Still feel guilt over euthanasia

I guess the purpose of this post is to vent I don’t know.
I lost my lab/rottie mix Panda in April to hemangiomasarcoma. I didn’t even know he had it until he suddenly collapsed at home. I’ll save all the terrible details but after 6 hours and two ER vets he went rapidly down hill again after already coding once and at that point I let him go to stop the suffering because there was nothing we could do.

My guilt comes from the fact that I was in such shock and grief that I didn’t stay when they put him down. I had already been escorted out during the CPR after nearly collapsing and said my goodbyes after they had brought him back.
I just hope he didn’t think I abandoned him in his final moments. He deserved better. I always here of people staying till the bitter end and I couldn’t.

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Your dog wouldn’t have wanted you to remember him as he passed, but only the good memories. He knew your heart and that you loved him. So very sorry for your loss.:kissing_heart:


Are you certain that he regained consciousness? Full consciousness? Coding is a big deal and people that code typically don’t remember anything. Your pup loved you and went through a dramatic end where he was focusing inward. I’m not sure he would have been aware of your presence. You could ask the vets, if they are available.

I’m so sorry you went through that. We had a similar experience with our last GSD. Wonderful dog, but we had to race him to the dog ER for torsion. No reason could ever be identified for his tummy upset, but the twist was 360 degrees. He was in shock when they took him back and was put under for surgery soon afterward. We never saw him again. It was awful, but we know we gave him the best possible chance. He likely remembers the car ride, but was not aware of anything that happened after he went into shock. They didn’t wake him up after they found the twist.


I’m so sorry for your loss, it’s hard to lose them in any form but especially like that.

You know honestly I never really though about it. They brought me back in once he was breathing on his own and seemed awake but out of it. I would hope maybe he wasn’t aware of any of it

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If he was under sedation of any kind, he probably was unaware of anything that was going on. I imagine that if they were working on him, he might have been under some sort of sedation - and if so, he knew nothing of what was going on.

I share some of your guilt, though - I lost a greyhound, one of my favorite dogs, to a fast-growing tumor in her esophagus. The vet did x-rays when I took her in, kept her overnight for observation, then did another set of x-rays the next day. He called and told me that it was inoperable, and I gave permission to let her go then and there, while she was still under sedation for the x-rays. I feel guilty that I wasn’t there for her, but honestly, it would have been far worse for her if I’d made them wait until I could be there - this way, all she knew was being sedated by kind people she trusted. I would feel far more guilt if I had been selfish enough to let her wake up in order to say my goodbyes, then do the whole thing over again.


I’m so sorry for your loss, making that decision cuts deep. I learned especially in a emergency situation

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I am very sorry for your loss. What you are feeling is so normal in processing grief, IMO. The coulda woulda shouldas can just eat you alive. We so often wish we could change the past, or just one thing, and all would be well. You were fortunate enough to say goodbye to him. Build on that so he can live on in your heart. Hugs from a rottie lover.


I lost my Aussie to Hemangiosarcoma in 2016, and saw multiple cases when I was a vet tech.

Once they have ruptured, they also go into shock. The blood loss alone makes them loopy and disconnected. It is extremely unlikely that your pup knew what was going/who was there/etc. Please don’t beat yourself up.

Hemangiosarcoma is a super sneaky cancer. The majority of cases are diagnosed when the mass ruptures, since dogs don’t really display behavioral changes from it. It’s also one of the more impossible cancers to treat — it can go anywhere blood does — and never has a good outcome. You spared your pup additional suffering. You absolutely did the right thing.


I’m sorry for the loss of your Aussie.

Thank you for the kind words, this cancer sucks. I didn’t even know it existed until then. It is weird how sneaky it is, just the day before we had gone for a run and a trip to my sisters and he was full of energy

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I had to hold my mom’s GSD while he was being put to sleep. I was crying uncontrollably and given how incredibly empathetic that dog was, I’m sure that my distress made it worse for him. I’m certain from his behavior that he was reacting to me far more than he was concerned about the compassionate but very matter-of-fact vet.

I don’t feel guilt because we were all doing the best we could at that moment and it went quickly,. But I definitely learned from that experience. An emotional person’s presence can actually make it harder on the animal than if they weren’t there at all.

I’ve had a lot of pets and sometimes I’m present and sometimes not when they’re put down, but I have no problem leaving it completely the professionals if I’m too upset.


Don’t feel guilty. You did the best thing for your dog and did not allow him to suffer. That means so much more than if you were there when he was put down. You showed your love by letting him go.


Thank you everyone for the kind words. It helped me some

Hang in there. It will get easier. You did the right thing for your beloved Panda.