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Posts: 1
Our lab died at home yesterday. I hadn’t expected her to go yesterday in the early hours of the night, but I feel so guilty that I should have known.

She was 13 and 7 mos. and had been growing more arthritic and suffering from less use of her hind leg. She was slowing down but through January could still go on a 4 mile walk.

Then at the end of Feb she woke from a nap one day and had zero balance. We took her to the vet who ran some tests but without further neurology tests and MRIs the vet could only suggest vestibular syndrome if she recovered in a few weeks. She also prescribed antibiotics in case of ear infection. We declined more tests figuring if it was brain cancer we would not treat the cancer. Our dog had had cancer at seven and survived but now at this advanced age we were not going to treat her again.

Her balance did get better but not fully over true next two weeks. Instead though she lost any ability to go up and down stairs, then she lost her use of hind legs altogether. For the first two weeks despite having vertigo she still ate like a champ. Then at the end of the two weeks since seeing the vet, 10 days before she died, she tapered her eating and started wanting less each day. We guessed that she might have developed an aversion to the food since we had mixed medicine in it. She still wanted almost all human food.

Finally two nights ago ago concerned that though she hardly ate any dog food at all and she was getting weaker, we gave her all human food for dinner. She ate chicken, carrots steak and then went to lay down exhausted. We woke her up to go outside to do her business but she tried to refuseand motioned to go back inside. We brought her back inside and at that point she was panting and struggling to breathe. I stayed with her for the next five hours hoping to bring her to the vet when it opened in the morning.

She never made it and died in great distress. I had not been prepared to euthanize her before that day and I feel so guilty now. I so wish I could have sedated her to help her through that suffering. I had hoped when the time came she would die peacefully at home in her sleep. That is not how it went though.

It’s too late for my girl now. I know now that I should have stopped hoping for a turnaround a week earlier the minute she started eating less. I thought there was way more time. Now I know there was underlying disease. I know she was suffering quietly. Although I know she was comforted that I was with her and she was in her favorite spot in the house, I feel like I failed her by not having it go so much more calmly and painlessly. ,

I need to figure out how to deal with all this guilt. And like everyone here, it’s going to be a long time before I stopped crying every time I wake up in the morning and remember she is not here. We through away her beds immediately and my husband through away her leash and grooming kits. He said he didn’t want to save them for a new dog. If we got a new dog we needed to start fresh. I did save her collar and bowls. I will be finding her hair here in the house forever. It’s very shocking to feel such deep grief.

Posts: 19
I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I could help, but I can only pray for you. Please pray for me too. I lost my dog yesterday also. I can’t stop crying and if not for my family needing me, I would rather just die. The “what if’s and should have” are the worst thing you can do. I figured that out quickly after reading many different grief articles. It’s not your fault, you gave your loved one the best life you could. I am telling you what others have told me, I think it will sink in and ring true for both of us over time. But this is the worst I have ever felt. I’m so sad. Just know you are not alone and this world is not how we would want it to be, but some things are just out of our control.
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