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patches0330

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Posts: 42
 #1 
Hi everyone, 

We had to put Patches to sleep on his 11th birthday in March 2019. He was humanely euthanised at our vet's office. My parents, my boyfriend, and I stayed in the room while Patches laid on my lap and took his last breaths. I felt the life leave his body and I felt a sense of relief because I knew that his pain was truly over. He had several health issues which really lowered his quality of life. I bought a dog stroller and other items to make him more comfortable so that we could still go on walks and adventures together. My family and I did everything we possibly could to make him comfortable until his final moments. 

I'm wondering if it's possible to get PTSD from losing a pet. Ever since Patches passed away, I will get the voices from the vet and his vet techs telling us the bad news about his health and how we have to start thinking about putting him to sleep. I get flashbacks of my family and I sitting in the office while we said our goodbyes. I remember the days leading up to his birthday. I remember all of the things we had planned that we never got to do together. I can't, for the life of me, get the vet's voice out of my head saying, "Patches is gone. I'm so sorry." I have full-on panic attacks where I can't breathe, I get dizzy, and I come close to passing out. Sometimes I have to take something to calm down because they will go on for hours if I don't. I suffer from depression and anxiety to begin with, and this just added to it. 

I know that we did the right thing with putting Patches to sleep. It would have been selfish for us to keep him around knowing how bad he was feeling. He couldn't breathe, walk, eat, or see. I hated seeing him like that. It hurts my heart just to think about it. 

I don't know how to make those flashbacks stop and I can't make those voices go away. I probably sound insane, but I don't know what to do.
Dog_Lover

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Posts: 9
 #2 
Hi patches0330,
yes, it is very possible to get PTSD from losing a beloved pet.  M eight year old shih tzu died in my car on the way to the ER. The visuals and sounds I heard that day of my dog dying will forever haunt me. This happened a month ago and he died way too soon. I am seeing a grief counselor who is trying to help me sort out my feelings. It is one of the most traumatic things to go through, whether euthanizing or seeing your beloved pet die. I am sorry for your loss. I hope you find solace in these support forums.
cosesmom

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Posts: 580
 #3 
Patches0303,
I suppose it possible to get PTSD from losing a pet, anything is possible. I feel what you are going through is normal. I relived that last day about Termy for a very long time. I didn't want to live without him and cried all the time. I went to a grief counselor, went to a spiritual reader and went to a support group. It all helped. One day those images will fade. My counselor suggested that I replace each bad memory with a good one. At first it was hard, really hard but after a while it became easier. There are times, depending on how I am feeling, those images with show their ugly heads. I don't care to give any examples of those dark thoughts but I know what you are going through.This is what we do, anything to help them and keep them with us for just a while longer but there comes a time when we consider their life and the quality of it. You sounds as if you did everything that you could to make Patches life easier. You must remember that you will always be Patches' hero. What you did , we all did, out of love. Be gentle with yourself. Remember that there are over 4,000 other days that you made memories with Patches. Remember the whole journey that you shared with him.
One day at a time
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom
patches0330

Registered:
Posts: 42
 #4 
Dog_Lover, 

I'm so sorry about your Shih Tzu. I'm glad that you are seeing a grief counselor, I'm sure they will be able to help you. Yes, I have been finding this forum to be very helpful in my path to acceptance. Thank you for the kind words. 
patches0330

Registered:
Posts: 42
 #5 
Termy's Mom, 

I remember in another one of my topics you posted about the spiritual reader. I've been looking into finding one but I'm not sure which ones are trustworthy. Replacing each bad memory with a good one is a solid idea and I think I will try that. It does seem very difficult though. It's so easy to let the bad thoughts take over and it's hard to turn that around sometimes. 

When the bad things are so ... bad ... it's hard to think of all the good times even though there were thousands of them. Pretty much every moment we shared created a good memory with Patches, but I seem to be fixated on the bad ones. I suppose I just need to take things one day at a time like you said. 

Thank you for the kind words. 

-Danielle xoxo 
cosesmom

Registered:
Posts: 580
 #6 
Danielle,
I hope my words helped in some way. I've been where you are now. Once in 2000 and again in 2018. Yes, it is very hard to replace those dark memories with the bright sunny ones. There were times when those ugly memories consumed me. I knew that Termy taught me far more than his death. It was very hard to hand the tech Termy's lifeless body knowing I ended his life but I did it out of love even then I told her to take good care of him. I knew that his spirit had already flown free and he was looking down at me with a body free of pain. I also know he was thanking me for freeing him and giving him all those wonderful years together. As long as we hold onto those "flashbacks" we can't let our loved  ones be free. Grief holds them to our earthy world when we need to set them free of our grief. Our grief keeps them from coming to us in our dreams because they are in limbo. It's okay to be sad and to cry, I still do. (I am now)
As far as a spiritual reader I found one locally. I tested her. I didn't give her any clues to start with but when she said he did something with his paws. (he would set up and wave his paws in the air) and I never told her Termy was a boy. I knew then that she connected with him. She also knew that my sister passed before he did and she was waiting for him and took him in her arms. She also said that he loved what I did with his ears, I used to massage them. I guess all I'm saying is let them talk to your spirits and don't give them anything to clue in on. If they really are true readers then they will know all about you.

Replacing the bad memories with the good ones will be hard but the more you do it the easier it will become. I found that by holding onto the bad ones I pushed all those little ones out of my mind. Now I can sit and recall the silly little things as well as the big ones. I freed my mind, so to speak.

Hoping that this will ease your pain and help some.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom
Bonnie
Kschneid3

Registered:
Posts: 14
 #7 
Patches parent,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I completely understand where you are coming from and what you are going through. I also can only replay the horrific last 2 hours with my sweet Max. I have to watch old videos of him to dull them out, but the come back again when I close the videos.

I have read a lot about grief the past 4 days, and I have come across several articles stating PTSD is possible after losing a pet.

Although, we made the selfless choice in letting our pets pass peacefully and no longer suffering. It's hard to block out those last moments. But we have to remember we did something in their best interest one last time, it was our final act of taking and showing them how much we care for them. I've actually researched a few pet mediums, I dont care if it seems crazy. I will find peace eventually and maybe this is a starting point. I'd gladly share the names I have found if this is something you'd be interested in.

Just know you are not alone, and you are completely validated feeling any which way you do. I hope eventually the negative memories fade away for you.
patches0330

Registered:
Posts: 42
 #8 
Termy's Mom, 

Yes, your words have helped me so thank you. 

Sometimes Patches will visit me in my dreams and he is running around and playing which is something he was unable to do towards the end of his life. It's always nice seeing him happy and healthy. 

I'm so happy that you found a trustworthy spiritual reader. That is very good advice and if I ever get the courage to go to one I will be sure to keep your tips in mind. I'll also have to wear long sleeves since I got a tattoo of Patches on my arm a month ago. But it gives me hope after hearing your stories. 

We have been thinking about getting another dog and it's a big decision. We got one 1 month after Patches passed and it was WAY too soon. We rehomed him to my cousin's mother-in-law. He's happy there and has a brother now. My boyfriend keeps telling me that I have to "let go" but I don't want to forget about Patches. I feel like I will always miss him and I don't really see anything wrong with that but I'm sure it's hurting me to keep torturing myself with the sad memories. I just can't help it. I'm hoping that I'm at the point now (March 30th will be 1 whole year without Patches) where getting a dog will help me through the rest of the grieving process. It just hurts knowing that somewhere down the line I will have to go through this all over again. I just keep reminding myself that the 11 years we had with Patches were some of the best years of my life and I wouldn't trade them for anything. 
patches0330

Registered:
Posts: 42
 #9 
Kschneid3, 

I also watch old videos of Patches. I have some pictures and videos from the last day we spent together and those hurt too bad to even think about, never mind look at. I know that someday I will be able to look at them though, so that's why I'm keeping them. 

I'm glad that I'm not alone with these feelings. I thought I was going crazy or something. 

We definitely did what was best for Patches and I'm glad that my family and I were able to be there for him in his last moments. 

If you'd like to send me some pet mediums I'd greatly appreciate it! You can private message me if you'd like. 

-Danielle 
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