U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Rainbow Bridge
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-17-2013, 11:50 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 178,951 times
Reputation: 101

Advertisements

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.

Last edited by Sabina02; 11-17-2013 at 11:59 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-18-2013, 12:26 AM
 
Location: FL
1,119 posts, read 1,924,298 times
Reputation: 1466
I think you are a kind, compassionate person and did all you possibly could for your beloved girl and made a difficult decision. I think second guessing yourself will only cause you pain, what you need now is support and kindness.

The vets probably didn't mention it because it's such a difficult decision, just like it is for human doctors - their business is to save lives and it's difficult for healers to say they can't heal, and sometimes it's difficult to have that conversation with loved ones. I work in psych, death and letting go are very difficult for everyone even people in the medical profession who deal with it frequently.

I think it would have been more difficult and maybe even cruel to have put your girl though weeks of treatment for uncertain benefit, you can't know that the treatment would have worked but you DO know that it would have caused her anxiety, as did her illness. All cardiac patients have some anxiety, not being able to breathe is horrifying.

I hope you have support and soon feel you made the right decision for your self and your girl, reading your post I'm convinced you did. I hope your memories of her help you in your loss.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2013, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Sloooowcala Florida
1,393 posts, read 2,829,998 times
Reputation: 1212
It sounds like you did the right thing. I know it hurts, but just remember that you took action before she really began to suffer, and for her, that is a good thing...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2013, 07:02 AM
 
795 posts, read 4,197,811 times
Reputation: 992
Sabina02 -- Not sure, but I think I might be the poster you were referring to who used the 24+ hour oxygen therapy to achieve an extra 31 days with my shih tzu, Barnaby. When he went into acute failure the second time, I unfortunately had to let him go.

I will tell you the truth about this -- I STILL miss him terribly and question myself constantly about his euthanasia. Could I have had a day more with him if I had waited? Hours? Would it have been better to have let him die naturally?

In his case, he was scared of the vet's office, so his adrenaline kicked in when he recognized their facility. This masked his heart failure (and confused the he** out of me as to why he looked better there than at home and in the car when I could clearly see he was dying). When I reasoned through it with the vet, I knew I couldn't take him home because the adrenaline would wear off and then we'd be back where we started and I'd just have to bring him back in again... and he'd be even more scared.

It was TERRIBLE because he looked like he was still fighting, and my philosophy had always been as long as he was fighting, I was fighting for him (and even when he wasn't fighting, I still was!).

My point with telling you this story is that no matter what extreme measures you take, when you have a dog who's in acute heart failure, they are preparing to leave you. By the time you get to the point of the first oxygen cage, you are literally buying time with them, and that time is usually short.

What I tell myself with Barnaby is, in saving his life with the oxygen cage the first time he went into acute heart failure, I, in turn, had to make a hard and ugly decision about ending it the second time he went into heart failure. I asked for and was granted the most beautiful gift and then something terrible was asked of me in return. Give... and take.

In my opinion, it sounded like you treated your girl in the most loving, caring, and knowledgable way you could. When it comes to euthanasia, I think there is always something to second guess. And for many of us, there is so much remorse.

For me, personally, logically I KNOW I did the right thing. My heart says I am the worst traitor.

(P.S. Thinking about Barnaby's last tail wag will make me cry to this day. Anytime, anyplace, in front of anyone. And I am not a crier.)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2013, 08:42 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
20 posts, read 178,951 times
Reputation: 101
Thank you for all your responses. Yes, I was referring to you barndog when mentioning the 24 hr oxygen therapy that worked for 31 days. Today after work I'll stop by Katie's regular vet's office to the return pills that I have left. Last Monday, I bought a two month supply. Little did I know that she was gonna be gone 5 days later. They gave me one month supply initially, but I asked for a two month. I guess it was a wishful thinking on my part... :'( I will talk to the vet today and I will ask him if he thinks I made the right decision.

Why does this hurt so much? I am devastated. I have not slept or eaten since Katie's passing. I can't take it. She would've been with us for 4 years and 4 months today. She was wagging her tail to the very end, even when I was saying my last goodbyes to her. This makes it even harder to bear.

R.I.P. Katie [*]

2001 - 11/16/2013

This was Katie in 2009:




And Katie last Saturday morning, the day she passed away:


Last edited by Sabina02; 11-18-2013 at 09:55 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2013, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
26,029 posts, read 19,136,696 times
Reputation: 30988
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 used to work in a vet's office. At no time were we ever to suggest euthanasia. Just because they didn't, doesn't mean they didn't think about it. It's up to the pet parent to bring that up and make that decision....that's how it was where I used to work. Maybe they had the same policies?

As for guilt....girl....come on. We ALL go through that. I'm still trying to blame myself for my cat's death back at the end of August. I've done a pretty good job of convincing myself that it was entirely my fault, no matter what people said. Oh, for a day or two I felt a little relief thinking that maybe it wasn't me, but hey, give me enough time alone to think, and I started in on myself again to the point that there is no way anyone will convince me otherwise, now.

Even when we have to put them down, we always wonder. Was it the right time? Should I have waited one. more. day? Maybe this, maybe that, but what if, how about this, have we tried that....you cannot do that to yourself. (Easier said than done, I know. Boy do I know.)

From an outsider's view, you did the right thing. Your dog was suffering. That's no way to live. You ended her pain and misery. You did what you thought was best because you loved her. She knows you loved her. And I'm sure you didn't just say, "Yah, take her out" and you then turned heel and walked out of the hospital....I'm gonna bet that you were in hysterics, or crying, or extremely upset and your dog knew it. But I'll bet she was relieved, too.

Think about it for a minute: How would you feel if you were passing out, needing resuscitation, bloating, being put in oxygen chambers, being poked and prodded by strange people in cold, sterile rooms, over and over again? You lost weight, didn't want to eat, and just generally felt horrible....would you want someone to keep you alive, or would you like to be let go, knowing it was done out of kindness and love?

We always say, "you can't beat yourself up over this", but you will, I will, and so will others. In time, I hope that you will be able to see that you letting her go was the choice you thought was right, and that you arrived at that decision BECAUSE you loved her so much. You can never be wrong when you make a decision based on love.

She was wagging her tail to reciprocate those feelings towards you...and to let you know you were doing the right thing. I firmly believe that.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2013, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Area 51.5
13,893 posts, read 12,263,211 times
Reputation: 9129
Based on Post 1, you did the right thing.

Yes, you will beat yourself up over it. That's part of the grieving process.

But seriously, her quality of life was gone. There's no need to have prolonged her suffering. You gave her a good life and she loved you for it.

Best wishes to you. I've been there, done that too many times.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
14,785 posts, read 20,862,811 times
Reputation: 26860
I had a vet one time ask me "are you keeping that animal alive for you or for the animal ? " if it is for you then that is selfish and I made the decision right then and there to remember that the next time an animals health was in question and you did the right thing her health was failing and it was time .
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2013, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Area 51.5
13,893 posts, read 12,263,211 times
Reputation: 9129
Many years ago I had to euthanize a much loved dog. I had to do it on a weekend at an emergency vet, where I didn't know them and they didn't know me or my dog. The medical team didn't really give me any guidance as to what I should do. They gave me my options and the probable results.

When I got home, I looked at the receipt before I put it in a drawer. On it, the vet had written: Best Choice.

You have no idea how much comfort that gave me.

I believe you, too, made the Best Choice.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2013, 09:43 AM
 
795 posts, read 4,197,811 times
Reputation: 992
It helped me, too, to talk to the vet who performed the procedure in the days immediately after. At a certain point, I felt like I was going a little crazy from doubt, heartbreak, and remorse.

The vet did a great job of walking through what she had seen of his heart failure in that moment and why she felt the euthanasia was necessary. I knew in my heart that she wouldn't have put him down if he was healthy or even just had a fighting chance because he went to a very reputable clinic, and they knew that I had spent thousands and thousands of dollars fighting for him... but I still NEEDED to hear it.

I also had to speak to his regular vet to wrap up some things, and I asked them if they had seen the final report and their opinion. And they, too, agreed it was time to let him go.

I tell you this because there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking his opinion. Doing what you're doing right now -- asking here on the forum, seeking the vet's opinion -- will help you start to sort it out.

P.S. She was beautiful.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Rainbow Bridge
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top