Mocha Moose – An Epic Loss
We lost our Mocha, we are grieving, we are heartbroken. The outpouring of love that we’ve received from everyone has been an enormous help to us as we try to stay positive during this troubling time. We thank you sincerely.
An Epic Loss
As a breeder of these wonderful Golden Retrievers we take this to heart in more ways than our personal loss. Saying goodbye to Mocha is an epic loss, loss of a Mom of seven wonderful new pups, loss of potential future Moose puppies and business, and lastly a heartfelt loss throughout the entire Moose Goldens community…family. As a breeder who cares deeply about all our pups and their families, we take the health of our dogs very seriously–how it reflects planning for our future, and sharing information with all who’ve trusted us by choosing to acquire a Moose Golden Retriever. When a breeder has a loss of a young breeding dog, our customers deserve to know everything we know, and if they should be concerned about their own Moose, with that we wanted to pass along what we know, and invite you to ask any questions, just reply here.
Mocha had a smooth pregnancy, she was lively and very healthy throughout. She whelped 7 puppies effortlessly. She nursed her pups and was a wonderful Mom as we expected she would be. Then at around 6 weeks after whelping we noticed Mocha had a lack of interest in her food, and as her milk began to dry up, we could see weight loss. The weight loss seemed typical for a Mom just delivering 7 pups, but coupled with not wanting to eat we brought her to see our vet. At that time our vet was not concerned, she was healthy and seemed like a typical Mom post pregnancy. Two weeks later, once all her pups went home, we brought her back as her condition had not improved, she was not-at-all looking or acting sickly, but she had began to vomit bile and water after drinking, and she was thin and not wanting to eat still. Our vet decided to do bloodwork and take X-rays to rule out any leftover placentas or intestinal blockages, this is what started us off on the journey that would lead to the heartbreaking end, there was fluid in Mochas abdomen and this was bad news.
Our veterinarians did test after test, we visited an ultrasound specialist, we were referred to an internists (specialists of internal organs), we tried medications, and more testing but nothing was conclusive, each step just lead to more questions. Her case was puzzling even for the esteemed medical professionals, our hope was waning, and the holidays were here, the vets were all closing their doors for the holiday.
Two days after Christmas Mocha took a turn for the worse, she was weak, her gums were pale and jaundice. At this point we could feel the end was near but refusing to give up we brought her to an emergency animal hospital. For perspective, at the hospital there is typically a two-hour wait, they took Mocha in immediately based on her visual condition.
They did all the could, they kept her on special fluids infused with calories over night, by morning Mochas blood pressure was dangerously low and her blood was not clotting, this meant any surgical procedures and or biopsies were out of the question. Tracy and I made the decision then and there, we fought the good fight, we did all we could, and we did not want to put her through anything else. It was time to say goodbye.
We had the hospital biopsy Mochas liver post-mortem. A week later we got the news that we had made the right decision, our Mochas biopsy revealed an extremely rare liver condition called Lobular Dissecting Hepatitis. Very little is known of this condition, it’s rare, cause is unknown, there are no pre-disposed breeds or conditions. There are no signs of it being transferrable and no sign of it being hereditary. This was not brought on by her pregnancy. So Lobular Dissecting Hepatitis was the end-of-life diagnosis, but like the entire process, this only presented more questions which I’m afraid we’ll never have answers to. The extreme rarity of the condition is frustrating, but it does come with the relief of knowing that the chances are extremely low of any of Mochas puppies, or any of our other dogs or puppies for that matter getting this condition. There is no greater risk than any other dog, and this news as a breeder is something we can feel good about and be happy to share.
We have to admit this all made us question everything, but our love for Goldens and sharing golden’s with others will never go away. We chose this life knowing there would be pain that comes with it, but that the joy will aways overpower the sorrow. Right now we’re committed to a long-term outlook for Moose Goldens and we will be moving forward with planning a litter with our Moxie and Miles, and one last litter with Marty and Maggie later in 2023. Anyone interested in these litters are encouraged to follow our social media and watch for our emails with announcements on when to apply.
Can I do anything to help?
We wanted to close by once again saying thank you for outpouring of love during this time, it’s meant the world to us.
Many have asked about starting a go-fund me or how they can donate toward Mocha’s veterinary bills. While we are honored for this offer, no donations please. Instead of a donation, those interested in a financial contribution could hire Mike to photograph your dog(s), you can book a spring session on our other website dogsinthewild.com, or you could make a purchase on our shop, we have a nice Mocha Moose t-shirt you might like and a few other Moose Goldens goods.
Lastly, you can also make a donation to a local shelter in Mocha’s name.
If we can answer any questions for you please do not hesitate to reach out.
Mike & Tracy Hosier