Reason for Dog's Sudden Death?

Reason for Dog's Sudden Death - woman holding dog's headThis past weekend my healthy, sweet, 5 year old Boxer suddenly passed away. I came home from work that morning, took her out and she did her business, ran around, ate, and played with my kids. She was her normal happy self. No vomiting. Nothing. We took a nap together like normal. That evening we got up and like her normal self (she was always my shadow) she followed me into the bathroom to watch me give my kids a bath.


After about 2 minutes I turned around and noticed she was squatting down and was peeing or just got done peeing, but looked stuck. She was in the same position and just laid down, but then went to lay on her side so I knew something was wrong when she couldn't fix her back legs/hips herself and gently fixed them for her. I noticed she was as red as a cherry tomato (she was an all white Boxer). From the tips of her paws, her stomach to her whole face, it was red. I felt her stomach to feel her breathing. It wasn't fast, but it wasn't normal either. It was more of a slow breathing, but coming in as doublebreaths if that makes sense. She wouldn't blink when I was rubbing her or even look up at me. She then pooped and took her last breath. Like I said, she was happy. Healthy. And her normal self all day long. She ate. Slept. She didn't get into any trash or anything she wasn't supposed too. I couldn't afford an autopsy to find out answers and I'm just curious if anyone has gone through anything similar and could maybe provide some sort of insight as to what might have happened to my sweet girl. I'm heartbroken and devastated at the loss of my beloved baby. I appreciate any and all answers. Thank you.


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May 14, 20190 found this helpful

So sorry for your loss. I would describe the symptoms to the vet. Maybe he or she can figure it out without an autopsy.

May 15, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you for your kind words.


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May 15, 20190 found this helpful

You have my heartfelt condolences on your loss. It is terrible to lose a pet.

I am FAR from an expert so I will share my feeling from the description...your situation sounds very similar to when my beautiful Carmel Ann succumbed to a massive stroke almost 3 years ago. A vet may be able to give you more insights into what happened.


Try not to beat yourself up on this. Dogs are like people and sometimes they pass without warning and by things that humans have no control over. My dad always said when "the big guy in the sky" wants you, he wants you. This applies to people and pups.

It sounds like you gave her an amazing life and she was well loved. My wish for you is that her memory will always be a blessing.

Take care.

May 16, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your kind sweet words. its always the not knowing how or why because I couldnt afford an autopsy. Obviously that would probably have given me a definite answer as to what exactly happened but I spent many hours last night doing research on basically what happened to her and the Boxer breed. Something I wish & should have done when I got her 5 years ago. Come to find out 50% of Boxers die of sudden death due to Boxer Cardiomyopathy, where basically she may have passed due to cardiovascular heart failure.


Its very common in boxers and some show no signs of any heart problems at all. Its unfortunate what happened to her. I miss her dearly and will always miss and love her big ol goofy self. Im just glad I may have found what potentially happened to her due to genetics with her breed. But again Im no expert either and only an autopsy what have confirmed anything.


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May 16, 20190 found this helpful

You are most welcome. Autopsies are so expensive (in dogs they are called something else...but you know what I mean).

I have heard of that condition. The other one that larger dogs can have issues with is stomach twist or gut turn....something like that. Our friend who has a boxer/mastiff/shepherd mix was telling me about that condition.


It is also, from what she says, a genetic predisposition (mostly in the mastiff side of the DNA) and happens with no warning.

Please take care of yourself and if you find you are having challenges managing your grief, I encourage you to find a support group for people who have lost pets. Our local animal shelter has one and a local funeral home has a bereavement group for anyone who has lost a person or pet.

Blessings to you!


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May 15, 20190 found this helpful

This sounds like a massive stroke to me too. I am so sorry. It is always such a shock to lose a young dog that way.

June 15, 20190 found this helpful

This sounds like what happened with my Boxer, only I came home early to find him mid episode. He was laying on the ground and pooping while glazed over eyes. His gums went pale and I THOUGHT it was a seizure and was pretty adamant but turns out he had a splenic tumor that was sending out messages (sort of like the calm before the storm). After weighing the options I decided to take the chance at surgery even though it couldve been cancerous and it couldve killed him on the table.


I dont know why, but we were very fortunate and it wasnt cancer, he survived surgery and recovery and I just think what if I hadnt gotten out early that day from work. I am so deeply sorry for your loss, Boxers are such amazing dogs that being all the joy


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