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Posted: 11/27/2003 3:40:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2003 3:56:14 PM EDT by ClayP]
After having to put my 14.5 yr old yellow lab to sleep in August, I lost my 2 year old chocolate lab to heat stroke on 11/7/03. Sam was a 105 lb machine that was lean and affable. To my wife and I, his loss was and still is especially devastating since it was so unexpected. We took for granted that he would be with us for many more years.

Sam and I ran together 3x per week, approx 3-5 miles. He "lived" for the running. As soon as I put on my running shoes he would leap straight up into the air repeatedly and rush to the garage door. We had run together since he was about 4-5 months old.

On 11/4 we did our usual morning run. The temperature was relatively cool (mid 70's) for Houston, and we had been running in the 80's and 90's all summer long. About 3/4 of the way through, Sam collapsed. We had stopped at the halfway mark where I had given him about 20 oz of water from a bottle. I always would bring one bottle of which I never drank any and he usually only took 1/3.

He was unable to move at all, and I carried him down a 100 ft ravine into a creek to allow him to cool off. After about 15 minutes his ear temp
was much lower. I hauled him back up the ravine and carried him about a 1/4 mile to my truck. Took him home and put him into the cool shower, and gave him some juice to drink.

After about a two hour nap he started walking around to get food and water. He was a little wobbly, but visibly much better. However, he started to be unable to hold down the fluids and began vomiting after drinking. We decided then (too late) to take him to the vet.

He walked on his own into the vet emergency clinic, and the vet took some blood work. We noticed then that he began developing some fresh bruises on his chest. I figured than was from me carrying him over my shoulder. The bruises turned into huge purple welts in just minutes.

It turned out that his kidneys, intestines, liver and spleen all shut-down from ischemia. He developed an uncontrollable bleeding condition called disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). After a couple of transfusions over the next 2-3 days this stabilized.

His blood work showed a very grim story - his kidneys and liver were badly damaged. His body had used up over 90% of the normal blood proteins for clotting and for the immune system. His heart was beating irregularyly, yet he would get up on his own to use the bathroom.

He started to improve, the kidneys began working and the liver function improved. His bleeding problem had all but resolved by the fourth day. He began to try to eat. Then, the fifth day though he slipped into a coma-like state.

After a CAT scan was done, we discovered that he had bled inside his skull, putting pressure on the brain-stem. I arranged for a Neurosurgeon to decompress his brain. I started him on high dose steroids to try to shrink the swelling in his brain as we headed to another vet hospital with the operating facility. He stopped breathing on the way.

I had been too crushed by this to share with others. Today, I want to share this with other dog owners to stress the danger of heat stroke. I have been a trauma surgeon for close to 10 years and was completely ignorant of this. Hopefully, something good might come from his untimely death.

www.986host.com/gallery/eclou/DSC02072
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 3:50:48 PM EDT
That's harsh, especially on Thanksgiving. I know how you feel though. Lost my buddy to bladder cancer this year. I had taken him to the vet because he had difficulty walking up a flight of stairs and because there was blood in his urine at times. That's what really concerned me. The vet was more worried about the artheritis. Ended up taking him to a human doctor at an Army post that was an old buddy of mine. THAT'S how we discovered the cancer and by then it was too late. I knew heat stroke was nasty, but never knew half of what you described was possible. Guess I'm glad I'm not a vet. Hang in there. Cpt. Redleg
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 4:00:18 PM EDT
Sorry to hear that. I miss my lab that died 3 years ago still. Had her for 15 years. Some little puppy out there is needing a home so maybe you can get another lab. By the way, I ran some guys dog over last thanksgiving, he saw the whole thing. But it was not my fault the dog ran out in front of my truck and splat.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 4:00:31 PM EDT
So sorry for your loss. It is especially poignant to hear of your love and affection for Sam- especially given the few yahoos here who routinely boast about putting a dog down because they were either too lazy to discipline it or too stupid to know that a 100 lb. dog doesn't fit into a 50 lb. apartment. I mourn your loss. Sympathies to you and your wife.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 4:04:39 PM EDT
Very sorry for your loss. Give another puppy a good home! COZ
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 4:05:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2003 4:15:54 PM EDT by Wolfpack]
I lost a young Akita to bloat a few years back, after eating or drinking don't exercize your dog hard, it could build up gas and he might bloat. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, losing a dog is just about the worst.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 4:33:00 PM EDT
Thanks guys for the words of encouragement. We do plan to get another puppy. Our Rhodesian Ridgeback is also quite upset since Sam has not come home. They used to play for hours in the back yard. I have located Sam's father and he has sired another litter due around Xmas. [url]http://www.986host.com/gallery/eclou/DSC00246[/url]
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 4:47:02 PM EDT
sorry for your loss man...[v]
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