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
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?
Also I'm a male not a female don't know why it won't it won't let me change that.
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 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.
Two days ago I witnessed a dog being torn to pieces by another. I can't sleep, I'm having nightmares. I'm not afraid of dogs. I just keep hearing the screams and that helpless feeling. It's traumatizing me to the maximum. I Haven't had feelings like this since my best friend passed away-which took over two years for me to even resemble normalcy again. I can't stand these images and sounds in my head. I'm losing it.
Hi there. I just lost my beloved Siamese/Persian to a stomach mass and inflamed/blocked intestines. It was not officially diagnosed as cancer, because the only way for them to know for sure would have been to "open him up", and do a biopsy - but he had all of the signs, and the vet said it was almost certain. He was 11 years old. I decided not put him though the surgery, as the vet advised that the prognosis was "guarded at best". I understand why you could not witness the euthanasia. I had been a witness once before, with the cat that my ex and I had owned - I cried my eyes out, but there were three of us there. This time I was on my own, but I felt that I had to do that for him. He was brought to me in a towel, already sedated, with his little tongue sticking out. He was aware, though. I held him like a baby, and sang him his favorite song ("Somewhere", from West Side Story - that always seemed to soothe him). He made little "brrrrp!" noises after each line. Then he shut his eyes, and the vet administered the drugs. It was over in seconds. I immediately started shaking violently and went into shock. Don't even remember driving myself home. And I couldn't figure out why I felt okay when I got there. Again, shock. Then I looked in the cupboard where he always slept, which was of course empty, and I started just losing it, screaming "What have I done?" - even though the likelihood of recovery was very slim, and he would have suffered. Haven't been the same since (this was 3 days ago). I have an upset, clenching stomach, dry mouth, asthma, tingling scalp and numbness in my face and a "swimmy" feeling in my head (paresthesia). I'm not sleeping well (waking up with panic attacks), and can barely eat. That is textbook anxiety disorder, and yes, that is PTSD. Feeling a living being pass way in your arms is an intense trauma, especially when said being has been your constant companion for 11 years. I took an anti-anxiety med today, which seems to be helping (it alleviated the paresthesia). I now need to somehow reconcile and accept this new reality. He's not here. And I miss him. Soulshocker, please don't feel guilty - and don't second guess yourself - you did the best thing you could for your cat, and not bearing witness does not detract from the life and the love you gave him. So many cats end up in shelters, and a great many of them never have homes and are put down in their prime. Your cat was one of the lucky ones. He was loved. I wish you peace and comfort. .
I wouldnt say NO...I would say it possible though likely not very common. I have Complex PTSD...some Doctors/researchers dont even believe IT exists...I know from personal experience that anyone who has to witness trauma can have Post Traumatic Stress...whether it becomes to the point of being a Disorder would be the question I guess.
Also how a pet is killed could have a lot to do with their response to the trauma.
Also as someone with Complex PTSD (managing better now but at the time was not managed) I had to have my dog put down after 5 1/2 yrs because his kidney disease had started to cause him suffering which I did not want him to suffer...I had had other pets that had passed away naturally in my life but I feel like because I worked so hard to keep im alive that it affected me more when he had to be put to sleep. He was just like family to me. I still miss him...It still breaks my heart...but my point is that people who are predipositioned to PTSD or have PTSD may find that they deal with/are affected by this kind of trauma more intensely.
I'm glad I found this thread. I felt guilty feeling so traumatized by my dogs death because people are traumatized by way worse. I keep trying to deny that it's given me ptsd because I feel almost unworthy of having it in a sense, due to it being a veteran type label. But I lost my dog to cancer. Yes, I knew the time would come but you can never fully prepare yourself for that. She was my childhood dog and one morning, I got up, let her out, and she was just fine. Later in the day, she started breathing heavy and seemed half out of it. She appeared to be suffering and I felt so guilty for not having her put down. I feel she suffered and it's my fault, but I truly believed I'd know when it's time to have her put down, however, her death seemed to come on suddenly as she didn't seem like she was any worse than the month before. I was home all alone when her breathing started becoming more labored. Slime was coming from her mouth and I was so disturbed. I wanted to stay by her and comfort her but I was so distraught over seeing her that way. I called every vet in the area at 9pm to see if they did after hour emergencies. I didn't want her to suffer as the cancer made her throat lymphnodes swell so. Much that she was slowly suffocating right in front of. Me and none of them would do it. None of them did emergency hours. So I sat next to her, watching her struggle to breathe over a period of about 5 hours. This dog had been my best friend and I couldn't do. Anything to ease her pain. Eventually, she let out one last big breath and she was gone and I watched it. I watched her slip away in such a tortured way and I could so nothing to help. I then had to move her to the garage until I could take her to be cremated the next day. I felt like it was inhumane to put her out there but it was the only place to keep her somewhat cold. Her body was so stiff that it just killed me inside. The next day, she smelled so bad that I wanted to cry for my baby. Now I can't sleep. I constantly think about it. I walk into the back hall when she had died, and i immediately flash back to that moment and relive it over and over again. Sometimes I think I see her off the corner of my eye. I freak myself out all the time because of it. I cant get the sound of her rough breathing out of my head. I can't forget her face after she was gone. It didn't even look like her. It was no longer the same lively loveable dog that I had been so close to. It was just an inanimate object and I felt sickened to. The core that she looked that way. I keep thinking "God do I have ptsd from this?" and then I think I'm out of place to even think that because how on earth could something like a pets death, traumatized a person. But now thanks to these stories, I feel like it's very well possible to be traumatized from this and I feel a tad bit more normal.
My dog just got hit by a car. I feel like it was my fault I let her outside because she was getting better at not taking off. She stayed near the house but then bolted down the side walk. She got past one street ok but the se ond street the busiest of the two she ran across and made it halfway and got hit by a car. The scene keeps replaying in my head and I don't know what to do I feel bad because I know that I caused this to happen.
Yes, people are emotionally attached to their pets for comfort, release of stress, and security. I was so attached to pet bird Frankie. Frankie was my 5 year old cockateil. I loved Frankie. I work in a highly stressful and life threatening job in Law Enforcement.I can&#39;t tell anybody how I feel. Each day Frankie would wait for for me to come home and wanted to be petted and held. He provided comfort, release of stress, and security for me as I sit quietly with him. One weekend my husband and I flew to New York for a vacation and had a crappy flight to and back from New York. When I got back home I was excited to see Frankie again. When I got home I found Frankie dead tangled in his toy. I saw blood on the walls, ceiling, floor, and on my other 2 birds. I saw thousands of Frankies feathers on the floor as he struggled for his life. Through my job I have saw many bad things.That's my job keep it professional get the job done. I saw Frankie my heart broke. I cried. I was devastated. I didn't sleep for 3 days straight just cried thinking of what he must of went through. He needed my help and I wasn't there to help him.I felt bad and felt guilty.I think of Frankie often. I will always miss my Frankie. I was lucky to have him in my life.
I believe it is possible to get PTSD from the death of a pet. 3 months ago I witnessed my dog Phoebe die in my mother's arms. She was hit by a car and my sister came rushing in with Phoebe's little dying body in her arms. At first we thought she was going to make it and I was preparing to rush her to the vet ER. But then I looked over and had seen my mother sobbing and cradling our dog's body in her arms. Blood was everywhere. Unable to do anything, my mom sat her body down and asked me to bag her up as she calmed my sister down. I've had nightmares and flashbacks ever since, especially because Phoebe's neck and ribs were broken and I felt all of it as I bagged her up. And now, three months later, just about any type of screaming can trigger memories. I can't even look at pictures of her or be remotely close to the spot she died in.
For me I believe you;re able to gain PTSD from the death of your pet thats traumatic. For me on December 22 2017 a little before that date I just found out my Lab had a special disease that is supposed to only go to cats, but with my luck it got her. She stopped eating, couldnt go the restroom,, anything. I knew she wasnt getting better so I asked to go to Big Bear and that was the last time she ran in the mountains and was free. It became December and on the 22 she got back from the vet and she wouldnt move so I slid her in my room with her bed and a minute later she stated to wheeze. I got a bad feeling and jumped off my bed and grabbed her holding her she started to cough up blood and her stomach acid at the same time. I literally held my dog while she died and after that I feel like I became a different person. Every time I hear my step moms dog cough or wine while sleeping, my heart starts to race, I cant breathe, I start to cry and I get pictures of my dog dying in my hands in my head. Its not pleasant. Or even hearing a song will make me have a panic attack. Its not fun having this happen to you when your so young.
I developed ptsd from the death of my conure parrot mainly because I already have multiple disorders and it’s hard for me to interact with humans for that reason and my bird oddly enough knew everything about me from knowing what he did to make me happy to knowing when I’m going into an anxiety attack and knowing what to do to help me with it. He would even sense my anxiety and Sreech until I picked him up so he could snuggle into my neck to console me and he definitely knew what he was doing because he would look me in the eye when I snapped out of it as if to ask if I was ok then when I would let him know I’m fine he would flip onto his back into my hand and be silly to make me laugh. Tonight the other bird that we have stretched his wing out the same way that max used to and I picked up Daniel and broke down. And of course when that happened I had my service dog and Daniel trying to help me which is good because animals are the only creatures that don’t make me feel alone. But anyway I should stop rambling about it so I can finally stop crying for the night.
Us humans develop intense attachments to animals. You can develop PTSD following the unexpected loss of a human partner, because - even if their death wasn't traumatic - the adjustment to life without them absolutely was. We are even more affected by the death of pets because we feel almost nothing but affection towards them for most of their lives. There's some annoyance, but we forgive them. We love our pets as unconditionally as we love young children, and the deaths of young children are almost always traumatic for the parents, regardless of the circumstances. This is part of why the death of pets is so traumatic: we treat them as our children.
Additionally, some people have pets as emotional support animals or as service animals, and these deaths are even more traumatic. These were dedicated companionships that were cut tragically short in the perspective of the human brain.