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Posts: 7
I don't know how to live my life after this. I have been feeling suicidal in some dark moments these days. My heart will break of all the pain inside it...
My precious, loved, beautiful, loving dog had an illness called rage syndrome. I didn't know that. The first serious attack happened in October last year. We were on the bed, me typing something on my phone and he playing and laying around me as usual. I was on my back and all of a sudden, without any provocation, without eye contact, without any reason on Earth, he jumped on me and bit my finger, cheek and nose. It lasted like 5 seconds and it was faster than I was able to realise that my dog attacked me. His eyes were glazed and he looked like a demon. After it, 5 seconds after the attack that lasted 5 seconds, he was all confused and friendly. He had no idea what he did and he even got worried for me as I was crying of shock. He licked my arms and legs while I was getting out of the shock. I was bleeding (on the finger and on nose) but he didn't actually make any unfixable damage. I had wounds on nose and I wasnt able to go to work for few days but I didn't have any scars on face from it. I called 3 vets and they told me that it was serious and that I should consider putting dog to sleep. I was crying and didnt want even to think about that option. I didnt go to human doctors to get anti tetanus shots as I didn't want to risk that my dog gets declared as aggressive. And he wasnt aggressive, he was the sweetest dog ever with beautiful, sad eyes and beautiful black fur. Vets told me that his agression is due to the fact that I spoiled him, didnt show him who was the boss and advised me to beat him if he behaved aggressively. They neutered him and I hoped that it plus my being a bit strict toward him will do the miracle. Before that, I was really soft with him and he was treated like a soft baby so I thought it might be that I spoiled him.

After that, we had few smaller incidents where he bit my leg and I still have a scar - marks of his 2 teeth there. But it was just leg, invisible under jeans, so I didn't want to panic and ofcourse I didn't go to doctors. There were also 2 - 3 attacks that I escaped from so I didnt panic about it either. Then, last month he attacked me again and bit my cheek. It was again out of blue, 5 seconds attack, and he acted as if nothing had happened beforehand. The wound was small but deep, I was bleeding a lot. First thought I had was to save him. So I didn't go to doctors for myself and didn't call the same vets that had told me to put the dog asleep. Finally I went to an experienced vet who is professor of neurology and he told me it was the rage syndrome. I have never ever heard about it before. A part of me still don't believe in it. But I went on the internet and found many stories identical to mine! And even the feelings of owners were the same. It is so scary, it is like a horror movie 24 hours a day. Hector got anti seizure medicine phenobarbiton but he continued to act weird and aggressive from time to time, and especially at night. I was so scared at night as he was growling at me and didn't let me go to toilet. Few times I had to pee in a pot. I was literally shaking in my bed thinking how on earth will I get out of the apartment in the morning. But in the morning, I would open the door of my room and he was there all merry and good with his tail wagging. I became desperate and hysterical of living like that and had one more talk with the vet. I considered putting Hector in some paid accommodation for dogs and I found one that would agree to accept him but only if vet approved that. Professor was against that idea and told me that Hector would suffer a lot there and that it would be like living in a prison for the rest of his life. Also, he couldn't guarantee that the medicine would control his attacks so the dog could make serious injuries to some employee there.. His advice was to put Hector asleep. I was crying in his office for an hour and he understood me. He told me that it wasn't my fault and that it was a genetic disorder...
Few days later I went there with my baby. I started to cry as soon as we entered. I said I couldn't do that and turned to go out. The vet had everything prepared in advance, as he knew that my reaction would be dramatic. So he took me to another room "just to talk" and his assistants took my baby away. I was just crying and talking to him. Asked him again if there was another option. He said that there wasn't, that I had no choice. I cried and talked and during that time they did everything in the other room. I only signed papers. My baby died without seeing me, but it was done so fast that he didn't have time to think (they sedated him within 3 seconds of getting him from my arms). And it was done. I went out crying and screaming, without my world, my love, my everything...

It is impossible to describe the amount of guilt that I feel. I seriously want to die as my conscience is burning me like fire. I can't understand what happened. And I am not sure if I made the right decision. He did hurt me, but even though the attacks were scary and dangerous, I was lucky to get without serious injuries. So it seems to me that I killed him just because of a few light wounds. I was aware that I wouldn't be so lucky next time and that I couldn't prevent those attacks as he transformed himself into a beast in a blink of an eye, so I made the decision based on that. But now, I look like a coward to myself and I cry for him every day. I wonder what did I do to cause that, even though I know it was genetic. The worst thing is that I lost him and my life is all empty now. He was my universe, all my life was built around him. And now, there are only ruins and one part of me wishes that I disappear and go to him to some place where I will not feel so strong pain in my soul. I kept his bed next to my bed, as it was before the first attack happened. He was 5.5 years old and we lived together, only he and me, every day, close and cuddling and laughing and sharing everything. I hope that I will manage to go on after this somehow.. It happened on March 9th..
p.s. I am apologising for my English, it is not my mother's tongue so I make mistakes.

Posts: 607
I’m sorry your post was missed. I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you did absolutely everything you possibly could for your dog. Your dog had a severe illness and unfortunately there was nothing else you could have done. As hard as it was for you, you did the right thing. No matter the circumstances, losing a pet if very hard. I hope you are ok.

Posts: 7
Thank you SpookyWolfe.. I am a bit better, but I can't collect myself, I am all broken into pieces... He was my whole life. I gave him everything. I was quarrelling with neighbours who were angry at him for his constant barking. He was hypersensitive and even a slightest provocation (like a sound of sneezing or cough) was enough to disturb him. All that time I didn't know he was ill. Everybody told me that it was my fault, that I should teach the dog not to bark that much and that I spoiled him. I accepted it as a truth as I really wasn't able to calm him down... Recently I have realised that only medicines could calm him a bit, so I guess it wasn't my fault. but still, I can't stop asking myself would he got ill if I had been more calm and confident during his growing up... I was so worried for his health and life from the day 1, and maybe I somehow transferred my fears and panic to him. He was so tiny and helpless... Maybe everything would be different if he had a better owner... I just loved him too much.. And he adored me too. He was never more that 1 metar away from me. He was kissing my face every morning when I open my eyes. He would lay by me patiently and he watched carefully when will I finally open my eyes (as he was always the first to wake) and then the joy and kisses would follow. Every morning like that... We were playing with his toys in the apartment, went shopping and walking, we were a whole, one being. And then it happened and I had to kill huge part of me.. as we were one.. Hector was my baby... It is so cruel...

I just cant comprehend it was really the illness.. It looks to me like a misunderstanding... I really struggle to accept that he was ill... If it was a physical condition, it would be easier to accept as I would have test, scans etc to rely on. And for rage syndrome there is no material evidence and it is so rare that most vets didn't even know about it. I dont know how will I go on with this emptiness inside. I had a sudden need to adopt a new dog from a horrible place that I saw on facebook. The dog looks exactly the same as my baby. But I changed my mind. I am not ready for a new risk. And after all, I have a fear that a dog will attack me all of a sudden, like he did. I don't think I could relax near a dog like I used to...( Hector slept in my bed..) Maybe I could take a small, white puff dog of some kind, though I am not sure if I want any dog at all. It is so hard that I would not wish this suffering even to the worst enemy... It is like living in a hell, every day after it...
Thank you for your support, that means a lot. It does help when I write about it..

Posts: 837
I am so very sorry for your loss. I had a similar experience many years ago. I don't think many of us realize that animals can suffer from emotional and mental illnesses just as people do. My grandmother lived with my small child and I. We adopted a dog and she was the sweetest dog, easily trained, so very loving, especially fond of my grandmother. One day my daughter and I were away from home for a few hours and when we returned my grandmother said that Penny had attacked her. Her hands were wounded and she was treated at the ER. I took the dog to our vet the next morning and he recommended euthanasia. There was a risk of rehoming her and no rescue would have taken her. As much as it broke my heart I could not chance it happening again. I wish there were words to help heal your pain. I know how hard this is for you. I pray that in time you will be at peace from losing your precious dog.

Posts: 7
Thank you, dear Twinkiesmom... It is true - many of us can't realise that pet dogs can have mental issues too... They are like babies, all sweet and innocent. It is close to impossible to believe in that... Thank you for your support and I wish you all the best.
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