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Causes of Sudden Death in Dogs

Category Health
It is devastating when a pet dies suddenly, with no prior history of disease. This is a guide about the causes of sudden death in dogs.
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By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2018

My dog seemed fine in the morning when we let her out and back in. We ran some errands and when we got home she was stumbling, her tongue was hanging out and was really blue, and her gums were blue as well and she couldn't breathe. My husband carried her to the car and I rushed her to the vet, but she died when I got there. We are devastated. We are beating our self in the head trying to figure out what happen and the only thing we can come up with is she snapped at a bee and got stung in the mouth and had a allergic reaction. What else has these symptoms do you know?

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May 31, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

unfortunately it sounds like poison. Possibly rat poison - strichnine causing seizures and muscle spasm, or warfarin that causes internal hemorrhaging, due to the black tongue and trouble breathing.

I am very sorry this happened to you

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By 0 found this helpful
July 23, 2018

My little man, a healthy 6 year old Jack Russell moved on to a better place last week. It was sudden & unexpected. He was barking at the door as he heard someone coming, once he knew who it was he turned and walked away, then suddenly his legs went from underneath him and he fell to the floor, he jolted a couple of times and then nothing. I gave him mouth to mouth and tried everything I could think of to bring him back home, nothing worked, The journey to the vet's seemed to last forever, to see the light drain from his eyes will haunt me till I die, the tip of his tongue just slightly hanging out, no foam or drool.

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The vet had no compassion at all. He couldn't bring our baby back and couldn't answer our questions as to why and what. He just stood there as if to say 'what do you want me to do'. The vet was shocked we wanted our baby back after he was cremated. I couldn't get my head around it, and still can't. I don't understand how a healthy 6 year old dog can fall to the floor and move on. Please can someone help, why did he go so soon?

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July 24, 20181 found this helpful

It could be any number of reasons. It might have been a heart attack. I would find a new vet

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July 24, 20180 found this helpful

I'm very sorry re your experience, the vet really SHOULD know better and I think he deserves AT LEAST a really rotten Google or Facebook page review. My mum has had 3 elder cats die on her in the past 8 years and not once did her vets as much as bat an eye when she requested that 2 be cremated and her get the ashes back, and in the 3rd case get the actual cat back to bury in the yard. Please at least do this much and rpevent future pet lovers from dealing with this sociopath.

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As far as what was wrong with him, my first instinct is that it was some sort of a stroke. I looked for Jack Russell diseases and:

- Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscle that often involves a thickened heart. There will be no symptoms until it's too late. Did you notice his breathing more laboured over the months leading up to his demise? Or did he start to shun exercise?
- Hydrocephaly involves fluid accumulating in the brain - symptoms involve disorientation and loss of balance
- Sometimes, from birth a vessel that exists between the aorta and the pulmonary artery does not close at birth in Jack Russells, and many cardiovascular problems can develop as a result. THis condition, if not caught and surgery done, can lead to sudden death like you experienced. A vet might have caught a heart murmur as a sign.
- there are other hereditary diseases that involve neurological issues and fluid in the brain, and symptoms over the years would involve habitual tremors or disorientation. IF he had this then simply it caught up with him and he died

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July 25, 20181 found this helpful

I am so sorry you have lost your buddy. It is hard not to know what happened. The possibilities are many. I dont know anybody who could afford the cost of finding out what really happened.

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Vet bills have become almost prohibitive. I hope you find some comfort in his happy life with you.

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July 25, 20180 found this helpful

We are going to put in a complaint once we get our boy back..thanks for reply

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July 25, 20180 found this helpful

Hi .thanks for your reply.. once we get our boys ashes back a complaint is going to be made against the vet. the man had no compassion at all..
We had noticed that his breathing had started to sound like an old man, a bit wheezy. .we didn't think anything of it..He hadn't been his usual self for a few weeks, but we put it down to the heat...He was on steroids at the time we lost him, and they were for his ears..He has always had issues with his ears, love him.. I'm lost without him, and don't feel whole anymore..

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July 25, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you

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July 25, 20181 found this helpful

So sorry your loss. Sending my deepest sympathy to and yours.

It is terrible that the vet was so callous. You said you will be talking to the superiors. I will say a prayer for you get closure with them. Maybe the superiors can review the chart and offer some information on what happened.

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Losing a pet is devastating. Be easy on yourself. It sounds like you were an amazing pet parent. May you always find joy in your memories. G-d bless you all!

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By 0 found this helpful
June 24, 2018

I had an 11 year old Chihuahua. She was old, but never ill. She was eating well and she was strong. Yesterday however I noticed she was breathing heavily and deeply, very laboured. I took her inside and tried to make her comfortable and calm. Sometimes she would "snort" if she was upset or worked up. I assumed it was something similar. I tried everything, but an hour later her condition had not improved. I then called the emergency vet and was on the phone for about 3 minutes and when I left her on my couch to make the call she was still relatively alright (and alive). As I came back to her she was limp and foaming at the mouth, but still alive. I held her and tried to help, but she gasped for about 2 very long minutes and then she passed on. I considered poisoning, but she was old, not adventurous and picky when it came to food and we keep any poison out of reach of pets. I've also read it may be a seizure, but that doesn't explain the laboured breathing for about an hour and then the sudden death. Her death has really hurt me and I'd like to know what happened and if I could have saved her. Please help.

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June 25, 20180 found this helpful

I don't think anyone could determine with absolute certainty what caused your dog's death just by reading a description of her symptoms. I'm sure the possible causes could be narrowed down by a vet or someone who has had the same thing happen with their dog. However, nothing can change the fact that your dog died.

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The best thing to do is treasure the memories you have of her and find comfort in knowing she was loved and cared for during the time she lived with you. I am sorry for your loss and as someone who has loved and lost (through death) dogs I've shared many years with, I know what a void a pet's death leaves in your heart and home.

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June 25, 20180 found this helpful

There could be many reasons. I would ask the vet again.

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June 25, 20180 found this helpful

Oh my. You have my heartfelt condolences on your loss. It is so, so hard to lose a fur child.

I understand totally about wanting to figure out what happened. But it is also important to let yourself just grieve and keep your pup's good memories in your heart!!

If you think there was some foul play, you may want to talk to your local humane officers or police department to see if there have been other complaints...this way if there were other issues, you may possibly prevent this from happening to another animal.

But if it was just his time, then it was just his time.

If eventually you are still struggling with grief, you may want to reach out to a group or counselor who sepcializes in grief of losing a pet. Our local animal shelter has a support group and I had given it some thought after losing my baby 2 years ago. I still may, as I still miss her more than ever.

Be kind to yourself! Know what a good life you gave your baby and know you have a fur angel watching over you! G-d bless you and yours!

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June 25, 20180 found this helpful

It sounds like you dog had heart failure.

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June 27, 20180 found this helpful

It sounds to me like your dog had heart failure. It does not have many symptoms to tip you off, and it usually progresses very slowly. She likely was dealing with it for sometime. It is not painful, and there is no cure. There are some treatments that may prolong life, but as I said, no cure. She died at home with you and that is worth a lot. I am so sorry for your loss. There is no heartbreak quite like it. Be kind to yourself and begin to remember the good times.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 27, 2018

I had three Pugs and suddenly each day my dogs would get lethargic, struggling to breathe, and eventually pass on. At this moment all my pugs have passed on. What could've caused this?

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By 0 found this helpful
September 28, 2018

My fragile 17 year old Brussels Griffon was on my bed and jumped off suddenly. Her legs were no longer strong enough to land on her feet and she immediately stretched out her body and made some noises. I picked her up and she passed in my arms.

I am crushed. Did the trauma cause her to have a heart attack? She had severe heart disease. She wanted on the bed so I gave in and placed her on bed and in seconds she just darted off the bed onto the hardwood floor. She loved the bed. I blame myself. Any feedback would be so appreciated.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 23, 2018

My baby Pug was 4 and half years old. He was my everything, my best friend, my baby, my world. He was fit and fine, but last night he didn't eat and he couldn't walk. I was so worried what was happening to him? It was late night so I decided to take him to vet the next morning. When I woke up he was lying on the floor and pissing he couldn't even get up to piss.

When I took him to the vet the doctor said nothing and gave him DNS and three other injections. Suddenly my baby pug pooped and he stopped breathing. I told the doctor to do something, but he said, I can do nothing. My baby Pug's tongue was out and turning purple.

This is saddest day of my life. I miss my baby so much. Can anybody tell what actually caused him to die? Pugs live like 10-16 years; my baby was just 4 and half.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 25, 2018

My 2.5 month old Labrador bitch Jenny died suddenly. She was very healthy and playing with me in the morning. It was time for food. I gave her regular Pedigree food. She took one or two bites of food and suddenly was breathing fast.

I think food was stuck in her throat. I searched in her mouth for food pieces with my fingers and got them out. But she continued to breath fast and suddenly she went to her bed. Then white foam came out from her mouth. After few seconds blood also coming from her mouth. And she did potty and toilet.

I was shocked by what was happening. Immediately I took her to hospital. She made susu on the way. And before reaching hospital my Jenny died. The doctor said she is no more. I can't believe it still. I loved my Jenny very much. But still I don't know how she died?

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By 0 found this helpful
July 17, 2018

Yesterday my Yorkie terrier died. He was 16 and we had just been given a clean bill of health only two months ago. He went outside came in and collapsed with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. Yes I know he was old, but I am heart broken and sad he was my baby! What could have happened?

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July 17, 20180 found this helpful

He could have had a heart attack. My condolences on the loss of your dog.

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July 17, 20180 found this helpful

I'm so sorry for what happened to you! What a heartbreaker.

Is it possible that it was very hot and he was dehydrated? Another possibility is that he was poisoned. Did his tongue or mouth turn blue? If yes, then it was certainly poison.

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July 18, 20180 found this helpful

Having been in your shoes 2 years ago, I feel your pain and send you my deepest and most heartfelt condolences on your loss. Your pup will always have a special place in your heart and I am convinced that they become fur angels who watch over us, so he will be looking out for you!!

Our vet said our girl (she was 17 1/2) had a stroke and there was nothing that could have prevented it. In older pups, health conditions (just like in humans) come up in a flash and often there is little that can be done.

For your sweet baby, tt could have been any number of things. I know it is hard not to focus on the what...so I will pray that eventually that feeling goes away and you can remember that you gave your fur baby a wonderful life and 16 amazing years.

Be easy on yourself and hopefully soon your will find it in your heart to remember the joy he brought and get comfort from those memories.

G-d bless you and your family and sending up prayers for healing hearts for all!

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July 25, 20180 found this helpful

First of all my condolences for your loss I completely understand. Our baby went outside and passed away minutes after going outside and we had no idea what had happened. We took her to the vet and they said that she had been stung by a bee or a wasp and was allergic and we had no idea. It killed her within minutes. A stroke could be plausible, or you may want to see if there is any kind of bee or wasp nest in your yard or area where they play as well.

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October 29, 2018

The largest puppy of our litter died suddenly. He had diarrhea, then a very bloated stomach, and eventually blood coming from his mouth and bottom. He died within a matter of hours. We're pretty sure it's not poison because the other puppies are fine and all eat from the same place. What could it be?

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By 0 found this helpful
June 15, 2018

He was 8 months old, very healthy and a happy dog. I was away for 3 days and when I returned I learned that he had not been eating well for 3 days. I searched for him all over the house and tried to feed him, but he wouldn't eat. It was late at night and no veterinarians were available. The next morning he seemed to be fine.

I have a very hectic schedule for which I hardly stay home. I was away for another two days and this morning I called him out, but he did not come. I went nearer to him and tried feeding him, he did not eat at all. After an hour he started making weird loud sounds similar to barking and then his jaw changed its position. He started taking very deep breaths and finally stopped breathing with his eyes open and tongue sticking out. I'm so guilty I wonder what could the reason be.

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June 15, 20180 found this helpful

You have my deepest sympathy on your loss. The loss of a pet is never, ever easy, and even more challenging when it is a young pup. You could talk to your vet to see if he/she has any feedback for you. Every dog is different so it could be anything from an infection like a parvo to a congenital condition with dozens of things in between.

Some times, like in humans, you may not know an exact cause and that just s**ks. Beating yourself up will only make you sad, so I urge you to be kind to yourself.

When you are up to it, I suggest looking for a grief support group for folks like you who lost a beloved pet. Our local animal shelter has one. Your local human funeral home many even know of such a services.

I will send up lots of wishes to help your heart heal from your loss.

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June 15, 20180 found this helpful

Dogs, like people, often have hidden health issues. Sometimes when symptoms appear it is too late. Please dont feel guilty.

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June 18, 20180 found this helpful

I am so sorry for your loss. What a sad and difficult thing to go through. Anytime a dog or cat stops eating is is an emergency. They need to see a Vet ASAP. Some things can wait, but not eating cannot. We have all been in a position where we just didn't know what to do. I pray for healing and peace of mind for you.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2018

Why my dog stick his tongue out when he died and his eyes were reddish color?

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