Well. We got the lab results back for Gael. My poor vet is fighting a nasty cold and killer cough, so I didn't keep her for as many questions as I might have. But ... the diagnosis has somewhat changed. I can't quite say the labs made things more clear, but they did *dismiss* the idea that it was DIC, Which doesn't change the outcome or even how it started, but it does change how Gael got there. This is all way over my pay grade, so pardon if I'm not able to explain this clearly.
The labs mainly seemed to show what's NOT there. No DIC, no toxins, no
sepsis. The liver biopsy divulged the most, and for my medically minded
friends, it reads:
"There is mild to moderate tissue autolysis
affecting the outer most portion of the specimen, with frequent
bacterial rod overgrowth, which extends into the parenchyma. There are
frequent clusters of bacterial rods, without any inflammatory reaction
(postmortem overgrowth) within the parenchyma. The viable parenchyma
features diffuse sinusoidal congestion."
"Interpretation: Mild to
moderate widespread tissue autolysis with postmortem bacterial rod
overgrowth and diffuse sinusoidal congestion."
comments following suggested there could be an underlying cause such as
an allergic hypersensitivity to food or inflammatory bowel disease ...
but Gael never showed signs of any kind of upset until her fatal
illness. My vet was a little puzzled, too.
This kind of brings
us back to my vet's original Dx: Gael ate something - again, who knows
what - that disagreed with her. But the vet says it now appears this
morphed into a massive, aggressive bacterial infection. Gael's white
blood count crashed and then her system had nothing left to fight with.
What the vet originally thought could be DIC was her body shutting down,
her organs bleeding out due to no white blood cells. So, I guess Gael
died of toxic shock.
Which doesn't really change anything or
alter the manner of her death. All it really does is underscore the
inevitability of it. Gael ate something she shouldn't have and her body,
for whatever reason, couldn't fight off the reaction. Oddly, the vet
did mention Addison's disease, but she didn't seem sure entirely about
that either because, again, Gael never showed clinical signs of any
illness at all, until this.
So, I dunno. I guess it's time to
let this go. I suppose I'm absolved of guilt by learning there was no
hope, but I'll never feel absolved of responsibility. She was my good
girl and now she's gone. Shit happens.
Meanwhile, I have 3 dogs
who daily make me smile. Nick and Nell have trial fields to conquer and
miles to run, and Ash is her own funny self. Life goes on. I owe a debt
of gratitude to all of you out there who have offered your sympathy,
condolences and kindnesses. I hope I can return a kindness to you, some
day. In the meantime, hug your dogs for me!