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Posts: 174

I am still suffering enormous guilt over Sherry and can't seem to get past it.  She had such suffering and pain at the end and it was all my fault.  Her best friend Daisy died of cancer last Nov. and my husband brought home a kitten without discussing it with me only two days after.  Since that day Sherry never came upstairs to sleep with me again.  She began eating less and for awhile I gave her appetite stimulating pills that we'd had left when Daisy died.  They worked for awhile and then Sherry started blowing up and eating a lot and I'd stupidly thought that it was stress related and began starving her to death by pulling her bowl away thinking that the weight gain so quickly was "bad for her!!!).  Her poor little body was in the end stage of kidney failure and couldn't absorbe protein anymore and that's why she was bloated and eating fast.  My 19 yr old Taco has CFR but it was caught early and treated and he's had 4 years and is doing well.  Carina is 16 and has been on meds to treat hypothyroidism for 2 years.  After Daisy passed my CFR cat and his sister developed a virus problem and had to be hospitalized a week apart but recovered.  I feel that I was in denial about Sherry's illness because she was younger and with all the illnesses and death only weeks apart I may have waited so long to take her to the vet for financial reasons.  Now I have to live with the knowledge that I shortened her life considerably because of money and blindness.  I will never have her snuggled between my neck and shoulder nursing and purring like she did every night with Daisy at the foot of my bed.  That pretty little face with the dimple on her chin is no more and when she lay convulsing at the end and looking up at me with her pleading eyes I rushed her to the vets and was told that they couldn't even draw a blood sample because her skin was pulling off her body since the cell walls were like a sieve.  She had an appt. scheduled for the week after but it was too late and the emergency vet said she couldn't believe that I'd waited so long to take her in.  This guilt and sorrow will haunt me forever.


Posts: 991
I don't know what to say. I am so sorry about what you are going through.
You'll be in my prayers.
Molly's Mom

Posts: 95
I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. Guilt is an overwhelming and difficult emotion to deal with, as many of us have here.

I hope you can find some peace and solace and recognize that you did your best and in the end God's will will be done and there is nothing we can do about it. You took care of your baby as best you could. It was cruel of the vet to say what he/she did. It is obvious that you take care of your companions by taking them to the vet. I know people who don't want to spend the money and just drop their pets at the local shelter. You did not do that. Please find solace in that.

My prayers are with you.


Posts: 55

Pretty much all of us have overlooked things in our pets - it is fairly easy to do because they hide illness as a matter of instinct.  Plus we are not veterinarians.  I understand the guilt, but don't beat yourself up - Sherry would not want that.  She knows that you love her.  We all have a path in life, and perhaps this was Sherry's path from the beginning - have you considered that?  That it was her time to go and whether it would have been this way or another, it would have happened.  So why did it happen this way?  What lessons can be learned?

I say this because I just lost my Rascal due to a veterinary error that I did not catch.  Rascal showed some subtle signs, but they were subtle.  He had been a very healthy boy, but his blood test came back showing low on the potassium in January.  I took him to the vet every 3-4 months as he was nearly 20.  I used to go over the bloodwork with a fine toothed comb myself, but I had come to trust my vet.  Plus, I had asked for a copy of the bloodwork and gotten a shortened version of it and it did not have potassium on it.  I had a heck of a lot going on in my life including nursing another older cat of mine.  Rascal passed 3 weeks ago of heart problems which I am absolutely sure were caused by the potassium - the ER clinic didn't even run the full panel where they could have seen he was low on it.  What followed was a week of errors and confusion and no real help for Rascal.  Frankly, I was traumatized by what happened.  I am terribly heart broken, but no amount of guilt is going to bring Rascal back. My lessons:  I will absolutely make sure that I get the full bloodwork panel every time and go over it with a fine tooth comb - to hell with trusting any vets.  I am also cutting a lot of stuff out of my life so that I can focus on what is truly important to me - my pet family and my husband. 

I am sure that you were a good mom to Sherry.  It is so hard to lose them and the guilt makes it much worse.  Sounds like you have had a lot going on.  Try to figure out how you can make sure this never happens again by looking at your life - that is what I am doing.

It is very very very hard, but you will make it.  Tell Sherry how sorry you are and how much you love her - I believe she can hear you!  I think the way that Sherry's life ended is a lesson for you - it would have ended either way as it was her time - but what can you learn?  and go forward.

Take care of yourself - you will make it through one moment at a time....


Posts: 1

I understand.  Lately we had been busy work wise, and so been a little lazy at home, not seeing that our cat Samael wasn't going pee.  On the 31st we rushed him to the vet, where he stayed for the day, being treated for FUS.  We took him home over night and he seemed ok, but we went back to the vet in the morning to check.  I was supposed to be his mommy and somehow I assumed that he would get better with the medication, by Thursday the next vet appointment came too late, he had blocked up again, hemorrhaged his bladder and died.  I don't now how I will ever forgive myself, I feel so guilty after reading about the pain he must of been in and I didn't see.  I'll probably cry for a long time, try my best that I keep better watch over my other cats.  On the 29th of June we will have a Viking Funeral for him on the shores of Lake Huron, followed by fireworks - so to quote the words for a favourite song "The time is right for me again so lift your eyes up to the sky, You'll see me dancing on the winds again, No more tears for me, Sweet flame come for me bring life to empty eyes, The time is right for me again so lift your eyes up to the sky, You'll see me dancing on the winds again, No more tears for me, Sweet life come unto me I will be once again.", so this way we will share his spirit, yet keep his bones. 


Posts: 23

Benniesmom is right,  there are many people who leave their pets in shelters when they are sick.  I saw this when I volunteered.  Some of it is a kindness as these people cannot afford euthanasia.  I know it's hard to believe people can be this poor, but some really are.  The others fall into the category of not wanting to be bothered, whether it be their pets incontinence, a totally fixable problem like an ear infection, behavior issues, they just drop it off and usually end up getting a younger one.
(We have even had wealthy people drop them off who had tons of disposable cash but they remodeled and got new furniture and their pet didn't match!)

You stayed with Sherry "until death do you part" and A LOT has to be said for that.   We live in a disposable society where people abandon their spouses and trade them in for a younger and better models every day.  They abandon their own kids and refuse to pay child support.  It goes on and on. At least you are not apathetic like a lot of people are. 

I also agree with the cruelty of the vet.  I read the second biggest reason vets euthanize is behavior problems.  Not just biting either, things like incontinence, tearing up furniture, etc.   These animals are perfectly healthy and people just give up on them.  Are they giving these people a hard time?

I know so many of us are beating ourselves up over what we "could have done"  Vet care was a lot easier in the old days and we didn't have to face a lot of these end of life issues.

Maybe we should all remember just what owning a pet means and it isn't what you did or didn't do when they were sick.  My favorite childhood show was Lassie and some of my favorite animal movies that never failed to bring me to tears were movies like "Old Yeller" and "Where The Red Fern Grows".  The thing that stands out is that they didn't even HAVE vet care back then.  But was the love not as strong?  The owners could give them nothing, but did they love them any less? 

Of course not.  I try to tell myself these things as I know deep down no matter what I did, I would have only extended his life not saved it.  Not much comfort when you are in the guilt phase, but I am trying.  I can't remember fondly the good times we have if I stay in this bad place in my mind. 


Posts: 1,328
Rena--I have multiple animals, too. 4 up until Puffy passed away in January, now 3.
You did a good job with all of your pets. You are a good momma. I can tell this from your posts. You have nothing to feel guilty about.
My youngest, Mindy (Munchkin) was doo dooing on the floor (different rooms) for about a year. I would scold her because I thought it was behavioral. Now, I should have known better. Something had to be wrong. Why would a cat do this repeatedly? It was periodic, then more often. I just didn't understand/see it. I had my mind made up it was just a behavior thing (till it progressed, got worse and then I had the dx. of megacolon). She's on meds now. I felt soooo guilty that I missed this. I had 3 other sick ones at the time and I was so busy with them all that I figured the youngest was the healthiest. I should never have scolded her for it. Guilt.
It's so hard when you're close to something, day in and day out, to really see what's going on. Sometimes, you're so overwhelmed, you can hardly figure out what day it is.
You've had alot to deal with.You wouldn't deliberately do harm to Sherry. You did the best you could.And, yes, rushing the pet to the vets is hard to do because of the cost. Every time I go, it's hundreds and I have to think about what I'm doing, too.
So, I know how hard it is to balance out the right thing to do/pet's health/finances etc. It's so stressful. You only wanted what was best for Sherry. You sound like a very good momma. Take care.


Posts: 174

  Thank you for your kind words and prayers.


    It was very kind and considerate of you to take the time in the midst of your own grief to offer comfort to another.


     I am so sorry for the loss of Rascal especially because it might have been avoided but for the vet's negligence.  That is like having to deal with 2 blows at once.  You trusted your vet would help Rascal and he betrayed that trust by not doing proper testing.  I agree that we need to try to have their deaths mean something by pointing out that every day we have with these wonderful beings is precious and might be taken away from us at any time.  We can also not trust our vets blindly and be more questioning of their procedures.


     I'm so sorry for the devastating loss of Samael.  Unfortunately hindsight is 20/20 and as loving pet owners we still can unintentionally overlook symptoms.  That doesn't mean that we love our pets any less than others who might have noticed something sooner and were in a better position to have them at the vets a little earlier.  I really love those wonderful words of the Viking funeral rite and I know that he was there in spirit to seel how loved and treasured he was and will continue to be after physical death in a heaven where we will be with our pets forever.


     I feel that we have so much in common with how our losses are so similar and caused us so much guilt.  As much as we keep beating ourselves up over some symptoms we may have accidentally missed we perhaps should try remembering all the good things we did for and with our pets during their entire lifetimes not just what happened at the end.  I hope that this will come about with time.
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