Amb06
It's been 2 days since we decided to put our 15 year old yellow lab Abby down. Sunday night she was perfectly fine and happy, and Monday morning she had peed and pooped and vomited all over the family room. She couldn't walk and kept falling every time she did, and she was holding her back let oddly. We took her to an emergency vet and they said they didn't think it was a stroke, but called it "old dog vertigo" where they have an inner ear imbalance that causes stroke-like symptoms. They said they could keep her there to run tests and she could snap out of it in a couple hours or a couple weeks. But really didn't have much more to offer us. There was really no guarantee she would fully recover, and she hated the vet so much, so we couldn't bear to leave her there indefinitely. anyone else experienced a similar diagnosis with their pet and grappled with making the decision to put them down? We think we may have spared her more pain in the future, but it's so hard to not wonder if we were too hasty in our decision. Her absence is felt 24/7. She was a 68lb lap dog and our lives revolved around her. 15 beautiful years with her as a best friend still doesn't feel like enough. 
Andrea Bridges
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Dmoore

Andrea, I’m so sorry for your loss. Abby lived a long wonderful life. She was so blessed to have you. My Jasmine also lived a long beautiful life, over 14 years. She was never sick until the last few months. We went to bed as usual. She was eating, drinking, and getting around. Her last night, she was using the bathroom a lot and throwing up. She was struggling to walk, acting completely confused, and repeatedly trying to hide. In the morning, she had trouble standing. We took her to the vet and they thought she had a stroke because of a brain tumor. She had other tumors throughout her body. We decided it was her time. I struggled with second guessing our decision to put her to sleep. I’ve relived that day a hundred times in my head. I have to remind myself of that last night and her health issues, because all I think about is how healthy she had been most of her life. The guilt has consumed me some days, but I know she was struggling. I just miss her so much. She was the most wonderful, loyal, smart, sweet dog. I loved her so much. She died on a June 12. 

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Amb06
Dmorre: thank you so much for your empathetic reply. I'm so sorry for your loss, Jasmine was a wonderful companion to you and that's such a beautiful name. How lucky are we to have had our doggies as long as we did and they stayed mostly healthy to the end. I know we did the right thing, but it's hard not to ask yourself "what if". But it isn't worth putting those dogs through more tests and discomfort if their quality of life is so diminished. That's something I have to keep telling myself: we spared her further suffering, as did you with Jasmine.  
Andrea Bridges
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Shillingg30
Hi Andrea, first just want to say so sorry for your loss. I can imagine the pain you’re going through losing Abby and my heart is with you. I appreciate you writing this post as I’m currently going through something similar. My 14 year old shihtzu, Nala, had recently been suffering through some seizure like episodes but with some medication they had been controlled. However last Saturday she had about 4 in a row and though she recovered, by Tuesday morning, she was incredibly debilitated and the vet saw very little chance of recovery as that morning she slowly started losing control of one side of her body and was not eating or focusing and they believe this could be caused by a tumor or something in her brain that would’ve been too risky to operate on at her age. I completely relate in thinking could we have done more for her but same as you, we believed her life wouldn’t be life if we continued treatments and with her being so old it would have been either too risky or too painful and uncomfortable for her. I know your pup knows that you would’ve done anything for her and you knew in your heart that this was the best course of action. The guilt is awful and we wish it was different but we’re both very blessed to have enjoyed our babies for such a long time. 
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Amb06
Hi Shillingg30,

So sorry for your loss. I'm sure it was so hard seeing your pup decline the way she did. That's amazing Nala lived such a Long life of 14 years. I'm hoping the pain and guilt ease with time, and I hope you're able to find some peace as well. This first couple days have been absolute hell, but it is comforting to know there are others who know what I'm feeling and can empathize. 
Andrea Bridges
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Michelemh
Andrea - Sorry for your loss. With vestibular the eyes usually go back and forth rapidly. Some dogs recover and some don't. Generally it takes a week to four weeks to recover. It is different for every dog. Some always have a head tilt after that but do well and some do not. Every dog and cat is different. My dog had it for about two weeks but he had other issues also with not eating so we had to euthanize him. They often need to be carried outside if they can't walk. My cat has it but recovers. I would not have left her there as she would have been scared.That is old for a Lab. You must have taken good care of her.

Michele
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miasara
I too struggle with whether or not euthanizing was the best decision. My beloved pup was only 3 with multiple debilitating illnesses. Everyone told me it was time, including my children and 2 vets. Her quality of life was so poor/ she wouldn’t eat or play and couldn’t sit down or go to the bathroom without pain. To make matters worse- her euthanasia was horrific. It’s been 5 months now and I still struggle with the what if’s- what if I got one more opinion, what if I did chemo that would extend her life a few more months (I was told there was no cure), etc. I just miss her so very much. She was always by my side and her loss is deeply felt every minute. I’m sorry for your loss. It gets slightly better with time. I’m now at the point where I can look at her photos and not cry. I’m trying to focus on all the wonderful memories. I keep telling myself that she’s at peace now. But still I wonder... 
mia sara
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DDs_Mom_12
Andrea,

I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl.  I have always said that labs are the best!  You made the right decision - a large dog that lived to 15 is certainly something to be proud of!  For some reason, I have not been able to get my cats beyond 12 years old.  I just unexpectedly lost my cat DD on Saturday July 11, 2020.  He was fine on Friday and then became seriously ill on Saturday.  We brought him to the emergency vet, but they could not save him.  The vet said she felt a tumor in his abdomen.  Our house and hearts are so empty without him.  He was like a dog; he followed us around all of the time.  Time does heal the pain.  The pain is replaced by loving memories.  
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Michele_in_Oregon
Andrea, I completely understand, I'm in the same place. Yesterday (Wednesday) we had our 13 year old yellow lab Dalila put down. I had her at the vet last Friday as she had developed a big lump on her rear. It was a hard, fast-growing tumor. She wasn't in pain and was her normal goofy self. We wanted to make sure that she wasn't in pain as the vet said it was aggressive and wouldn't take long. We didn't want to get stuck in a place where Dalila was in pain and we were waiting to get in to see the vet. So I'm also grieving and second-guessing myself if we could have had another week - or a month - with our dog. I miss her so much my heart is breaking. Yesterday and today all I can feel is that she isn't here, our house is too quiet, she isn't under my feet, under my desk, under the table, on the couch next to me. 

I can tell you that you did the right thing for your dog and you saved her from pain and confusion. I know I have to keep telling myself the same. I still feel the weight of that decision and the disbelief that my friend is gone. 
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BoxerMomForever
Andrea - I am very sorry for your loss.  Abby lived  a long wonderful life, but it is never long enough .  Why can’t they live as long as we do??? I wish they could.  You did what was best for her, please don’t doubt yourself.  I think it’s normal, I too wonder if it wasn’t time for my Lily. But the vet agreed as well.  Just don’t want them to suffer, that is the most important thing.  Remember all the fun times.  Grieve as long as you need to.....hugs
Linda *Mom to two boxer angels* Lily {White Girl} 6/22/09 - 10/14/19  ** Ginger {Flashy Fawn Girl} 6/4/97 - 5/28/09
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Amb06
Thank you everyone for all your replies. My heart goes out to each and every one of you for the loss and pain you're also feeling right now. It really means a lot to know there are others going through this and we have each other to lean on. Our pets were so loved and we all made the best decisions that we could in order to keep them comfortable and safe up til the end. That's all we can do.
Andrea Bridges
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LILY2020
We put our 13 year old Lily to sleep a week ago Thursday.  We used a vet who came to our home and did it there.  Our Lily was blind (cataracts) and had multiple medical problems so we finally made the decision, no more vets or emergency vet appointments.  I'm still grappling with the decision about whether it was right or not. We loved her so much .  It feels like an impossible decision. Everything in my house reminds me of her. I know grief because I've been through ti before but it's so incredibly sad. It helps to read others' posts.  Thanks for posting.
KATHLEEN COOLIDGE
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Shillingg30
Amb06 wrote:
Hi Shillingg30,

So sorry for your loss. I'm sure it was so hard seeing your pup decline the way she did. That's amazing Nala lived such a Long life of 14 years. I'm hoping the pain and guilt ease with time, and I hope you're able to find some peace as well. This first couple days have been absolute hell, but it is comforting to know there are others who know what I'm feeling and can empathize. 


Thank you Andrea, I hope these last few days have been a bit better for you, thought completely understand if they have not. The house is still not the same feeling this vacancy, as you mentioned in your post as well. We're finally ready to create a small space for her memorializing her. Thought it's hard to not have them here physically, I hope this space will serve as a way to continue expressing our love for her for years to come. Sending more hugs your way.
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