Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Farewell my angel

As promised I have written this update for everyone to know how Bonnie's last days were.

It's been painful to do, but she gave so much to so many and touched hundreds of lives and made them a little bit better in her special funny friendly way.

You have all given me such emotional support while Bonnie was sick and after she went OTRB, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have given me strength when my world fell apart yesterday.

I was devastated to lose Bonnie.

She was unwell Monday morning and had trouble walking as if she didn't have the strength. She'd not been jumping around on the bed for me to lift her down when I woke up in the morning, and when I put her on the floor she just stood there. It was an effort for her to put one paw infront of the other. I rang the vet and took her in at 9.20am. She had a full blood panel and they said they wanted to keep her in for the afternoon to do an ultrasound scan and some Xrays. When I rang later in the afternoon the vet told me she had deteriorated and they wanted to keep her in overnight to monitor her.

I rang them at 10.30pm and the nurse said she was stable. However in the morning things had taken a turn for the worse yet again, and Bonnie's red blood cell count was down from 25 the night before to 15. She had more Xrays and more blood tests. It wasn't the Cushings, she had been doing really well and had only just had her latest ACTH test which was brilliant and she could stay on the low dose. I was pleased at the time her ACTH results were so good, I had no idea what was about to happen.

But this wasn't the Cushings, it was something far more deadly. After many full blood panels, scans and Xrays they discovered she had developed IMHA, a disease which makes the immune system attack and kill the red blood cells. As you may know the red blood cell count for dogs should be a minimum of 59 up to about 65 I think, not sure. Bonnies was 25 on Monday evening, 15 on Tuesday morning and when I got to see her in the afternoon it had dropped again to 12. They tried everything in their power to stop the disease but nothing was working, she was on several drugs, fluids to stop her dehydrating and drugs to stop her blood clotting, and drugs to line her stomach to protect it from the drugs that they were pumping into her.

When they brought her to me in their arms she was totally out of it, awake but so full of so many drugs to try and save her she was really not with it. She didnt get excited when she saw me infact I don't think she knew where she was. I was so shocked, the vet had warned me beforehand to be prepared. She had lots of pipes and canulas in her arms and tummy. The vet told me she was also now on pain meds as she was in pain by then too. And she'd been sick earlier.

I had psyched myself up that I wasn't going to sob when I saw her I didnt want her to go with the sounds of me sobbing in her ears, I wanted her to go in peace. God it was so hard. My chest was aching with the effort of holding all that emotion inside. I was gasping for breath half afraid it would come out as a sob, and how I held back the floods of tears I shall never know. God must have been with us then, to give me the strength.

They laid her on the floor on her blanket and I got on my hands and knees and supported her chin. She didnt have the strength to lift her head. 

The vet explained that there was no more they could do as she was sinking so rapidly but they could try a few more days with different meds but the overall outlook wasn't good. It broke my heart to see her in such a state, and I didn't want her to suffer anymore.

I told the vet no, I wasn't going to let her suffer anymore. If they did by some miracle save her, which the vet said was highly unlikely, she would be on more meds for the IMHA as well as the Cushings and the SARDS. But the vet said I was making the right decision, as nothing seemed to be working to stop the disease, it was so aggressive.

I held her close and stroked her talking to her, and when the vet went for the syringe Bonnie perked up and her ears twitched and she lifted her head slightly to let me know she knew I was there. I'm so pleased she did that. She heard me, and she felt safe and she knew she could go over the bridge while I was there.

I told her I loved her so much, and that all her Twitter friends were sending love and prayers, and then told her that she would soon have a lovely sleep and feel no more pain. Tears started rolling down my cheeks, and I didn't want them to fall on her fur so she knew I was upset, but I think she knew. We had such a bond that we knew each others thoughts and emotions.  

The vet came back and put the syringe into the canula on her arm, and listened to her heart. After only 1 mil of the fluid she had gone. 

The vet was amazed that after only 1 mil she had gone so quickly, and I said 'She was just waiting for me to come and say goodbye.' And I firmly believe that. She had been so close to death but was hanging on to see me before she left. 

I stayed with her for about 15 mins, still talking to her, sobbing my heart out, stroking her, kissing her. I didnt want to leave her. She was so special and still is.

I wrapped the blanket around her, and my friend Angela called to the vet to come for Bonnie, and they took her away.

I have arranged to have her collected on Friday for cremation and hopefully get her ashes back Tuesday. She will then be put with old Midge the collie who loved her, and Sophie and her kittens. 

And when it's my time to join them, I want their caskets of ashes put in with me so we are all scattered together.

Poor Mojo is missing her a lot, and keeps looking for her, but I expect he'll get over it a lot quicker than I will. And Gizmo doesn't seem to miss her at all, but then he didn't live with us until 2 or 3 mths ago, while my brother was in hospital. 

I've lost so many this year, Sophie puss, Tootsie puss, my brother and now darling Bonnie. 

Once my heart has healed a little, I'll put all my love into Mojo, Gizmo and Lily le Puss. They are a comfort to me, but at the moment I am too devastated to think of anything but my darling Bonnie. She was so special.

There will never be another little dog, with such a big heart, that touched so many people with her love and compassion, she is irreplacable. 

With hindsight I wish I had never allowed her to have treatment for her Cushings. The drug she was on, Vetoryl is very aggresive, it has to be, and it wreaks havoc with their bodies to control the Cushings tumours.

Although I'm not blaming Vetoryl totally, it was contributory to her contracting the disease that was killing her IMHA. About IMHA

As you will see from that link, IMHA can be caused by several things, and sometimes dogs just get it for no reason, and West Highland Terriers are in the selection of breeds that are prone to it more than others.

Some dogs can survive with treatment and need medication the rest of their lives, but some like Bonnie who has other health issues, stand no chance and the disease takes hold within hours and kills them.

Please read the link about IMHA and check the symptoms and if you are in any doubt at all, whichever breed of dog you have, please get a full blood panel work done and ask your vet to check for IMHA. You could save their lives.

Even vaccination and heart worms, medications and all sorts of things can cause it. So being aware is much better than hoping it never happens.

Bonnie's gums were white. After I'd taken her into the vets on Monday, I saw them and was shocked, they had no blood in them at all, and Bonnie always had flame red gums that always looked inflammed and sore. So it was quite a shock to see them as white as paper.

There will never be another dog like Bonnie, as I said she's special and I wanted to make the most of her life, give her the best I could, always put her first, and use her to help other people in any way she could for whatever reason they needed a friend.

Her blog will continue once I have done my grieving, I'm not sure yet whether to carry on with her as Bonnie over the Bridge, or let Mojo take over. But it has too much useful information and I will still dig around and find things to put on here that will help other furs in anyway I can.

Last week I made her website the fureverbook last week, and dedicated it to her, a place for anyone to leave a note, tribute, light a candle, or just talke about the loss of their pet. I had no idea it would have been used for her so soon. But it's her legacy to all furs and hoomans as a place that will remain furever on the internet for people to leave a memorial or a prayer for their beloved pets.

So please if you want to use it please do, in memory of my beautiful Bonnie. There are already a few memorials there from others to remember their beloved furbabies. Bonnie would be so pleased to see it being used.

I wanted her to still help others, after she went, and I hope she can. She's now in heaven watching over us all. Wearing those glitturball nickurs of hers and dazzling all the angels with them.

And if it ever gets so busy it needs a better more professional website, then I'm sure we can raise the money to pay for some high flying professional software writer to produce a proper website so it can go on for years even after I've joined Bonnie.

Thank you, all of you for travelling with Bonnie and myself on this journey. She was only diagnosed in January with Cushings and it's been a wonderful 6 months with her until recently. I wouldn't change anything for the world other than to have her whole and healthy.

She was a little white puppy farm dog that fought all her life with so many illnesses from the moment she came into my life, yet she was brave, happy and funny almost up to the end and I will love her forever.

And when you see a dandelion think of her and what she taught you. That life is fragile, and none of us know how long we have, like a dandelion losing its seeds in the wind, our lives unfold. Make the most of every day, every minute and every second. And live life to the full with never a bad word to anyone.

Bonnie's muvver