It’s been too difficult to post this year after Kwayze’s passing in June, which I didn’t even update on here. The last I have shared is that Kwayze was about to have surgery.
Kwayze made it through surgery and then died during the recovery phase. The surgery was complicated and really, she probably should have been euthanized during it. Basically, the mass in her stomach was an egg sac/cyst that formed on an ovary. However, there was already broken yoke in her abdomen and an infection that had abscessed and shot out tentacles of blood vessels everywhere.
I am sad to say that Kwayze passed during the night of June 22, 2013 while on IV fluids. She was my baby girl and losing her pretty much killed my soul.
In a turn of events, Sloan, our other bearded dragon who was slightly younger than her and from a different breeder, appeared to be going into brumation as he did every year. He had a fecal performed in the summer and was treated for parasites. Everything should have gone better after that.
However, during the last week of October, Sloan appeared to be straining to poop. He was still eating, however, and I assumed that he was impacted. I ensured his temperatures were correct and kept soaking him and giving him water. I also gave him organic pumpkin which usually works for this.
On November 2nd, Sloan was running around the house and looked up and at ’em. Everything seemed fine.
The next day, Sloan looked very lethargic and there was blood in his stool. We brought him to the vet immediately and treatment of this mystery illness commenced.
By the next morning, it was unclear whether or not Sloan would improve. I had to go to work but my husband was able to work from home. Sloan had regurgitated his carnivore care that my husband gave him, and his antibiotics. I had to work late that night until about 8/9 o’clock at night. Chris kept trying to get me to come home, but didn’t say why.
When I got home, what I saw was heartbreaking. Sloan’s beard was solid black and appeared to have fluid filling it. I knew it was over. I held him as long as I could that night and took him to the vet the next morning as soon as they were open. I had to say “goodbye” on November 5th, 2013. The poor baby was gasping and could barely breathe. He was still pooping out pieces of his intestine and blood.
Sloan sits in a memorial box (cremated) on my mantle now. I wish I had done this with Kwayze, as well, but I was too messed up to think straight at that time. I miss them both dearly and it hurts me every day.
It makes me question whether I know anything about reptiles. With as much research as I do, as much time as I’ve spent on forums and talking to people in the industry, with as much money as I’ve spent on their vet care, everything was ultimately out of my control. They both died at about 5 years old.
Kwayze and Sloan were like children to me. I never pictured them not being around. I don’t have my own “human” children right now for various reasons, and I am an animal lover to the core. They were my family members and at many times my best friends. Though they couldn’t talk to me, the look in their eyes told me everything. I could feel the bond between us and I know they could too.
The worst part about having animals is coping with their death. Many people don’t understand the connection and think that you can just move on and buy another. No – animals have their own personalities and special place in one’s heart; they are not inanimate, throw-away things. I risked losing my job by taking the day off to bring Sloan in and relieve his suffering. I took off during a time that wasn’t optional. Thankfully I still have my job but this is how important my animals are to me. I love them to death and would do anything I could to make their live’s better.
It feels as if I have lost a son and a daughter this year. Truly, 2013 has been one of the worst years of my life, not only for what happened to my babies, but also for many other reasons. I hit a lowest of low point and that’s all I care to say about that. At the same time, I have many friends who have lost their animals this year as well. This year has not been good for pets. I am not sure what is going on with the cosmic order of things, but I can only hope that better times lie ahead for all of us.
Despite all that has happened, during the loss of Sloan, I found spirituality and faith. I hope it sticks and allows me to be happier and more able to cope with the good and the bad in life. At the same time, I live with the fear that my remaining pets are more vulnerable than I ever thought and that they too may not live to see next Christmas. I try to cast these thoughts aside, however, and just continue to hope for the best.
This is how I want to remember them, enjoying the sunny days: