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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20565
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My dad's 11 year old dog suddenly became ill over the

Customer Question

Hi
My dad's 11 year old dog suddenly became ill over the weekend. We do not suspect he consumed anything. That wasn't his nature. He was showing no real signs of wanting to eat but was drinking water and taking his thyroid meds and eating some baby carrots. His poop and urine looked normal. However he did throw up twice (grass and some clear liquid). My mom found him downstairs not able to move this morning. They were about to take him to their regular vet that afternoon to see what was wrong. We were all suspecting an upset tummy but not this. My mom ended up rushing him to the ER vet where he was pronounced dead by the vet who came out to the car.He was a perfectly healthy dog outside of having a low thyroid and had just been to the vet for his annual exam this past July. Any ideas what could have caused his sudden death? The ER vet suspects possible aneurism because there was blood coming from his mouth. We of course will not know because my parents have decided not to perform an autopsy .
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome,

This is just a quick note to let you know that I am locked on to your question and am working on it now.

My name is***** and I am a small animal vet with many years experience and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today. You can expect a written reply sometime within the next fifteen minutes or so.

We also have the option to talk things over by telephone or via an internet service such as Skype. Please get back to me if this is more convenient for you. { There is a small extra charge for phone calls }

Regards,

Dr Scott

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again and thanks for waiting.

I have worked out an answer for you ...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss, this must be very upsetting for you, eleven years of age is often not so old for a dog these days . This situation is not normal of course but does occur sometimes, as a rough estimate I used to see such sudden death cases like yours around twice a year in my three vet practice.

As you say the only way you would find out for sure what happened is to have had a post mortem carried out. Many of my clients were against this because they did not want their much loved pets cut about and as a pet owner myself I do not blame them in the slightest for feeling that way.

However in my experience when I did carry out post mortems in most cases if you discount poisoning either accidental or otherwise or trauma then sudden deaths like this were almost always related to some form of previously undiscovered heart or circulatory disease including aneurysms.

Again, sorry for your loss ...

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Before my dad adopted his dog last year, the dog was diagnosed heartworm positive well over 6 years ago and was treated at the animal shelter at that time he was surrendered.Could his previous diagnosis of heartworm been a lingering problem?
Thank you
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

Very glad to talk this over with you further ...

Sudden deaths directly caused from heartworm where no symptoms were present would be unusual, you would normally see a range of symptoms in the weeks or months prior to death such as chronic coughing, exercise intolerance or other respiratory signs. It is possible though that the heart was weakened from this previous episode even all those years ago.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
let's say if it was a unknown heart issue or aneurysm that took him , I would of thought he would has passed away instantly. Would you mind briefly explaining what would have medically occurred within him if it was an unknown heart issue or an aneurysm? I am hoping he was not in pain. It was just this morning when he could not walk or left his head. Over the weekend he seemed ok outside of not eating much. He was still walking around and had been on his last daily walk on Friday.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

Well aneurysms will often cause sudden death with no previous symptoms so perhaps this is less likely, however other heart conditions can cause a range of non specific symptoms such as mild discomfort and inappetance in the 48 hours or so prior to death.

So sorry I cannot be more specific ...

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr Scott Nimmo