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Thread: 5 1/2 month old dying during neutering

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Cape Girardeau, MO
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    Default 5 1/2 month old dying during neutering

    Hello all. This is my first post to cavaliertalk. I'm searching for some answers from veteran Cavalier owners. On December 26, my little baby, Cooper, passed away while being neutered. I am still in shock. I can't believe my sweet little boy is gone. He checked out perfectly fine at every vet visit. We even had blood work done, which wasn't even recommended on dogs younger than seven years old, to ensure he would tolerate the anesthesia, which came back perfect.
    The vet said Cooper did fantastic during the surgery, and was fine even when they removed the anesthesia and put him on oxygen. It is when they removed the oxygen that he said Cooper's breathing became very shallow, and immediately after his heart stopped. The vet said he did everything he could, giving copious amounts of atropine, mechanically breathing for him, CPR, even an epinephrine shot directly to his heart, but he couldn't bring him back.
    I am still stunned. The vet is blaming the breeder, and the breeder is blaming the vet, and I am just blaming myself. The vet said he had to have had an underlying heart condition that couldn't be detected. Our breeder says cav's are very sensitive to anesthesia and the vet must've given him more anesthesia than he needed.
    I just don't understand. My baby was so perfect, happy, and seemingly healthy before this. I didn't even want to get him fixed, it just seemed like the responsible thing to do for him.

    Please, someone, has anyone heard of or encountered this? I know I will never truly know the cause, but I'm just heartbroken. I hope someone out there can shed some light on this for me.
    Mommy to Leo & Max.
    Born 10.05.2013, Adopted 01.10.2014

    Mommy to Cooper Tobias - Waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.
    Born 07.20.2013, Rainbow Bridge 12.26.2013

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    victoria bc
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    ohh my heart is absolutly breaking for you.
    no one should have to post a topic in this section at 5 and a half months. i posted one at 9 years and felt it was too early.
    i am so sorry for your loss. i truly truly am.
    i replied in your other topic..but ill post this here too

    Ive done a quick google search, and have found simliar cases.
    http://www.dobermantalk.com/non-dobe...ter-today.html here is one such case that sounds simliar.


    This is NOT your fault.. AT ALL. You did every thing right. You got the blood work done. (maggie had to have this done too before her spay) and when that checked out you went a head with a common surgery that would improve his life.
    Things can go wrong even in the most common of surgerys.

    is it the breeding? Is it the vet? Maybe neither. Maybe it was just one of those things. Where the vet can do everything right and still have complications.
    Do you have any kind of gurentee from your breeder? some breeders gurentee for 1-3 years. Some dont. Maggies didn't.
    Not that thats a very comforting thoguht anyways.


    sending you lots of love. I hope you have some good people around you to help you through this.
    If you ever need to talk or vent..send me a pm.
    Oliver and Max and Meeko man, i will meet you at the Rainbow bridge. I love you all. Miss you more then you'll ever know.
    wait for me...
    Chelsea

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Yorktown, Virginia USA
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    I am in shock reading this! Bless you bless his this is awful. I cannot image the heartbreak you are going through. I am so so sorry! If you don't mind answering a bunch of my questions to help me understand. First off, check on the certifications of the vet. Is this a new vet to you or practicing? Do you get any feeling the vet or clinic or people are unquilified in any way? I personally think you are not so silly to use a unquilified vet. Could a regular vet have missed a heart problem only a cordio specialist would be trained to do or require special testing. Yes, I would say that could have been the case. Is it the vet's edcuated guess that is was a heart problem or does he/she have proof? Was a necropsy done?
    Now I have questions about the breeder. Again please forgive me for asking such hard questions of you now however I want to help you understand. Does the breeder breed to MVD protocols? This means the both parents are over 2.5 years old and have seen a board certified cardiologist and deemed heart clear every year (dated within a year of the mating).If so did you see a copy of said reports? What about other health testing, hips, knees, SM is this really a responcible breeder? Did the breeder talk to you about the heart problems of cavaliers. Some people become cavalier owners not understand or know about all of the major health problems the breed faces. It's not your fault at all! The breeder should have made you very aware of this. Any good breeder would be telling you and showing you all the proper health testing they do on their breeding stock. I joked on another post of I was a breeder who had dogs with heart clear and clear MRI results I would hand out copies to stranger on the street and walkpaper my house with them. Now is it possible you found a breeder who did and has followed heart protocols and still produced a puppy with some type of unknown heart defect. It could happen. Birth defects happen. I would think a breeder if that is the case the breeder would want a necropsy preformed as well or a least talk to the vet to try and understand what happened.

    My questions is the breeder willing to do anything but say its not my fault? Really good breeders who follow all breeding protocols are not in this for the money you paid for the puppy, they truely feel like these are his/her babies living elsewhere. Their heart would break with yours hearing the news that one of her babies has passed at such a young age.
    Melissa
    "If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
    -Roger Caras

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Melissa,
    The breeder is very upset as well. In our puppy contract, it states that we had to have an autopsy (or necrospy) done. To be honest, it doesn't make much sense, but as upset as I am, I didn't want to go through with that because of the pain. I felt and still feel like it won't bring Cooper back. She didn't ask me to have it done and is still offering another puppy at no cost to us, which I think is a sign of being truly caring and concerned. However, in retrospect, I thought I was doing the correct research, but having this be my first puppy and experience, I see all the holes I didn't get filled.
    She states that she is concerned for the health and gets all dogs checked out by her veterinarian, however I have not seen any papers myself on cargiology or MRI results for the parents. I am ashamed to say now... I never even saw Cooper's parents. I am very ashamed to say that. I suppose all I can say is that it was love at first sight, and I didn't care where he came from or what he was, I just wanted him. The moment I saw him.
    I guess that's also why I am feeling so responsible for his death.
    The vet graduated in 2007, but I really liked the way he was with Cooper every time we had an appointment. He really took his time with us, answered every question I had, and always listened to his heart for at least a full minute during physicals.

    I've done some research on MVD, and I'm worried Cooper may have shown signs of it the last week or so without me realizing it. He would run and play with my sisters dog, and start panting very hard. Then, he would lay down and his respirations would be very fast. I put him in his kennel upon noticing this and his breathing calmed to normal, which I thought was just him being a puppy and playing hard. Also, from the day we got him, he would drink water like there was no tomorrow. I could fill three bowls of water and he would drink them up, waiting for more. I was always so careful about making sure he got enough water without over-hydrating.

    I truly don't know. I feel like there is so much I've done wrong. I'm also scared to take this future puppy from the breeder, to be honest. As good as she's been to us, and as upset and concerned as she is, I'm worried about not seeing her breeding stock on her website. I'm also worried about not seeing these vet papers online. There's just so much I've learned in hindsight, and a lot I knew at the time, but didn't care because Cooper was my baby, from the moment I saw him.

    Thank you all for taking so much time to talk with me and offer advice. It means more than you know.
    Mommy to Leo & Max.
    Born 10.05.2013, Adopted 01.10.2014

    Mommy to Cooper Tobias - Waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.
    Born 07.20.2013, Rainbow Bridge 12.26.2013

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    This is a heartbreaking story and my prayers go out to you. You did everything right. It's a rare situation, and doesn't sound like it could be prevented. It serves as another reminder that every moment we have with our loved ones is precious. Thank you for sharing this difficult moment.

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