This subject is very dear to me. I had an experience that was life changing. I was novice at choosing a veterinarian. We had just moved to a new state and our previous vet was no longer available to us or our beloved dog Casper.
Casper became very ill in 2002. We called our former veterinarian and he told us he knew a young woman who was now working in our state, in our area. We called her. She examined Casper and told us he would need very expensive medication since his test came out that he had extremely bad arthritis and would eventually be unable to walk or get up.
We did everything in that short time with him to keep him comfortable. We even purchased a doggy wheelchair, which he did not want or use. It was very costly and not returnable.
One night he worsened. He whimpered all night long and began shaking. He stood up and his front paws bent under. We took him back to the vet the next morning. She told us he seemed to most likely have a neurological disorder that was causing his front paws to bend under, and that he may be suffering pain that we were unaware of. He would now need a $1,600.00 MRI to figure out what was going on. We did not have this money at this time. We had just relocated to this new state and money was scarce. My heart was breaking.
Our decision was the hardest we ever had to make. This was like putting down one of my children. I didn’t want him to suffer any longer. He looked at us with longing stares and we knew he was in drastic pain. He would have to be put to sleep. Even if he had the test, we had no reassurance that it would be something that we could fix.
That night near closing, the veterinarian let us stand with him as he was put to sleep. She had a problem with the needle and the meds entering his blood stream. It was going too slowly. The younger girl who was assisting her kept widening her eyes and giving the veterinarian hard and hurtful looks. Casper was panting and crying. This is the way I watched him die. This is the way he saw “me” as I allowed these people to do this entire procedure the wrong way, and cause him last minute suffering. I live with this every day… every year. His last minutes in life was seeing his Mommy allow these people to hurt him as he left the world. To me in my mind, he was being murdered.
Why am I writing this now? I’ve written this over the internet several times, and was once thrown off a pet loss forum for writing what happened to Casper. No one wants to hear horrible endings…but I had to endure it all alone with my husband.
What I have been trying to get across to the public was and is this: Challenge your veterinarian and do your research. Make absolutely sure that you have chosen someone who has done this before, and has had excellent results. This is a final decision that you will have to live with. Make sure your veterinarian is the right person for this extremely emotional and deeply difficult task.