Sam10
I had to put my 10 year old German Shepherd down yesterday morning. She became very ill over a week ago and started vomiting and then stopped eating altogether. Blood work looked fine, xrays showed a little gas in her abdomen but nothing worrisome. She had a long history of seizures and we suspected awhile she could have a brain tumor. But she’s lived a very full life up until a week ago when the vomiting started. After 7 days we still couldn’t get her to eat a bite of anything and the last 24 hours she stopped drinking. She also started going into our bathroom and “ hiding “. I felt like she was telling me. I slept on the floor with her our last night together. I knew the pain would be tremendous, but I didn’t expect this. It’s a feeling I can’t quite describe. I sat downstairs where her favorite spot was for hours yesterday and just cried. After her doctor told me she was “ gone “ I laid and held her. I somehow feel guilty. Is this normal ? Will this pain ever go away. I feel numb.
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3_cats_mom
Just know that you are not alone here. We are all going through the same thing. Pet loss is a big deal. The grief is overwhelming. I am sure she knew that she was loved, and that someday you will both reunite. 

The feeling of guilt is normal, even though the death was natural. My cat was suffering a lot, and he died naturally. However, I still feel guilty about not paying more attention to his health over the years. He could've eaten better quality of food and gone outside less frequent. We always try to be the best owner, but the truth is, no one is perfect. When there is life, there is death. We have to learn to accept the loss and the pain. 

It might help for you to talk more about your feelings here. I found it very helpful. Take care
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Dear Sam10,

I am very sorry to learn of your recent loss.

It sounds like it was truly time for your beloved to depart. Yes, many of us here feel not only a profound sense of grief and sorrow, but guilt and regret at having to have made that final, fatal choice for our beloved's.

They say:

"By us showing our pets such mercy, to end their suffering & pain, we agree to take their pain & suffering on to ourselves, and absorb it through our grief."

That is the heartbreaking bargain many of us have had to make here. That is what you are now feeling. That is what I am also feeling. I had to put my best friend down going on 8 weeks ago this coming Thursday.

He was an orange & white Tabby cat named "Marmalade." I adopted him in the high desert of New Mexico 850 miles away. He was around 9 or 10 when we met and he was in very bad shape. He and I worked closely together to get his weight back up and to make sure he was always well groomed and the most handsome that he could be.

He was my best and only friend, my son, my brother, my amigo, my comrade in arms, my only remaining family (that I could trust), my light and my love. I surrendered my heart to him willingly and fully and in the end he took it with him when he departed.

I am glad that your paths crossed when they did and that you provided her with love, adoration, affection and companionship and she gave these back to you in return. We are all very fortunate to have known and experienced such love in our lifetimes. 

With my sincere condolences,
James
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Sam10
Thank you for the reply. It's been a week. I find the guilt getting worse. I keep trying to google everything trying to find out on my own what could have made Sam so sick. Could I have waited a little longer to see if she would have started eating? Should I have ran more tests? I got her ashes and her paw print from the animal hospital. I feel like I am crazy. I am taking this passing worse than loved ones that have passed in my family ( grandparents). It's awful. I guess I don't have any closure since there wasn't a real diagnoses on what made her so deathly ill so quickly. 
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TaazyBoy
Sam10, You could have written our story. I am so sorry about your sweet pup. We held our boy for the last time on Friday. A few months ago I noticed he had been throwing up every day, took him to the vet for bloodwork and all was great. He was able to eat but did go outside in the morning and eat grass to throw up. With the good bloodwork I chalked it up to getting old. He was 11. A week ago he threw up everything he ate. For a boy that lived for food this was so disheartening. He wanted to eat but couldn't keep a thing down. We tried 4 different medications, this time the bloodwork showed something wrong with his liver and at that time we were told it could be a toxin or cancer and only surgery or an ultrasound would tell for sure. We did get the ultrasound and apparently he was full of cancer. After he started throwing up water too the vet told us sadly there was no options left. Like you, I have googled every single thing, wondering if there was a mistake, I wonder if we should have gone ahead with surgery, maybe whatever it was could have been fixed? I guess I will never know for sure. His ultrasound showed signs indicative of cancer in his stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, spleen and prostate. I share with you this I guess to show you are not alone, that so many of us who loved our fur babies so deeply ended up in the exact same place, with the same feelings. Each story I read here I realize how much love each of you have for your fur kids and that with this love sadly, comes the loss. It doesn't make my hurt go away, the tears are still falling as I type this. Ultimately, we couldn't fix the not eating problem regardless of the cause we wouldn't have been able to keep him here. I am so very sorry Sam10. I am not as gifted as some others here with words, I don't think there are any that are adequate anyhow. Big hugs to you.
LM
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Sam10
I am so sorry for your loss. I understand your pain too. It happened so sudden. One morning on her walk she regurgitated all of her food. Then she stopped eating altogether. The ER vet said her ultrasound showed gas in her stomach, but was it cancer and they just ruled it as gas? Did she have an abcess tooth or teeth since she was spitting her food out?Brain tumor since she had seizures for 3 years prior? All these things running through my brain. She wasn't exactly the healthiest but she wasn't the worst either. See where the guilt is coming in? I am in healthcare also, so I feel like I missed some of her symptoms or maybe overlooked them. I feel like I failed her.
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TaazyBoy
Sam10, I totally get it. I cant help but wonder if it was IBS, after some serious research, apparently it can look the same. I think we have to try to make sense of it all somehow, I wish I had clarity for you as I seek the same myself. You are most definitely not alone. In one of my many breakdowns to my hubby, those were my exact words, I failed. I may never forgive myself. I wish I could take those thoughts away from you as well, it feels like some kind of eternal damnation and at some points I was literally sick to my stomach at the idea that it was something curable. Like I said previously, I am terrible with words, it is so very clear how much you loved your baby and any decisions you made come from love. While our babes may not have understood words, they for sure understood love. 
LM
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Sam10
It may have been IBS. We will never know. Her vet mentioned a possibilty of a brain tumor because of late onset seizures and some other neurological issues. I swear sometimes I can hear her. Funny how that is!Every morning at 5:30 and in the evening at 5:30 I would give her seizure meds to her and feed her. She was solely dependent on me, and I depended on her because she gave me such love. 
Sounds like your baby did the same. Praying for peace and comfort for you as you grieve the loss of your fur baby. It leaves such a huge hole !!!
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TaazyBoy
Awww your puppers, what a beauty!! I know what you mean, our guy had a certain way of coming down the stairs, he would put both feet on the step first then come down. The first morning after I swear I heard him. I might be nuts lol. Dinner time has been the worst for me as he always would peek his head around the corner waiting for a treat to come. I feel bad saying this and it isn't because I loved the human less but my uncle died the week before and it hasn't hit me nearly as hard. I think that is because our pups are woven into every stitch of fabric in our lives. Short of going to work, they are always there. Almost every decision we ever made was made around our dogs. I am here if you ever need/want to chat. I feel you.

IMG_6333small.jpg 
LM
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Hi Sam,

Your pup sure was a regal beauty. Please know and always remember that you are not alone. Many of us here completely understand / relate to your feelings. The overwhelming grief, guilt, regret, remorse, sorrow and endless 2nd guessing. 

The bottomline, as you well know, especially with your being in healthcare is, in order to live, you've got to be able to eat & drink. Yes, a "Feeding Tube" can be installed in our beloved's necks, I researched this possibility for many days and nights, but when I searched deeper, and read of the potential side-effects, and the first person comments on how their dog or cat's spirit was completely broken by not being able to eat nor drink I decided against it. I read posts of how eating & drinking is a very, very important part of our dog or cat's life. They enjoy it. To take it away from them is devastating. I came across countless examples of a pet being forced fed through a feeding tube. which would then vomit up what they had been forced to digest or endless amounts of bile would be emitted from their mouths etc.

Your beloved refused to eat or drink in the end. Her body was beginning to shut down. There are some Doctors who have set forth that animals SHOULD have the right to communicate with us, about whether or not they want to receive treatment, or continue to receive treatment, by the behaviors they present to us. That we should learn to recognize them. Such as not eating, not drinking, hiding, fighting the Vet etc. That each animal "should have a say" at the end of their lives. Especially if they are experiencing pain or suffering.

I could tell during my cat Marmalade's final weeks, when he did eat (which was not much) he was doing so for me. Not for him. Yes, he was hungry and thirsty, but he knew that I wanted him to eat and drink. I expected it. He was loyal and devoted. He didn't want to let me down and disappoint me. For this same reason, even as he was becoming more ill, he would greet me warmly every time I returned to our warehouse / loft where we resided. He would purr loudly (too loudly, I could tell he was in distress), because he thought that was his job. To make me feel welcome, loved, adored and cherished. That was his responsibility in our 2 man pack.

In the end, he shrieked, growled and gasped when I tried to feed him. He was telling me, "ENOUGH." And he was fighting the Vet and his staff each visit. He didn't want more tests, examinations, and medications or surgeries. He didn't want to become more of a shadow of himself than he had already become. He still had some self-pride left. Some "wildness" in him. I did not want his spirit even more broken by continuing to deteriorate. I had to let him go.
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Sam10
Thank you. I think she was so beautiful. We were lucky to have her. Everything you all are saying is right. I surely would never want a feeding tube in  my swwet Sam. She would have hated that ! 
My husband keeps telling me the same thing. That she was telling me it was time by the hiding, the not eating, and she was even withdrawing from me ( this was the biggest because she was always glued to me). BUT, the very last night I believe God gave me a gift because I slept on the floor beside her and she let me cuddle her all night ! What a HUGE gift that was 😉 Here is the last picture I ever took with her. Thanks so much for the encouraging words. Sam2.jpg 
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Memories_of_Marmalade

Oh that is such a wonderful photo. Thank you for sharing. I'm sure your presence reassured her. It seems like her expression is showing that she was not feeling well. But I am sure she was so relieved that you were present. She knew how much you loved, adored & cherished her, and I am sure that is the same in reverse.

XO,
James
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Sam10
Thank you ! Sam seemed calm that night. Maybe she was like that for me. 
Thank you for your time and encouragement and kind words. Sending hugs your way also for the loss of your sweet fur baby.

Lisa
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TaazyBoy
Awwww that is a beautiful picture.....James has such a way with words, I am glad you chimed in here. Big hugs to you both.
LM
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Sam10
You both are/were very helpful !! I thank you both !!


Lisa
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