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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My 9 year old female Westie was her usual joyful self and suddenly

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My 9 year old female Westie was her usual joyful self and suddenly she threw up white frothy vomit, urinated 2 times and then sat down and looked strange in her eyes. She threw up the same white frothy vomit 2 more times on the way to the vet and still seemed totally different. The vet did a thorough exam, her gums were pink, she didnt have a fever or any type of discharge. Lab work came back normal. He said that her white blood count was up just a little, not enough for any concern. SHe didnt have diabetes. Back to white blood count, he said it could be up that little bit due to stress. He gave her a shot for the nausea and other meds, that we had not given to her. He said she was perfectly fine, nothing to worry about. He did not suggest any xrays. Brought her home, she urinated outside about 4 times and I brought her in and put her in the bed. She still seemed indifferent to things going on around her and I thought she was just drowsy from the shot. By morning she died. What could have caused her death?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 5 months ago.
Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm so terribly sorry to hear of your pup's unexpected passing. No doubt your vet will be just as upset and likely want to know what happened as well. It's really unusual for a pet who is presenting to the clinic looking stable and with normal blood work to encounter a life threatening situation soon after. That time frame is really too fast even for a GI obstruction unless there was a GI perforation - this would be from potential ingestion of a foreign body. I would also consider a toxic exposure although there are no products that come to mind that cause exactly what you were seeing. Rat poisons like bromethalin can cause quick death, but the pet usually is going to have severe seizures and neurologic signs, which you weren't seeing. Pesticides that contain organophsophates or carbamates can cause increased salivation, vomiting, urinations, diarrhea, and excess tearing and become life threatening within hours. Antifreeze is very toxic but again it causes them to be very ill for a couple of days before they finally succumb. When we see sudden unexplained death in dogs we also always have to have cardiac disease on the list - a random arrhythmia can be life threatening and also leave no evidence to be found later. I could also put an indiosyncratic drug reaction on the list. "idiosyncratic" means that it's completely random and unpredictable, so unfortunately there's no way to avoid these types of drug reactions. As I mentioned, likely your veterinarian is going to want to know what happened just as much as you do (I know that I would if I were your vet). If this has happened recently, I would suggest speaking with your vet about doing a necropsy (autopsy). If you really want to get into it, she body can be sent to a university for a full necropsy that would include screening for toxic agents and drug exposures.Once again I'm so sorry for your loss.Please let me know what questions I can handle for you.~Dr. Sara ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)

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