Sunny's Last Days


hi,here is the full,sad  story. we'd like any ideas any of you might have on what happened and what we should have done differently.
we lost the love of our lives, our Sunshine, an overly-large, terrifically gifted, entrancing yellow labboy, Sunny, to imha .
i have been searching for answers.
everything went so fast.
i had never heard of this horrible disease. all of the books on puppies, labs, dogs in general together had never mentioned this possibility, or what to look for.
in order- things which may or may not be relevant occurred:
he uncharacteristically chewed a sock
(can a twisted stomach turn into imha or dic or jaundice?)
his arm was either weak or hurting or arching from joint ache
(can a spider or snake bite turn into these?)
he stopped eating
he became weak
his defecation had a funny orange color
he drank lots of water
he dry heaved a little
his temp went to 104- i called vet, he said just watch him-might be nothing
next day, more tired, up to 105- to nighttime emerg unit- they gave him amoxicillin,(i now know that although this might help a bacterial infection, it will hurt the imha condition), b12, and prednisone, saying they thought he had imha with enlarged spleen, seen on x-ray
next day jaundice appeared and urine just a little dark.
he had more dry heaves, and actually threw up a little bit of the sock he had shredded a couple of days prior.
friends advised us to go not to a vet but to a vet hospital
we went, they said he had imha and dic
that his liver and kidney were normal, but spleen greatly enlarged
they said they'd only give him prednisone, then cytoxin (sp?) later on, in a few days, if he didn't respond-(i would never have let my baby have a chemo drug on top of illness- i made that clear, and yet they gave it to him on that first day despite my orders), along with blood transfusions(which we now read can CAUSE imha, or make it far worse), a spleen needle biopsy (they had promised would be painless- i now know it was not at all),to rule out lymphoma and ultrasound to rule out spleen cancer lump
no cancer found
tests ruled out tick illnesses,etc.
no parasites( i had adamantly insisted they check his blood and stool for this- they, i found out later, did only perfunctory testing and did not send those items out to a lab- parasites most often will not show up on a simple slide- i had also insisted on blood culture and urine cultures , which were not done, i found out later).
his red blood cells still being eaten by his immune system
they gave him cytoxin that first day despite saying they would wait for several days, and let me know first that they wanted to. ( i feel their communications within the vet hospital were awry, despite my constant questioning and making sure)
more iv blood and plasma and oxygen and liquids
bilyrubin more and more apparent and jaundice
they said his blood was clumping into groups of clumps
then, they said his clotting needed anti-clotting medicine
then into seizures, then phenybarbital (which i now read can CAUSE imha) and valium
then mannitol, to unclog his brain or kidneys, in case of clotting
then his kidneys showed horrible stress
we had them euthanize our boy in our arms after two and a half days of hell.
we only hope the hell was for us, and that the phenybarbital and valium had made him feel nothing. we'd like to know that for sure. (we have now found out that valium, rather than calming an already frightened dog, actually excites and stimulates his system, adding to his misery).

we were lied to the whole time and misinformed about his treatment and his chances.

we want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else and especially, not to a helpless doggy.

you must not only be educated, but be diligent in your insistence that your instructions be followed by your vet in any crises, and ,even then, be aware that vets do not know everything, and they are all different, and some will respect your wishes but others will not, so be very careful that you have complete communication with your vet and complete access to your dog at all hours of day and night- to make sure that the right things are done on time for your dog by all the assistants and by the vet.

Sunny was only just four years old( we had celebrated his birthday just a month earlier with our favorite game- balloon bopping with his nose and our hands, like vollyball, and with rice flour and stevia cookies),  happy, lively, the very picture of great, robust health, and we simply adored him.
we and our other dog, his little brother, are devastated and can't really find peace until we know that we have helped to prevent our agonizing experience, and especially Sunny's , can be prevented from happening to you and your dogs.

and remember, as one more advanced  vet we'd called afterward said - there is ALWAYS an underlying reason for imha. this makes sense to us. be determined to find it. and please send us your commments or experiences via the email address.