German Shepherd Pup Died Suddenly

Our 9 and a half month German Shepherd pup died suddenly this week. I went on a brief 20 minute errand. When I left the pup was happy and seemed normal. I returned 18 minutes later and he was in his bed lifeless. I tried CPR. There was no pulse or breathing.


I took him to the the vet where they did a post mortem. They found abnormalities in the lungs, evidence of past infection, and thickening of the lining. There was also internal bleeding and damage to his liver. There were no signs of trauma, no vomit or fecal/urine matter only a damp spot on his bed, probably saliva. Also there was no evidence of pills or capsules in his stomach. The vet's conclusion was he died from a ruptured liver sustained during the 18 minutes I was gone.

He was a very active guy, itched a lot and often shook his head and whined like he was trying to tell us something. This behavior was more pronounced the morning before he died. I am thinking that I may have caused some of the bleeding during my attempt to resuscitate him and the cause of death was something else. We are confused and grief ridden. He was a wonderful guy, we love and miss him very much.

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February 8, 20190 found this helpful

My condolences on the loss of your pet. With lung abnormalities he may have had trouble breathing.

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February 8, 20190 found this helpful


I am so sorry to hear of his death. It is so difficult to lose our babies who we love so much. Do you think it could have been one of the dog foods that have been recalled lately? What food was he eating?


Here is a link to what liver disease is:

Also here is the latest dog food recall:

Have a blessed day and I am sorry for your loss.


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February 8, 20190 found this helpful

so sorry re your loss!

obviously with a shot liver, and the sudden way, it is easy to think he was poisoned, either slowly due to bad food or suddenly, upon finding something

was he ever exposed to chocolate that you know of? Some dogs are fond of chocolate though the theobromide is DEADLY and will cause cirrhosis in dogs.

alternatively he may have had a congenital disease; many 'pure bred' dogs are plagued by congenital problems

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February 11, 20190 found this helpful

I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is frustrating not to know what happened. It must make you feel so helpless. Your good description of what happened plus the Vets post mortem really dont give a clear reason.


You might want to talk to the breeder of the puppy if they are available. They may have some suggestions and the information can be helpful to them. You clearly did all you could for your puppy.

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February 11, 20190 found this helpful

You have my deepest condolences on your loss. It sounds like you gave him a lovely life. Perhaps the vet can give you more information. I have a feeling when you were there, it was so emotional that you heard what was being said but didn't have it in you to formulate more questions or obtain further details. It is so hard in the heat of the emotion to do so, so perhaps in a few weeks the vet can give you ideas of what may have caused the rupture.

Did you get the dog from a breeder or was he a rescue? You may want to notify where you got him of what happened and see if they have any insights. If he was a rescue, who knows what may have happened to him before that could have contributed to this situation.


Prayers and blessings to you and your family. Please seek grief counseling if you need it! It is helpful when losing a fur child, especially one so young and so suddenly.

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