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Avatar universal

My Heart is Broken, I Need Some Honest Advice

Hello,
My 13 year old beloved chihuahua was euthanised due to congestive heart disease and she had a lot of fluid on her lungs that was making her very uncomfortable. The vet said it would be best to put her to sleep without offering any other solution. I was in such an emotionally distraught state that I had to make that decision without thinking of any questions to ask. I have never witnessed an animal getting euthanised before and did not know what to expect. My sister asked for her to have a sedative as she has always been a nervous dog, however, the vet said "she would not need it". Then I had to witness the most traumatic event I have ever been through.

My dog screamed and screamed and the vet could not get the needle in properly. I could not hold her properly as the vet kept asking the nurse to hold her by the scruff of the neck because she was snapping at her which is not the way I would have liked her to go! There was blood coming out of her legs which I do not know if this was normal or not. Then the vet told us to leave while I cried and cried outside for 5 mins. I do not know why she asked us to leave or what she was doing in there but when I went back in, our dog was completely dead. The vet offered her apologies for what happened and said "she didn't suffer much" which was no comfort at all! I then had to walk out to pay for it!

I feel sick to the stomach as I had to witness the most gentle dog in the world die in complete fear and probable pain. She was never sick or hurt a day in her 13 year old life and I will never EVER get over it. Those last moments are all I can think about and I cannot go about daily activities without feeling faint. How do you get over something like this? And why didn't she give her a sedative when we specifically asked for it!
15 Responses
974371 tn?1424653129
I am SO sorry you and your dog had to through this!  Unfortunately, I have been down that road a number if times over the years with various pets.  Even when I had to use an ER Vet once, instead of my own Vet, the procedure was done as peacefully as possible.  

I would NEVER use that Vet again.  Even if the dog is upset, for whatever reason, there are ways to handle them, one being a muzzle.  My dogs and cats have always received a sedative if they were conscious and I have held every one.

At least your little one is no longer suffering so you have to find some comfort in that.

Going to court would probably serve no purpose but, even if you have Angie's List, I would tell of your experience.  I always put reviews on there fir other people to read (doctors, businesses, etc).  Some on this Forum may agree or disagree but those are my personal feelings.

There are some great pet support groups on the Internet.  It might do you some good to check out some of the pet bereavement sites.

Wish I could say something to ease your pain but know that we do understand.
Hugs to you
Avatar universal
I too would never walk in to that place again, and would tell everyone I know about what you went through.  It won't help you, but will help someone else considering going there for that procedure.  The whole procedure sounds like a horrible nightmare, it sounds like your vet was in a big hurry and couldn't take time for a simple request for a sedative. If it was me, I'd feel better by calling the vet and telling her off, but that's just me.
Avatar universal
I agree with the feedback you just got from Margot49 and lindapalm, and I am so sorry for what you went through.  Please accept my deepest condolences.  I hope that in the coming days and weeks, you can find peace.  
462827 tn?1333168952
Bless your heart.....I'm so sorry for you and your little one!  That said, I'd be good and pissed!!!! This Vet did everything wrong! Please tell me that you were not charged for this service....I agree w/Lindapalm..I'd have to go over or call and let her have it...Then, I'd file a complaint with the States Veterinary Association.....Although it wouldn't change how your girl was treated, it would make me feel a whole lot better!!

Please, accept my condolences on your loss.....I'm so sorry that stories have to end this way......Karla
Avatar universal
Thanks for your comments. It makes it a little easier to talk to people about it. Obviously nothing can change what happened now but I thought about ringing her up and talking about it however, it would just bring it all back for me and we just all want some peace. Either way she would just fob me off with some stupid excuse and I wouldn't have any come back.

Yes we were charged for it afterwards. I read up on that since and it says you should NEVER have to pay for euthanasia after the procedure has been performed for obvious traumatic reasons. You should pay beforehand. I didn't even have her blanket with me to comfort her and take her home in it because it was all decided so fast.

We have gone to this vet for a couple of years now and she always seemed to know what she's talking about but she clearly has a problem with empathy. I would have gone to a different vet of course but I don't drive and it is literally down the street. I have to rely on a driver to bring us and Pixie always panicked in the car so because she had a bad heart to begin with I didn't want to give her a heart attack by driving her around when she's always been scared of the car. I regret this now and wish I had risked bringing her somewhere else and getting a second opinion.

However, once I had brought her to the vet because of the bad heart, she told me that I wasn't to bring her to see anyone else as she needed to watch her progression herself because she had treated her before. I just don't understand why it had to happen this way. I feel like I am to blame and I shouldn't have gone through with it as I wasn't prepared and my dog probably sensed that I was scared too. Because Pixie and I had such a wonderful life together for 13 years without a day going by where she was sick or hurt, it makes it all the more difficult to accept how it ended.
Avatar universal
Please try not to blame yourself.  It wasn't your fault.  Pixie is waiting for you over the Rainbow Bridge.  She is happy, and she understands totally what happened.  Do you know the story of the Rainbow Bridge?
Avatar universal
http://petloss.com/rainbowbridge.htm
Avatar universal
Thanks for helping me feel a little better. I've never heard that story before it's really sweet. Made me tear up a bit. I just can't believe she is really gone after all this time. The house is so empty and silent and I keep seeing her everywhere. Our cat who is generally not very affectionate has really picked up on our sadness and it being vet cuddly and he just keeps crying into my face. He really misses her too. I wish I could talk to another vet about what happened but they require payment online. But fingers crossed one will read these posts and respond. Thank you so much for your lovely words. I don't think I can bare to go through this with another dog again.
Avatar universal
I can't read that story without crying, either.  As far as getting another dog, I invite you to not even try to make a decision about that right now.  Let some time pass, and let yourself grieve and heal.  To love is never a mistake.
Avatar universal
Thank you, skydnsr. It's always good to have support. Just the thought of going through this again whether it's a peaceful death or not is just too much to bear. But maybe in time I will feel differently. X
Avatar universal
Hello again. Can anyone tell me if it is normal for the dogs legs to bleed after the injection? I know this was probably due to this vet missing the vain a few times but I just wanted to know if anyone else experienced this? Her legs were bandaged before taking her home. Was this normal?
612551 tn?1450022175
I have limited experience, thank God, but I can tell you I stood by while the vet and an assistant did the injection in the dog's front leg.  It was a big Golden Retriever what weight perhaps 90 pounds, so a big dog.  

There was not blood that I saw and there was only one push to put the needle in.  The dog went limp without even a whimper and that was within a minute I will guess.  This was about 4 years ago, so my time line may be off a bit, but my memory is the process was very gentile and efficient.

I still feel bad about the loss of the dog and while there were three "family" members at the Vet's office I was the only one to stand by the dog as he went down. I felt my presence may have made it a little easier.

From what I read your vet did a very poor unprofessional job.. but I of course wasn't there so I can not know even in my mind/judgement the true answer.
974371 tn?1424653129
We all feel so bad that you had this traumatic experience, truly.  I assume the bleeding was from the vein being missed, not sure.  Sadly, I have had to send my share of animals to The Bridge over the years, have never seen bleeding but the procedures were always done humanely and as peaceful as possible.  The Vet community, in general, treats euthanasia much differently then they did years ago with more compassion and understanding of the emotions of those involved and the comfort of the animals.  Most Vets now, that I have dealt with, even send sympathy cards.
That being said, there is no way you can begin to blame yourself for this.  You were trying to do the best "you" could.  It was just unfortunate you were dealing with this Vet.  It could happen to any of us.  The main thing is, you know not to deal with this Vet again and have the ability to caution others.  
Actually, filing a complaint sounds like a good idea to me.

As for getting another dog, you will know if or when you may want another one.  Reality is, most of us will probably out live our pets so we have to go into ownership with our eyes open to that fact.  I have gone through having to put puppies down to young dogs to the old ones.  It is never easy but I have never regretted having any of them.  Oh, I have questioned myself too but you can only make the best decision you can at the time and each case was different.  

You must have taken very good care of your little one to have had her that long.  How lucky she was to have you.

You need to let yourself grieve and time will help you heal.  

Do a Google search for bereavement groups for dog owners, there are a number out there.  It often helps to talk to others that are dealing with these issues also.  Not to say you should not be posting here, but a specific group may be of help.  I can't look any up now but may have time later.

Hugs to you.

Avatar universal
Thanks for your comments. I'm just trying to make sense of things in my head at this stage. I couldn't find any answers so I was hoping someone might know. Obviously if this never happened with any if you, I know it was a botched job. She must have been in such pain right at the end. That woman was so cold hearted, she never even spoke to the dog. At least I've learned something from this. Thank you again for your help and your kind words. X
Avatar universal
You said you didn't want to confront your vet in person.  What if you sent her a letter telling her what you thought, and what a horrible job you think she did?  She probably won't respond, but I know I'd feel better telling her my opinion of how she handled things.  I really think she needs to hear it.
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