Grieving The Loss Of A Pet After Euthanasia
It’s been a little over four weeks since we had to say goodbye to our beloved dog, Casper. He was such a sweet and loyal Bichon Frise, and I miss him dearly. The house feels so empty without him.
Casper was always there for me, whether I needed a cuddle or just someone to sit with. He was my best friend, and I loved him deeply. Losing him has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through.
Dogs are family members and pet grieving is a real thing. Today I’ll be sharing my experience of losing Casper along with some tips for coping after euthanizing your dog. I’ll begin by sharing what happened to Casper my loyal companion and best dog friend.
Casper: A Dog Diagnosed With Skin Cancer
In 2021 my family migrated from the UK to New Zealand. We brought Casper our Bichon Frise and pet dog with us.
It was a long, difficult and expensive process flying Casper across the world but it was worth every penny. Little did we know that 18 months later he would be diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Upon arriving in New Zealand and leaving quarantine, I took Casper to the vets for a check-up. He had a growth on his eye which I was concerned about.
My husband and I had spoken to Vets in the UK about the growth and were assured it was quite normal and okay, however, It just didn’t feel right.
Removing a Growth From Our Pet Dog Casper
We arranged for the growth on Casper’s eye to be removed. The growth was then tested for skin cancer cells and as it turned out – to the surprise of everyone – the Vet included, this small wart-like growth on Casper’s eyelid was cancerous.
The vet told us, that now the growth had been removed, Casper should be okay but to keep an eye on him in case it grew back. To our delight, Casper’s eye healed and the growth did not come back.
Signs of Skin Cancer in Dogs
For those of you who want to know, here are some signs of Skin cancer in dogs.
– A changing or growing lump or growth
– A wound that won’t heal
– Discolored patches of skin
– Excessive itching
– bleeding or discharge from growth or wound.
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, please take them to the vet as soon as possible.
And so Casper’s Story Continues…
A Dog Diagnosed With a Brain Tumor
18 Months later Casper began having seizures. He had three seizures over 2 days and we had to take him to the emergency vet for treatment.
Casper was given medication to stop the seizures and seemed perfectly okay. He was then placed on epilepsy medication to prevent further seizures whilst further investigations were done.
Bichon Frise With an Enlarged Tummy
Despite our Dog Casper having several seizures, he seemed fit and healthy in all other aspects of life apart from having a strange cough that had recently developed.
The vet noticed that Casper’s tummy was quite large, a lot larger than they would expect. As a result, he was sent for blood tests and scans.
The results came back and we were told Casper had many tumors. Our beloved Bichon Frise has tumors in his Liver, his spleen, and the adrenal glands. Casper had tumors in his tummy and in his lungs. He also has a tumor in his brain.
Giving Casper a Good Life
Given the fact cancer had spread throughout Casper’s body, there was little chance of treating him and getting rid of the cancer.
Instead, we chose to make him as comfortable as possible for the remainder of his life.
Giving Our Dog Anti-seizure Medication
I had to give Casper medication every 8 hours to prevent seizures and was worried because the tablets were rather large. However, I found the perfect solution. Tomatoes!
That’s right. Casper loved cherry tomatoes, and so we chopped small plum tomatoes in half, removed the seeds, and replaced the middle with a tablet. It did the trick.
Casper loved his “tom tom” treats and took his medication each day without difficulty.
Cushings Disease in Dogs
The medication made Casper a little more tired than usual. That was the effect the seizure medication had on him. Due to the brain tumor affecting Casper’s pituitary gland, he had developed Cushings Disease. This meant he was often thirsty, was always feeling hungry and he began having accidents every now and again as he needed to wee a lot more than usual.
Casper also had a choking kind of cough which often got worse at night. Besides this he was very happy. He continued to follow me around and be my sidekick. He still enjoyed walk, loved his food and being by my side night and day.
The Final Days of Our Dog’s Life
About 10 weeks after diagnosis, Casper began having more seizures. it was quite stressful seeing my beautiful bichon going through a seizure but it wasn’t painful for him and he was unaware of the fit.
I stayed with my dog and kept him on his side as he went through his seizure and then kept him on the floor in one room while he recovered. After a fit, Casper would be confused and not be able to see. He would try to walk around and bang into furniture and be wobbly. It would take a good hour for him to come around.
I did my best to keep him safe during the recovery period. After two weeks, Casper had 4 seizures in one day. We did not want to let him go but the medication was no longer working and with each seizure became a little more weak and unwell.
Talking to the Vet About Euthanasia
We had spoken to the vet and discussed when Casper would need to go to sleep forever. We were advised that it was not normal to have repeat seizures and after the 5th seizure we knew we had to let him go.
We made an appointment and took our beloved pet down to the vet for one last visit. My husband and I stayed with Casper as he passed away. We both cried and hugged him and said our goodbyes.
We then left Casper in the hands of the vet to prepare his body for pet cremation. We collected our pet’s ashes the next day and they are still in a little box and when the time is right we will have a small memorial service and plant a tree with Casper’s ashes in his memory.
Coping After Euthanizing Your Dog
It’s been just over one month since we lost our beloved pet. I still cry most days, especially when I see other people out walking their dogs or when I go to get food and forget he is no longer there following me as I go about my daily tasks.
Remembering My Special Friend
I think about Casper all the time and wonder how different life would be if he were still here with us. I know he is no longer suffering and is at peace but I still miss him terribly.
Losing Casper has been a painful process. He was a family member and the emotional pain is pretty strong at times.
Preparing for a Pet’s Death
As a pet owner, it’s important to be prepared for the loss of a pet. It’s something that is inevitable and no one knows when their time will come.
Casper was a special dog and will always hold a place in our hearts. We are grateful for the time we had with him and cherish the memories we have.
An animal companion brings so much love and joy into one’s life. They are a special part of the family and it’s important to be prepared for when their time comes to an end.
If you are facing the loss of a pet, there are various ways to cope with your grief. Here are a few suggestions of things that have helped me:
- Talk to someone who has been through the experience of losing a pet. It can be helpful to talk to someone who understands what you are going through.
- Write down your memories of your pet. This can be cathartic and help you to remember all the happy times you shared together.
- Create a photo album or collage of your favorite pictures of your pet. This is a beautiful way to remember them.
- Do something in your pet’s memory such as planting a tree or making a donation to an animal shelter. This can help you to feel closer to your pet and know that their legacy lives on.
- Talk to your veterinarian about what to expect and how to best prepare for your pet’s passing. They can offer guidance and support during this difficult time.
Seeking Support After Pet Loss
No one knows when their time will come, so it’s important to cherish every moment you have with your beloved animal companion.
You can join a support group and share your grief experience. You might want to find an animal-loss support group in person or online.
A pet loss support group can help you to deal with your own grief and can help you through the grief process.
It can be helpful to talk to others who have been through the experience of losing a cherished pet. Sharing your story and listening to others can help you to feel less alone during this difficult time.
If you are struggling to cope with the loss of your pet, please reach out for help. There are many resources available to support you through this tough time.
One way to get support is to share your loss in a local dog group. I belong to several Bichon Frise groups and the support and comforting words of those who didn’t even know Casper truly helped me during the past few weeks.
Support groups can help in so many ways, especially with emotional support. You can also share your happy memories or past photos with those who will appreciate them.
Coping After Euthanizing Your Dog
The process of grieving is different for everyone. Some people may not even realize they’re grieving until long after their pet has passed away. For me, the grief hit me like a ton of bricks.
It can be quite normal to feel angry, feel guilty, feel ashamed, and certainly feeling sad is to be expected when a pet dies.
They are often more than just a pet. They are family and our pet’s life is often entwined with your own.
Losing a pet is hard, but there are things that can help the healing process. Here are a few suggestions:
Talk to someone who has been through the experience of losing a pet. It can be helpful to talk to someone who understands what you are going through and can
For different pet owners, pet loss will be a unique and different personal experience. You may feel a profound sense of loss. The death of animals, in particular pets, can feel devastating and the grieving process can be difficult and painful.
It is natural to feel a range of emotions after the loss of a pet. You may feel shocked, disbelief, sadness, loneliness, anger, or guilt. These are all normal reactions to the loss of a beloved pet.
The death of a pet can also trigger unresolved grieving from past losses and can also impact mental health as pet loss can be emotionally devastating.
Losing Casper Our Bichon Frise
Losing Casper has not been easy. It was not something we expected and both my feelings and my husband’s feelings have been all over the place.
Casper was not just a dog, he was a family member. He brought us so much joy and we are grateful for the time we had with him. We cherish the memories we have and he will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Getting a New Dog After a Beloved Pet Dies
If you love pets then you may want to consider getting a new pet or dog in honor of the pet who has passed away.
This can be a difficult decision to make and it’s important to take your time. It’s also important that you are emotionally ready to welcome a new pet into your home.
If you do decide to get a new dog, please consider adopting from a local animal shelter or rescue organization. There are so many animals in need of homes. However, if you wish to have a new puppy, then that’s okay too.
What’s important is that you do what feels right for you and your family.
Casper was our first Rescue Bichon Frise and we loved him dearly. We have decided to get another Bichon Frise in his honor. We found a local breeder in New Zealand and will be welcoming a new puppy into our home in a few weeks. I can’t wait to spend time with him and share the unconditional love I had for Casper with our new Bichon Frise.