Herbert’s Cause of Death

So I cried a little today thinking about Herbert; yes yes, normal grieving stuff….blah blah blah. Herbert’s vet told me they were playing with their new endoscopy machine (which is apparently now named Herbert). It makes me happy he is so well remembered by people other than just me; but I still get all wet-eyed when thinking about him.  I realized I never officially shared his cause of death (other than euthanasia, obviously). He was incredibly and horribly sick at the end due to a fungal infection of his respiratory system and his esophagus was just a horrifying mess. The root cause of the whole thing, to the best of the vet’s understanding after necropsy, seemed to be a grass barb embedded deep into his esophagus. Which, if you think it through, does explain everything. Grass barb -> irritation/infection -> immune system attacks esophagus -> strictures and mega esophagus -> steroids to stop immune system -> death due to secondary infections. This was a shitty, rare, unfair, and weird thing to happen. In the southern states many hunting and field dog forums warn about saw grass which can lead to horrible and in rare cases, deadly infections, because it will work its way into the dog’s body and not be able to come out without surgery. Was Herbert’s a saw grass barb? No idea. Before anyone panics about their dog eating grass, please remember this was something unseen before by more than one vet and is thankfully incredibly rare.
In related but generally more cheerful news, Herbert’s vet met Zisa today for the first time and rendered the official opinion that Zisa is, medically speaking, the cutest puppy to ever exist (naturally).
We (Zisa and myself) start puppy kindergarten tomorrow evening. Wish us luck!

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