clairbear

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Apr 5, 2009
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This might turn into a bit of a rant/sob story.

So, it all started in the middle of January. My goat Maggie died after a C-section, pneumonia, and mastitis. We did take her/call the vet about her and there was nothing else that could be done. I still don't feel like I'm over her death because Maggie was my best friend through high school (I didn't fit in during high school at all) and I feel still feel somewhat guilty about her death even though I know in my head its not my fault.

Now, I have another goat that is dying, Maggie's sister, Bree. This time the circumstances are even more awful. Bree lost a lot of weight after she aborted her kids, but she still ate. Then, after Maggie died she more or less stopped eating grain. My mom was convinced that if she shoved food and water down Bree's throat she would get better or she would be able to hold out until May or so when the goats get their health papers. We gave her loads of wormers a couple of weeks ago when my mother decided that was what was wrong with her. Bree did look better on and off, but this last week she took a turn for the worst. Now, she looks like she's ready to die and she's acting rather dull. My mom in these last couple days decided that it was finally time to take her to the vet. However, the vet that the goats usually go to has not called back. My mom is convinced that only two vets in our area know about goats (the one who won't call back and one out for surgery). I'm trying to convince her to take her to the mixed animal vet that I just started shadowing at least to put her to sleep if nothing can be done, but apparently, to my mother, euthanasia is murder. Also, she apparently isn't suffering because she's just standing there quietly with her head down while a liquid comes out of her mouth. I can't stand when other people don't take their animals to the vet when they are suffering like this, and now my mother is letting it happen to Bree, and I hate watching it. I haven't really wanted to go out to the barn much since Maggie's death, but now I don't want to at all. My mother has never done anything like this before, and I would have taken Bree somewhere myself if I could put her in my car. I know that it isn't really feasible to spend a bunch of money on bigger animals that aren't meant as pets, but this seems cruel to me because Bree is a pet to me at least.

I know that this death is most likely going to be harder for me to get over then Maggie's. The guilt will be much worse because I'm not going to be able to know if anything could have been done and I'm already starting to blame it on my mother along with the fact that she's so young and reminds me of her sister. So, what have you guys found to be the best way to get over a pet's death?
 

lei325

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Jan 7, 2010
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First off, I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. It's never easy to see your pets in pain, and it sounds like Bree is in pain, even though she's not 'showing' it as your mom puts it. And really, there's no easy or best way to get over a pet's death, especially one that you're very attached to and who has been there through a good chunk of your life. At this point, the best thing you can do for her is take her to the vet (or get a vet out to your place to see her) and see what can be done and if that ends up being nothing, the best thing is ease her out of this life and into the next (I'm a big believer in reincarnation, and I apologize if this offends anyone).

Also, guilt is a normal part of the grieving process. Anyone who has dealt with grief goes through a period where they feel incredibly guilty for one thing or another (I know I have). What I've done in the past is let myself be very sad for about a week, and after that try to do things to get myself out of the funk (go out with friends, etc). It's also helpful to talk to people who have gone through similar things with their pets (friends, colleagues). It's helpful to be reassured that you aren't the only one who's had to deal with this stuff and it's nice to talk it out. But you also have to remember all the good times and how you really did all you could.

Again, I'm so sorry that you have to go through this again so soon after your other pet. And I hope this helps a little.
 

StartingoverVet

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There is really nothing that "helps" getting over a death, but there are 2 things I think it is important.

1) Allow yourself to grieve. Too many people in society (although probably not many on this forum) think that it is somehow wrong to have strong feelings over the loss of a pet (and in many cases stronger than the loss of a family member). These people may not want you to grieve. I will state bluntly that they are just ignorant and wrong. The bond with a pet is generally purer and less complicated and therefore the sense of loss can be much greater. "Allow" yourself to grieve and to be upset. It is ok to feel that way. That is the only way you can get over it healthly.

2) Time. It is so cliche but it is true. Some things just take time and you have to let it happen. Everyone is different and take different amounts of time. And for a strong relationship you will never completely "get over it," but you can definitely move on.

I wish I had some advice in your situation. The only thing I would ask is if there is some other person whose opinion your mother might respect, that might convince her of the importance of a vet visit. Maybe a pastor or a teacher or anything. Otherwise all I can say is hang in there...
 

BlacKAT33

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Jul 1, 2009
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There is really nothing that "helps" getting over a death, but there are 2 things I think it is important.

1) Allow yourself to grieve. Too many people in society (although probably not many on this forum) think that it is somehow wrong to have strong feelings over the loss of a pet (and in many cases stronger than the loss of a family member). These people may not want you to grieve. I will state bluntly that they are just ignorant and wrong. The bond with a pet is generally purer and less complicated and therefore the sense of loss can be much greater. "Allow" yourself to grieve and to be upset. It is ok to feel that way. That is the only way you can get over it healthly.

2) Time. It is so cliche but it is true. Some things just take time and you have to let it happen. Everyone is different and take different amounts of time. And for a strong relationship you will never completely "get over it," but you can definitely move on.

I wish I had some advice in your situation. The only thing I would ask is if there is some other person whose opinion your mother might respect, that might convince her of the importance of a vet visit. Maybe a pastor or a teacher or anything. Otherwise all I can say is hang in there...
This is such a hard topic to respond to. I think startingovervet said it best.

It took me about 3 yrs to get over the loss of my first cat. I still miss him though. It has been better now that I adopted my second cat. But now sometimes i feel guilty for not thinking about my first cat, like i'm replacing him :(

i vote for time tho...its the only thing thats worked for me
 

jos05

UF c/o 2016!
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Jul 16, 2009
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I don't have much to add-other than I feel your pain. I just found out our family dog, the one we have had since I was in second grade, died last night. It wasn't a peaceful death either, and I am having a pretty hard time coping myself :( Definitely understand the guilt thing too.
 

clairbear

10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2009
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I don't have much to add-other than I feel your pain. I just found out our family dog, the one we have had since I was in second grade, died last night. It wasn't a peaceful death either, and I am having a pretty hard time coping myself :( Definitely understand the guilt thing too.
I'm sorry.

Thanks for the responses everyone. She just died:(
 

aspiringDVM

AU CVM c/o 2014!
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Nov 3, 2008
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I'm sorry.

Thanks for the responses everyone. She just died:(
I'm so sorry for your loss :(
If you have access to a laboratory or veterinarian who can perform a necropsy, I would urge you to take advantage of it. I too own goats, and when my favorite goats died (several years apart), it was very comforting to learn that the first died of a severe congenital heart defect (it should have been impossible for him to live past three months, let alone four years) and the second was in renal failure and had a perforated bowel. I would never have learned of these causes if not for the necropsies, and it really helped alleviate some of the guilt, uncertainty, and responsibility I felt regarding their deaths.
Again, I'm very sorry. My thoughts are with you as a fellow goat lover.