anonamai
I don't know how to cope with this right now. I lost my sweet girl this morning and it was my decision to put her down. There was quite a bit additional testing that could have been done but the veterinarian said that the only options were serious and it would take about $1,000 to stabilize her and $2000-$3000 to stabilize and get a diagnosis.

But what if he was wrong. This was not my regular vet and I made the decision without talking to them because I could not . they said that nothing that could have caused the issue was easily treatable and that the best option required lifelong management.

I knew that if I got her stabilized, I would need to do the testing to make sure. And I knew that if I did the test me I would have to do everything possible to save her. And even though I could have afforded some of it, I couldn't afford all of it without borrowing money. And knowing this that made the decision.

But now there's like this the weight my chest saying that I killed her. I made the decision so quickly and in less than an hour later I held her in my arms as she died.

She was such a fighter and she was only three years old. They decided to do a necropsy without charge because they're teaching hospital, and I'm terrified to find out that I was wrong and I should have treated her.

My other cat is confused probably both by her absence and by my crying. Everyone I know that I've spoken to says that I made the right decision. I don't know how I'm going to go to work tomorrow.
Quote 0 0
Sampson
My deepest condolences on your loss. I think that when it comes to our beloved pets we know deep down what needs to happen. When the vet told you the only options were serious it doesn’t sound promising. I believe the necropsy may help you but please do keep an open mind. It’s so tempting to blame ourselves because feeling guilty is a part of grieving. I can see by just reading your post how much you loved her. Trust yourself that you made the right decision for her. These tests are no fun for a sick pet! You chose instead to let her have peace. Hug your other cat and help each other through. Your other cat will need you more now but probably understands more then you think. It’s okay to cry too. You’ll need to grieve this terrible loss. I’m wishing you peace during this sad time.
Sam
Quote 0 0
anonamai
Thank you Sampson. The guilt is overwhelming. 
Quote 0 0
Mysweetsimba
I have gone back and forth myself with this guilt. It's the feeling that you gave up on them. I am being told over and over this is not the case, but it has not taken away the feelings. No matter how much sense someone gives me.
Quote 0 0
MySweetBoy
I was so devastated by guilt when my cat died. Devastated that I didn't realize he was dying, even as he was dying. (He'd been to the vet a few times, was on medications that might cause nausea - thyroid, after antibiotics that he didn't do well with - fever and limp). Devastated I didn't comfort him, just got him into the carrier and rushed him to the vet, annoyed I couldn't take a shower first! Devastated I didn't hold him in my lap and tell him how much I loved him, what a good boy he was, how I would never love anyone in quite the way I loved him. My vet also performed the necropsy free of charge so that she could learn, because she was as surprised as I was when I opened the carrier and found he'd died on the way to the vet. Cancer. Undiagnosed. Well, a few anomolies, but nothing telling, and nothing to indicate his liver was half destroyed by tumor. But still, I should have known by the way he was crying - oh that horrible sound!

But the thing that I realized after reading a bunch of stories on this forum is that every single one of us who loved and lost a pet feels wracked by guilt. If not guilt over treatment decisions, then guilt over how we spent time with them, guilt over getting annoyed with them or ignoring their requests for attention or whatever! The specifics vary, but the guilt seems universal. So my dear, I hope you find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in this, and in fact, that this seems to be just part of having loved and lost.
Quote 0 0
Mysweetsimba
@mysweetboy this forum has helped me as you said, this experience does not seem so unique it's like we are self punishing.
Can I ask, your cat passed from liver cancer and when they did the necropsy you said a few anomalies, what came up?
Quote 0 0
anonamai
Thank you @MySweetBoy and @Mysweetsimba. I'm sorry for your lost loved ones. as well.

I think so it's really getting to me is the fact that I didn't do everything and she didn't currently have a bad quality of life. She was certainly struggling, but she was such a fighter. I worried that I didn't give her the chance to recover.

And part of it was because it was easier for me. I knew that if I went through with the stabilization and they didn't find an answer, I wouldn't be able to say no to test figure out what was wrong. And if what was wrong was serious but manageable, I would have spent every penny I had to keep her well. It was easier to make the choice now what she was in critical condition then to wait and possibly have to make it down the road. And that feels selfish.
Quote 0 0
MySweetBoy
@anonamai @Mysweetsimba When I took him to the vet in early July, he'd been refusing food but then started eating again, but I kept the appointment because he was due for his rabies booster and I hadn't realized that due to some mix-ups with another vet clinic where I had his teeth done, that he wasn't protected (we live in the country and he's indoor-outdoor)! We did all the routine bloodwork as part of that exam. Everything, absolutely everything was normal, his gums were healthy, but there were two nucleated red blood cells in the sample. She said he wasn't anemic and the only other possible explanation might be cancer, but that there was no way to know. I was clear that I wasn't going to put him through chemotherapy and surgery at the local vet school hospital. I just didn't see doing that - expense, futility, heroic measures amounting to foolishness... none of it seems foolish anymore, but how could I have known that? Not that I could have afforded it. Anyway, we didn't know anything except that he had slight hyper thyroid and so we decided to treat that and keep an eye on him. Then he developed a limp and I realized he was hot so I brought him back to the vet and she prescribed antibiotics and we thought that this explained everything, especially since he did get better (though I had to d/c the antibiotics after 2 days because he doesn't handle them well). Still, I thought all was fine, then his thyroid meds finally arrived (mail order, special formula) and started him on that, which he hated. Stopped eating again after 3 days of that, they said extreme nausea was a side effect of the meds for some cats, so I d/c'd the meds and was going to call the vet on Monday with an update. That was Friday. Monday morning he died, and I didn't know he was dying. I envy you the chance to hold him, to say goodbye, knowing the moment for what it was.

I think that no matter what you did, you'd find some way to crucify yourself. It's not really real. It's your grief talking. What a gift to have loved in this way, right? And a horror.

I posted a longer reflection here, and a pic https://forums.rainbowsbridge.com/post/finding-comfort-in-others-grief-for-their-beloved-pets-10244773?pid=1309305790

ALSO: If I had started him on a treatment regimen for cancer right away after those first blood test results, I'm sure there was nothing that could have been done. The necropsy showed half the liver was destroyed by tumor, but it had started in the spleen - apparently a rare type of cancer in a cat, most often seen in golden retrievers! She said there were little black spots all over the abdominal cavity and that he bled out internally. My grief and guilt is that instead of comforting him and saying goodbye when he began to cry and scream after running out and collapsing on the floor beside me, I called the vet, washed my face, brushed my teeth, got dressed, placed him in the cat carrier (a horrifying sensation), buckled him in to the car and drove the 15 minutes to the vet.
Quote 0 0
anonamai
MySweetBoy wrote:


I think that no matter what you did, you'd find some way to crucify yourself. It's not really real. It's your grief talking. What a gift to have loved in this way, right? And a horror.

I posted a longer reflection here, and a pic https://forums.rainbowsbridge.com/post/finding-comfort-in-others-grief-for-their-beloved-pets-10244773?pid=1309305790



I think you are right - I think I would have criticized myself no matter what decisions I made. I'm trying to be more compassionate to myself, but then all of a sudden I am crying again.

And I love your reflection and the photo you posted. The kitty I lost was definitely the more affectionate of my two, but yesterday after I got home from the vet and was obviously upset, my boy curled up on my leg, like he knew I was sad.
Quote 1 0
creole54
I know exactly how you're feeling.  I put my 11 year old english bulldog Daisy, to sleep last Wednesday and have been wracked with guilt every minute since.  She had been sick and stopped eating two weeks prior, although I'd watched her decline for about 9 months.  I fed her ice chips and rice by hand for a few days, but soon she wouldn't even eat that.  

When I took her to the vet initially, he thought perhaps it was just a 'bug' and put her on antibiotics, and said if that didn't help he could do labwork and xrays.  My problem was that I knew I wouldn't go to heroic measures to keep her alive.  She was already 11 years old, which is pretty old for a bulldog.  And I simply could not afford ongoing treatment for cancer or any other serious disease on a retiree income, especially knowing that it wasn't going to add years to her lifespan.  

It's horrible to have to make the decision to euthanize your beloved baby.  It's even worse when finances have to enter into the decision.  

I take consolation in knowing that Daisy was the most pampered, spoiled pup that ever lived. We were together 24/7, and I know she knew how loved she was. The day before she died I had a friend over.  My friend was sitting on the couch and Daisy kept staring at her, so my friend asked me, "Is this her chair?  Should I move?"  I laughed and answered, "They're ALL Daisy's chairs.  She just lets us use them sometimes."
Teri Milbourn
Quote 0 0
anonamai
@creole54 - I'm sorry you lost your girl.

I wanted to do more, but I couldn't justify it at the time given what I knew. The veterinarian said that even the best outcome would require a lifetime of medical management, which I would be willing to do to an extent (she hated going to the vet and hated taking medication). But the worst diagnoses would be be completely fatal. And the procedure to get her stable would have risk involved as well. Based on the imaging they had, they believed she could take a turn for the worst any second. And so I decided to say goodbye. And I second guessed myself over and over again. I'm pretty sure she was suffering for a long time and I knew that something was wrong, but we couldn't figure out what. 

Even though I probably did the right thing, it will haunt me, I think. Because she was an awesome pet and I expected to have 15+ years with her.  I talked to my veterinarian today and she said that I made the right decision. She said that every possible option that would cause her condition was bad. And the other vet I talked to that day agreed that there was nothing that was easily treatable that could cause her condition. But I still wish I did something different. 
Quote 0 0
Rosanne777
You just did'nt want your beloved pet to 
suffer so that is why you did not make
the wrong decision.


Quote 0 0
AstrosDad
You did the best you could. It is unreasonable (and I would humbly add that it is even immoral) to expect your average person to spend thousands and thousands of dollars keeping an animal alive when they’ve been given a terminal diagnosis. Meanwhile, there are millions of dogs euthanized in shelters every year. Millions. We are put in terrible situations as our choice is to terminate the greatest joy in our life or to spend exorbitant amounts of money in an attempt to keep that loved one alive. In no other situation can I think of does that happen. Humans are rarely if ever asked to ‘euthanize’ other humans. Our healthcare system keeps humans alive at all costs. Only with animals are we really put into the awful predicament of actually making the decision to end their lives. Of course we are guilty and depressed. I put my dog down 2 months ago and feel worse today than the day I did it. I am haunted by many of the same things that you and so many others are haunted by. Namely guilt and the possibility that I made the wrong choice and that maybe he could have gotten better. Sorry to borrow the cliche, but it is only time that will heal. Frankly, nothing has helped me very much. I’m currently volunteering at the local shelter a few days a week to walk the dogs that desperately need to get out of their kennels. These animals are desperate! I do get some relief knowing that I am filling a very real need, even if it is a drop in the bucket. Life is for the living (sorry, another cliche) and that’s pretty much the only choice we have - to move on and pay it forward. I’m attempting to honor my sweet dog by doing just that. Still, I don’t think any of us can expect to feel good at all when the circumstances are a no-win no matter the choice. So, try not to be hard on yourself. No doubt you loved your pet and gave it a good life and when you are ready, you might want to consider doing it all over again (I know - the heartache!) because there are so many suffering animals that want a chance at a decent life too. Good luck.
Charlie Bee
Quote 0 0
anang
The love you have for your furry baby is palpable. Oftentimes, making the decision to say goodbye, although horrible for us humans on earth, is best for our furry baby. 

I like to think that all vets are ethical and only operate in the best interest of the animals that they treat. I think they toe a fine line between what possible treatments could be administered to prolong the life of the loved one, versus what would be the right thing to do. 

No animal wants to live in pain. 

You are doing an amazing service by volunteering at the animal shelter. The doggies are so grateful for your love and time.

Warm regards,
Katie
K. Unger
Quote 0 0