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Posts: 7
Really struggling to cope with the loss of my furry best friend. I feel like I failed him and he deserved better. My boy suffered from eplipsy and suffered 8 grand mal seizures one after the other in the early hours of sunday morning. He was only 20 months old and had been having fits since he was around 10 months old. His seizures were becoming more violent and longer each time he had a set of them, which was several times a month, medication wasn't helping.

I just cant believe how quickly it happened and think I've made a huge mistake by agreeing with euthanasia, seeing him struggle on the floor and after the diazepam didnt help stop his seizures, he wasn't breathing normally and I put a cold wet towel over him to try and cool him down. I called the emergency vets, my husband had to carry him to the car as he couldn't walk. Outside the vets he was standing and walking/staggering again but on his feet. When we went inside I was crushed after witnessing the most violent seziures of his short life and asked the vet if putting him to sleep would be the kindest option, I regret even mentioning it now, however the vet agreed it was the best option as he could go on to multiple medications and will keep having sezuires which will probably get worst. I'm not even sure he was over them for that night as he would normally get up walk about then fall over again and have another, for about a day after wards he would be spaced out and staggery and he had developed a wobbly paw due to damage from an earlier less violent sezuire. I wasn't even sure if he pulled through that night if he would ever be the same dog again due to the brain damage it could cause. He managed to walk in to the room where me and my husband held him as he took his last breaths at 20 months old... just a baby.

The grief is killing me at the moment and I wish I'd not even mentioned letting him go and just waited to see if he could make it. Maybe he would of got back to normal and his normal vet would have maybe made another decision with all his notes there, maybe another medication would have helped him. I was just so torn after seeing how violent his last fits were and didnt want him to suffer. I feel now I've made the worst decision ever, he was the best dog ever and bought my family so much joy for me to give up on him like that. The regret is unbearable with the what it's at the moment.

Posts: 639
Dear Pathy,

First off, my sincerest condolences on your loss. I can tell you are traumatized by all that went down. And I fully understand. Let me explain.

In 2012 I took my baby, the baby of the family Pearl to a veterinarian in upstate NY. Pearl didn't have a regular vet as she was never sick. If something small came up, I would take her to any vet. She hadn't experienced any major ailments.

Well, eventually she did. I won't go into all the details but on one day Pearl was not doing good. I took her to a vet office I had started to use (by no means were were established there) and she saw a vet she had never seen before. Pearl fainted during her exam and they took her in back to put her on oxygen.

Soon the vet who had never seen Pearl comes in and says "It doesn't look good". And he just stands there. His beside manner was so unprofessional it is hard to comprehend. Just what does "It doesn't look good" mean? You don't just say those words and then stand there. You further explain with medical terms and a description medically of what he means by that. But he said nothing other than "It doesn't look good".

Scared, I said "You mean as in euthanasia"? To which he stutted and said, "yes, yes..that's what i mean".

I took his word she should be euthanized even though he couldn't give me any medical reason. The closest he got was that she wasn't doing any good on the oxygen, it didn't seem to be helping. 

I asked him if I could take her go to the veterinarian emergency room a few miles away and he said he didn't think she would make it.
I was shocked. As you said, this was all happening so fast. I was not prepared for anything like this.

To make a long story short, he brought Pearl into the room and she was euthanized in a botched euthanasia. Things went wrong due to the vet and Pearl tried to jump off the table. If Pearl tried to jump off the table, why was I euthanizing?

I spent many years on the brink of suicide for killing my daughter and for not insisting the vet release her to me and let me do as I pleased as her mother.

The vet was so insensitive I can't explain it. This is not how you act when you are with someone's child (Pearl). Pearl did not belong to him. He was acting like judge and jury taking matters into his own hands and me...literally in shock...was like a sheep being lead to slaughter. I just went along with him .

I wanted to kill the vet as time unfolded. I developed such a hatred for him I could not stop obsessing over his conduct or what had happened to Pearl.

I am telling you all of this because others have experienced what you have. It is a very very difficult thing to come to terms with. What role did I play in my child's death.

The only thing that helped has been time. And by that I mean I am not focused on it day and night now. It doesn't mean I have made peace with what happened. It means it is not front and center on my mind. I went to numerous counselors because I could not stop
crying and I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Not one could understand how or why I was so upset. I would never go to a random counselor again in my life. Pet loss is a specialized topic and based on my own experienced, someone needs to understand fully the bond between people and animals before they start embarking on counseling someone on a subject they have no insight into.

Oh Pathy, I know only too well how unbearable your regret it.  I don't think anyone here would say they understand you pain if they didn't. I truly understand your pain...from first hand experience!

Please keep posting here and continue to give us updates on what is happeing with you. You post as many times per day as you need to or as often as you see fit. You have started a conversation about how you feel and you are free to keep it going if you wish. I am so sorry Pathy. You are in a nightmare that is not going away and in some ways is getting worse. 

I feel for you.


Posts: 7

You did the right thing. It sounds like he was suffering greatly, and there is no way to know if the seizures would have ended and they did end...for how long? and was there brain damage. That is not a good life to live. 

Ending suffering if the greatest gift we can give. 


Posts: 7
Thanks for your replies and sharing your experience stephanie. They really did help, I'm still guilty as hell but I know even if it was the wrong decision it was made for the right reasons. He fought so hard in his short life it kills me when I think of him walking into the room to go to sleep even tho he was in a zombie state at that point, I think him walking may have been a sign to say I'm trying dont give up.

The vet was really nice however as he was getting the injection he whined which made me think he's trying to say no. My husband says it was because the needle move and hurt him a little.

Life without him is just so quiet and I miss him so much. Still not sure it was the right decision we had accepted he had epilepsy and would have fits after he was first diagnosed. Unfortunately his type of epilepsy was the worst kind as he would have a cluster of fits. Which we knew were getting worst, its just so hard as he had a great quality of life when he wasn't fitting. Even with the medication the fits were starting to come about weekly, I know deep down if he had come back the same dog after that set of fits that he probably wouldn't of made it out of the next set. I'm just torn with thinking different Medications might have helped at least reduce the frequency of them. Trying to take comfort for the vet saying he could go on 4 sets of medication and still have them getting worst. But keep getting hit with the big what if's.

Just got to keep telling my self, I made the decision for the right reason so he wouldn't suffer. I'm sure there would have been damage from the last set of fits as they were the worst he had ever had, if not brain damage it would have mussel damage to his legs. Lucky I've got my family to keep going for other wise I'm not sure I would still be here, he was my baby and still only a pup at 20 months I thought we would have another good few years together. It just happened so fast.


Posts: 639

No one wants to think they played a part in the death of their child, no one. So what you are experiencing right now is normal. There is really no way to get rid of until it plays itself out. The reason is because this is a normal reaction. If it was an abnormal reaction, then all sorts of things could be said to snap you out of it. But it isn't abnormal. Am I sorry you are suffering? Yes, absolutely!

I feel sad reading your story. It reminds me of how sensitive and caring I was about Pearl. And I can see the same in you. I was messed up because  I VOLUNTEERED INFORMATION "You mean she should be euthanized?" after the vet said "It doesn't look good". When he said "Yeah, yeah, that's what I mean" I could tell he wasn't even thinking that but I had just fed him information because he looked shocked that I even brought euthanasia up. I read somewhere that sometimes a vet doesn't want to take on a really sick animal and would just as soon euthanize them. I know that sounds horrible but I believe it. Just as an aside...I met a woman on a cat chat group and she was telling her story how great her vet is and so forth. I didn't catch on right away but then learned where she lived. And I grew up right around there. When I asked her who her vet was, it was a guy who had taken me as his date to his senior prom! Why am I telling you this? Because she told me off the record (not in the chat group) that this vet, the guy I went to the prom with euthanized 32 of her cats in one day because she couldn't afford to keep them. I was so sickened not to mention that he violated laws I believe...that I almost fainted. So my point is, if someone can do that, certainly a vet can encourage an animal be euthanized because he doesn't feel like taking on the job of nursing the pet back to good health.

I know you are in torture. There were so many little avenues you could have taken to save the day but you went along with the vet, but in my situation too..there were avenues for me to lay down the gavel and say "no, we are not doing this". Thing is, I was alone and in complete shock. I had taken Pearl there to get medicine as she had been sick over the weekend. I was physically in a shocked state. From talking about putting her to sleep. I remember being in a complete state of shock as if in a dream and nothing seemed real and I was alone with the vet in the treatment room talking and then he went and got Pearl.. who as I told you, he said "she is turning blue, the oxygen isn't helping" and I asked him "how can you tell she is turning blue, she has all that fur on her" and he kind of got angry. But then he brings her into the room and she is strong enough to break free from both of us to jump off the table during the euthanasia and struggled with all her might once brought up on the table. I suffered for YEARS about that because I held her down to be killed as she fought me. I then started to talk to her softly and she heard my voice and the tightness in her body got less because she knew Mommy's voice and I felt so sad about that. She was listening to my voice and starting to relax but I was telling her to relax so she could be killed. You get the story.

Please keep talking. It's the only way you are going to let this wound heal. You can't let it fester.

- Stephanie

Posts: 7
Yes I also believe some vets would put down an animal rather than treat them. We had an MRI scan booked for for him in April as our regular vet wanted to rule out a brain tumour but quickly added if they find one they wouldn't operate anyway... what's the point in the scan then I said and was told it was just to rule it out as the medication wasn't working to stop or reduce his fits.

At least my poor boy wont have to put up with the constant blood works now, he hated the vets shaving his legs to get his blood. No more waking up from fits feeling like he had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. He had started to become aware of what was happening as was having facial twitches in between fits and he and looked so scared.

Dont think I'll ever stop missing him and some of the goofy things he did that made us laugh. Feel like I'm walking about with a dark cloud over me at the moment he was my boy and I feel I let him down. I know I made the decision for the right reason as I didn't want him to suffer and having to make that decision has been one of the hardest ever. I Woke up this morning and thought I heard his claws tapping across the hardwood floor jumped up to let him out then it hit me again like a sledgehammer.

My daughter is already going on about getting another dog so she can train it and go on walks with a dog again. I know she misses him but I'm not ready it would be to much like replacing him at the moment and it wouldn't be fair on the new dog . My husband also thinks it might help to fill the void I've told them not this year, he wasn't just a dog to me he was my furry child and I need to be in a better place before we go down that road.


Posts: 7
Does the guilt ever go away? Im still guilty as hell, he was far to young. Sometimes wish id waited to see if he could have made it... just really didn't want him to suffer anymore. But could have waited till the MRI at least. Cant even think about him without feeling broken, he was the best dog ever and feel I failed him by mentioning putting him to sleep to the vet. Kids are wanting another dog but he was irreplaceable, would feel like having an imposter of him at the moment, still not ready. Hate seeing people with there dogs now as it just makes me think about him and start dwelling

Posts: 639
I felt the same way about Pearl. When the vet came into the room and said in a somber way "it doesn't look good" I thought the worst (I was not suggesting it, I was just asking, if he meant euthanasia. Because after all "It doesn't look good", what could that mean?) So I said "do you mean euthanasia? JUST ASKING TO FIGURE OUT WHY HE LOOKED AND SOUNDED SO SERIOUS. NOTHING MORE!

And he blurted out "YES!".

From that point on, the whole tone became about THAT. And I was not even interested in THAT. I was merely trying to figure out why he was so somber.

In retrospect I could have said "why are you saying it so somber. what do you mean by "it doesn't look good".

But I said what I said. And just saying that doesn't mean I had to go along with what he thought was the best idea..."euthanasia'. But I was one else in the room but the two of us and I was terrified and I could not think straight.

My baby girl who I had raised from infancy was sick and that's why were were there. I did not bring her there to be EUTHANIZED. That never even entered my mind.

I was and still am angry and sad that the vet didn't offer other options. But he didn't. And being scare and terrified about what was going on, I trusted him as he was for the moment my only support person. My only support system. I had taken Pearl to the vet alone and it was just me and the vet.

So I went along with his thinking. But he was a man of few words and didn't even give me reason as to why euthanasia was on his mind other than she was in the back on oxygen and still having a hard time breathing. I would have wanted more detail as to his thinking, more of a medical explanation not just "she is on oxygen but turning blue". That wasn't enough for me. I needed to understand why she was turning blue. And what other options were available.

He gave none of that.

I am not a bad person for trusting someone who positioned themselves as an authority on what was going on. And you aren't either.

There is a difference between guilt and regret. Are you guilty of something or do you regret what happened?



Posts: 7
Guilt and regrets much the same thing to me. Just feel like yourself I should have not went along with the vets decision or given the vet the opportunity to use that option.

Seeing him suffer so much with seizures and to sign his life away before he was 2 year old. Honestly feel like i just let them kill my furry baby. I know realistly the vet was probably right the fits would have continued and got worst, but there's always the nagging thought in my head saying what if they were getting worst because he was teenager and may have settled down when he got older.

Regret not waiting for longer to find out if brain damaged had been caused before making the decision to go ahead. Unfortunately its one of the many what ifs that will never be answered.

Losing him was just such a blow I never expected it, he'd had fits for over a year and we knew what do when he had one and had been through different medications to try and stop them. Even on the night he died before his 2nd fit we were just doing our normal fit routine of making sure he wasn't going to hurt himself and getting the diazapan ready. It wasn't till the 4th fit that panic set in. Its crazy to think 2 hours before the the fits started that night he'd been running about playing ball looking perfectly healthy then a fews hours later he went to rainbow bridge.
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