billybobm57
Last Thursday I made a terrible decision to euthanize my 13 year male cat due to some underlying medical condition that caused a severe neurological disorder.  Harry had not eaten in nearly 3 days and was effectively blind due to glaucoma in both eyes.  He could barely walk and was disoriented when he tried to walk, he would just walk around in short circles for minutes at a time.  I believe his medical condition may have been caused by a Rabies Vaccination given to him earlier in the month.   

Harry never did well with his yearly booster Rabies and I always dreaded taking him to the Vets.   In the State of Maryland USA, Rabies (booster) shots are the law.  I am now discovering that the vaccine is generally unnecessary for indoor cats and the vets who I had told on multiple occasions that I was uncomfortable giving an older indoor cat Rabies due to concerns about adverse reaction to them, insisted it was the law in Maryland and side effects were normal.  

I feel a lot of pain and guilt because first I did not know if Harry could be saved and decided not to take him to an emergency pet hospital because he looked so bad...I used my head instead of my heart and rationalized he was going to die anyway and did not want him to suffer.  Secondly, I feel I did not do enough to communicate and push back at the vets my concerns about the Rabies shots.  I have recently discovered veterinarians in the State of Maryland can request a waiver if it is suspected the animals health is in danger.   Something I wish I would have known before early February.  

After a week, the pain I feel is starting to dwindle, but my guilt and sorrow is likely going to linger on for a long time.  It was a lesson in veterinarian care and this was a harsh lesson to learn.   My poor little Harry...I hope he will forgive me.
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LaGata
I'm so sorry for your loss-I can't imagine what you are going thru.  It's a horrible thing when you can't trust a doc...something l learned the hard way as well.
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Memories_of_Marmalade
Dear BillyBobm57,

Please know that you are not alone. You were placed in a very awkward and difficult position. And you are not a Doctor of Veterinary science, Many of us here on the forum were also faced with getting medical treatment for our cats, not doing so, and/or feeling the need to put them to sleep if we felt they were only suffering.. What we mostly learn is there is no correct answer a majority of the time.

My boy (a cat named "Marmalade") went to 5 different Vets over time including 3 supposed Animal Hospitals and ALL either could not diagnose him or misdiagnosed him and several actually made him worse. Quite often Vet's simply wing it. They don't know what to do. And as 3 Vet's were quoting as saying "You treat one thing it triggers another." So often it is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. In many ways our cats are tough, but also very fraglile. They are exotic animals in some ways in my opinion.

What does ring true in all of your words is your great love, compassion and empathy for your boy "Harry." Its so obvious how much you truly cared for and cherished him. And he knew that. If he wasn't eating, was going blind, walking in circles etc. it was time. You made the right decision. But by ending Harry's suffering you made an agreement to then absorb his suffering onto yourself. And now you are processing that suffering through your grief. You should Harry mercy in the end by letting him go. And placing his needs over your own.

Kind regards and my sincerest condolences,
James
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BorderCollieLover
You have my heartfelt sympathy on the recent loss of your cat. Harry will forgive you The truth of the matter is that you didn't do anything wrong. Your decision to allow the vaccine was done with the best of intentions I feel the same way as you, I don't trust the veterinary profession anymore. The current trend in Veterinary Medical curricula still clings to the outdated notion that strong drugs and pharmaceuticals are perfectly fine to give to our pets (antibiotics, vaccines, etc.). I heartily disagree. They can - and often do - trigger nasty side effects. I hope you are able to find some peace knowing that Harry was in very capable hands with your care. You were a wonderful, caring pet person; that's why Harry has already forgiven you. God Bless.

Jim
Jim Miller
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codysmum102
I think many of us have experienced the same situation with the medical profession. I know I have, not only with vets but with human doctors as well. Even specialists get it wrong that is why it is so hard to know the right thing to do for your loved ones be it pets or people. We can only do the best we can do with the knowledge we have. Everyone on here tries their hardest and loved their pets. That's why we are here. If we didn't love them so much it wouldn't hurt so badly.
Take care,
Julie 💔
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
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Ralphie
So sorry for your loss. I can relate to your feelings because my baby was almost dead the next day after the vaccination. He was 10 and had no medical issues at all. In fact, he just had his annual checkup 2 weeks prior to that and he was in excellent health. Since then, I have spoken to several other pet owners who had their pets die immediately after being vaccinated. One of them was convulsing on the table as soon as the vet took the needle out and died right there on table. I had a bad feeling when I went to the vet that day and now I have to live with the guilt for the rest of my life. I thought I was doing the right thing by letting him have the shot.....
RLM
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billybobm57
I am sorry to hear many of you that have responded have experienced the same.  That is the thing that bothers me most...putting my faith in the Vet and doing something I knew in my heart was wrong and letting my trusting pet down.    
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Nechemiahsmom
So sorry for your loss. I too made a decision that, I too believe, cost me my dog's life. I still struggle with it almost daily. When I  am having a really bad day I post on the Rainbow Bridge forum. My failed foster had a medical condition my vet could not figure out due to my limited funds and her really not knowing. On his last visit to her I went to get medication for a thyroid problem she said the tests revealed he had.  While there she said he needed a Rabies shot. While sceptical on her whole treatment, I  consented. In the past after shots he would have allergic like reactions where he would scratch until he bleeds. But I thought with a diagnosis he would be on medication and it would be safe. Within days of the shot and medication he was scratching a nose he no longer had (he scratched it until it came off) and he had diarrhea.  He lost so much weight. I took him to another vet and got a REAL diagnosis, but the bad news that he should not have been given a Rabies shot. I was told he now had to have aggressive treatment.  It didn't turn him around and he passed 2 weeks later. I am still sick about it, but I was given a dog a month later by someone about to be homeless. It is different now. I had blood work done first before getting any shots. If you get any other companion animal, do not let a vet talk you into anything. I had two cats at different times live to the ripe old ages of 16 and 20. The 16 year old was an indoor/outdoor cat that did not have shot. He died due to renal failure - not a rabies related anything. My next cat was indoor only and I decided that despite what the law said did not feel he was at risk for contacting rabies so he was not vaccinated.  He lived to 20.
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Ralphie
I am so terribly sorry. I wish we didn't have to live with this awful pain and guilt for the rest of our lives. I beat myself up all the time still because I did not know the dangers until it was too late and he was suffering. He was perfectly healthy and happy before the shot.
RLM
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codysmum102
I am glad you both posted on here about the rabies shot. I am fostering 2 kittens from the shelter and I know they will have to get shots, the FIV test and fixed before they are ever adopted out.  I don't know if that includes the rabies shot or not but  If I decide to adopt them I will keep them inside and not get any more shots for them because my thinking is they are not outside and will not get in contact with other animals it shouldn't need any.
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
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billybobm57
codysmum102 wrote:
I am glad you both posted on here about the rabies shot. I am fostering 2 kittens from the shelter and I know they will have to get shots, the FIV test and fixed before they are ever adopted out.  I don't know if that includes the rabies shot or not but  If I decide to adopt them I will keep them inside and not get any more shots for them because my thinking is they are not outside and will not get in contact with other animals it shouldn't need any.


Yes, I agree...I believe it may be ok to have a young kitten shot to train their immune system but as I understand, if the adult cat is kept indoors the yearly or routine Rabies booster should not be necessary and can be dangerous to the adult cat's health (as in my case)...if I could do it over again, I would not allow the booster...

...I suspect the law in Maryland has more to do with Rabies inflicted on outdoor animals and likely money for the vaccine manufacturers...

...good luck with your kittens...
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codysmum102
Thank you.
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
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