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Dr Eli
Dr Eli, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1249
Experience:  40 years of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery
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Hi, My dog just suddenly collapsed and died. He was almost

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My dog just suddenly collapsed and died. He was almost 8 years old, a doberman and very healthy and active. However, he was prome to pollen allergies during certain times of the season. Last march he got the allergy again and scratched a lot around his chest and abdomen area. The vet proscribed an antibiotic which helped a little but did not completely eliminate the scratching. Then the vet placed him on a medication called Atopica 100mg (cydosporine capsules) at 2 capsules per day. The treatment started in March 2010. My dog got sick and threw up all his food continually after taking the capsules. The Vet said that he will get used to it, but he never really did and we started giving him only 1 capsule which helped not to get sick. The Vet said that was O.K. My dog's next check-up was due this comming Tuesday. This mornig he was happy and playful as usual. Suddenly, he collapsed and died enroute to the Vet. The Vet thinks he died of hidden myositis. Cause?

Good afternoon, I'm so sorry for your loss. Did he ever have a cough , even if only a slight one?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you. No he did not. Only when he vomited after taking is medication --usaully about half an hour or one hour after he ate.
My first thought for a Doberman this age that dies suddenly is Dilated Cardiomyopathy which can be present in this breed. Sometimes they will have a slight cough, but not always. They usually collapse and die from a serious cardiac arrhythmia. You did not say and I understand if you elected not to, but an autopsy would show if your dog had cardiomyopathy. Again, I'm sorry for your loss, but I feel a death this sudden has to be heart related, and in this breed it usually is cardiomyopathy. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, thank you. However he had regular veterinary exams and a heart related disease was never diagnosed. Only allergies for which he was being presently treated. The Atopica tablets that made him vomit - could those have heart related side effects? He was being treated for atopic dermatitis caused by his allergies.
The only side effect I have seen with Atopica is vomiting. But in high doses, it can be toxic to the liver and kidneys. But even when that happens, it does not cause sudden death in normal acting dog.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

OK, Thanks. Remi was absolutely a well taken care of normal acting dog. He was a member of our family and it is sad that his medical exams and care never detected anything abnormal about his health other thank allergies. One more question to your previous answer regarding dialated cardiomyopathy. You say this is present in this breed. What causes it - heredity? and how can it be detected or can a young dog or puppy be tested for it?


It is a congenital inherited disease in this breed and others including cats. Many times there are no heart murmurs that we can hear, so unless other signs develop such as a cough we do not know it is present. Also if we suspect it an x-ray will many times show an enlarged heart. And when the heart is enlarged, this usually causes an abnormal EKG when this is done.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you very much. Have a good afternood.
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