Lasting trauma from pet euthanasia

(12 Posts)
Thegenderbreadperson Thu 30-Jul-20 00:05:54

I wanted to post this to see if others felt the same or whether I am being over sensitive.
Two years ago I had my 16 year old dog put to sleep, I stayed with her throughout but I found it extremely traumatic. Two and a half years later I still find myself living through everything and feeling tearful. I avoid driving past the vets. I cannot bear the thought of another dog as it will inevitably lead to having to do the same. This was my first pet as an adult, I had her from a pup to 16yo. My only other pet was when parents had a dog who had died at home by the fire - I didn’t find this as upsetting.
I feel like it’s exaggeration; but I still feel traumatised by taking my dog to be put to sleep - is this normal? I miss having a dog so much - Will I get over this enough to ever get another one?

OP’s posts: |
wildthingsinthenight Thu 30-Jul-20 00:08:16

OP I really feel for you. I'm so sorry you lost your beloved pet.
Could you get some talking therapy to work through your grief? It's almost like PTSD with having to be there and see it
Sending you flowers

Allnamesaregone Thu 30-Jul-20 00:12:29

Sorry to hear this. Perhaps bereavement counselling might help?

Anordinarymum Thu 30-Jul-20 01:21:05

Of course it's normal to grieve over your beloved pet. I have had lots of dogs and cats over time and it never gets any easier when you have to say goodbye, in fact I think it gets worse.
My advice to you would be to get another dog. Your other dog had a wonderful life with you and now you can do the same for a new dog who will help you to get over the loss .

tabulahrasa Thu 30-Jul-20 08:30:31

When my last dog was PTS, it didn’t go... as smoothly... as it usually does...

And that did leave me much more upset than usual, it took me a while to not be upset at the vets when it was time to take my cat in for things and tbh, I still struggle to talk about it in any detail.

But I am looking for another dog, so I’m clearly over it enough for that...

FiveShelties Thu 30-Jul-20 08:38:58

It is a dreadful thing to lose a much loved pet and it takes ages to come to terms with it. Each time I have said no more pets and each time I have felt so sad - my house never feels like a home until I have something to shed hairs, yap, demand attention and give me a reason to walk in the rain.

The only answer for me has been a new dog, not to replace the last one but to bring their own personality and love to our home. As you can see from my user name I have a great love for Shelties.

I wish you all the best @Thegenderbreadperson - it is really really tough.

ViperBugloss Thu 30-Jul-20 08:45:55

PTS can be traumatic in some instances. I also have had one dog that I can not bear to think about. Others have not had the same effect on me.

I would get some help dealing with this. It may be talking to a vet and discussing what happened. I found knowing the medical reasons for what I witnessed did help enough for me to be able to put this to the back of my head. Maybe a few seasons with a counsellor may also help - it is a very traumatic experience you have witnessed and you deserve some support.

It would be a great shame if this situation put you off having another dog. flowers


Thegenderbreadperson Thu 30-Jul-20 08:49:40

Thanks for your kind responses, I know that friends who aren’t pet owners think that I’m over reacting - that it’s been two years and I should be “over it” by now.

OP’s posts: |
wetotter Thu 30-Jul-20 08:52:15

It's not that you should be 'over it' but I would say that 2 years for the severity of symptoms such as you describe, it might be time to seek additional support

Anordinarymum Thu 30-Jul-20 12:53:27


Thanks for your kind responses, I know that friends who aren’t pet owners think that I’m over reacting - that it’s been two years and I should be “over it” by now.

I don't think you need to dwell on getting over it. Any death is a shock to the system because that person is not here anymore. It's like they never existed except in your head.
One of my dogs was a wise old owl. She was kind and lovely and I talked to her and cried with her. She was always there for me (I'm actually crying as I type this) and I will never forget her, but her time came and I got another dog (Mainly for company for my other little dog who has always had a doggie friend to live with...... )
So I got this other dog and she is fun and nice, and getting her helped me to stop feeling sad.
Hope this is helpful

moosemama Thu 30-Jul-20 13:38:09

I am so sorry you are going through this. Losing a heart dog is really, really hard.

If you are still reliving it daily and have that level of avoidance after two years, have you considered some EMDR sessions to help you process the trauma?

I lost my boy at the start of June, he had been ill for a long time, but the end was sudden, unexpected and a massive shock. I still struggle, especially at night when it’s quiet and my mind starts to race. I do think it’s really important to allow yourself time to process and grieve, but if what happened is still dominating your life after two years it’s probably time to seek help with how to do that. Pet bereavement counselling and EMDR combined would really help.

Realitybites21 Sun 02-Aug-20 21:29:47

I hear you, @Thegenderbreadperson

If you’re on Facebook, there’s a closed group called The Ralph Site Support Group UK.

I have found it very supportive with no judgement, having lost my dog almost 2 years ago. I’ve also had to have a lot of counselling and still can’t go near his ashes as I just crumble into pieces.

People tell you there’s a timeline....there really isn’t. You have your own.

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