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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15138
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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My dog passed away the night before last but I'm still puzzled

Customer Question

My dog passed away the night before last but I'm still puzzled over her quick decline. Jazmine was a 10 year old Great Pyrenees but never showed any signs of aging. We had switched to a differnet dog food last week and did not have an opportunity to introduce it gradually, so a few of our 7 dogs developed diarrhea, but overcame it after a day or two. Jaz had diarrhea on Tuesday and Wednesday and started losing her appetite. She did some vomiting on Wednesday too, but was still acting fine otherwise. Thursday, her walking was very stiff, so I took her to our vet, who ran a series of blood tests which showed no concerns. He sent me home with pain meds and a strong antibiotic. By Friday morning, she couldn't walk at all and was vomiting green bile. We returned to the vet to receive IV fluids and a shot to prevent vomiting. She died that night. Add'l note: She had a flea/tick pill this last weekend.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I am so sorry to hear that Jazmine passed away. My sincere condolences. It must have been such a shock to lose her after such a quick decline.
Was an autopsy done? That is the only way to really know cause of death. Do you know what blood tests were done? Blood tests can tell us a lot, but they do not tell us everything. For instance, a dog with cancer can have normal blood tests.
Diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting can be signs of many conditions: pancreatitis (not picked up on routine blood panels, unless a specific test for pancreatitis is requested), cancer, hormonal diseases (also can have normal routine blood panels, unless specific tests are done).
What was the flea/tick medication?
I see she passed after a very short illness, and was not previously ill. That does not rule out chronic diseases like cancer. Dogs tend to be stoic, and hide their symptoms as long as possible, and dogs with serious chronic diseases often pass away after what appeared to be a short sudden illness. I have seen dozens of dogs present to me for being suddenly ill, only to find huge internal tumors, or cancer all through them, and the owners only knew they became sick in the last day or two.
She may have had some internal illness and was hiding the symptoms, and when she got diarrhea like the other dogs, it hit her harder than it did them.
I sure wish I could tell you for certain why she passed, but without an autopsy, we can only guess. If you have the blood tests that were done I would be happy to look at them and give you my opinion if that would help. My deepest sympathy for your loss. Let me know what else I can answer or help with.