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Posts: 1
My little girl Lillie went in for a routine tooth operation and never came home.

There is such a whole in our home and lives as she was a house cat and was like a little shadow.

She went into the vets for a routine tooth clean as she had severe gingivitis, and she had a heart attack whilst coming around for the anaesthetic.

Not only do I have to do deal with this heart wrenching grief, but I also know that I sent her to her death, and I can’t understand how I will ever get over that. Has anyone else had a pet die from a routine op?

The grief. Is painful.

Posts: 837
I am so very sorry for your loss of sweet Lillie. I was a dental assistant for over 30 years and can tell you that dental disease if severe enough, can cause death. I can recall a patient that had to be hospitalized due to that very thing. Many years ago my kitty Bailey had a hernia which needed to be repaired. She crashed twice during the operation but the vet was able to save her and after a difficult recovery she lived several years. Anytime anyone undergoes surgery there are risks. You were doing what was needed, there is no blame attached. I am sure Lillie had a wonderful life with you and that you did everything possible to insure she had everything she needed, most importantly unconditional love which she returned tenfold. I know right now it feels as if your heart will never mend but in time your tears will lessen and your memories will bring smiles. You have come to a place filled with wonderful caring people always here to listen and offer support and understanding. Lillie loves you still, a love like yours cannot end, she will be with you forever in your heart. Please take care, my friend, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posts: 194
Hi Emily,
I have been dealing with the same guilt. I had a bad feeling beforehand about the place I went to. It was not my regular vet. My 6-year old dog passed during a routine dental, but there are a lot of things wrong that this vet did.  I learned this after my dog was gone.  If your vet did everything possible to save your little Lillie, discussed the procedure and risks (Informed Consent) with you, and did blood work that was free of any flags, and they have an anesthesia record to show vitals, then the vet did the right thing. There is a risk with older pets just because of their age. 

My dog was young, on no medication, never sick, seemingly healthy (I say that because the vet never discussed the lab results with me, he said they were good. I saw the lab results after my dog passed and there were 3 flagged items).  This vet did not discuss the Informed Consent so I have no copy, he did not provide an anesthesia log/record, no vitals, and he did not do every thing possible to save my dog. On top of it, he never called me when things were going wrong. He waited to call me after he was gone. So wrong.  I've had several professionals view the notes and all of these things are missing. He broke several laws.  In my case, there are too many unanswered questions that's why I don't believe a word he said. I live with a lot of guilt for bringing him to that place in the first place.  We trust these professionals and yes, things can go wrong beyond their control, that's why they must follow all the laws and review the Informed Consent.  (If you find the vet's procedure is questionable, then that's another story.)

I am so sorry about Lillie. I hope you can forgive yourself. It could take time.  Your grief has come to you from a total shock.  I've been there.  It's something you can't believe. You may go through disbelief, anger, and many other grief stages.  They may not go away for a while. You may beat yourself up.  I've been on this forum for a couple of months and many people have offered their condolences and love.  I depend on these pet loss forums because most people outside of them do not understand. I write letters to my dog on the forum. It's supposed to be therapeutic. I have also learned about signs and I believe I've gotten some, one in particular from a Cardinal bird which I saw again yesterday. This is coming from someone who would not have believed any of this if my dog was still here. I not only have had a loss, but one of my dogs (Leroy) lost his best friend (Parker) who poured so much love on him.  They hit it off the first day they met when I brought home Parker. Leroy is still young so he has to go through the rest of his life without a friend, and confused about why he is not here. I have a lot guilt about that, too. My home has gone dim. The sunshine he brought is gone.

Keep visiting this forum and expressing your thoughts to us and to Lillie. It is a good place to be.  Every Monday there is a candle ceremony with a sermon and after that you can pay tribute to your lovely Lillie.  Browse around the site. There are other topics and categories you can post on. I don't know what I would do without pet loss forums. I've met nice friends whom I write to outside of the forum. Here is the main page with a link to the ceremony.   There is also a grief support chat room with people with the name "wolf" who provide support for grieving people.  I've been on there and met a lot of nice people who understand. They've have losses, too.  If you are outside the US, check the times for the Monday ceremony.  

You take care and as hard as it is to let go of the guilt (I know), remember, you were just trying to keep your cat healthy to prevent serious disease.  We try our best, but we don’t’ know the future. 

Feel better and remember Lillie knows you love her. Our best friends loved us unconditionally. 

I hope to see you again here and I hope to hear that you are feeling better, even just a little. Maybe I will see you at the candle ceremony.

~ Parker's Mom




Posts: 12
Hi Emily,
My 12 year old dog was hospitalized bc the neurologist said she would have a much better chance at recovery if she stayed two days for treatment. She had been regurgitating, a symptom of Megaesophagus. Vet did tests, and said she had pneumonia, I wasn't there, my husband took her. It sounded bad. My girl was semiferal, they knew that. I should've never left her. She died of fear and anxiety in an oxygen cage, 36 hours after she was admitted. After I got her records, I saw that she didn't even have a fever. Her CBC was not of a near death dog. They mistook her anxiety symptoms for pneumonia. I called them at 9 pm and they said she seemed a little better, at 11 pm they called me and said she had passed. My guilt is killing me. All I do is cry. I should've known she would be scared to death. I never said goodbye, I was her safety. I am so sorry you are going through something similar as I know this pain is almost unbearable. I am having a hard time trusting vets.
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