, Salem, MA


March 15, 2013

Couple want dogs cared for after they're gone


Q: We lost Bayleigh, our cocker spaniel, our own 20 pounds of magic, after nearly a year of dealing with megaesophagus (enlarged esophagus) and no fewer than a dozen bouts with bloat.

During the final bout, we rushed her to the emergency clinic. The attending veterinarian confirmed the bloat by X-ray and took her away for what he described as a simple procedure. A half-hour later, he handed us a dead dog, saying simply, “Her heart stopped.” I remain convinced that he euthanized her. I wish we had waited and brought her to our own vet. Your thoughts?

A: Veterinary procedures and canine pathology remain a mystery to many dog owners. This is the frustrating part of dealing with your pet’s medical emergencies. We can’t know, we can’t tell. And, in a few cases, neither can the vets. They are not miracle workers, just healers in an imperfect science dealing with patients who can’t talk.

Dog Lady sends deepest sympathies on the loss of your precious Bayleigh. Her passing must have been a terrible shock. But you can comfort yourself by knowing you performed your yeoman duty in trying to resolve a serious issue. By taking her to the emergency clinic, you went to the limit to find a resolution for her immediate bloat, which is frightening when it occurs in dogs. And you will never know how, why or what happened behind the clinic’s closed doors. You will just have to keep faith that she died the way the attending vet said she did. Please allow your 20 pounds of magic to continue to spread alchemy through your peacefulness about her passing. It may sound simplistic but you really must move on from here.


Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Follow the “Ask Dog Lady” fan page on Facebook; Twitter at @askdoglady. Email questions to

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