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Posts: 43

my little scrappy died on july 2, 2008.  the guilt is so overwhelming i feel like i am out of control.  i should have taken him back to the vet, i just knew something was wrong.  4 months ago i took him to a heart specialist because he had a heart murmor and they told me he would go into heart failure within a year and after that he can be on medicine for about 6 months.  i was devistated just to think i would only have him for less than 2 years.  i took him to the vet about a month before he died because his breathing seemed strange to me but the vet said everything seemed ok.  she didn't hear fluid in the lungs and thats one sign of heart failure.  another sign was coughing, scrappy coughed but he had a colapsed treachea, but his coughing was so much better.  he also still had a huge appetite, he loved eating meat, we cooked him steak, chicken.  he just didn't look right to me.  the day before he died i swore to him i was going to take him to the vet but i didn't.  of course i was so busy with work i just put it off.  i know i could have saved him.  even if he was in heart failure i know i would have had more time with him.  what am i going to do now?  i can't stand the guilt i feel every second of the day.  Lisa. 


Posts: 36
I'm so sorry about your loss.I still fill guilty over my George.I raised from a bottle.George wanted to be outside,on the morning of June9 2008 he came in and we rushed him to the vet.Something broke his jaw in 3 places beyond repair.We had no choice but to put him down.He was only 8months.I feel so guilty because had I made him come in this wouldn't have happened, and I felt so guilty because I didn't stay with him(my husband did) all I did was sit in the car a cry.
The guilt has gotten easier but I still miss and love him like crazy.
I'll be praying for you in the meantime don't beat your self up you did everything you could.

Posts: 6
Feeling guilty is not at all unusual since we are responsible for our pets.  I feel guilty too having recently lost (July 9th) my kitty Jaguar.

But it sounds like you did everything you possibly could have done.  You took him to the vet and that is all we can do.  Sometimes, we have to accept that these things are beyond our powers.  It does not help that they cannot tell us what is wrong and how bad it is.

My Jaguar had what seemed to be an infection in April and we took him to the vet and he gave him antibiotics and he seemed OK again, though we never really found out what the problem was.  Now I think that was the first clue that he had something seriously wrong.  Should I have insisted the Vet carry out more tests to find exactly what caused his sickness?  If I knew what I knew now, I would have done.

Like me, you did what you thought was right at the time and that is all we can do.  It is what being human is.

Both your Scrappy and my Jaguar had serious problems and the truth is it would not have mattered what we had done, they would both have gone to the Bridge sooner rather than later.

You have no reason to feel guilty over doing what you believed to be the right thing to do.  I am sorry for your loss and I truly do feel your pain.

Posts: 577

I just responded on your NY post.

Again, I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

I too lost my Maltese to heart disease.   I know all too well how heartbreaking it is dealing with this disease.    I had so many issues of what I did or didn't do the few days leading up to and including the day I lost her.   I totally understand your pain and know where you are coming from, believe me.    We were seeing a cardiologist and all.  

If you need to talk, please feel free to email me.

Merrys' mom

Posts: 1
I don't know if this will help you, but it helped me.

There are five phases of coping with a death:
- Denial
- Bargaining
- Anger
- Grief
- Acceptance

Guilt is part of the anger phase... I went through the same thing, and my cat died of old age (he was 19). I kept thinking "If only I'd spent more time with him instead of taking him for granted!" It's common to feel anger towards yourself, God, the vet, and even life itself (that was my target of choice). I went through a phase where I was so angry that I could swear if someone lit a match in front of me the whole house would blow! I even got mad at myself when I laughed... once!... because I felt like I was dishonoring my beloved pet's memory by not being completely grief-stricken.
You just have to remember... it wasn't your fault. You are not psychic, you are not perfect, you have no way to predict the future. You are not alone and the feelings you have are not strange but are completely normal. Just be amongst people you love and try to find your own way to deal with the loss... no matter what it is. As long as it helps you and doesn't hurt anyone else, then it is a good thing. No matter how strange it may seem to someone else, it's none of their business, so go ahead and do it!

Posts: 2,285

Yes. When I had my hand on Mandy while I was driving and I told my son I don't think she's breathing. He turned around to check and said Mom, she's dead. I said NO SHE'S NOT! STOP SAYING THAT ABOUT HER! Well that's definitely denial. Anger, I felt that. Guilt, plenty of that, thinking about all the times I came home and had so much going on that I barely had 5 minutes with her that night. However, she didn't care, I was there and that was what was most important to her. And I had to think of all the times I had plenty of time for her and made plenty of time for her too. I have guilt that I didn't pull the car over and climb in the back seat with her. But I didn't know she was dying at that moment! I have guilt that I didn't leave work early that day to go to the vet. However, I honestly believe she waited for me that day and if I had come home earlier, she would have died earlier. I have guilt that it became apparent that her tumor was bleeding inside, which probably caused her death. When I had to hoist her up into the car, I may have caused more bleeding, it's possible, bringing her death on quicker. However, even if that were the case, maybe quicker was a blessing for her. Guilt, guilt and more guilt. Here I feel all this guilt and I always did everything I could possibly do for her, and never with anything but her best interest at heart. I believe that guilt is normal and we can't torture ourselves with what if's. Our beloved pets would not want us to be going through this torture right now, they would want peace for us. In their eyes, we were perfect!

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