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Posts: 2
My nearly 15 year old baby, Reyna, had been sick for a few months. Originally she was treated for a gallbladder infection. Which, we thought she had recovered from. After a hospital stay, she was sent home with antibiotics and she did seem to recover. Then about a week ago her appetite began diminishing and she would occasionally vomit even on an empty stomach. I brought her in right away for bloodwork and a checkup, thinking that maybe the infection was still lingering. The vet called me the next day to say that her liver enzymes were extremely elevated. But, he said that it certainly could be due to something being wrong with her gallbladder. He recommended we have another ultrasound ASAP. This was Saturday and Monday was a holiday. So, Tuesday I was able to schedule her in for an ultrasound for the next day. At this point, she was barely eating anything at all, but otherwise, she did seem like her normal self. Well, she went for her ultrasound and had more bloodwork. The doctors were very concerned because part of her liver was very inflamed and her liver values were twice as high as they had been on Friday. They wanted to keep her at the hospital for 3-4 days to give her an aggressive antibiotic treatment and see if that would help. They explained that while she wasn’t in liver failure, she would be soon without intervention. They gave her a cocktail of meds including an appetite stimulant and she still refused to eat. They kept telling me to give her time and hopefully her appetite would return and her liver would begin to regenerate. She got weaker and weaker and then around 1 pm today, I got the dreaded call from the vet saying that she could no longer walk, was lethargic and there really wasn’t anything more they could do. They recommended humane euthanasia. I was taken aback. Three days ago she was running around my front yard barking at other dogs. She was sunbathing. She was happy and seemed so full of life. How did this happen so fast!? I contacted my family and we all met at the animal hospital. We made arrangements and luckily even though because of covid-19 we couldn’t go inside to be with her, the doctor was kind enough to bring her outside and put her to sleep there with all of us surrounding her. She looked like an entirely different dog when they brought her out. She couldn’t stand, she could barely keep her eyes open, her breathing was labored, she was incontinent. My heart broke in a way that I have no words to accurately describe. We spent some time with her, but didn’t want to prolong her suffering so we told the doctor we were ready. She took her last breaths in my arms, in the fresh air and sunshine, surrounded by all the people who loved her most in this world. I’m happy she is no longer suffering but, I also hate that this is the best I could do for her. I feel guilty wondering if perhaps all the drugs were just too much for her and that is was caused the rapid decline. Maybe we should have refused to leave her there. Maybe we should have taken her home and let her spend her remaining time with us. Then, once we knew the time was right, we could have put her to sleep in the comfort of her own home. I feel like this was all so rushed. I think if I had to do it over again I would have made different choices. But, now it’s too late. I can’t believe this happened. I can’t believe my baby is gone. I have never felt more sad or lost. I will never recover from this loss. I just hope someday I can forgive myself and let go of this guilt. I hope Reyna can forgive me too. My heart hurts so much.

Posts: 28
I'm so sorry for your loss...My first family pet Benji went very fast like that. It was just a couple of days. It was probably not anything that you did but that won't stop you from goi g over and over it. I had to make the decision to let my 17 yr old cat go on Easter Sunday. I really tortured myself for a couple of weeks going over and over what I could have done better. Looking back it seems mean cause I did my best. He was my sunshine and I miss him so much. But it is getting less intense and I'm accepting that we had a good 17 years...lots of love...
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