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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5542
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My 10 year old Brittany Spaniel died this past week. She was

Customer Question

My 10 year old Brittany Spaniel died this past week. She was active vibrant and loved to eat . She seemed fine to me and took her out in the afternoon and had a normal looking stool. Fed her at 5 and let her out again around 6 . I ran an errand and came back about half an hour later and she didn't, meet me at the door with the other dog. She was laying on her side and breathing fast and sometimes panting. I noticed a couple of wet spots on the floor that smelled real sour so I figured she must have vomited and didn't, feel good. We have had dogs through the years and sometimes this has happened and they had a stomach bug and call our vet and you would have to feed them rice and broth to get them to eat and would be back to normal in a few days. She wouldn't eat a dog biscuit but would eat a small piece of turkey. I took her outside and she had a small loose stool. Brought her back in she drank some water. Minutes later she vomited a large amount of food that was undigested and really thick mucus. I now thought she ate our other dogs food and that she just ate to much. She vomited small amounts of yellowy liquid after that. I took her out before bed and carried her upstairs as she seemed pretty week. She was still,drinking water and vomited more in the middle of the night. She alternately panted and breathing fast. In the morning she was like a wet rag. Took her to our vet first thing . Her temp. Was 107 .Ran blood work and X-rays blood showed platelets low ,sugar low, white cell high X-rays showed something spongy looking at the outlet of the stomach that he couldn't identify, never saw anything like it. Didn't want to operate because of her platelets low they did get her temperature down to 100 and she was more alert .Referred me to an emergency animal hospital about 45 miles away that had ultrasound and hole blood and more advanced equipment. They faxed down all the test results and I picked her up and she did stand up and looked out the window and went to the other side and looked out before laying back down . Picked up my wife and headed to the hospital . My wife sat with her in the back seat and hugged her. We probably went about 35 miles and she died before we got to the hospital. They took her in and confirmed she was dead. Said she had blood and mucus coming from her chest to mouth and nose probably effect of high fever. I am to meet my vet next week to discuss what could have been the cause of this in less than 24 hours. We always take our dogs for all recommended shots and check ups. She was at the vets a month ago for Lyme vaccine and checkup and she was fine. Any thoughts on this we are devastated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am so sorry to hear about your dog. How horrible to lose her so quickly and unexpectedly. When I read your description, the first thing it made me think of was a severe case of pancreatitis. Oftentimes we don' t know what incites a case of pancreatitis. Occasionally we can see it after a pet eats something very high in fat, but not always. The most common symptoms are vomiting and abdominal pain (which can cause panting). In severe cases of pancreatitis we can see very high fever, low blood sugar, severe weakness, and a condition called DIC, where we can see bleeding as well as clotting develop throughout the body. Here is an article on this disease:

I have seen cases that present very similar to your dog. A dog that had severe vomiting, came in to the clinic very weak, with low blood sugar and fever, who ended up dying shortly after presentation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Found out from my vet that sugar was normal ,platelets low , no sign of pancreatitis, showed me X-ray and looked like lower part of liver was being eaten away with thin tissue and lots of air pockets . Positive dog didn't get into anything toxic as she is always on a leash with us. Another dog in household eats same treats and food and is fine. Brittany took 500 mg cranberry capsule everyday to prevent uti s. Which vet said wouldn't cause this. Heart , lungs , kidneys , urine and stool samples okay.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
White cells were also low not high as I had written before.