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Posts: 6
I had to put my dog Rizzo down almost two months ago. She was in end stages of kidney failure- I’m overwhelmed with guilt and I feel like I can’t find my way out...

Rizzo was always a dog that drank as much water as possible, and took every opportunity to go potty. When she was little she had a few uti’s-which I diagnosed because she had accidents in the house. Went to the vet & got meds & she was fine. Off and on throughout her life she’d have accidents in the house when she couldn’t wait until I got home-I work 8-5. At my last job I was able to come home at lunchtime and let her out, but I started a new job two years ago & it’s far enough from home where she’d have to wait 9hrs to be let out.

Two summers ago Rizzo started having issues where she’d pee 5 or 6 times in a matter of minutes-like she had crystals in her pee that she was having a hard time flushing. With my new job, I couldn’t take time off to take her to the vet, so I read online that you could treat symptoms like that with lots of fluids mixed with apple cider vinegar. I tried this &within days she was feeling better. She had two more bouts of these “attacks” one lasting three days & the other lasting an afternoon. In between these attacks & even during she acted completely normal other than the peeing.

About 4 months ago she started having accidents while I was at work. I thought it was because she’s was getting old - 10yrs old -& was having a hard time making it through the day. I bought piddle pads & the accidents stopped for a while. Then started. Then stopped. All the while she was acting normally.

Two months ago Rizzo stopped eating, then two days later peed a fair amount of blood. I rushed her to the vet the next morning where they ran blood work & determined she had a severe UTI & her kidneys weren’t functioning well. We tried 3 days of doggie dialysis but after three days her numbers hadn’t improved.
Her kidneys were failing.

I took her home on a Saturday to have a few more days to say goodbye &made an appt to euthanize on that following Monday. My heart was BREAKING. For those two days Rizzo was tired, but to me still seemed very full of life. Up to her old antics of barking at the neighbors & playing with my other dog Lucy. Even ate two very large chicken breaths & lots of treats after a week of eating nothing. I felt like it wasn’t time yet, and fully intended on cancelling my appt for Monday.

Sunday night she woke up and drank a ton of water- then vomited it all up. She woke up a 1/2 hr later & vomited again. She looked at me with sad eyes, and I knew she was telling me it was time. I called the vet first thing in the morning to discuss. She said more than likely she was vomiting because her kidneys couldn’t process the food she’d eaten. I took her for one last walk in the woods with Lucy, her best buddy, and by the time we got back she couldn’t really use her back legs. She rode with me to the vet, laying her head on my shoulder as she always did when we drove places. I held her head in my hands as the vet administered the meds, her body went limp, and just like that she was gone. It was so fast. It didn’t seem real. It felt like she’d stand up at any moment and walk out with me. I stayed with her for a while, and then the vet put her remains ina box so I could bring her home, to bury her. I buried her under the big pine tree at the edge of the woods in my yard.

I feel like I let her down. If I’d just realized that more than likely she had a uti & just taken her to the vet she’d still be alive. I feel like an undiagnosed uti killed her & it’s my fault it went undiagnosed. How on earth can I get past the fact that I missed these symptoms & brushed them off & now she’s dead... Rizzo was like my child. She slept on my bed, we went on hikes, I fed her homemade dog food, took her camping, snoozed in the hammock, and scratched her ears. She made me laugh, she kept me company, she was my side kick, she listened to me when no one else would, she laid by my side when I cried, she slept at my feet while I cooked meals, she followed me around the yard when I did yard work... she filled my life with unconditional love.

I feel lost without her & feel like I’ll never be happy again. I take comfort in my other dog Lucy, but she’s not not Rizzo. I can’t get past the fact that her life was in my hands, she trusted me to take care of her & through my own stupidity she’s now dead. If only I’d seen the symptoms for what they were. If only I’d taken the time off work to take her to the vet. If only. I hadn’t tried home remedies. If only I’d held up my end of the bargain-to keep her safe no matter what. She’d still be alive. I’d still have my best friend & my companion. I’ll never again see her crooked smile, or scratch her fuzzy ears, or laugh as she barks at turkeys running through the woods. I’ll never again hear her breath at night & listen to her dreaming. I’ll never again see her dark brown eyes look back at me while she cocks her head, questioning what I’ve just said, or witness her unending amount of energy.

How do I get past the guilt knowing that I ended heart is so full of grief & guilt & sadness... it’s almost unbearable

Posts: 92
jenkra: I'm sorry for the loss of your beloved pup. Once when I was grieving something, 'beating myself up' about another loss... one of my aunts- my favorite and wisest one, I feel, told me "you did the best you could with what you knew at the time".

Still 'beat myself up' about certain things from time to time, but it does no good.

Thinking of you during this difficult time, wishing you peace. xoxo

Posts: 580
PawPrince is right, we all beat ourselves up with the what ifs and the maybe I should haves. But you did the right thing. You did it out of love and Rizzo knows that. When Rizzo looked you in the eyes with that tired look after her difficult weekend, she was telling you it was time to go and even though it kills us to let them go, we know we never want them to suffer. You did your best and Rizzo knew that. You loved her and she loved you. Hold tight to those memories of her and lay the guilt to rest for Rizzo's sake.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 35
I had to put my girl down two months ago due to kidney failure as well.
Although I did nothing wrong, I still beat myself up all the time.

The saying is true, you do the best you can with what you know at the time. If I had known that what i know now, maybe I could have prolonged my girls life. Maybe she would still be here. Or maybe it still would have happened and I would still be miserable and upset about the circumstances.

Please know that you did nothing wrong. Animals have a way of hiding how sick they really are, until it is too late. It sounds like you looked after Rizzo the best you could and gave her the best life she could have.

Posts: 6
Thank you so much for your responses-your words have helped me tremendously.

I miss my girl so so much, and I don’t know if I ll ever fully get past the guilt I have for missing & mis-diagnosing her symptoms, but it very much helps to know I’m not crazy for feeling this way.

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