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Erica81

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Posts: 7
 #1 
I hope you can help me on this message board. My little dog Blacky died a half year ago. She reached the age of 16,5. She didn't eat most of her normal food anymore and lost weight. Because she suffered from CCD, I made the decision for euthanasia and give her a last couple of nice weeks with other foods she would like. She ate them with vigor, but got diarrhea and started vomiting a few days later. She weakened and I had to put her down. Since that day I keep ruminating and feeling guilty earlier. I have been diagnosed with OCD. So every little detail becomes an obsession and creates anxiety attacks. Today I had to take anti-anxiety medicine because I couldn't remember how long and how much she ate before giving her other food. Then half an hour ago I found out that you can't keep dry kibble in a open bag for more than 6 week before it becomes bad. I only ever looked at the expiration date. And because I had a big bag for a small dog (rc mobility) it lasted the last time for 8 months! I am freaking out because I think I poisoned my dog. Maybe she even contracted the CCD through this. The last bag she had was open for approximately 2 months. Did she stop eating because of that? I feel so utterly guilty and stupid.
JerseyLola

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Posts: 10
 #2 
Your dog lived to the ripe old age of 16.5 because you took excellent care of her and loved her. Be proud of that. It's so common for dogs to lose their appetite at the end of life for many reasons or no particular reason at all and it always drives pet owners needlessly crazy trying to figure it out. She had a long, wonderful life with you...try to focus on that.
Heidi4907

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Posts: 39
 #3 
I sympathize with you because I also have OCD (and depression) and have convinced myself that if I'd done a better job of caring for my cat he would still be here. He died from cancer, just short of his 13th birthday. The greatest cat, my best friend. I know what torture it is to feel this way. It's where my brain goes and I feel like I have no control over my thoughts. The anxiety is really crushing, absolutely unbearable at times. I lost my boy Coco 10 weeks ago and I'd say the thoughts became really strong just last week. I wonder if it took several weeks for you too, for the obsessive thoughts to become really strong? Maybe it's the nature of OCD. Blacky may have gotten some GI upset from foods she wasn't used to, but her prior lack of appetite is a more significant indicator that she wasn't well. 16.5 is very old for a dog. I've read about guilt and grief. One thing that makes sense to me is that we feel a sense of control if we imagine our pets could have survived "if only," but in reality our control is very limited. Also I've never heard about food going bad after 6 weeks open. I think it would be a good idea to talk to your vet about that, because lots of pet owners have bags that have been open for months. It's a shame that our grief for someone we loved so much gets complicated with these ugly obsessive thoughts. The pain of losing them is already too much to deal with. Like JerseyLola said, try put some focus on the wonderful life you had together. I'm so sorry you're going through this too. Be kind to yourself. I can tell the you loved her.
Erica81

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Posts: 7
 #4 
Thx
Erica81

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Posts: 7
 #5 
Thx Heidi,
I have so many questions in my head about that period of time. A lot of anxiety came a fews weeks later with panic attacks. But now more than a half year later and with a new dog in my home, i wonder again. And had a few panic attacks this weekend. I go over and over what happened and it gets more distorted in my head. This is what makes me anxious and uncertain. Did I try hard enough giving the old food? Did I forget maybe giving it. Or decided well she nevers eats in the morning, just try to give it in the evening. I don't know what happened exactly and that bugs me more than you know 😥
I am trying to get past this, because I will never know. And I can't get her to rise from the dead...but still it's so hard.
Heidi4907

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Posts: 39
 #6 
I think of OCD as a small trickle of water running down a mountain that eventually carves out small streams that finally flows into a river. It just grows and grows. For me it also happens with very trivial matters, where I know it's crazy but still my thoughts feel completely consuming and out of control. So when something happens that really matters and is very painful for even "healthy" people, this kind of thought behavior is extremely devastating. I don't have any answers, but it might be helpful to try to separate your healthy grief from missing Blacky from the unwanted compulsive thoughts. I don't think there is anything unhealthy about still missing her deeply after 6 months. My sister still cries for her horse, who she lost suddenly in January 2019. But she doesn't blame herself.
I too keep going over everything in my head, digging up details and I'm not even sure if I'm remembering things correctly, and the thoughts lead nowhere. I try to tell myself that my mental illness is rearing its ugly head again, as though it's a separate thing. But I still get panicky and overwhelmed. And I also just miss him so much. We were glued to each other. 

Wish I had answers. Wish I could help both of us. 
Take care, and try to be kind to yourself,
Heidi
Erica81

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Posts: 7
 #7 
Thx for understanding. That means a lot!
Heidi4907

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Posts: 39
 #8 
Thank you, Erica. It means a lot to me, too, to have someone here who understands. 
AgnesMummy

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Posts: 2
 #9 
Erica - I just lost my beloved little sweet girl Agnes (almost 12) on May 27 and I’m still right in the grieving process, but working hard to get through it. When I saw your post I just had Sign up here and reach out. While the vet clinic can’t tell me exactly what caused it basically Agnes died of a sudden clot and when it hit she was gone within 30 minutes. Thanks fully I was gone with her and have a vet sister and brother - called my brother right away and rushed her to the emergency clinic but there was nothing they could have done. My point is that even though I had a literal team of scientists working on my little girl every day since my mind takes me on these wild goose chases of maybe I did something, or this is my fault, did I accidentally poison her (today’s wild good chase was did I accidentally feed her an onion which can be quite toxic to dogs - but I would and of course had never done this - but that didn’t stop me from spending the next three hours researching the effects of onions on dogs, symptoms etc and numerous calls with my vet siblings. The advantage I have is they can immediately tell me no this is impossible she had zero symptoms of a dog that was poisoned by an onion or otherwise, we know it was a clot. They stop me right in my tracks so I don’t continue torturing myself. So it is completely normal for us to feel guilty and blame ourselves when our angels pass, but the reality is usually something very different than the horror stories we create in our own heads. We loved them and catered to them and the fact that we are feeling this guilt is because we loved them so much we feel like we let them down. But we didn’t. Hopefully you have a veterinarian friend, or your dog’s old vet that you could maybe talk to to confirm it wasn’t the kibble. That might help give you peace of mind. They can clearly tell you how likely that would be (I think not very likely) and then explain the science. For me it has been a lifesaving. Anyway when I read your post I knew I had to reach out since this was me today with the onions! I hope this can help you in some way and give you some peace. You gave your dog a beautiful life and you did nothing wrong.
Erica81

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Posts: 7
 #10 
For Heidi and Agnes mummy,

I am so sorry for your losses too.
Erica81

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #11 
AgnesMummy- I can totally relate. I was wondering if my dog ate boxwood and I didn't notice. Or that she ate it and I noticed but it didn't alarm me. The last few days I am tortured by topics nobody can give me reassurance about, because I was the only one there. Like what I wrote above: did I give her food, or did I forgot. Did I even try hard enough. Why didn't I try feeding during the walk. And yesterday I was triggered because I put my new pup in the yard and got on the internet and forget her for a few minutes. No problem for her, but did I also do that with my old dog when she was very ill. Just put her outside in the cold to pee, poo and forget about her, leave her for too long. I did when she was healthy, so did I also do that those last few days. And if not, when I did forget about her in other days, because I just got busy inside the house or laid my head to rest for a little while, was it cold? Did it damage her? Or did she just wandered around a bit, no worries... i can't remember. She died 7 months ago and other events are even longer ago. They all become blurred and messed up in my head. I hate OCD.
AgnesMummy

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Posts: 2
 #12 
I totally get it - we torture ourselves. I am just trying very hard to engage the logical side of my brain and not let me emotional anxious side get the better of me, and since my loss is still so new, I hope in time I just remember all the millions of wonderful moments with my girl and the anxiety subsides. I am so sorry for your loss, as well, and I hope you can find a way to also hold onto the millions of amazing memories you had with your beloved, and just know you can't always believe what your brain tells you!
Erica81

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #13 
Thx for understanding me! I wish you also the same and all the best. I think we will get past this. I hope the sooner the better...
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