I had to let my best friend of 16 years go last Sunday afternoon and I felt like I let her down during the whole process. I have never had a pet before, she was my first. And she meant the whole world to me. I had her when I was just 15. I always thought euthanasia would be a peaceful process and I do know it does not cause any pain to the pet. But, I did not realize that my dog would have reacted in such a bad way when she was given the sedation jab. I'm crying everyday trying to make sense of it all and I feel nothing but guilt.
My baby, Ashley, has always hated going to the vet. As she has had a whole string of health problems, she has been going to the vet almost every week leading up to the day we put her down. She has been battling heart murmur since 2013. Her kidneys were shutting down in the past 2 years. She also had cognitive dysfunction and lost her ability to stand up on her own in the past year. We have had to support her every time she ate or drank water.
We knew we had to let her go and we knew it was her time. But what pains me was what she had to go through to cross over to the other side.
I tried my hardest to soothe her when she was in the waiting room. She was whimpering and anxious as how she normally behaves at the vet. She never enjoyed being there, but here in my country, we do not have the option for home euthanasia. My heart is broken that her last moments were filled with anxiety and fear.
When the sedation was administered, she started howling and crying and I felt like she was extremely unhappy. The sedation definitely went into her veins as an IV catheter was used. She looked like she was either fighting off the drug or she wanted to bolt straight out of the clinic. I honestly felt so distressed watching her go through it. Even though it was probably a few minutes till she became sedated, but it felt like an eternity. Somehow, in my mind, I thought the sedation was supposed to calm her down. But it felt like it did the opposite. The vet left us after the sedation to give us time with her before she came back to carry out the euthanasia process, and I guess I was too distraught that it never occurred to me to call the vet in to check on her or asked if this was normal. I just assumed she was upset as she never enjoyed going to the vet and sometimes when we administer subcut fluids, she would start protesting as well.
But I can't seem to shake the image of her howling off my mind. I hate that her last few moments were filled with confusion. Even though the sedation kicked in eventually, I still felt like I let her down and knowing that I can never make it up to her hurts me so much. I know it was the right thing to let her go, but I truly never ever wanted her to feel distressed during the process.
I guess I just want to know if this is normal and if anyone else has gone through a similar experience with an anxious dog. My heart is in so much pain and filled with guilt knowing she struggled to accept the sedation. I wished she knew that this was not how I wanted to let her go. I'm so sorry my sweet baby.