This community is for discussions relating to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Please note, this community is not monitored by professionals, rather questions will be answered by other members of the community.
Is it possible to get PTSD from the death of a pet?
I was just wondering...because there was a website which claimed that you can, indeed, get PTSD from the death of a pet. There was a news agency that kind of made fun of the website's claim, saying that there is this "trauma gold rush" in which everyone claims that anything can cause PTSD.
This is just my opinion, and I posted this thread to see how far from the truth my opinion is, but I believe that you can get PTSD from the death of a pet. I witnessed the euthanasia of my 10 year old dog late in 2013, and although it didn't cause me any PTSD, it was not pleasant, and I still feel a bit sad nowadays.
I don't want to offend anyone, or say that ANYTHING can cause PTSD. I'm just saying that, in my opinion, you can get PTSD from witnessing the death of a pet, especially a pet as complex as a dog. But once again, I'd like to see whether or not my opinion is true.
the best thing I can do is lend support to you I have PTSD from combat im sorry you had to go through that I have two dogs I love the most one is near life expectancy I dunno what I WOULD DO AFTER THAT
I'd even say an acute stress disorder can't be caused by simply the death of an awesome, great animal.
The key to these anxiety spectrum disorders such as PTSD is TRAUMA. Trauma is what causes such huge damage to the patient - and in medicine, the word "trauma" means something that really threatens the patient's life, sense of safety, etc. it's. Not just something that is sad or difficult to go through. It was really horrible for me to lose my first pet, and it was also really terrible when I was hit by a car - but what was traumatic was being a six year old and having my dad threaten to beat my head in with a hammer and dragging me by my hair across e kitchen floor. Does that help to form a distinction?
I'm so sorry for your pet, but don't worry about PTSD. Everyone likes to throw that term around nowadays and it's unfortunate for everyone. If you're very bothered by it after a month or so, please go talk to a counselor or therapist....you may be surprised as to how much that can help!
On March 1st 2010 at around 7pm, I got a call saying someone had found my dog, unfortunately she had been hit by a car. The guy brought my dog over and instantly when I grabbed her, all i could smell was blood. He said she looked like a possum on the side of the road, so people kept driving past. We got in the car and drove immediately to the 24 hour vet. The smell of blood was so strong, I will never forget the smell. She licked my face the whole car trip so I was so certain she would be fine. When we got to the vet I handed her over and as I did I noticed her leg was not completely attached to her hip. I looked away and ran out of the vet surgery to the car. An hour later my mum came in with "that look". My dog was still alive and we were going to have to put her down. When we went back inside we held her tiny paws as the vet injected her. I watched her looking at me then all of a sudden her look was distant. She was gone. I screamed so loud, i had to be basically carried out. We took her lifeless body for a drive to my grandmothers to be burried. I never stopped hugging her that whole drive. I refused to let them bury her, i kept saying she might come back to life. Eventually we did bury her and I didn't speak for a whole week. I never let go of the towel for that week either, even though it was covered in her blood. This happened over 4 years ago, I was very mentally stable prior to this but the trauma of the entire experience caused me to suffer depression and anxiety, which i'm still battling. I still have nightmares and wake up crying my eyes out. I am shaking so hard while writing this. Whenever someone mentions dogs being put down or I smell blood, i completely shut down and go into shock. So if someone says you can't get PTSD from a pet, they are naive as hell. I am diagnosed by two doctors as having severe ptsd from this experience.
I had a dog I lost to parvo. I didn't witness his euthanasia. I was too busy cleaning up all the blood off of my floor and bed while my sister took him to the vet because that's how serious it was. I didn't see him again. Now I'm taking care of one of his puppies and everyday i tell myself "i could have done better" even though I had nothing to do with him getting parvo. Shortly after his death i started having dreams about killing people. In one of these dreams I even died and went to heaven, where I saw him. I think about it everyday.i can't stop thinking about it. I've tried and tried, but I can't. It always comes back eventually. Anyone who says you can't get ptsd from losing a pet is a liar. Soldiers get it from losing buddies, not from killing or having their life endangered. So how is it any different from when someone loses a pet?
I lost my cat yesterday. I guess one immediately tries to deal with this grief by finding others who understand. Who have gone through the same. I think however that some do not understand, as they have not experienced a real trauma. Those should be kept far.
In the morning, he woke me as usual. We went through the usual routine of him walking all over me to let me know I should get up and prepare his meal. He was still his mellow self, we played a bit, the only unusual thing was that he didn't touch his food. As I was at home all day, I could see how he started having diffculty breathing, which I first thought was just a cold or allergy. By the time I reached the vet, he was choking. On the vet's table, his tongue was turning purple from lack of oxigen, I have never seen an animal going this berserk, with fear in his eyes and frantically trying to survive. The vet's assistant panicked and couldn't hold him down properly, I jumped in, he was spasming like a tuna caught in a net. I was ordered to put him in "force" cage, where I saw his horrible and violent death, by suffocation.
I have heard of people puking themselves by simply watching a video of a strange animal somewhere in the world, dying. I had to watch the most precious and giving soul in my life die, without being able to help him in his agony in any way. I have no partner, children, the rest of the family is emotionally analphabetic to say the least. It so happens that this creature was like a gift of love, the irony of fate for all the messed up relationships without lasting love or respect. He was my soulmate, my family instead of family, the only soul in this world that accepted, yes, LOVED me for what I am, unconditionally. And he was was free of all prejudice, hate, but full of affection and intuition to help me in my life when I had it hard. And he only asked for some food for that.
If anyone denotes the sadness of such a loss and assumes that this loss cannot resemble the loss of an other loved one, that person is inexperienced and should not be giving advice on this, very serious topic, that can traumatize people. I hope (s)he will never have to live through what I had to yesterday.
I think that the extent of the loss is much related to the condition of passing, the bond, or other relations in life and probably more things I am not qualified to understand. But I do know, that this feeling of loss I only felt before when I lost my mother and that was a long time ago. But it didn't pass the way I hoped it would, it left me scarred and changed me foregood, not for the better.
I share in the grief of all who have to go through this torment, in whatever way. I am truly sorry for your loss and hope that this dark tunnel we are in will have a light some day. I envy those who are stronger than me and feel optimism on its passing.
I feel so much of what you feel and felt...It's been almost 2 years since I lost the most beautiful soul, my best friend Felix. I cried, ok like a baby almost everyday for months and i'm having one of those days right now.
I know he is happy in the afterlife, we found a way to communicate I never thought was possible but I still miss my baby. I got another cat so my son wouldn't think all pets die young (he'd lost 2 cats at his dads and then our Felix who was only 4 1/2yrs old)..I begged Felix for a healthy cat so my son wouldn't fear loving so deeply as we had. Our new cat is a handful and hasn't slept without waking us by 6 am at the latest in over a year. He's a sweet baby and I love him but I think the trauma has left me in a constant state of fear, he has pica and mild asthma-he coughs occasionally and my heart sinks...I even had his blood tested to make sure he didn't have hyperthyroid or anything else and i'm disabled and couldn't afford it but i'm living in fear daily and I know that's not good. I need some coping skills and cant seem to find any help but I don't want to make my fears into a self fulfilling profesy(sp?). God love you and all our fur babies..
I found this link as I'm sure all of you did, feeling that the loss of my dear cat Dickens at just 6 1/2, has indeed resulted in a form of ptsd. My previous cat Oliver also died young at 5 1/2. In the last 20 years of cats in my life I have had 4 pts and 1 hit by a car. I can clearly remember every horrible moment of these 'traumatic' experiences. This latest one has done me in. I can't sleep, barely functioning, filled with dread and panic. Certainly what I am experiencing can be attributed to stages of grief but I question it has gone beyond that. My behaviour is manic as I either try to process the whole thing or desperately try to control it around others which makes it even worse. I am considering therapy if for no other reason than to have someone listen to me before I implode. I am filled with sorrow, hate and mistrust of the whole system of pet care and of course myself for not being able to save him. The what ifs are killing me. Pet loss and euthanasia are hugely traumatic. Some soldiers get it and some don't. This 'soldier' does.
Absolutely. I lost 2 of my senior cats this year within 5 months. They were the sweetest loves...with me through everything. Its the worst feeling ever. Each time going to work, having to hide from tearing up. My boss had the nerve to minimize the loss and my coworkers dont like cats. I was so disgusted, I resigned from that employer.
Yes, I think it is possible. Over the summer this year right after I moved into my new house I witnessed my dog being attacked by another dog. I am younger. I was the only one home and so me and my new neighbor had to take her back to my house and try to stop the bleeding. We stopped and my mom arrived at the house. We took her to an emergency vet. I held her the Whole way there. She was really alert and was licking my hands on the way there but when were about halfway there her breathing began to slow. She made it to the vet but by the time we got there she had already lost too much blood. She died at the vet that day. It has been a couple months since the incident and I have nightmares that basically replay that day over again and again. Sometimes I just will randomly start replaying everything I did that day in my head. I can't be around big dogs with little dogs anymore because I keep on thinking the big dog will hurt the little dog. Even though no one blames me I still feel a snse of guilt about what happened that day. I feel like I am the cause of my dog dying. So yes I think it is completely possible to develop PTSD from a pet dying.
I am a 49 year old man who has sobbed like a baby after losing my best friend Buster a 17 year old ginger Tom, he was a rescue cat found in a carrier bag only a few days old. he chose us to be his adoptive parents and we loved , cared and spoit him for 17 amazing years. He gave us unconditional love, knew when we were poorly and comforted us through bad times. he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which we thought we had under control for around 5 months , he then got a severe kidney infection and we had to make the heartbreaking decision to put him to sleep, to take away the pain he was suffering. im writing this 4 months 22 days after we said goodbye and im still suffering heartache, the feeling of " could I of done more" I have short temper and no patience at all, the complete opposite to how I was. I believe I am suffering from PTSD as many of you are. I feel for all of your loses and wish you peace and comfort.
I wish nothing but for those who lost beloved pets peace of mind and comfort.
I adopted my cat when he was around 2 months old. He was my first cat. He never scratched me or bit me. He lived just over 10 yrs. I lost my him to f'n cancer late 2015. It all happened so fast. I blame myself for not seeing any signs of his illness before it was too late. Animals are so good at hiding any pain or discomfort. When the vet broke the news to me that my cat had cancer and it was bad, because it had spread so much, I knew my worst fears were about to happen. He may have lived a month or more, I don't know. But I do know his quality of life would have been bad and he would suffer. I could not allow him to suffer. The vet recommended euthanasia and with all the medical results and tests that led up to this I knew there was nothing that could be done. Such a helpless feeling. My heart and soul were crushed beyond anything I ever went through. There are no words to convey the loss and void in my life. It has been nearly 2 months and the images of that dreadful day still haunt me. I was a coward... I did not witness the euthanasia. I asked the vet would my cat know I was there. He said probably not because he was going to give him a sedative before I said my 'goodbyes' and that once the sedative kicked in he would be out of it and would not know I was there. I know I was a coward. I felt traumatized so much that I knew if I witnessed his last breath or however that scene would have played out that I would have crumbled into pieces upon the veterinary hospital floor.
I have to live with that choice I made and it ain't easy. I am left with the image of my cat, eyes still open and awake, being in a towel and carried away by a vet assistant to be euthanized. This is the point in my message where I am breaking down with tears just rolling down my face. I knew my cat would not live forever but I thought I had more years. I always thought that perhaps my cat would be one of those who lived to be over 20. I am sure I am rambling and my thoughts are disjointed. I don't even know if when I click on "Post A Comment" below this text box if my message will post or not because I have not signed up here... yet it allows me to type this. I debate internally with myself that life is full of loss and there are people out there who are going through much worse things than I did and I should just man up and move on with my life. Sure life goes on but the sense of loss is enormous. I was never religious. Spiritual I guess with the belief of something more. But my cat's death has rocked my entire foundation of beliefs and have made me rethink many things in which I adhered to. I could ramble on but all I can say is that from my personal experience of losing a loved animal the degree to which it can affect people is different for everyone. For me it has been devastating. I'm not the same person I was since the loss of my cat. He was my everything. Hoping others who have gone through similar losses find the strength to carry on as best they can. I am thinking about adopting a cat because there are many who really need adopting. But I am not sure when or if I will ever be able to find the strength to do that. Almost every thing I do and when I look at around my place it reminds me of my boy. I still have many of his things in the same places they were before his death. So much more to say but for those who have read thus far, thank you and I hope you find comfort.
I am having PTSD over the tragic loss of my cat, Batman. He was, and I believe, still is a gentle, fat and happy soul in the afterlife of supernatural peace. I believe I will be with him again when I enter into the afterlife that is not tangible here and transcends all human understanding. I found the following words of wisdom and comfort and I want to share them with every grieving soul that suffers the loss of a dear companion. "It may feel intolerable now, BUT YOU WILL SURVIVE. The day will come when the softness of sweet memories will bring warm smiles of recollection. We are resilient and must face the prospect of death throughout our lives, but are never fully prepared when it takes our loved ones. The agony and intensity of grief responses following pet loss can surprise even those who anticipate the significance of the loss. Be patient. Be kind. Consider this: Would you have rather this relationship never entered your life? Was it worth every tear you now shed? The answer to this question can bring acceptance and surrender to the entire experience of sharing your life with an animal companion. It is worth everything." Let your soul be at rest. thinkwithyourheart
February 21, 2016
I find myself on this page reading about the pets because I came here looking for answers. My sweet rat terrier died last week and I still can't seem to grieve properly, if there is such a thing. I cleaned ferociously after her death, leaving not one trace anywhere that she had been in the house. Maybe that made it worse - I don't know. I had time to prepare since she had been ill with seizures since last spring and had to be put on medicine for that and for her heart. She was having accidents in the house and muscle fasciculations in her legs. We gave her the best life we could and pampered her like a queen but most of all we loved her. I held her for hours that evening while she was trying to breathe. I was selfish not wanting to take her to be put down.
I haven't been able to sit still all week at my job and I work from home. I go sit on the couch and curl up in a ball and my lab cuddles with me. My stomach knots up. She's gone, is all I can think sometimes.
It IS trauma because you are watching it happen, there's nothing you can do to help them but hold them and tell them it's all right and you love them.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.