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I posted here when Gibby died. I don't think I realized just how much she helped us through when he did. And now she's gone and I feel like someone's squeezing my insides.


I'm honestly still in shock. I don't even really understand what happened.





She went outside to potty before bed like every other night. She was "coming in hot" which is what we say when we see her zoom by the window and toward the door and we open it so she doesn't even have to bark to get in. She zoomed around the house a couple of times, acted like a derp to make the kids laugh (basically her nighttime routine) and stole one of my socks. As she was going past me, she reared back like someone had kicked her and landed on her back. She moved her legs around a bit and then I noticed that she'd peed a little. I thought maybe she was having a seizure because of what happened with Gibby. So, I just quickly moved her away from anything that could hurt her if she started flailing around and tried to soothe her by petting her and talking softly while one of my children went upstairs to get my husband so he could drive us to the vet.



Right as he came down, maybe a minute later, she defecated and started making this horrible gasping/snorting sound. Like a reverse sneeze and gasping for air at once. I saw that her tongue was turning blue and started to panic. She made maybe four or five of those noises and I think she probably died as my husband was carrying her outside to get in the car.


We tried to take her to an emergency vet but the nearest one is 30 minutes away. She was already gone when we got there. They were very kind there but really all they did/could do was have a quick look at her and pronounce her DOA. They did bring her to a room so we could say goodbye. I asked a couple of questions but honestly, I was pretty out of it.


I asked if I'd had known how to do canine CPR if that would have saved her and they said they didn't think so, very unlikely and that even if it had brought her round, she probably would have passed again shortly after. I asked if they knew what happened and one of the nurses mentioned something about broken capillaries (I THINK) on her gums and that it looked like a cardiac event to her. She had us sign a paper saying that she'd been gone when we got there, that she hadn't bitten anyone or been bitten by anything in the last ten days and that we wanted a private cremation as opposed to a communal one.


That paper did say that they MIGHT do a necropsy if they decided it could be of educational/research value and that if they did, they'd share the findings with us. This is not our regular vet, it's the emergency vet in the next town.


Disclaimer: I'm sorry if I'm not remembering the things they said at the vet clearly and if it sounds disjointed. I don't blame them for not having a lot of answers. They didn't see what happened or witness anything. They just did their best to comfort a family whose friend just died.


We took her to the vet regularly. She had a check up about a year ago for insurance purposes. They said she was perfectly healthy and they heard no heart murmurs or anything. She never coughed but did every once in a blue moon have a bout of reverse sneezing.


When Gibby died, I could look back afterward and pinpoint subtle clues I'd missed that something was wrong. Not with her. She was acting completely normal right up to the instant she died.


The only paper the vet's office gave me on leaving was an invoice for the cremation. They didn't charge us for anything else. Not even the substantial time we spent in their room. So, there are no clues there.


I know that boxers can be prone to this kind of thing but not knowing is so hard. I keep wondering if I could have saved her if I'd tried CPR. I keep wondering if I should have tried to hold her tongue down while she was gasping so she could get air past it. That sound she was making is stuck in my head and all I can think is that she was scared and I couldn't help.


I know the necropsy is really the only thing that could give definitive answers but can anyone help me understand what happened? Thank you so much for reading.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss and wish I could add some insight. It's understandable that you are still in shock over the events and that you'd question what you did or didn't do.

I can't imagine how hard it was for you and your family, it's good you were able to be with her and comfort her. I hope you are able to find some answers.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. How horrible to not know what happended for sure, and be left with any window of doubt that you could have prevented this.


I met somebody who's 2-yo Male Boxer had been running full speed, let out the most horrible screams, and fell down. It was a FCE, fibrocartilaginous embolism, that has left him permanently without the use of two legs. This is a Boxer breeder who has an excellent line of dogs bred for good health. You may not know, there are things that happen. You can try to find a grief support group, and keep talking about what happened to others in similar situations. It may help to work through this.
 

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so sorry to hear about your Gibby...it is so hard and Im sure it is such a shock in the way that things happened so suddenly...prayers for you...we don't always know why they are taken from us but you had some time with Gibby so that is what you can hold close to your heart...
 

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So sorry to hear about Gibby. I know how much it can hurt. I lost my Travis about a month ago and have cried every day since. Boxers find their way into our hearts in some special way that I don't think other dogs can. Maybe because they have so many facial expressions they seem to understand us better than we understand them. They own us we don't own them.
 

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It happened to my Boxer

Hello Annie, I rarely write anything on here, but after reading what happened to your Boxer I had to. The same exact thing happened to my Boxer. My 9 year old Male Boxer, Max and I were always together. He moved with me from Hawaii to California to New Mexico. He was an amazing dog! We were so attached to each other. I walked him everyday by the rio grande river in NM. We were with a friend with 2 Golden retrievers. They were running and playing when Max fell down. I was about 50 feet away and thought he tripped but when I went over to him he was gasping. Taking last breaths called agonal breathing. I was so out of my mind with grief! I tried CPR on my dog to no avail. Then had to carry him dead over my shoulder about a mile to my car. Never felt such grief in my life! Boxers have congenital cardiac disorders called cardiomyopathy. MY BOXER must had had a fatal arrhythmia. I spent the next month very depressed then I got my new Boxer named Max. Im keeping the name! Theyre all going to be Max. My grief completely vanished. A good breeder tries to breed out those illnesses commonly associated with the breed. . I thought I will never have a Boxer like my first. But Max II is like my first Boxer and maybe even a little better! That was 7 years ago already! But I got my 3rd Boxer 3 years ago. female named Naia! Shes so amazing and they love each other! GET ANOTHER BOXER!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all so much for the replies.


When Gibby died, I did have this long period of feeling guilty and believing I'd been negligent somehow. I guess I'll just have to cope with those feelings about Annie's death as well.



I really didn't realize just how much having Annie helped me through Gibby's passing but now that she's gone too, it's all too painfully clear. I'm kind of lost.



The UPS guy rang the doorbell today and everyone just froze. She usually acted like an axe murderer was at the door. The silence was so heavy.



We may get a dog again someday but I'm just not sure. Maybe.



I think I'll start to feel a little better when we get her ashes back.
 

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Sorry for your loss.

Just have to think about the good times. You will drive yourself crazy thinking about the "could have, should have, would have" scenarios.
 

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I’m so sorry for your loss! I lost my 10 yr old baby, Tucson; he was my life! It hurt so bad! I went to family’s house; stepson stayed at home with our two Boxers. Since it was Christmas Day, I had cooked a ham, we had Chinese food the night before with fried rice. So my SS made the dogs a feast with their food, mixed with ham glaze (a no-no!) with leftover Chinese food. They all ate heartily! Tucson ran outside and they all played with the ball. They came in and Tucson started gasping for air. My hubby and I arrived home and I became concerned; he was acting so sick. My SS and I rushed him to an ER Vet. The vet checked him over and came out. She told me Tucson was dying, his stomach turned on itself and he had to be “put down” he was in massive pain. I, the most trusted person in his life, put him down, holding him as he passed. My heart was broken. I wanted to rage like my hubby did when he arrived at the vet, at my SS for being so stupid to give ham glaze to the dogs! But I was maddest at myself for not staying home-he’d be alive still! I was grief-stricken and could not stop crying! I had failed to protect him! I was a mess for weeks, lost weight, couldn’t eat, talked to Tucson all of the Time and worried my hubby to no end!
In February, my hubby went online and picked out a puppy. I was not interested. But he asked me to pick him up, he was working. So I drove two hours to get him and when I held this wiggle Boxer puppy, I fell in love! He was simply adorable! I named him Tahoe Joe and he rules the house! Jake, our older Boxer who’s 4, just adores him! I still miss my Tucson, but I have happy memories of him. Tahoe is so like him. I taught him to “high five” and fetch and he talks to me, saying “Mama.” He loves Cheezits! So the best thing for your family is to get another Boxer, a rescue, a puppy, and it will help you with your heartache. RIP, Tucson-I miss you!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All of these replies are so helpful. It's good to talk to people who understand.



Aliiohana:Thank you for sharing your experience. I didn't know what it was called but after reading your post I looked up "agonal breathing" and that's what she was doing. That's the sound I've had stuck in my head since it happened. I now have a better understanding of what happened. It doesn't bring her back and it's still so painful but with that information, I feel like I can move forward. I may never know exactly what happened to her but with those two words, I was able to find information that was of comfort to me. Thank you.


Again, everyone, y'all just don't know what a comfort this place has been to me both when Gibby passed two years ago, and now that my Annie is gone. We picked up her ashes today. The box is sitting with Gibby's on the bookshelf and when I go to bed, I'll know where she is. I still want to cry and my heart still feels like a brick in my chest but my girl is home.
 

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I’m am very sorry. It stinks when they leave us. Just think of all the great times with her. Hugs to you ~~~~~
 

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I am so sorry to hear what happened to your Gibby, that must have been very traumatic for you to have her suddenly taken away like that. I lost two of my dogs to DCM and I lost them both within 6 mos. I had to do a lot of learning about heart issues in Boxers in a short time but the way the Vet explained it to me is a dog that has DCM affecting their heart can get an arrhythmia, meaning the heart beats get out of whack instead of beating together one side of the heart will beat at a different speed than the other which causes the heart to do no pumping and death can be pretty quick sometimes this happens when an affected dog is running and playing sometimes they will just drop There is no way you could have known off the bat what would happen to her neither of my dogs that died had a murmur or anything and there would have been nothing you could do for her if you had a Vet standing right there. Just know it sounds like she had a good life with someone who loved her very much and that more than a lot of dogs get a dog doesn't have to be old to succumb to DCM my male was only 3 in my dogs they showed me signs like weakness and fainting I did get them on medication which was very expensive and they had a good month or so but I ended up putting them down when they got too weak to stand I am so sorry this happened to you I will miss my babies always, but I did get two more boxers I just love the breed but this time I got them from a breeder with health tested parents meaning they had echo cardiograms done prior to breeding I never want to go thru that again.
 
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