl and pray I reunite with her in the ever-after when my time on this earth is done. God knows it would never be Heaven for me without her.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 7:54PM
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shilohbloo

In an attempt to be clear, I think I had better clarify... I had written, "The surgery was too late and it killed her about a month later"; but I actually meant, "The surgery was too late and the Mast Cell killed her about a month later."

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 8:26PM
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yborgal

I understood what you meant.

I'm so sorry for your loss. How awful that you weren't made aware of the possible danger of ignoring the swollen toe.

Don't feel guilty; you didn't know. You were relying on the doctors to give you the information that would be best for your furbaby.

I do believe you will see her again. There's a book I really enjoyed, that though sad, gave me the peace and comfort I needed when my little PeeWee died.

"Cambium: and the Life of Lanagan Murphy" You can get it through Amazon.com.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 9:56PM
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