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Old 11-21-2013, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
22 posts, read 31,554 times
Reputation: 40

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogfrenz View Post
Sabina, I'm so sorry about your dear sweet Katie. It is the hardest decision to make whether to euthanize or not. As another poster mentioned, I believe the guilt and second guessing are part of the grieving process for some. At least it was for me.

I put down my sweet little girl Cocoa this past March. Until recently, I had been driving myself crazy with doubts about my decision. I knew in my head it was the right choice, but my broken heart screamed otherwise. Could we have done more for her? My vet said yes, but also said it would not be good for anyone. She MIGHT feel better for a few more months, but then be right back where we started. It would be delaying the inevitable. She did not handle being sick very well, she was so miserable. She hated being at the vets and being away from me. She was such a momma's girl. I did not want to put her through any further tests, procedures, surgery, medications. Yet I still struggled for months afterwards with my decision.

Recently my logic took over and I now see that my decision was the right one. I still miss her terribly, my heart is still broken and I am crying now as I type this, but I finally feel at peace knowing that I did what was best for HER, not me.

I asked one of my vets how they deal with having to euthanize pets so often. He responded that he considers it a gift that he is able to give to others.*

You did a wonderful thing by rescuing her and giving her so much love and the best care. You gave her a gift by letting her go.

It has only been a few days for you, and it will take time for you to grieve. Everyone's timing is different. I hope you find peace soon.
*ETA: I mispoke. The vet said he considers it a privilege. I consider it a gift.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 179,050 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogfrenz View Post
Sabina, I'm so sorry about your dear sweet Katie. It is the hardest decision to make whether to euthanize or not. As another poster mentioned, I believe the guilt and second guessing are part of the grieving process for some. At least it was for me.

I put down my sweet little girl Cocoa this past March. Until recently, I had been driving myself crazy with doubts about my decision. I knew in my head it was the right choice, but my broken heart screamed otherwise. Could we have done more for her? My vet said yes, but also said it would not be good for anyone. She MIGHT feel better for a few more months, but then be right back where we started. It would be delaying the inevitable. She did not handle being sick very well, she was so miserable. She hated being at the vets and being away from me. She was such a momma's girl. I did not want to put her through any further tests, procedures, surgery, medications. Yet I still struggled for months afterwards with my decision.

Recently my logic took over and I now see that my decision was the right one. I still miss her terribly, my heart is still broken and I am crying now as I type this, but I finally feel at peace knowing that I did what was best for HER, not me.

I asked one of my vets how they deal with having to euthanize pets so often. He responded that he considers it a gift that he is able to give to others.

You did a wonderful thing by rescuing her and giving her so much love and the best care. You gave her a gift by letting her go.

It has only been a few days for you, and it will take time for you to grieve. Everyone's timing is different. I hope you find peace soon.
Thank you for sharing your story. I am really sorry for your loss. I spoke to a friend, who also recently lost her dog due to a heart failure. She let him die on his own and she felt guilty that he she didn't make the decision to euthanize him and let him suffer for so long. So I guess you're right, guilt and second guessing are part of the grieving process for many of us.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
26,029 posts, read 19,140,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabina02 View Post
I posted a question to a veterinarian on medhelp.org describing my dog's disease history and asking if I made the right decision. This can be done for a $20 fee. Here's the response I got:
Now you see why I'm pissed off about the vet tech? Look at the difference in answers that you got from one who has only had a bit of experience, to one who has the extra education, the time in practice, and experience? BIG difference.

I'll let it drop now, but I think something should be said to your vet. I know how painful it is to lose a pet. I know the guilt. I KNOW THE GUILT omg, I know the guilt when you put a pet down. I put one down in 2007 and I STILL wonder if I did the right thing. I didn't get reassurance like you did, and no one told me I was wrong. The guilt I feel is my own thing but as much as I have right now, wondering, I would have been devastated had someone talked to me like the vet tech did to you. What she put you through, unnecessarily, is unacceptable. Guilt will eat you alive. No, you don't need people to lie to you, what you need was what you got from that vet online. THAT is what should have been said to you from the start, not that b.s. that the inexperienced tech told you. Please, put that out of your head. What that tech said was wrong. It was incorrect information and all it did was put doubt in your head that you don't need. YOU DID THE RIGHT THING.

(My offer still stands to call up and give them a piece of my mind.....just sayin')
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:23 PM
 
229 posts, read 209,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabina02 View Post
My 12 year old, 21lb mixed breed dog was euthanized yesterday. I am completely devastated, especially that I'm not sure if I made the right decision. She was diagnosed with CHF about 18 months ago, but showed no symptoms until April of this year when she began coughing. Putting her on Enalapril and Lasix had significantly reduced her coughing and she was doing fine for w while. She seemed to be getting tired more easily, but other than that she was a happy, perky girl. Then one day in July, she got excited and fainted. My husband had to revive her. I rushed her to the vet, who had increased the dosages of meds she was already taking, adding Vetmedin to the mix. Then in October she fainted twice more, but was yet again revived and was doing quite well otherwise. Over sudden, about 9 or 10 days ago she started getting really bloated. I took her to the vet again last Monday, who said that her heart murmur level was already 6 of 6. He did some blood work, took x-rays, gave her some Lasix and other shots, an oxygen therapy for about 7 hours, and increased (yet again) dosages of meds. The following day (Tuesday) she seemed a little better, but by Wednesday she was bloated again. I took her to the vet again, who drained the fluids from her belly and said that she should be ok for 4-5 days. Unfortunately, she started getting bloated the very next day and began breathing really hard. She completely stopped eating and I noticed that she lost a lot of weight. She seemed very, very uncomfortable without being able to breathe well, so much so, that last Saturday I took her to the emergency vet somewhere else (our regular vet is not open on weekends). When we got there, she was immediately placed in an oxygen chamber, as the staff noticed she was having a hard time breathing. The vet recommended a 24hr oxygen therapy. She also recommended a cardiologist visit and a change of meds. She also said my girl only had weeks to live even if she had all of the above done to her. At that point, I have made a decision to end her suffering. I felt that if the first oxygen therapy didn't help, the second one might not be effective either. I also wanted to spare her the frequent visits to the vet, as they were very stressful to her, especially that she feared strangers (she was a rescue that was abused in the past). I only wanted to extend her life if it was a good quality life, and I felt that might not be the case. When they took my girl out of the oxygen chamber, she was breathing even worse, I thought she was going to suffocate. The was the deciding moment for me to have her put down.

Now that my girl is gone, I feel guilty that I decided to end her life. All kinds of thoughts go through my head. Did I make the right decision? For once, the oxygen therapy she had was only 7 hrs, the second one was supposed to be 24 hrs. Maybe the 24 hr therapy would've been more effective? Maybe different meds would've worked? I was reading somewhere on these boards that someone bought an extra month of good quality life for their dog doing the 24 hr oxygen therapy. Maybe I should've done the same? The worst part is that I had discussions about my dog's condition with 3 different vets (2 from our vet clinic plus the emergency vet) and NONE of them at any point suggested even mentioned euthanasia for my dog. Wouldn't they if there was no hope? I am upset and confused. On one hand I am glad that she's no longer struggling and that her death was quick and painless, but on the other hand I feel that I possibly robbed my girl off of a few weeks of good quality life, granted that her breathing could be put under control. She didn't seem to be in pain otherwise at all. She was responsive and wagging her tail to the end.

Please let me know what you think. I am kindly asking for constructive responses. I want to know the truth, even if it hurts.
I know exactly how you feel. I had to put my dog down in April because his rear hips failed and he couldn't walk anymore. I felt so guilty that his heart was very good and tried to keep him as as long as I can,I was told by family members that it wasn't fair to him because they think he was suffering. I cried for weeks over his loss....I came to terms that he is not suffering anymore. I'll miss him for the rest of my life.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:43 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 13,469,572 times
Reputation: 3437
Yes, giving out advice on these matters often becomes better with maturity.
I speak to folks daily about disease process and your ability to respond in a manner of compassion becomes more sensitive as you age, maybe that tech was young?

Humans with RSHF or CHF do rally with some medications but it is just a postponement of the reality that the body cannot move fluids out of the lungs. The medications to assist are hard on the kidneys which can cause a cascade of other problems. My 16 year old dog was on meds for 4 years, it gave him a chance to whip the then new puppy into shape. The new puppy outweighed him by 30 pounds. :-)
With less oxygen over time the other organs begin to stop their daily task and the body just becomes more toxic, it really is a process and occasionally I had to assist him to a sunny spot but it was a peaceful passing. Interesting that the other dog seemed to understand by odor that things were changing and kept by the kennel.
I had another dog that had to be put to sleep because of a farm accident. Much more traumatic because of the rapid decision and honestly being at the vet office.
Either way it is a tough road, you show you care because you are hurting, maybe buy a bag of chow and drop it off at a shelter in your dog's name.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 179,050 times
Reputation: 101
I finally spoke to my Katie's main vet last night. (The vet tech was also in the room, by the way.) My vet did not give me a direct answer though. He said he believes in fighting for life to the end, but he cannot tell me whether or not I made the right decision, because he did not see Katie the day she was put down. He did say though, that he took Katie’s files home and was considering giving her another medication, shortly before learning of her passing. His words to me were more spiritual than actual facts or prognosis. (He is Hindu and a Buddhist, so he’s very spiritual.) I left with a feeling of uncertainty.

I know that Katie was suffering, or was extremely uncomfortable at best. Her labored breathing with that high pitch noise was bad. She didn't eat at all for the past couple of days (and she loved to eat), she didn't want to walk or sniff around when she was outside, she just stood in one spot breathing heavily. Clearly, the joy of life was gone. With the way she was at the time, she was definitely better off being put down. That I do not doubt at all. What I do doubt is that maybe the fluid could've been removed from her lungs and her condition could've been improved with different medications, even if meant for a few weeks. A few weeks of a good quality life would've been worth fighting for. Katie's vet who knows her condition better than anyone, did not reassure me that I did the right thing (although he did not tell me that I made the wrong decision either).

Now, I plan to do one more thing and have my last conversation with the vet, who put Katie down. I’ll do that when I go pick up Katie’s ashes next week. I need to speak to her again, as she was the last professional who saw Katie. Maybe I will be able to get some closure then.

Last edited by Sabina02; 11-22-2013 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
22 posts, read 31,554 times
Reputation: 40
Sabina,
I think if you asked 10 different vets you would get 10 different answers. I think with some their egos get in the way and they don't want to admit that there's nothing else they can do to help an animal. I'm not saying this is the case with your vet. But when does it become too much for a pet? It's a personal decision, you made the decision because you believed it was right for you and right for your dog. And you knew your dog better than anyone. I do hope you find closure.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:32 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 179,050 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogfrenz View Post
Sabina,
I think if you asked 10 different vets you would get 10 different answers. I think with some their egos get in the way and they don't want to admit that there's nothing else they can do to help an animal. I'm not saying this is the case with your vet. But when does it become too much for a pet? It's a personal decision, you made the decision because you believed it was right for you and right for your dog. And you knew your dog better than anyone. I do hope you find closure.
It has been 9 days since my baby's passing. I still miss her terribly and I still cry, but now I know that I made the right decision. She was suffering and there was no cure for this disease. If I did not let her go, I would put her through more stress and pain, and days or weeks later she would die anyway. That is not how I wanted my baby to spend her last days on Earth. At least I know that she did not suffer long and that she died peacefully. Wherever she is right now, she knows I did what was best for her.

I miss you Katie and I love you forever... [*]

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Old 12-30-2013, 01:53 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,185 times
Reputation: 10
Default to sabina

[quote=Sabina02;32275410]My 12 year old, 21lb mixed breed dog was euthanized yesterday. I am completely devastated, especially that I'm not sure if I made the right decision. She was diagnosed with CHF about 18 months ago, but showed no symptoms until April of this year when she began coughing. Putting her on Enalapril and Lasix had significantly reduced her coughing and she was doing fine for w while. She seemed to be getting tired more easily, but other than that she was a happy, perky girl. Then one day in July, she got excited and fainted. My husband had to revive her. I rushed her to the vet, who had increased the dosages of meds she was already taking, adding Vetmedin to the mix. Then in October she fainted twice more, but was yet again revived and was doing quite well otherwise. Over sudden, about 9 or 10 days ago she started getting really bloated. I took her to the vet again last Monday, who said that her heart murmur level was already 6 of 6. He did some blood work, took x-rays, gave her some Lasix and other shots, an oxygen therapy for about 7 hours, and increased (yet again) dosages of meds. The following day (Tuesday) she seemed a little better, but by Wednesday she was bloated again. I took her to the vet again, who drained the fluids from her belly and said that she should be ok for 4-5 days. Unfortunately, she started getting bloated the very next day and began breathing really hard. She completely stopped eating and I noticed that she lost a lot of weight. She seemed very, very uncomfortable without being able to breathe well, so much so, that last Saturday I took her to the emergency vet somewhere else (our regular vet is not open on weekends). When we got there, she was immediately placed in an oxygen chamber, as the staff noticed she was having a hard time breathing. The vet recommended a 24hr oxygen therapy. She also recommended a cardiologist visit and a change of meds. She also said my girl only had weeks to live even if she had all of the above done to her. At that point, I have made a decision to end her suffering. I felt that if the first oxygen therapy didn't help, the second one might not be effective either. I also wanted to spare her the frequent visits to the vet, as they were very stressful to her, especially that she feared strangers (she was a rescue that was abused in the past). I only wanted to extend her life if it was a good quality life, and I felt that might not be the case. When they took my girl out of the oxygen chamber, she was breathing even worse, I thought she was going to suffocate. The was the deciding moment for me to have her put down.

Now that my girl is gone, I feel guilty that I decided to end her life. All kinds of thoughts go through my head. Did I make the right decision? For once, the oxygen therapy she had was only 7 hrs, the second one was supposed to be 24 hrs. Maybe the 24 hr therapy would've been more effective? Maybe different meds would've worked? I was reading somewhere on these boards that someone bought an extra month of good quality life for their dog doing the 24 hr oxygen therapy. Maybe I should've done the same? The worst part is that I had discussions about my dog's condition with 3 different vets (2 from our vet clinic plus the emergency vet) and NONE of them at any point suggested even mentioned euthanasia for my dog. Wouldn't they if there was no hope? I am upset and confused. On one hand I am glad that she's no longer struggling and that her death was quick and painless, but on the other hand I feel that I possibly robbed my girl off of a few weeks of good quality life, granted that her breathing could be put under control. She didn't seem to be in pain otherwise at all. She was responsive and wagging her tail to the end.

Please let me know what you think. I am kindly asking for constructive responses. I want to know the truth, even if it hurts.[/quote



I just read your post and can completely relate to the doubts and guilt you are having. I just had to put my 14 year old american eskimo to sleep for a similar set of symptoms and I have such regrets and doubts. I felt that I was highly, and inappropriately, influenced by the ER vet that night. Seeing my Misha being held by the vet tech with her mouth wide open and her eyes bulging out made me panic and give in to the power of suggestion of the vet. Afterward I couldn't believe what I had done and I started re-evaluating the situation: Would she have gotten better? Was she seemingly worse because she was scared, thirsty, overheated and uncomfortable (from the way the vet tech was holding her)? The truth is, the answer to those questions are "possibly" and maybe even "probably." But, unfortunately, due to the pressure to make a quick decision, I'll never know the truth and I will always harbor guilt and doubt.

In retrospect, much of of my guilt and doubt stemmed from the feeling that my value system for how she should pass had been violated. The vets, especially ER vets, don't know your dog the way you do and they don't know you or your value system. They should never recommend euthanasia because as an owner, you will know when you think she has had enough and where is a comfortable environment for her to pass. Vets need to be able to offer dog hospice advice as to how you can take her home and allow her to either get better or die comfortably from home over a natural course so that you feel you might have done everything and not harbor guilt or doubt. They should offer home oxygen for dogs.

Unfortunately, most vets don't and, that being said, it does sound like your dog was very sick and was struggling. Respiratory distress is one of the few crises that compel us to make fast decisions on behalf of our dogs. Given the options and prognosis that were presented, you definitely made the same decision all of us who love our dogs would have made. It was the right decision given the circumstances. As I said, the current veterinary system is still very disjointed and archaic regarding end of life care in dogs. I feel they should present us with end of life options right from the start of the terminal diagnosis, so that we have time to make decisions without pressure and after having fully explored our options. This way, we might not have to suffer through the doubts of there having been another way. Yes, dogs live in the moment and don't fear death and we have to make decisions for them as to when it's time to euthanize. However, our personal value systems as to how to end it and when deserve to be integrated into the equation well in advance so that we don't suffer needlessly after they are gone. Hopefully, as time distances you from the passing of your beloved dog, the pain of the doubt and guilt will subside and the positive memories will take over. If you are finding that you are getting "stuck" in the end of life moments, use happy photos or videos of her as medicine to remove bad thoughts and insert good ones instead. It doesn't change the past, but it helps you cope with the reality better. You can also write her letters, set up a "shrine" like memorial where she used to sleep (lots of happy photos, candles, locks of fur, videos, etc.) Move a comfortable chair near where she used to sleep and do some of your activities while being in her space and looking at her pictures. Allow yourself the time to grieve and ask questions, but remember, in the end, there is no "right" answer under the circumstances you were in and that, it is true that you did the best you could under those circumstances. It's been a month now, and I miss Misha terribly and still wake up every morning with a pit in my stomach, but I am slowly trying to forgivie myself for not being able to find a proven best solution for the acute life problems presented to me on the day she died.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:00 PM
 
3 posts, read 28,027 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabina02 View Post
My 12 year old, 21lb mixed breed dog was euthanized yesterday. I am completely devastated, especially that I'm not sure if I made the right decision. She was diagnosed with CHF about 18 months ago, but showed no symptoms until April of this year when she began coughing. Putting her on Enalapril and Lasix had significantly reduced her coughing and she was doing fine for w while. She seemed to be getting tired more easily, but other than that she was a happy, perky girl. Then one day in July, she got excited and fainted. My husband had to revive her. I rushed her to the vet, who had increased the dosages of meds she was already taking, adding Vetmedin to the mix. Then in October she fainted twice more, but was yet again revived and was doing quite well otherwise. Over sudden, about 9 or 10 days ago she started getting really bloated. I took her to the vet again last Monday, who said that her heart murmur level was already 6 of 6. He did some blood work, took x-rays, gave her some Lasix and other shots, an oxygen therapy for about 7 hours, and increased (yet again) dosages of meds. The following day (Tuesday) she seemed a little better, but by Wednesday she was bloated again. I took her to the vet again, who drained the fluids from her belly and said that she should be ok for 4-5 days. Unfortunately, she started getting bloated the very next day and began breathing really hard. She completely stopped eating and I noticed that she lost a lot of weight. She seemed very, very uncomfortable without being able to breathe well, so much so, that last Saturday I took her to the emergency vet somewhere else (our regular vet is not open on weekends). When we got there, she was immediately placed in an oxygen chamber, as the staff noticed she was having a hard time breathing. The vet recommended a 24hr oxygen therapy. She also recommended a cardiologist visit and a change of meds. She also said my girl only had weeks to live even if she had all of the above done to her. At that point, I have made a decision to end her suffering. I felt that if the first oxygen therapy didn't help, the second one might not be effective either. I also wanted to spare her the frequent visits to the vet, as they were very stressful to her, especially that she feared strangers (she was a rescue that was abused in the past). I only wanted to extend her life if it was a good quality life, and I felt that might not be the case. When they took my girl out of the oxygen chamber, she was breathing even worse, I thought she was going to suffocate. The was the deciding moment for me to have her put down.

Now that my girl is gone, I feel guilty that I decided to end her life. All kinds of thoughts go through my head. Did I make the right decision? For once, the oxygen therapy she had was only 7 hrs, the second one was supposed to be 24 hrs. Maybe the 24 hr therapy would've been more effective? Maybe different meds would've worked? I was reading somewhere on these boards that someone bought an extra month of good quality life for their dog doing the 24 hr oxygen therapy. Maybe I should've done the same? The worst part is that I had discussions about my dog's condition with 3 different vets (2 from our vet clinic plus the emergency vet) and NONE of them at any point suggested even mentioned euthanasia for my dog. Wouldn't they if there was no hope? I am upset and confused. On one hand I am glad that she's no longer struggling and that her death was quick and painless, but on the other hand I feel that I possibly robbed my girl off of a few weeks of good quality life, granted that her breathing could be put under control. She didn't seem to be in pain otherwise at all. She was responsive and wagging her tail to the end.

Please let me know what you think. I am kindly asking for constructive responses. I want to know the truth, even if it hurts.
It is always a difficult to decision to make - but from what you posted, it sounds like you did the right thing. We put down our 16.5 year old Maltese only 3 months ago, and for a month afterwards I found myself asking the question repeatedly: was there anything else that we could have done? His quality of life was poor and it was highly unlikely he would recover.

Your beautiful companion is at peace. You did the humane thing and ended her suffering.
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