Comment on Pet loss and self-forgiveness by Edo Solomon.
Thank you very much for this important article.
Sending my love to everyone who googled this topic and found this page.
Iv’e been grieving for 2 years already for the death of my 14 yo beagle-lab. There was a chain of mistakes made by me at the end. It was not just a momentary natural and forgivable lack of attention as many described here but ongoing errors, one after the other, all made by me.
In April 2020 Sam started to have a cough. A few partial coughs like something is stuck and then – 4th or 5th was a complete cough like whatever was stuck got clear.
I took him to the vet. After describing the problem and without looking closely at a my dog, the vet said he needs to have an x-ray under anesthesia and a blood test. I told our vet that before causing any discomfort or risk (from anesthesia) to my old dog I wish he would rule out the possibility that a syrup or some other easy treatment can’t cure him. The vet said that the only procedure that is relevant is the one he suggested.
So I took my dog to get a second opinion.
I went to the vet who was the tutor of my current vet, over 10 years ago. I explained how I wanted to cause my dog the least discomfort possible. He said that x-ray should be done but no need for anesthesia or blood test. I agreed. After check up he prescribed steroids. It was working, the cough stopped. But 2 and a half months under the medication and Sam was losing muscle mass rapidly. Shocked by his appearance I stopped giving him the steroids immidietly(!!) Soon after he stopped eating. I went to the vet and he ran a blood test, my boy’s liver was in bad condition and the options were to do a complex treatment which would require a daily visit to the clinic and somewhat unpleasant treatment or to euhanize him. I asked the vet what he would do if it was his own dog and he said the second option would be best. I agreed.
I felt almost nothing when he was receiving the lethal injections. I made myself so prepared for his passing away that it felt like I was watching the event from a distance and not actually involved.
When I arrived home, I realized what a thing I did. I’m devastated since then. I have flashbacks of those final days and the dreadful mistakes I made.
1. Not allowing him to have a proper diagnose.
2. Not being aware about the importance of a blood test at senior age.
3. Giving him steroids without googling and checking properly all the side effects and risks.
4. Stopping the medication suddenly (!) Without consulting the vet.
5. Putting him to sleep.
I don’t know how I will ever forgive myself.