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Posts: 4
I made the decision to euthanize my poodle, Koko on Dec.16, 2019. (Two weeks ago) She turned 17 years old Oct. 13, 2019. I am having a very hard time. She started having Seizures two months ago in October. I took her in that day and she was put on Seizure medication (Zonisamide). Given to her twice a day. Her seizures stopped but she was very lethargic. She would sleep through her meals. One day I noticed she was acting like she was a puppy. I found that one of her pills was stuck to her hair so I was wondering if I could lower her dose to one a day and asked her doctor if it was ok. He said to give it a try. She was doing great for a month. With the exception of her arthritis in her back legs she seemed perfectly normal. December 11th. (Two weeks ago) she started having seizures again. She had a bunch of them right after each other for two hours. Every time it started to subside it started up violently again. I immediately started her back on her two doses of the seizure medication and it actually helped. she went from having them every hour to every 4 hours and then they stopped but it look like she was having little tremors. The doctor was shocked to see that her blood work was perfect. He thinks that she has a brain tumor since everything else was perfect. Four days went by after I started her back on the two doses of her seizure meds. Her quality of life was diminishing. She wasn't having violent seizures but all she did was lay around or walk in circles when she was able to walk. She would walk into walls and rub her head on the inside mess of a baby crib that I started to put her in for safety reasons. She looked like she was starting to feel pain so my husband and myself had to make that very hard decision. I am feeling so much quilt. I am constantly wondering if I didn't cut her down to one dose of her seizure medicine, would she still be here with us or was it inevitable that she was going to end up this bad even if she stayed on the two doses of Zonisamide. I miss her so much.

Posts: 639
Things like this are very hard to wrap out heads around. What seemed like the right thing to do at the time....later in hindsight seems like it may have been a mistake. A big mistake. And a real whirlwind of indecisiveness. panic, despair, anxiety sets in. What if in fact we did make the wrong decision. How does one come to terms with the fact that they played a role in the death of their pet child necessarily?

I thought this about my dog Tum and my cat Pearl. With Tum, she was a 16 year old dog who her whole life until the very end had been healthy as all get up. As soon as she was acting "really sick" I impulsively had her euthanized. It was the first time I took her to the vet for what I observed as "really sick" and my decision was made right there on the spot. Imagine that. 16 years of raising a dog daughter from puppy hood. I take her to the vet because she seems really sick. The vet feels her abdomen and says she feels a tumor and the only option would be surgery. In a panic I decide on euthanasia instead. Instead! right there on the spot.

Then I go home a mess, hysterical and literally within maybe 2 days have a complete nervous breakdown and realize I rushed things.

I still wish I hadn't had her euthanized. I wish I had taken her home to live out her life and let her die on her own timetable. 

With Pearl, it was the same thing. I took her to a vet as she was acting very sick. Vet says she should be euthanized. Mind you, this is the first time I have her in the vet for this "very sick" behavior. And I agree on the spot to have her euthanized. Again, had a very serious nervous breakdown over it.

I have twice done this and it is the main reason I am so traumatized by pet loss that I never adopted again.  (Pearl was in 2012, Tum 2013).

So if you are upset about what you did, what I have to offer is I understand. I can offer you that. I can't give magic words to take away anything you are feeling.

I have had to live out my decisions and it has taken years to the point where I even stopped crying all the time. I sought out therapy and counseling and no one had experience in pet loss and none of them had every suffered from pet loss themselves or even had pets. Finding someone who specializes in pet loss or specializes only in grief and nothing else is almost impossible. So I took what was available and it was more harm than good. Made me feel hopeless that even a professional couldn't help me.

I wish you the best. If you do come up with some "magic answers" (so to speak), please publish there here as I am sure there are plenty of us who would
like to know what those "magic answers" are.

I am sorry you are suffering. It is unbearable.


Posts: 837
I am so very sorry for your loss. It is hard enough having to say goodbye to a friend who has been such a huge part of our lives but then our feeling of guilt adds to our sorrow. I agree with Stephanie, sometimes we feel we make the wrong decision. We see there is something obviously wrong and take our friend to a vet relying on them to find a solution, a fix to make things better. Sometimes there is no way to do that.

Several years ago my kitty Boo started acting strange. I kept a close eye on her and noticed she seemed confused, bumping into things, walking in circles, going into corners and crying for help. I made an appointment with my vet. She did an exam, consulted with another doctor and they determined Boo had a brain tumor. Apparently those are fairly normal symptoms for it.

I moved to another part of the country a few years ago and found a wonderful vet. She gave me some very valuable advice. She told me that she would rather euthanize an animal a day too soon than a day too late. Unfortunately I did the exact opposite with two kitties by listening to a former vet and will forever regret that decision. My "new" vet diagnosed my little fourteen year old dog Piper over a year ago with renal disease and with medication and a good diet (and a whole lot of love) Piper is doing well, even surpassing the expectations of a specialist in the field.

Please be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to mourn Koko without piling unnecessary guilt to your pain. You love her and did what you thought was best for her.


Posts: 4
Thank you both for those words. My husband also told me that once they start having seizures because of a brain tumor, it is going to get worse not better. He thinks that even if I didn't stop the one of two doses, the outcome would be the same. All the medication was doing is covering up the seizures. (Making it so they weren't as severe). The vet said that one eye was dilated different than the other which indicated that the tumor was growing and causing brain damage. I'm starting to realize that it had nothing to do with my cutting her dose down but it still hurts. As you said, it's better to put them at rest before all the pain started. Thank you for saying that. I hate the pain of not having her with me. 17 years is a very long time. I want this horrible ache in my heart to go away. It helps to see that I'm not alone and that maybe I can get through this.

Posts: 4
You did the right thing. You saved Tum (and your cat) from future pain. She was 16 years old and has a tumor. If you took her home to die on her own timeline, she would of been in a lot of pain and you would be stressed out and frantically trying to find a vet open to take her in while she was suffering.
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