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Is it possible to get PTSD from the death of a pet?
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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.
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675718_tn?1449992146
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
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Avatar_f_tn
No.
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!
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Avatar_f_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
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?
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Avatar_f_tn
Also I'm a male not a female don't know why it won't it won't let me change that.
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Avatar_m_tn
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.
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Avatar_m_tn
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..
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Avatar_f_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
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.
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Avatar_m_tn
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.    
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