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Posts: 3
I just read this thread. I am suffering with guilt over my dog Cosmo a Wheaten Terrier. He was euthanized on November 4, 2016 at 14+ years. I am of course heartbroken and cry everyday. It's not that I feel guilty about euthanizing him, it's how the last 10 minutes of his life played out. We took him to see the Vet knowing that he was miserable. He had been ill with what was suspected as a brain tumor for the past 8 months and Larpar was also suspected. On walks he would stumble his head would have tremors. He was still eating I believe because of the prednisone and voiding himself with no messes, but just laid around.  If Cosmo released the least bit of gas, he would run away from himself. It would upset him.His breathing was at times more labored than others and it was difficult for him to navigate the stairs because of arthritis. He was going deaf, blind and what seemed to be senile. On that horrible day, when we walked into the examining room, Cosmo started to freak out. He had been there many, many times in the past. It's as if he knew what was going to happen to him. I know they pick up on your feelings, but I have cried and had been nervous many times with the Vet in the past in that very room. He started to scratch at the door to get out. I looked at my husband and said "let's take him home", but then the Vet came in and examined him and said "I think it's Mr. Cosmo's time" - I agreed because he was just miserable the past couple of weeks and knew there was no help for his condition.  Our Vet went to give him the shot and because he was so jumpy and nervous, she missed and he cried out. The Vet said he was in tachycardia. The Vet finally got the shot in to open his veins and she then told us to take him outside and walk him in the sunshine and in about 10 minutes he should start to stumble. When he started to stumble he couldn't get up and I saw him pick his head up to look at me. I was crushed at that point. We finally got him back into the room and got him on the table. Our Vet gave him the next shot and within seconds he was gone. My guilt is over the fact that he deserved a better ending then what I allowed to happen. I will never forgive myself. Crying has become a daily occurrence. I miss my Cosmo.

Posts: 19
11 months in when I made my decision, I don't think the guilt will ever leave me, sometimes I feel like I'm coward because I simply 'gave up' on her, she wasn't physically ill or anything, but her quality of life was degrading so much it became even harder to look at her, times I feel I should of given her a another day or two to live, but i'm sure i think of 4-5 reasons why I shouldn't yet probably why I should of, doing this may decrease the guilt a little temporary but it's not a permanant fix, I no longer have a dog, no hurry to get another one, how can I go throught all this again...

Posts: 1

Today it happened
In our small town,
My little Jack Russell,
"Patches" was put down.
Together we shared a good 12 years.
Now she's passed on and
I'm fighting off tears.
She brought lots of joy,
In to my life.
I kept her in the house,
To the disdain of my wife.
A constant companion and relentless mooch.
It's only been hours but I'm missing my pooch.
A dagger in my heart, stuck in to the hilt.
O it doubles! The pain, this feeling of guilt.
It was my decision, her demise you see,
The burden of it weighed so heavy on me.
I remind myself
That her hour was late.
She wouldn't eat her food and was losing much weight.
Coughing and struggling, to catch her breath,
I watched it approaching, her hour of death.
She suffers no more on this grey, windy day,
Yet I ponder and grieve, that I sent her away.
I pen this rhyme, to let her go,
With each word
With each letter,

To persuade myself...
'Twas for the better...

- RIP Girlie Dog -

Posts: 1
I am so very sorry for each and everyone of your losses. I too am going through a horrible guilt and feeling like I betrayed my precious boy. It will be 3 weeks ago, Monday that I held my baby in my arms for the last time and put him to rest in God's arms. I still cannot stop feeling like I betrayed him in so many ways. He had liver disease and a brain tumor and was in so much pain. He had tremors constantly, but was still eating. He rarely had an accident in the house, but was in constant pain. He was on so much pain medication, and other medications for the liver and the seizures he had and even with the meds, he hardly slept at all. He was the best dog ever. We found him camping as a puppy and and named him Camper and he was my loyal companion and constant shadow for 15 1/2 years. I cannot tell you how much of my heart and soul he took with me. I know it's still fresh, losing him, but I feel like I am gone too. I want him back, I cry every day and cry myself to sleep every night. I don't know how to deal with this.
I know my perfect baby is once again perfect and pain free in Heaven, but I feel like I am in hell.
Thanks for letting me join the group and listening.
XOXOXO to all of you who have lost their precious babies too!  

Posts: 8
Just had my cat yogi of 13 yrs put to sleep a few hrs ago...think he was about 14 or 15 yrs old.. (wasn't sure of age when he came to us) he was diagnosed with f.I.v yesterday as he had stopped eating for a few sent him home with 7 days antibiotics but said he probably wouldn't last till end of the 7 day course... he had deteriorated by this morning was just crying and a gasping coming from his throat and back legs giving way. ...I can't stop crying wondering if done right thing and maybe waited a little longer with the antibiotics? House feels so empty and lonely already. ?.

Posts: 8
Just had my cat of 13 yrs put to sleep a few hrs ago. Think he was about 14 or 5 yrs old (unsure of his age when he came to us). Took him to vet yesterday as he had stopped eating for couple of days.. he was diagnosed with f.I. v . Vet sent him back home with 7 days antibiotics and give him shot of glucose and antibiotics but said he wouldn't last till end of course. He deteriorated this morning. Couldn't walk properly crying and a gasping noise from his throat.... and just wanting to hide and sleep...
Feeling guilty and wondering if should have waited couple of more days with antibiotics. Can't stop crying house is so empty without him. ?.

Posts: 5
Toby--I have the same questions you did. My cat (a stray we adopted or who adopted us a few months ago) had kidney failure. The vet said we could try an antibiotic and fluids, so we did that on Friday, but by Friday night he was looking bad and hiding. He wouldn't eat. He would eat a little yesterday morning, and I took him in for fluids, but while we were waiting, I put my hand out to pet him and he just put his little head in my hand. I felt he was suffering, and I just couldn't see putting him through any more. He was very thin, but  his coat disguised it. 

Today I am wondering if I should have waited to see if the antibiotics worked, but it seemed to me at the time the best thing to do. The vet did not say "let's give it a few more days." All she said was "it sounds like you are at peace about letting Rudy go."

Today I am not at peace so much. But she had also told us his condition was chronic, so what if we had put him through daily subcutaneous fluids, bloodwork, and then future treatment? We couldn't afford to keep him at the kennel for that. We paid $300 on Friday just to get a diagnosis, antibiotics, and a round of subQ fluids. I feel like I was so cruel to give up on him. But he was so sad and miserable. 

Posts: 5
I thank you for the suggestion of making a list. Like you my 14 year old dog wasn't ill he just couldn't stand by himself, kept falling over, was getting thinner (even though he was still eating), his hearing was failing and was incontinent The vet told me in was time but I feel I should have waited I should have said no. This only happened yesterday but now I feel guilty and empty.

Posts: 5
Please help me, I am beside myself with guilt over euthanizing my cat last Thursday. She was around 11 years old and had just been diagnosed with lymphoma which was 'atypical' and 'everywhere' including her lungs and, they think, her bone marrow. Her breathing was quite laboured. She had fluid around her lungs which was drained and that made her feel better but she still had the awful cough she'd had for about four weeks and her breathing seemed not much better. She had lost some weight and was dehydrated but was still eating well. The vet had previously wrongly diagnosed a chest infection and she'd been on anti-biotics for 10 days when I took her back as she showed scant sign of improvement, kept sitting in an odd place, was quiet and not interacting with me much and breathing quite heavily but kept eating OK although she had started to pee and poo just outside her tray even though she got in it OK. Another vet or two later (never the same one, all part-timers) and after bloodwork, xrays and biopsies, I was told it was small cell lymphoma on Thurs. They said she was not on pain relief as she was not in pain. On the phone between the Tues and Thurs, I was constantly being pushed towards euthanasia and got quite upset with the last vet because of it. My cat seemed listless before she saw me but miaowed her hello and responded positively to my petting and talking to her. She got up and that started off a coughing fit. The more time I spent with her, the more happy and relaxed she became although she still didn't look or 'seem' right, her voice and vocal pattern was not 'her' and she looked a little 'worn out' but I don't know if this was the cancer or all the diagnostics she'd been through taking a toll on her. I was hopeful that the cancer was treatable because it was 'small cell' but the vet kept putting forward negative scenarios, showed no compassion towards me and then left me alone for 10 minutes to make a decision about euthanasia or trying some kind of treatment. My head was in absolute turmoil, I cried heavily and felt very pressured to make a decision. I was too traumatised to ask for more time or to speak to another vet. Part of me wanted to take my baby girl home, which was offered, but the vet said she might end up in crisis, indeed she had kept checking could they phone in the night if my cat deteriorated during the night, making me think the situation was worse than I now believe it really was. I made the decision to euthanize because the future looked bleak even though my cat was not yet in pain and the treatments might have made her worse or traumatized her. I'm sorry that this post is so jumbled, it is the middle of the night and I had to get up because I was so upset I was beginning to feel suicidal. Did this vet push me into the wrong decision for my cat? Did she just want to despatch my cat and get on with something else? She was young and inexperienced and I wish I'd seen someone else or waited another day, at least, to make the decision. I don't think I can forgive myself for making a bad decision and feel I have betrayed the cat I loved, and still love, so much. Please help me. Thank you.

Posts: 5
Hi, Wrackedwithguilt. I know how you feel as I just euthanized my cat Rudy last Saturday. I wondered whether the timing was right, too. I wondered whether I should have given him more time to come back from renal failure. But now that I am a few days past the event and have had time to process some of this, I realize that he has so many symptoms that indicated that he was declining, and I would not have wanted him to suffer any further (I'm not sure how vets know whether animals are in pain or not, but it seemed to me Rudy was suffering). I don't know how animals respond to pain, but I think they are creatures of habit and try to behave as they would have had they not been sick. We have expectations of them, and they respond to those. It sounds as if you did the kindest thing for your girl; I'm sorry you had to go through the decision-making process alone (I did, too). I would recommend participating in the APLB chatrooms tomorrow evening when they are available. It was helpful to me. Also, there are a few pet loss hotlines that I found comforting, too. I understand it is quite common for us to feel guilty when we make this hard decision. But from what you are saying, it sounds as if you did the right thing in letting her go. 

Posts: 8
Hi.. sorry about your cat. Had to get my cat put to sleep 3 wks ago..had him 13 yrs. He had fiv. Please don't feel guilty. I did also but it's just part of the grieving process. ..sounds as though your kitty really had had enough and tried staying with you as long as possible. ..your cat would gave eventually have stopped eaten...once they can't get round and groom them selves they are really unhappy. You done the best and last most loving thing could have done for your cat. Many hugs.

Posts: 5
Thank you so much, Dustinsmama and Toffo71 for your kind and helpful replies, you have both helped me very much to see that I did do the right thing.
I phoned the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service this morning and the lady I spoke to was really lovely and also gave me much support and help to see that I did, indeed, do exactly what my cat wanted me to do. This was my first cat and I was not experienced enough to notice the signs that were telling me it was time. I am much calmer now that I can see that I did the right thing before she went downhill any further.
One crucial piece of information I was given is that a cat will not hide symptoms if it is something they can recover from but will if it is serious and the cat knows the difference. She hadn't been upstairs for two weeks, where she normally spent most of the day and night on my bed, because she was beginning to separate from me. My darling was ready to go and I am glad that I helped her to a quick, painless end. I held her in my arms and talked to her lovingly (I had no idea I could be so strong in this situation) and she died hearing my voice and surrounded by love to her last second.
I will continue to feel sad and miss her terribly, but it was the guilt that was killing me and that has now been removed.
Thank you so much once again for your understanding, you are lovely people. :)

Posts: 2,440
Wrackedwithguilt - I know how hard it is to make that decision and I also know how for us we look to place blame, and most times we place it on ourselves (although we are already in enough pain!). 

I have no doubt that your kitty was more relaxed when you were with her, nor do I have ANY doubt that she was always happy to see you.  BUT you know your girl and you knew that she wasn't herself.  You saw that even moving set off a coughing fit.  Even if you had been able to keep your girl for a few more days - at what cost?  at what risk?  Lymphoma at the progression of your girl's does not have a solution. 

The part that I believe you should focus on is not whether it was too soon (any time is too soon to lose our babies) but more...what if you waited and it was too late?  What if she was unable to breathe and you had to try to rush her to emergency and it was too late?  What if you came home or back in the room and she had passed?  If you waited too late, in my opinion you would place heavier blame on your shoulders and it would hurt even more as you absolutely would feel responsible.

I encourage you to create a separate post (if you haven't already) for your sweet girl and share stories about your baby.  I believe you will find you get a lot of support from others who are walking in your shoes.

I am sorry for your loss.

InMemoryOfRascal...and Rambo


Posts: 5
Thank you, InMemoryOfRascal, you are absolutely right, I played out all those scenarios in my head and I did, in the end, know I'd done the right thing.
I might well create a separate thread for Bootsie when the dust has settled a bit more, or a memorial page or similar, but in the meantime, I'd like to tell you something else.
Yesterday evening I was reading and started - out of the blue, really - to think about the possibility of having her ashes returned, although I had initially elected not to. I suddenly felt very strongly that I wanted that. As I decided, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, high up, like something flying or sparkling. There was nothing there. I believe this was Bootsie approving my decision. Indeed, I believe she put the thought into my head in the first place.
I phoned the vet's at once, without much hope as it had been several days since her passing but today they phoned me to confirm that the cremation service still has her and I will, indeed, be able to have her ashes returned to me. This has given me much solace and I'm certain that Bootsie is happy, too.

Posts: 8
Thank you to everyone who has posted. Today I had to make the decision to say goodbye to my loyal companion of the last 14 years, Teaser. I have a huge hole left and keep thinking she's still here which I know will take time to adjust to. To know that others feel the same about their own pets has given me some comfort and will help me to hold on the happy memories.

Posts: 2,440
Wrackedwithguilt - I am so glad that when you changed your mind it wasn't too late.  For me, with my Rascal, losing her was so unexpected I was in such shock that when they asked about ashes I thought "it wouldn't be "her" so I declined.  That was at 8am.  I called at noon and it was too late as it happened to be the pickup day.  I was upset - it definitely taught me a lesson in thinking of the "what ifs".  To ask for the paw print, etc.  In those moments our brains are not processing clearly - at least mine was not!

I absolutely do not think that there is a right or wrong decision about the ashes - and quite honestly our babies know they are in our hearts forever.  I think for them the "right" decision is whatever will bring us the most comfort.

Again, so sorry for your loss.


Posts: 5
InMemoryOfRascal, I'm so sorry you weren't in time, I think I know how you must have felt. Why don't they wait a while, knowing owners are quite likely to change their minds? And you are right about not thinking straight, I was in absolute turmoil and needed, I think, to process a certain amount of grief before realising how much I wanted to have her ashes returned to me.
I spoke too soon, though, about the guilt having gone away. It has reduced, thanks to the Blue Cross and the people here, but it snuck back up on me and still bothers me, but it is not as intense.
pendon, I'm so sorry, I'm glad you've found comfort here, as I have done. If you're in the UK, and feel you need to talk to someone, I can't recommend the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service enough, they helped me enormously the first weekend when I really thought I might be losing my mind.

Posts: 2,440
Wrackedwithguilt - in my experience (you can go back and read my journey here) there are "good" days and then not so much.  The pain and the guilt can come back WHAM - and for me did for quite some time.  People here told me to give it time.  I held on to that in those early weeks/months - I needed it to be true for me too.  And you know what, they were right.  I don't think the pain ever goes completely away.  I don't think there won't be some doubt/guilt that still creeps in at times.  Definitely days 5 yrs later (for me) that I still break into tears.  But slowly, too slowly it seems, we begin to be able to focus more on the time together than the last moments.  The amazing memories of love shared vs love lost.

You are making through day by day.  Good job. 

Posts: 5
Thanks, IMofRascal. Yes, had a meltdown a couple of days ago, mostly feeling either basic tearful or numb and I sigh a lot more than I used to but it's early days, I guess. 

Posts: 18
So many stories, so much grief, so many cherished pets and so much soul-searching for so many years. So very many good people who loved and cared for their furry companions and only ever wanted to do best by them.

Today I think I have read just about every post here right back from the beginning, often with tears streaming down my cheeks and stifling sobs - which isn't cool when you're at the client site and supposed to be all serious and professional (and not surfing dead moggie stories on company time).

I took Minnie on her final journey Thursday last week, holding her in my arms, burying my face in her neck and crying as the injection took effect and she went limp; her life leaving her as she left mine. I am distraught. My dear little puss, my darling little Min, my little furry companion of 17 years, my fellow refugee from Vernham Dean - my Pushka.

I got the train back from London this evening and walked into a dark, cold and empty house. Who was it who said that "a house is not a home without a cat"? Well, that is all that this has now become - just a house. And that was what I had feared for Minnie; passing alone and in pain in a darkened house, then me walking in at the end of the day and finding her cold and lifeless - horrible for *both* of us...

I have been around cats all my life, I have seen two of my beloved rescue cats, Charley and Elliot, die of kidney failure when I was in my early 20's, so I know how horrible and protracted it can be and how it can only ever be a one-way ticket.  So when I saw the first symptoms in Minnie around Christmas 2015, I knew where things were headed... (However, knowing and accepting are two totally different things...)

Mum died in February 2016, leaving Minnie and me in the house and her annex cold and empty next door. I would not have made it through the past year without Minnie, dealing with the funeral, probate etc... then the hammer blows of Mum's Sister not being able to get over her loss and passing only a few weeks later, then another Aunt, then my best friend of liver cancer in July, then the husband of my Aunt at Christmas - so much death and so much grief in such a short period of time, but no matter how bad it got there was always someone there in the background who needed (demanded!) feeding, whose litter box needed changing no matter what, who would come and curl up on my lap in my darkest moments of despair, or sit in the middle of my chest as I lay despondent on the sofa, and purr so much fit-to-burst that she'd dribble down the front of my best work shirt and shed hair on my suit jacket.

And who, each time I got home from yet another funeral, as I opened the front door would be sitting expectantly waiting for me on the shoe chest in the hallway and who would yell "Meow!" in a "and just where the blazes have you been have you seen the time now feed me!" tone of voice.

But by December 2016 I could no longer deny the evidence of my own eyes; Minnie was getting increasingly thin and bony, particularly in her hindquarters and her huge appetite (she could scoff for England) had dropped considerably and she was drinking a lot of water from the pool by the tap in the garden. I took her for a checkup; reduced kidney function, heart murmur and hyperthyroidism. To be expected in a grand old lady of at least 20 years...

I took the decision not to medicate, as the vet said that treating one thing would only aggravate something else - I prayed that she would make it through Christmas. It was both my and my fiancee's turn to have our respective kids last Christmas, so the house was full of family, joy and laughter with Minnie taking centre pride of place as my three have grown up with her and never known life without her.

But January is the cruellest month and after the high, come the lows. I could see a distinct downward trend in Minnie in just a few weeks so went back to the vet; "I am selling up and moving house in February, I get the feeling that Minnie won't be coming with me..." another check found that she now also had a tumour growing in her belly and she mentioned the option of putting Minnie to sleep.

For a few days I went through the conflict of "How can you even think of killing her - you're supposed to look after her!" but then knowing full well what awaited her - did I want her to go through what Charlie and Elliot went through? She will never get better, there is no treatment -only extension - and there is a price to pay for everything...

I was at the client site in London on the Tuesday when I made the decision. Phoned up and made an appointment for 17:30 on the Thursday. I broke down, such a wave of anguish overcame me that I had to go an hide in the disabled toilet for about 15 minutes to compose myself. Could hardly keep a straight face in meetings, had a horrible ride home on the tube and the train and then facing Minnie when I got home, so glad to see my little puss, but so torn by knowing what I was about to do to her.

She was so subdued, a shadow of her former self, so thin, so bony, unsteady on her paws, needing help to jump onto the bed, hardly eating, her purr faded and her little "mew" a faint, pathetic little echo of the throaty victory "Mrr-iaow!" she would yell at the top of her voice from the bottom of the stairs at 3 AM, letting everyone in the house know how clever she was in catching yet another mouse.

The next day up in London was a dreadful "groundhog day", physically I may have been present, but in every other respect I was a million miles away. As I left, going down the stairs I had a flash: "This is the last time that you will be going down these stairs on the way home to your Minnie." Those were her last 24 hours, her last evening, her last head-skritchys, the last time she sat on my lap watching TV with me, the last time settling on my chest for a "bedtime story" as I turned the light out at the end of the day, that last time that I would lie there in the dark alone with my thoughts and a sphinx-shaped furry lump in the middle of my chest, rumbling gently away to itself, lulling me to sleep...

Her last day I worked from home, checking on her every now and again. She came down one last time to spend a bit of time in my office, curled up next to my desk. I fed her one last time, fresh smoked salmon that she loved so much, a little piece at a time from my fingers. At 16:00 I went and sat with her, talked to her, told her how much I loved her and thanked her for our time together, told her some of the stories I remember of our lives together - I was 33 when she came into my life, now I'm 50 - we have grown old together, Minnie and me.

My fiancee helped bring her to the vetinary practice and stayed with us to the end. Afterwards I kissed Minnie's forehead one last time, whispered "Goodbye" and "Thank you" - but the finality of turning and leaving her lifeless body behind was the hardest thing.... 

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this — the last battle — can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close — we two — these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.


Posts: 311
Very touching. I am so sorry for yiur loss, it is so hard .

Posts: 8
I'm struggling with guilt just now. I have a 9yr old German shepherd called Somner. He's a brilliant dog and he's like my shadow. He is had cruciate ops done on both hind legs which I'm sure has brought his hip dysplasia on early. I am torn with guilt as he's due to be put to sleep tomorrow but I can't help feel am I doing it too soo. I know he struggles and I have to help him up(quite a lot now) and I think he puts off the toilet as it's sore but every now and again he has a Wee burst or hell lie beside me playing tug of war with his blanky. It's heartbreaking that his legs are giving up on him when his head is still a big doting puppy. Do you ever feel the time is right or is it natural to have nagging doubts that you could go another week? I've done this 4 or 5 weeks already

Posts: 18

I think it is natural to have doubts.

The last thing we want is for our companions to suffer, but they cannot tell us how much they are indeed suffering - the only clues we have are from the fact that we know them so well and can see the indications in how they are and behave.

I was torn right up to the second that I picked her up, carried her down the stairs and out of the front door for the very last time in my arms, and got into the car with her on my lap. Was I doing the right thing? Was it too soon? Could I have a few more days with her?

One phrase I have seen that has really helped me was "Better a day too soon, than a day too late." Only you can answer that and even then you cannot know for sure, but I bet that you, like me, would feel a million times worse if it did turn out being a day too late...

For me the questions were: "Is there any way that she going to get better?" No. "Is she going to get worse and die?" Yes. "Will she be in increasing pain, discomfort and lack of dignity?" Yes. "Do I want my last memories of her watching her struggle and to eternally regret my selfishness in not being able to let her go?" No.

Cherish the memories of your time with Somner, but as you truly love him, in your heart of hearts you will know the answer and what you have to do....


Posts: 3
It will soon be 4 months since we euthanized my Cosmo. I still cry everyday, but I wanted to let others know who might be torn or feeling guilty that I read something online where it said "As long as you do not allow your dog to suffer, you've made the right decision" -  - It made me feel a little better.

Posts: 182
Dear Ktygirl,

I am sorry you are crying daily for your dear Cosmo. I was still suffering greatly after 4 months of being without my baby. I have a lot of guilt and it has taken a long time to cope with it. Journaling has helped me quite a bit. Perhaps writing to Cosmo would work for you.

Wishing you peace, comfort, and strength,

Posts: 7
Dear BigBen,

If not now, I hope In time you may find peace in making the hardest decision and the performing the greatest, final act of love and compassion for Somner. I too struggled with the decision to put my dear friend of 15 years to sleep. She suffered for many months. I wish now I'd had the strength to do it sooner.

Some time has passed and I've realized that our pets depend on us to make every decision for them. It is an unfathomable responsibility. One to be taken very seriously and unselfishly. You'll never know if it was too soon- I can tell you that I waited too long for my cat who's condition and quality of life continually worsened. Something I regret and plan to never repeat.

My deepest sympathies for your loss.

Posts: 72
Dear Big Ben:

 A month ago i went through the decision of having my fur boy put down . I wasn't even there in the hospital for him when they did it.
I was worried if i see him and he sees me we will never let go......and couldn't take that.
My dog was ill for quite some time and oddly enough the disease he had didn't show on the blood tests until about january....2017. He was deteriorating, in great pain....and i waited and waited and waited and tried everything i could for him including intravenous at got to a stage where he collapsed and than it was too late for me to be selfish and i knew i wouldn't see him again and there would be NO turn around in the hospital...sure enough after hours of drugs, IV....needles and hospital care he wasn't responding....
He was put down....
Your fur dogs quality of life is something of a huge decision.....they live for US you know.....the love we have for them keeps them going...they are so strong and they hide it well.....its the hardest decision I have ever had to make.......but i just didn't want frisko to suffer anymore...he didn't deserve that....he loved me unconditionally and was so good to me by my side for 10 years....( he barely made his birthday)......So think of Big Ben....think of his quality of life.....
I wish they could talk to us......i wish....

Im sure with your love you will make the right decision....Big Ben and all of our fur pets who past rely on us right until the end.......

Posts: 1,910
I've not read over what has become a lengthy thread, so don't know what if anything I've written previously... nor what anyone else has.

Euthanasia is a heartbreaker.  I've had to make that decision four times, it doesn't get easier, it only gets harder as you remember the times before.  But every single time, it was the best choice in an array of horrible options.  Best for them, not for me... but our feelings don't matter then, it's what is kindest to our furred ones.

I've been on this message board for a decade or so now.  Never have I seen anyone put their beloved to sleep too soon.  Maybe twice I thought they'd waited a day or few too long- but I wasn't there, didn't know their furred one nor the relationship, just what an upset person had written. 

Years ago a woman from whose organization I'd adopted adult brother and sister cats, aged 5 years then, wrote "Better a day too soon than a day too late."  It shocked me at the time... but upon thinking it over, it's true.  It'd be horrible of me to keep a kitty here even one more day once they no longer enjoyed life and had no hope of it ever getting better. Just because I didn't want to lose them. 

We are biologically destined to outlive these wonderful loving creatures.  No matter what we do, no matter what we want.  We do what we do out of love, some choices are irrevocable, but we can't feel guilty for saving our loved ones an existence of solely increasing pain and debility.  We are not "the murderers": their illnesses are.

May your pain soon begin to ease.

Posts: 1
I made the awful decision to put my beloved Chloe down on Saturday.  For nearly 17 years she graced the lives of me, my children and my ex husband:  our protector, our child herder, beloved family member and my little angel. I rescued her from a county animal shelter in 2000, and she took her job as family member very seriously, often warning me of bad people and always keeping an eye on me.

She went completely deaf when she was about 15, but was still just fine.  Then in August, after she had diarrhea inside the house, I called a house vet who gave her fluids and thought she had a virus.  She perked up, but two weeks later, the same thing happened and she was diagnosed with kidney disease, stage 3.  After three days at the vet hospital with iv fluid (and nights with me), she was better, and I began giving her fluids on my own.  However, her numbers didn't get better, and the vet told me we could only do pallitive care and she would die soon, but I had a feeling she was wrong and switched vets.  

The second vet told me that she had a kidney infection that was resistant to certain antibiotics, and the ones that would help couldn't be used with her disease.  He had heard of good results with a natural substance called D-Manoose and told me to get some on Amazon and try it.  He also told me to increase her fluids from 150 to 300 ml a day, and switched her to a safer and more effective blood pressure meds.  Well her infection cleared up as a result of the D-Manoose, and she ate what I fixed her (she wouldn't eat the k/d so I made her beef and bread and sweet potato mush) instead of just cat food!

Things were up and down, but not too down, and she enjoyed life.  However I did have to carry her (43 lbs.) up our 16 stairs and sometimes down a lot.  And after we went to the vet, she sometimes couldn't walk for a day (I guess the way they held her or the stress).  She did go through boughts of being a picky eater and then, I'd give her some of what she wanted (canned cat food).

Then a month ago, I pulled a dog from our shelter who was on the kill list to save his life.  He is a wonderful 9-year-old big boy, but he unknowingly had Giardia which he gave to Chloe.  They both had diaherrea and had to go through two rounds of meds (two weeks) to clear it up.  However she was still eating, but her tummy hurt some, so I feel extremely guilty about this, becuase it may have furthered her disease.

She came on a trip to the mountains with me and the kids about two weeks ago and was fine -- just slowing down.

On Weds this past week, she started tripping over her feet and having trouble walking at all, and on Thurs, when I tried to pick her up, she would yelp.  I thought she was just sore, but she continued this on Fri.  Her vet was booked up, so I took her into another at the practice who wasn't nearly as good. He chalked her walking up to old age, took blood, and said that her abdomen was bloated, and I noticed it was a lot.  I had a very bad feeling in my gut all day, and even though I hadn't seen her vet or gotten the results, I knew things weren't going to get better.  Since weds, she had been restless at night, and seemed unable to get comfortable.  And sometimes when I'd lean down to pick her up she yelped before I even touched her, and I knew she was in pain.  So after the vet left me a message on Saturday morning saying her numbers were worse and the disease was progressing some, I knew I couldn't let her suffer.  A swollen abdomen could only mean fluid in her belly, cancer or a swollen liver or pancreas.  All of these were bad, and I didn't want to put her through more testing only to euthanize her.  Plus, I had heard how kidney disease makes them throw up, go blind and have siezures at the end, and she didn't deserve any of that.  She was still wagging her tail when she saw me, but I decided it was better for her to go before she was suffering immensly than during the suffering.

So I gave her several cans of food to eat, let her hobble around a patch of grass, sat on the porch with her, and then had a vet come over and euthanize her.  My sister (whom she loved), my daughter and I all pet her and kissed her and told her how much we loved her.  She died with dignity, though I desperately wanted t
o hold on to her longer. She outlived her kidney disease prognosis by six months, and didn't complain when I injected her daily fluids. I am beyond grateful to the universe for allowing her to be with me for so long, but I miss her like crazy and keep replaying different outcomes in my head.  I've been through this with other animals, so I know that's what happens, but it sucks.  And to wake up after almost 17 years and not have the baby who brought nothing but joy and happiness to my life is almost unbearable.

I know it will get better.  And I send everyone of you hugs and the strength to go on despite the huge hole in your heart and pit in your stomach.  I hate that my Baby Chloe is gone.  Goodbye dear angel.

Posts: 8
I am so torn over trying to accept that my 15 1/2 year old will be put down on Friday. The vet said it's time.

She is incontinent of urine and poo. She sometimes remembers to ask to go out but mostly she does her business right there in her sleep or on the rugs etc. I happily clean her up for 3 years.

She can not stand or help herself up on any surface besides a carpet. We bought carpets for her.

She has degenerative weakness in her back legs and 90 % of the times poos when she falls.

She has canine dementia and is neither happy nor sad. She stares into mirrors and barks. She paces around the human baby's playpen for hours,

She either is unaware or doesn't care that she sleeps in her urine and poo. I have tons of blankets and sheets that i change for her bed to keep her dry and clean all the time. I cannot tell you how much laundry i do a day.

She has no sores and no stains because i keep her so clean because i know she likes that,

In the car to the vet check up today she fell of the seat partially despite the pillows and blankets i had for her and said nothing. I stopped the car to help her.

A stranger carried her into the vet clinic for me. She did not struggle, she eats well but you can see every single bone in her body.

She did not attempt to stand for the vet. He said she knew she couldn't but at home she will walk around.

His fear is a medical crisis and her dignity and loss of well being. He said she is 100% dependent on me for her care.

I can do it at the risk of my marriage and time away from spending with my infant daughter.

The vet said who is this fair for?

Out of the blue while typing this she barked for me to take her out.

Maybe i should wait a bit more. I am not ready and ?? Maybe she isn't.

But i am reminded of better a day too soon than a day too late.

I have experienced so much loss lately that my heart cant lose my best girl,,,not yet

Any wisdom ? Please

Posts: 8
Hi....I think it's definitely time to let your baby go....sounds very tired ..its the most loving last thing you can do and let her go with love and dignity. And remember she will know how much you love her and what a great friend you were.

Posts: 8
Think it's time to let your baby go. Sounds like she's very tired.letting her go is the best and most loving thing to do for her, letting her go with dignity. .she will know how much you love her and what a lovely long friendship yous have had. Let her go over the rainbow bridge. X

Posts: 7
Dear Canine_dementia,

My pet experienced incontinence, severe arthritis, and mobility issues for years as well. From what you've described, it sounds like your pup is suffering a great deal. I might suggest that you try to imagine if you were experiencing those same health issues- how long would you want to continue with pain and a greatly diminished quality of life?

I think I can understand your dilemma and the incredible pain you're feeling in making this decision. Decisions like these are deeply personal and this one is one that only you and your family can make. My opinion is that its time to let go.

Posts: 8

It's clear from your words and actions how much you love your girl and it sounds as though you have given her so much wonderful care.

For her wellbeing though it sounds like it's time to allow her the freedom to let go. I know it isn't easy but my girl had started on a similar path and I sadly had to let her go 5 weeks ago.

I too was washing her bedding constantly and would have continued doing so but when she couldn't walk anymore and she started to forget where she was I knew that I had to set her free from the pain, confusion and frustration she was feeling.

I miss her like mad but I know that I would have been keeping her going for me rather than her and that wasn't right. Eventually I selflessly let her go and find her peace and in that I too have found peace.

I offer you heartfelt sympathy at your upsetting time and hope you find your way through x

Posts: 72
Dear Canine_dementia:

My dog went through that suffering for a short while....and i must tell you.....i got on line and found out that because our dogs are "domesticated" and we control them....that really, when they want to die and know its time to go, they hide, they want to leave and hide and die in peace.
I watched my dog....go hide in his dog tent....and anywhere where it was dark...

He wanted to die....he knew it was time...NOTHING could be done....and "i" was the one hanging on.....because "I " didn't want him to end up in the hospital because i knew i may not see him again....and SO it was.....i kept hanging on and he collapsed out in the snow because he wasn't eating and drinking and was trying to lick some snow....THAN i seen just HOW MUCH pain he was in.
I video taped him in the hospital before they took him to the back room and he could hardly keep his eyes open......

He loved me....but i was hoping they could help him in the hospital and at 3 am when i woke up at home and talked with the hospital while he was in there......the doctor said " he's in rough shape."...and than i stopped being hopeful and selfish and wishful and all of my insecure feelings because i knew he was suffering and the medicine wasn't responding with him...he was VERY the doctor was told my me, as she also told me to euthanize him......

It was the hardest thing to do to have my love of my life put to death.....but without a quality of life.....the dog is just like the living dead...........

Posts: 8
Thank you all for your honest and heartbfelt messages.

I am still struggling and because of course as life is my furry girl asked to go out last night and today. She soiled nothing.

She eats well then again always has. She does not isolate from the family and never has.

I was up all night crying and still feeling it is not yet time. I know we are time limited and i know better a week too soon than a day too late.

But she still went on her regular walk last night and again several times today. Greeted neighbours, stopped to pick up treats from the neighbourhood senior who loves to give out dog treats.

Due to having some dementia she has good and bad days and yesterday was a bad day at the vet yet today she is fine.

I am sorry to anyone who is out there listening - I don't feel tomorrow is the day. I called the vet and asked him was he ok with waiting over the weekend to see how the weekend goes.

He said yes - it was a time suggestion but he said unlike an animal who comes in with a medical crisis and a decision is made this decision is about a degenerative condition that is not getting better.

The agony of all of this is wearing me and my family out. As i write this my furry one is happily hanging out with the kids playing.

Just because we decided not tomorrow doesn't mean the agony is over for us. I pray for the strength and courage to make the right decision in a timely manner. 🌈


Posts: 8
You know your pet better than anyone you will know whenough time is right. X

Posts: 10
Hi all,

So glad I found this place. My dog is almost 16.5 years old and while she has been healthy for most of her life (barring skin issues, a slipped disc and an incident where she got a chicken bone stuck in her throat), when she was about 15 years and 9 months old, I found out that she had congestive heart failure and the doctor gave us 6 months to a year. It was devastating but I dealt with it and have been trying my best to spend as much quality time with her as possible, but then came Cushing's and then pyometra and two weeks ago, pancreatitis. Anyway, it feels so strange to refer to her as "my dog" because she really is my best friend. There is no other friend I love as much as her.

We've spent the last two weeks going to the vet's almost daily and she was hospitalised for about 5 days. We took her back with the IV drip / pump loaned from the clinic and it's been a roller coaster. Some days, I hope she passes on gently in her sleep. Some days, I look at her and think, maybe we can overcome this! But her condition has been deteriorating. She has barely eaten in the last 13 days and we've been syringe-feeding her. That, and giving her her meds, has been difficult because she seems so miserable having to be forced food and a bitter concoction of pills down her throat. Last night, she started whimpering and has been doing that frequently today as well. 

My mom, for religious reasons, feels that we need to let her endure the suffering and pass on on her own. Also, we engaged an animal communicator when she was diagnosed with pyometra and if she isn't a fraud, my dog said that she would prefer not to be euthanised. However, watching her go downhill like this has been so painful. The whimpering / whining is pretty much the last straw for me because she has never been one to vocalize her pain. In the last few days, her condition has deteriorated to the point that she's wetting herself when she sleeps and having a lot of difficulty moving around. 

On the other hand, she is still stubbornly trying to move around the house. I get this sense that she is confused and frustrated though. I'm bringing her to the vet tomorrow for a review and to take off the catheter in her front leg, and to let the vet know that if she does not pass on in the next 2 - 3 days, we would like to put her down. I managed to convince my mom.

Putting my thoughts in words makes it sound so clear-cut and logical but it really isn't. I'm so afraid of making the wrong decision. What if she wants to continue to live? What if she could've had a few more months?

Posts: 7
Dear szu,

I am so sorry to hear about what has surely been a heart wrenching process.

When I euthanized my 15yr old cat- we had it done it at home to spare her the car ride and so that she might be the most comfortable. As I've mentioned in other posts, her health had been declining for years. It wasn't until the anesthetic was administered did I realize how truly uncomfortable she had become even during sleep- for the first time in at least several years, she looked relaxed and at peace- able to lay flat with her paws stretched out with unlabored breathing. It was both devastating and beautiful to see.

I believe My dilemma in making the decision was similar to yours and many others. She was not "dying" and how could I rob her of maybe months or years of happy times? When I consulted with the vet prior to making the decision, she told me that animals only live in the present. If they are in pain, it's all they know. They cannot understand how or why the disease makes them hurt, only that it hurts.

Ultimately, i knew that within months or a year she would likely die unassisted. I felt that I'd rather give her the opportunity to pass in her home, with family, peacefully instead of on the operating table or alone while I'm at work- which is how many of my pets have gone.

I hope my story may be of some help to you at this time.

Posts: 8
Szu its sp hard to know what to. I am really struggling to make a decision for a living being when the choice is living or dying.

For me personally if my dog had a sickness like you described and our dogs are about the same age i would feel i would know what to do. I reheased senarios in my head. But with getting old and weaker as the symptom - I personally struggle with all the what ifs i am sure you and everyone reading this struggle with similar questions.

My heart aches in ways i never knew possible.

Whatever you decide it will be the right decion for you and your pet. A lovely post to me said these comforting words to me.
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