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Posts: 6
I gave the go ahead to the vet to put my 15 year old collie down two weeks ago. And from the day after it happened i have not been able to shake it this awful knowing feeling that it was the wrong decision. He had a fall but went for a walk i had to bring him back because he fell over again and was really struggling. He didnt get up again and a few hours later he seemed so distressed that i rang the emergency vets and they said come in. Then he went for a poo where he was which seemed to calm him right down. When we got in the car i thought maybe we should turn around and go home but i had made the appointment and was scared they would charge us if we cancelled now so we went. I wish i'd listened to my gut. You see the out of hours vet line was a hotline where they are supposed to relay your message to the vet but now im not sure they did. When we got there the vet took one look and said i dont even need to examine him ive seen this before. I never re told the story to him i think i just assumed he had been told my vetsnow. I feel so stupid and it has cost my boy his life. So when he said we can make him comfortable and you can take him home but you will be back here and probably have to put him down i said its unfair of me to keep him isnt it he said yes. So i gave the go ahead. I was so stressed about it i just said yes. Now i know i shouldnt have done that he would still be with me if i had just thought about it calmly. Every day i wake up and realise hes not there hes dead and i killed him. Im not sure how to cope with this gut wrenching guilt and grief.

Posts: 16
Without doing any diagnostics or tests there's really no way to no what was going on if it just started happening.  I don't know if I would have taken their word for "I've seen this before" doesn't seem like much to go on.  What did they diagnose him with?  It's certainly not a natural thing for a dog to stumble etc. But here could have been any host of serious issues - or not so serious issues.  I would think a blood test could have cleared up any thing related to cancer; I'm the type of person who wants to run all kinds of tests before I proceed with anything - unless the baby is clearly not in a good way.  You just can't be sure what it was - and that's probably the hardest part.  I think sometimes vets owe their clients a little guidance during these stressful times. Did they even offer or suggest any tests?  15.5 years is a good long life for a collie.  Our Aussie passed at age 14 after having been diagnose with splenic cancer.   We had it removed surgically - but about 6 months later it had returned to his liver we think.  He died about 8 months later on his own.  But, he was still able to walk.  These are not easy decisions and sometimes it would be great if the vet would just slow down - put you in a room and let you watch the dog, make him comfortable but take the time to go over various scenarios. I'm sorry if that didn't happen.  You will likely have to find a way to forgive yourself and maybe even ask your baby to forgive you too.  Take some time and work through it or it will always be there.  Think of his entire life - not just the end.  Feel it and work through it cuz that is the only way it will get better.  Remember him.  Take good care.

Posts: 27
Hello my sweet friend, I read your post about your Collie. Please do not beat yourself up about the circumstances that happened. I don't want you to think about your baby as being dead; however, I want you to think about your baby just changed addresses. He is in Heaven now, and he is so happy! He has a new and 100% improved and healthy body 😉 And he is waiting for you there! He is with God, and God is going to take wonderful care of him until you greet him again in Heaven. Please don't beat yourself up, take care of yourself. 

Much love,
-Jess; Braveheart's momma

Posts: 3
Hi M,

I'm so sorry for your loss. First off, let me say that you have nothing to feel guilty about. I know it doesn't seem that way, but you really don't. I worked in an animal hospital for ten years and have seen a lot of pets euthanized and watched their owners struggle with guilt. For one thing, listening to the vet wasn't stupid. Vets have gone through years of school and training and experience, it's why we entrust our pets to them. They are the experts, not us, that is why we go to them. I'm not saying they don't make mistakes, only that you are not and cannot be responsible for a vet's mistake, even if you feel differently. The average person, myself included, has to put our faith in the doctor and hope for the best. We simply arent educated or experienced enough to do it differently.

Also, try to remember that the vet may have been correct and you saved your dog from future suffering. I have seen and felt the guilt from both choices: waiting and treating to see if the pet gets better, or mking the decision to put them to sleep. With the first choice, I felt guilty because my pet (my cat of 14 years) didn't get better and suffered and I felt that I had failed her. I thought I shouldn't have waited and held on for selfish reasons. The next time it was my dog- she went from seemingly healthy to a sudden and prolonged seizure. The Vet recommended euthanasia because she didnt't think our dog would recover and I agreed. Within hours, I questioned that decision. Would she have improved? Why didn't I give it more time? Did I fail my dog? Did I prematurely end the life of somebody who trusted me with all their heart? Cost had also been a factor and I started to feel like I had chosen money over my dog's life. Even after having worked at a vet for 10 years and knowing that guilt is a normal part of the process, I still couldn't shake the feeling. When we decide to euthanize before they suffer too much, we question whether or not they would have improved if given more time. And when we decide to euthanize after waiting or trying treatments to see if they get better, we feel guilty that they suffered.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that you don't have anything to feel guilty about. You can't know the future... maybe if you had listened to your gut, you would instead be feeling guilty about how your dog suffered needlessly. Every time you feel guilty, try to think of something good you did for your dog, even if it was just a treat or a pat on the head. Those things might seem little but they matter. It's easy to let our perceived failures - real or not - overshadow the hundreds of ltimes we didn't fail.

I wish you the best,

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