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Posts: 1
I have been struggling since the death of our family dog, Atticus. I moved to Dallas and my two sons lived with Atticus. I felt I was main caregiver for Atticus. Every time I visited I took him to Vet or groomer My son couldn’t afford to take to Vet nor groomer. Atticus has issues with skin and ear infections. He always had something going on. So one day his Vet was closed and I was visiting-we took him to another vet. He got care and attention he needed. The bill was also less expensive. So this is where I feel I made the wrong choice which in my opinion could have been life or death for Atticus. When my son told me he was vomiting he took him to the “new” Vet. They ran test and said he had an infection. We mentioned the other dog knocked over trash and maybe he ate something. He was given antibiotics and sent home. He seemed better. However he started to not want to eat. He was still drinking water. And urinating But when it was going on 24hrs not eating. Again I told my son to take him back. THIS IS WHERE I HAD MY CHANCE TO TAKE BACK TO HIS ORIGINAL VET- they took X-rays and said he has a mass is his abdomen and kidney stones and back issues disc and some spots on lungs. He is 9 years so the vet said could be tumor. But said only ultrasound can tell better. That meant a drive to San Antonio. He was hospitalized so they could give iv and released. He seemed to have appetite and even ate at Vet. Unfortunately he again. Got worse. And stopped eating all together. I’m aon took back to New Vet and they gave him (can’t remember) but then it had occurred to me TAKE HIM TO HIS ORIGINAL VET!!!!! My son took him and they said pretty much the same all except for them telling me they could have surgery to see what that mass is and hopefully figure it out. At last!!! I thought ! YES!! Do it ! They operated next day and he made it through surgery. They discovered he had eaten basically, garbage. So much I unidentifiable stuff we couldn’t figure where he got it. The best we can remember is my sons visited their dad in San Antonio and took Atticus He was in unfamiliar place and his anxiety drive him to chew and eat “garbage “. This was uncharacteristic of him. He NEVER did this even as a pup. This is what I didn’t understand. The next afternoon he had a cardiac arrest and died. My two sons had just visited him at hospital. They said he tried to get up I feel as though he wanted to go home with them. He was too frightened and stressed. His heart broke. I received the call from the Vet. I then had to break the news to my sons over the phone. This was the hardest thing for me. Not to mention being so far away. I struggle each day with the guilt in not taking him to his vet. The Vet that cared for him since a pup. The Vet herself ask me why I’d taken him to the other doctor when she’s been his Vet all his life. I feel my doing caused Atticus his life. I still have to text where my son and I are in group chats when Atticus was sick. I count the days prior to me taking him to his original doctor and it is probably 8 days. 8DAYS !!!! 8 days he was stronger and could have livestock. 8 days the garbage inside him couldn’t have done so much damage too his insides and could have lived !!! I have to memory of his vet telling me why I didn’t talkie him to her and his face with sad eyes asking me why... I can bear it. I’m so hurt and feel immense guilt. My youngest son is also having a difficult time. I feel like no one understands what I’m going through. I wish I could go back to the beginning and sent him to his original Vet. I strongly believe he’d be alive today. And that is what kills me.

Posts: 5

Laura, I'm so sorry for your loss. 

I think almost everyone who goes through something like this feels guilt and second-guesses the choices they made. The "right" choices feel so obvious in retrospect, but there's really no way to know if it would have turned out differently. This honestly doesn't sound like an issue that the vet knowing his history would have mattered. Either vet should have been able to diagnose and deal with this. 

You did your best with the information you had at each step. Try to have compassion for yourself and focus on loving and supporting your sons. Again, I'm so sorry.


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