Hi all, I'm new here. I just lost my cat of 17 years two days ago. I'm having a very difficult time processing my feelings of guilt and anger. Violet was diagnosed with IBD, and was having symptoms of diarrhea with blood for about a week. I took her in and the vet gave her metronidazole, a powerful antibiotic, and I was told to give her what seemed to be a rather large dose. I was not told at the time that this medication can sometimes be toxic to pets.

After the second dose, my cat began to display all the symptoms of metronidazole toxicity: lethargy, anorexia, disorientation. I googled this like crazy and had I known all this beforehand, I would have considered holding off on this medication, especially discovering that it can be fatal to some cats. I immediately discontinued the medication but her symptoms progressed to the point where we rushed her to the hospital. The overnight vet we saw kept her overnight on fluids, and told me the next morning he believed she was showing the signs of toxicity as a result of the medication. 

Violet was reassigned to the day vet, who did her blood work, and found that she had lost almost all her red blood cell count, and her white blood cells had skyrocketed, pointing this to being bone marrow cancer. When we came in to see her, the day vet told me that the overnight doctor had just been placating me when he told me her condition was related to toxicity. The day vet said the fact that Violet deteriorated so rapidly after receiving the medication was a coincidence, that pets will just go quickly when it's their time.

I don't believe that. I believe Violet's white blood cells were reacting to the toxicity and trying to fight off the poison. I don't believe it was a coincidence she went downhill so quickly after dosing, and I don't believe that overnight doctor was placating me. I think the day vet was covering for the original vet who gave us the medicine, so I would not be inclined to bring about a negligence lawsuit.

I realize Violet's health was declining, which is why she was given the medicine in the first place. But I can't help but feel so angry that I wasn't given more information - ANY information - about this drug's potential toxicity. And I feel so guilty for dosing it to my poor baby, who knew as soon as she got it that it was killing her. She trusted me, she let me give it to her, and I just feel horrible for violating her trust.

The vet who originally prescribed the medicine called me to apologize that she hadn't had more information about the drug when she gave it to us, and I know she felt  guilty as well. If anything, Violet's death will be an example to her and other vets about prescribing this potentially fatal drug to elderly cats. I just don't know how to reconcile my own feelings of anger and guilt, that even though without this drug Violet may have only given us a few more months of her life, I took them away from her.
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I'm so sorry for your loss of Violet. Please don't blame yourself. You did exactly what any of us would do and trusted the vet. My dog Squiggy was prescribed that same medicine at one time too. I never even second guessed them. I just gave it to him. It's not your fault. I believe that when it's their time that there's nothing more that we can do. It's out of our hands. Please be kind to yourself. Sending hugs and prayers.
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I completely empathize with your feelings of guilt. I am absolutely wracked with guilt over the loss of my dog and it only compounds my grief. You did nothing wrong. We can only trust the professionals and do our best. You're right, Violet did not die in vein, this will be a reminder to this vet and her colleagues to be very careful when prescribing medications. Prayers of peace and healing to you on your journey of grief. Lots of hugs.
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Viosmom, I can so relate to your post.... my dear kitty was euth a few yrs back and it did not go well... I too thought Im doing the right thing but then it turns out... maybe not. What helped me was eventually coming to accept that Im just a human being, living in the culture that I do at this certain period in history ...having only limited options for how to treat an ill animal friend.... we can only do what we  can do...

I hope you find some peace and acceptance over time but know that it can take a while.

Recently I  had a terrible experience with one of my cats with one dose of Orbax, one of those expensive new antibiotics that has death as a possible side effect (which I didn't know til I looked it up after he started having bad reaction).  Fortunately hes a young cat and was ok after the dose wore off.  It made me angry bc after my usual vet (not the prescribing vet) came back from her vacation she correctly diagnosed him with Urinary Tract INFLAMMATION (not infection, apparently its rare for a cat to have ut infection) and so the antibiotic would have been totally useless anyway.

This may or may not be useful suggestion (feel free to reject it) but if you think it would help your grieving process I would continue to ask questions and learn about bone marrow cancer and how this drug may, or may not have played into what you saw and what the tests showed... was there any other evidence of cancer that they could point to besides the blood cells? We all grieve differently and for some of us that may mean talking about it, asking the questions, telling the story and looking at it every which way... until it starts to make some sense to us.

If theres a grief group in your area (some county Humane Societies offer these, or can refer you somewhere) I would highly recommend - it really helped me to talk and let the tears flow freely with others who understood.  Feeling responsible adds a complicating factor and takes the pain up a notch I think.... it so helps to talk to others in the same boat and hear their stories too.  And of course keep posting here.
Best to you,
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I understand your feelings so well.  I wish I didn't though.  It is such a devastating experience and a vicious cycle of beating yourself up.  I have been doing the same.  My dog Kaiser died under anesthesia - his heart just stopped, while they were placing a catheter for a chronic non life threatening urinary issue.  He had had the same thing done numerous times. They were only supposed to sedate him - not fully anesthetize him.  I didn't approve it or realize what they were doing and it killed him.  Now all the what if's are tearing me apart.  How did  I not realize they changed the protocol and the medication?  I am just sick.  It' s hard enough to lose them when it's their time and without all this guilt, but this just makes it so much harder.  I can tell you that you did everything in your power for Violet and you loved her very much.  The dr.'s failed both of us and it is NOT our fault.  Now I say this, but believing it is quite another story.  I am having the State vet Board review Kaiser's case.  Perhaps you should do the same?  I hope that your pain lessens a bit every day and the guilt goes away soon.  I hope that for both of us.  Hugs... I know how you feel.

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Dear ViosMom!!

First, I'd like to say that I am soooo very sorry for the huge loss of your Precious Baby Violet!! I do feel your pain!! She may not be physically with you now, but she is forever in your heart!!

I myself feel disgusted and I can even say I feel hate for a certain vet, who insisted that we gave our Babies rabies shot and it ended up killing my Kitty Baby, my Siamese Girl - My Baby Pearl - who was 14 years old, but so playful like a kitten, full of energy and life.

ViosMom, I'll tell you my story and I feel awful for having agreed with that vet when he said she should take the shot. Now she is gone and I am left with guilt, remorse and a huge endless hole in my heart and in my soul.

I am living the darkest night of my soul and, although there is nothing to be done to fix it,
 I decided to share with all of you what I have done hoping that other people can learn
from the biggest and most horrible mistake I have ever that it never, ever happens again.
I am done. Devastated.  Angry. Mad. I feel hate for myself and for a certain vet.

It is eating up, consuming my soul. We had a girl cat (about 13 or 14 years old),
 she was partially Siamese, blue point. Precious, athletic, playful like a kitten, the light and joy of my life. My husband adopted her when she was about 1 year old, he found her; that was in 2002. He always kept her inside, never went outside. When he took her to the vet for the first time back in 2002, he found out she was expecting babies. He kept one of her babies, a boy kitty-kitty, so they could make each other company.

I think that around May of 2014 I found a lump in the center of her little body, around the middle of her little chest.  I asked my husband to take her to the vet because I was very worried. He said no , he said he wanted to wait and monitor it, if it grows more, we take her.
He said we just can't take a pet to the vet only because they sneeze, vomit, meows a lot.... this way the vet will get richer and richer at our expenses. He says that every little thing happens to one of our cats, I want to schedule an appointment.  He says I am ridiculous.
And he said that I wish we had a vet living in the basement, 24/7 in order to take care of our Babies. I said yes, because I want them to live a healthy, happy life!! Time went by and the lump grew. Just like my despair and fear. I became even more desperate and he said that one day we all will die and she is 12 and had a good life. That hurt me a lot, I couldn't believe he said that (actually, knowing him, I could believe he said that). He always says that he buys them food and lets them live inside the house, so he does too much for them already and he says it is an absurd to spend money with vets for cats that were stray, he really thinks that he does enough. I don't agree. I told him that the very moment we adopt a little one and this little one being a cat or a dog becomes part of the family and deserves not only love and food, but medical treatment when needed, I tell him that we can't put a price tag on a life, they are living beings that deserve love, respect and care.
Obviously, we have many disagreements on that topic. He didn't want to take her to the vet, but I begged him so much because I couldn't accept that, just like that, I want to do whatever it takes to find her treatment. At that time I didn't have a job, because he doesn't want me to
 work outside of the house, but said he would allow me to work from home, if I found work from home. So, I fired up the computer, I started to look  for a job I could do from home. I found one, applied, passed the tests and became an over-the-phone interpreter. I was born in Brazil and therefore,
I speak Portuguese. So, I told him that all of our Babies's medical expenses would be on me because I got a job. And he agreed. So, we took her to this vet we found and loved and he performed a needle test and he told us the lump needed to be removed. He performed the surgery and sent the lump to the Lab to be examined. Thank God, it was benign. So, she recovered well and I thanked God immensely for that. When I prayed for her, I asked God to take 10 years of my existence on this
earth (or any years I have left, even if I only have ten years and one day, I would want God to give her ten of my years) and give it to her because I want her to live....because I love her with all my heart and soul, she is my Little Life, My Little Love!! My prayers were answered, she had a successful surgery. I couldn't be happier and more grateful!

We also have a Calico (another kitty-kitty girl).
When I moved here from Brazil I brought with me my kitty-kitty girl, a Tortie.
We had four cats in total: 3 girls and one boy.

So, we took my cat from Brazil to an appointment with that vet because it had been eight years she hadn't had an appointment and she was  meowing too much and loudly. He found some dental problems and she needed to have two teeth extracted. The vet said she meowed that loud
because she was in pain. We scheduled the surgery and, again, thank God, everything went well. He told us he was leaving the clinic and moving to Illinois and that his last day there would be on April 30th. So, we scheduled a check-up appointment for the other Baby who had the surgery in 2014 - My Baby Pearl - (to remove the lump from her little chest).  My husband and I took her and at that appointment, the vet said he was going to give her a rabies shot.
My husband said that our cats stay inside, then rabies shot would not be necessary, but the vet said that it is the law in Indiana. He also said he would not denounce us for not vaccinating our cats, but said that if someone comes to our house and a cat scratches or bites them, the first
thing they will ask us is if their shots are updated. I told them (my husband and the vet) I just want all of our Babies to be healthy, safe and sound and protected and if a rabies shot will make them healthy, please give her the shot. I told them that love, food, water and clean litter boxes I
can give them, but I rely on the vets knowledge to keep them healthy and if the rabies shot is something she needs, so please, let's give it to her. My husband said ok, then. So, the vet gave her the shot. I had no idea that I was, at that moment, killing our Little Daughter - My Baby Pearl.
I should have been sensible enough to communicate with her, to ask her at that moment if she wanted the rabies shot or not. But, unfortunately, all I did was believe in the vet, I trusted him completely. That was the worst mistake of my existence. Two weeks later, she started to meow loudly and straining to pee, lost her vitality. We took her back - now we were seen
 by another vet, because that one had already moved to Illinois - and she collected urine sample and said that there is a little bit of blood, but no stones. And she was going to send the urine sample to the Lab for more tests. So, she prescribed pain med and antibiotics for the inflammation.
We followed the regimen. Unfortunately, My Baby Pearl didn't get better. She got worse, straining, meowing in pain. I started to google " my cat is straining to pee " and I found two websites, by holistic veterinarians, and one said: " When it comes to shots, less is more" and she said that the same vaccine they give a 12lb house cat, they give a 300 lb lion. And the other one said  (this one has 35 years of experience) and  he said: " I don't agree with vaccinating older cats and older dogs because one of the bad things that can happen is organ failure ".  So, this is proof that I, and only I, am the responsible for her death. I am devastated and destroyed. I just lost when  I read that. At that moment, I learned that I am the responsible person for My Beloved and Precious Daughter's passing, because I told the vet and my husband that I can only give them love, food and water, but I need the vet's help to keep them healthy. I am so destroyed,  I am a murderer. I was the one who was responsible for her life, for her well-being and I failed My Precious and Innocent Baby. She counted on me and I let her down. Now I am paying the price for not having her by my side anymore and I also suffer because her son is sad because he misses her and I am the one who caused that - I hate myself, I am disgusted at myself. If I were brave enough I would drink bleach, but, on top of it all, I am a big coward. How can I live with this pain and weight and remorse in my heart and in my soul??? What have I done with My Daughter???? It kills me to know I caused her to feel fear, pain and ultimately, I am the responsible for her little life to end. What have I done????

We went back to the clinic. Now another vet saw us, not the lady vet that prescribed the meds, but a different one.  She took x-rays and ultrasound and showed us that her bladder was extremely swollen, the neck of the bladder and the kidney were swollen, because the urine was returning to the kidney. She said no surgery would hep her and she needed to be euthanized right now. I felt as if a knife  had been placed in my heart, I was in total disbelief and my husband and I were devastated. She told us to spend some time with her and left the room. Very direct and business oriented, I couldn't believe it. We were there for about 5 minutes, I was crying and begging My Baby for her forgiveness and my husband was being strong  - he was very sad, but trying to console me, saying we had to let her go because she is in pain and suffering. So, on June 24, 2016, we put our Precious Little Girl (My Baby Pearl) to sleep. Up to this day, I can't believe any of this happened, all I wanted to do was to make sure she would have a healthy life, and I ended up killing My Child. It does not seem or feel real, I look for her in the house, we watched TV together, it seems I am inside a nightmare that I just can't wake up. What is killing me inside is the fact that it didn't have to happen, she didn't have to take that shot - the rabies shot that I thought would be great to protect her - and now, because of me, she is gone. I can't live with myself anymore, the guilt is huge, the remorse, the regret. I killed our Baby Pearl. I lost weight, I am not eating well, I drink coffee a lot and eat sliced bread, my guts are in bad shape, my hands shake and I start crying suddenly, I really don't know what to do. I know that there is nobody that can help me. I myself had to have a CT scan of the bladder and pelvis because I was also having trouble to urinate, I had to have a cystoscopy and also a root canal, after I killed My Precious Daughter many things happened to me and I had to see a urologist and had to see a dentist to have a root canal.
Unfortunately, I know it is not possible to bring her back, but I can't live like this, knowing that if it was not for that shot I agreed on giving her, she would be here with us.
I deserve to die a horrible and slow death. I sped up to 105 miles, lost a hub cap, got scared, so I reduced the speed to the speed limit, 40. I just wish I could end my life because it feels so sooooo very wrong that I am still here, breathing while she is not anymore.......and that is just because of me, I am the one who caused that horrible thing to her. It is not fair!! It is so difficult to go on with this guilt eating up my heart and my soul. Everyday I wake up around 4am and cry until 6:30 am, when I manage to fall asleep again, and my chest, belly and face hurt because of the crying and my eyes burn...............I am really in hell for having killed My Beloved Daughter.
I ask her and her son to please forgive me - forgive me, My Precious and Beloved Baby Pearl, for the fact that mommy was the one who put an end to your beautiful and innocent life and I also ask her little son to forgive me for having done that and for causing his little heart to hurt so much for missing his Mommy. I don't know if these two Precious Babies can ever, ever forgive me, what I know is that I can't forgive myself, I hate and despise myself and my life, our lives changed forever since then. I feel I am falling in a well, a dark, cold and bottomless well. I killed My Daughter because I agreed with the vet and I wanted to do everything "by the book" and respect the law. Now I say: to the hell with the law!!! I just want My Baby back!!!!! It scares me not to know where she is. If she has reincarnated already. If she is in a good family, with loving and caring people.
I always decorated the house for the seasons - Spring - I put some silk flowers (I can't have live flowers because My Babies like to eat them), so I put a vase of silk flowers and I tell her "Mommy is decorating our house for Spring!!). For Autumn, I put some fake pumpkins and a dancing scarecrow and I tell her this is our decoration for Autumn. Then, for Christmas, I put the Christmas tree in the living room and decorate it and some other decorations here and there and I tell her our home is ready to welcome Baby Jesus for Christmas. Now, I can't do any of these because I don't have the most Precious My Little Baby anymore. It hurts me to know I killed her. I am sooooo sad. It kills me the fact that I am a murderer. I never intended for that to happen.
I didn't mean to kill My Little Life.  I have never killed a living being before and when I did, the victim was My Own Little Daughter. It is sooo sad.
When I find bugs in the house, I pick them up with paper towel and a plastic glass and take them out, I release them on the grass. When I am driving and see a dead squirrel or chipmunk, or raccoon, or
a bunny, I stop on the shoulder and I either put them on the grass (I don't like to see them on the asphalt) or I pick them up (put them in a supermarket bag), bring them home and put them in our backyard, by a tree and I cover them with leaves..........and say a little prayer for their little spirits.
I love Animals - all of them, domesticated and wild!!!! And I can't believe I murdered My Own Precious and Beloved Daughter!!
I not only killed her, I feel I destroyed her little son and myself. It is very sad.

I just wanted you to know my story. And I want you to know that you were a victim of a bad vet - it was not your fault!! Your Precious Violet loves you!! When I pray for My Baby Pearl, I will also pray for your Baby Violet - and ask the Angels to protect them and keep them safe under their wings!!

ViosMom, I want you to feel better and stronger!!

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Please dont make her passing any harder on yourself its true you should have been warned about any meds your baby should have taken but its not your fault...Violet has crossed over the rainbow bridge and has new friends who greeted her she is pain free now but her love for you is forever.....
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It's not your fault. It's not your fault. You had no idea that a rabies shot would kill your kitty. You did not know. Stop torturing yourself. Please. I understand you loved your baby. We are all in the same situation here. Please stop blaming yourself for something you had no control over. Please, if the grief stays, talk to a counselor.
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Dear Lenegal!!

Thank you so very much for your kind words!!

Do you really think it was not my fault?? So, why do I feel so bad? Why do I feel I am responsible for my Daughter's death?? All I wanted was for her to be healthy and happy!! Why did I trust the vet when he said she should take the rabies shot?? I feel awful and destroyed.

But I thank you very, very much for your words. I pray for her, for her precious little soul!!

I've been to a few therapist sessions, but I stopped. It seems the therapist was not taking me seriously because she said she couldn't believe I decided to see a professional because "your cat died". I felt awful. I wanted her to know that I am in pain. I told her I feel grief, remorse and guilt because I do feel I killed an innocent being. So, since she thought I was "silly", I thanked her for her time and decided not to go back.

Lenegal, I don't know what to do anymore. I cry and pray for My Baby Pearl. I hope she can forgive me, when I myself can't.

Thank you again for your kind words.
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Dear lady, I loved, loved, my precious Jake who passed in July. He was an old dog, but I adored the ground he walked on. I thought I would die without him. I still cry for him over 3 months later. I will never forget my baby.

You did nothing wrong. You had no idea that a vaccine would kill your baby. None. Unfortunately letting go of our love for them is so very difficult. So very difficult. I wanted to be with Jake after we had to let him go. Even thinking of him now, my heart hurts so much.

Letting go of them is the price we pay for loving them so much. I lost my sister last year, and my parents a while ago. I grieved, how I grieved for them. But the grief for Jake was like yanking my heart out. There is no way through grief except to go through it.

But it is not because of you that your baby passed. I don't know if the therapist you saw was located here in the US, the one who belittled you for grieving over a pet, but that therapist was way, way out of line. Should be reported. There are many caring therapists and pet loss groups out there.

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You did nothing wrong. I understand that it's easy to blame ourselves for things like this. But the vets are the experts, not you. You can't possibly know everything about veterinary medicine--if you did, you'd be a vet. We have to rely on the experts for things like this. I've had pets all my life but other than a possible bad reaction to the shot, I did not know they could cause such bad side effects. And did they conclusively say it was from the vaccine? It may not be related at all.

But regardless, your vet is the expert. We follow our vet's advice, just like we follow our doctor's advice. That's what they are there for. But if the vaccine did cause that reaction, it's not your vet's fault either. Some vaccine and medications can have adverse side effects. There's always that risk, even if it's very minimal.

But you are NOT to blame. You are grieving your loss but you are not to blame.

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No one here wilingly did harm
when it came to wanting to
do what is best for ones
beloved Pets.

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