SnoopsGirl
I lost my Snoopy, my 12-14yo rescue schnoodle on Easter, I am gutted.  Snoopy came to me 6yrs ago in terrible shape, his former owners had not had the money to care for him and was essentially hairless due to flea/tick infestations.  My husband and I took him from 12lbs and hairless to 23lbs with a beautiful white coat.  We treated him for lyme, got him on appoquel to help him ease his extreme allergies.  Snoopy was oh so special - he was my soul dog.  Snoopy came with some baggage, he hated vets with a passion as he never had seen one prior, he did not like to be touched and would snap if you touched certain areas (paws, moles, etc).  He could be food aggressive and high value toy aggressive, but he was my boy.

3 years ago he started having mouth issues, and after a botched dental, and thinking he had a brain tumor I discovered he had mouth sores and required all his teeth out..  About 1.5 year ago he developed an issue where he would throw up bile multiple times a day, we had blood work, ultrasounds, food studies done and we could not cure it - this would come and go for the remainder of his life.  Six months ago he had stroke like qualities and identified an ear issue and brought him for bi-weekly ear flushings - in the end he lost his hearing.  Through all of this his love for walking diminished, his arthritis grew and he spent more time sleeping than living.  We assumed he also had on set dementia, he was getting angrier at all of us if he was disturbed, snapped, and started to hate his fur siblings - he chose to go to the bathroom inside rather than outside.

Last Wednesday/Thursday he started throwing up his meals or just not eating them, I got him some GI wet food in hoping he had an upset stomach..  By 2am on Sunday he had thrown up off my bed and pooped almost uncontrollably on it (he had never done this).  I rushed him to the emergency vet and they ran blood and gave him cerenia - they felt he was bright.  That afternoon my husband started seeing signs of him not being able to get up the stairs.. In the interim I had another dog hospitalized for unrelated issues (my stress was high)..  Snoopy ate his wet dinner and we hung out on the couch, he made multiple attempts to throw up but couldn't.. I had to do a few things around the house and I had noticed snoopy had not moved, I woke him (he was upset) and brought him outside-he did not want to go.  Snoops just stood there - unable to move, he did not fall but if he tried to move his paw would scrape the cement.  I rushed him in the house and laid him on the couch, he seemed so tired and in pain, his back end was shaking..  He would not take food (did take a small piece of turkey)... I tried to place him on my carpet and the same thing.. no movement and just shaking.  I brought him to the ER and he never lifted his head up..  I chose to skip more invasive diagnostics, he hated the vet and had been in so much pain.  I chose to let him go peacefully..  It was peaceful, I cuddled him in my arms as he passed.

I am not grief stricken, why did I not do diagnostics, why did I jump  the gun?  I know in my head there was something very wrong with him, but my heart is so angry at myself. 

Did I do the wrong thing?
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JulieF
Snoops Girl - First off, I am so sorry for your loss!  Second, you were such a caring wonderful mom to him - to take him in and work to get him back to health - you DID NOT fail him.  If it weren't for you and your husband, he would probably not have had the great years he had with a loving family.  Sometimes things happen to our pets - they can't talk to tell us how they feel so we are left guessing.  You did not jump the gun.  My friend Patty who is the director for the local humane society and has been helping me through this last week since I had to put down my 19 year old cat with kidney failure (similar symptoms - vomiting, diarreha, listless, not eating) told me that I know my animal better than anyone and in your brain you knew - your heart is what is still hurting.  I felt the same way.  Should I have done more - could I have done more?  In the end, I knew he was going and I did not want it to end with him in pain.  It sounds like Snoopy was ready to go - you gave him a wonderful gift to let him go peacefully, in your arms.  

You did the right thing for him - you were not selfish to try to keep him alive longer, which would have only been for you, not him.  Remember your wonderful Snoopy and all the great times. 

This forum has been very helpful and you get only support and love - no judgement.  We all know how you are feeling. 

Bless you and your family.
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LaGata
I'm sorry for your loss....I feel the same guilt.  I should have taken my LaGata to vet, but I thought it was just hairballs, which I thought was normal for long haired cats.  I brushed her every day.  Looking back now, I think I should have taken her to vet...but I didn't and now she's gone and I'm left with doubts and questions.  You were a much better mom than me.  I hope you find some solace here
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grievingmama
Snoopsgirl - oh how I identify and understand your end of life questions. I think when we spend the whole life of our animal diagbosing/battling/treating ailments (allergies sounds simple to most until you've been through it with a sensitive dog) that we have an expectation/natural instinct of ourselves to continue that level of caregiving forever. But as I experienced as well, there comes a time when the choice to do so also comes with the added weight of age and already present medical complication risks; at some point (and that is the question and seed of doubt) we have to not only focus on quantity but quality of live. It's as hard a battle as the early on medical ones you fought on behalf of your dog. Veterinary medicine is just starting to research and quantify this grey area (calling it hospice care). For many of us, we find ourselves in the depth of that grey area alone emotion filled and unsure. I'll tell you what I've been telling myself since I lost my boy, at some point, and i dont know why, your gut instinct to not only save but to protect your fur buddy kicks in. It over rides your intense emotional bond to stay together at all costs. There ate always more tests that can be done, but does that make it always right? Standard protocol isnt always the right standard for each individual. And in the end, like a fog,  you chose to take on their suffering as your own by providing them a peaceful and pain free release. There is a quote "life is uncertain, death is certain." You we able to lovingly provide that certainty without prolonged suffering and that is the definition of love. It's hard and hurts and I get it, we are never sure. But take solace in that if you can. My condolences. 
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