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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 dog recently passed away this past weekend. Granted he

Customer Question

My dog recently passed away this past weekend. Granted he lived a great life for 13 yrs, it just seems his passing came on quickly and wanted to know if he was sick, what possibly might have been wrong. His symptoms were rapid weight loss. Like within barely two months, he had lost so much weight that I could feel almost every bone in body, but his appetite didn't change any so I was just thinking at first old age. Seems like he lost his vision pretty quickly also. He started having mucus like bowel movements with a little blood mixed in, but didn't think anything of it because he'd had that once before and it went away. Now the night before he passed, he seemed fine. He ate that night and somewhat played around. Behavior never changed. When taking him outside, he had hard time using bathroom and what very little he did was a clear gel like bowel movement. He then started acting disoriented, not coming to me when calling his name which he ALWAYS came to. Had to carry him back in house. He then started panting real hard and fast and about every 30 seconds to a minute I would feel his stomach tense up and from there it all went down hill. I just feel like there was something seriously wrong with him and just didn't see it since he was my first pet and thought it was old age and it's killing me not knowing if he was sick and I could have done something
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 experience with Cartman. It is always a very difficult thing to lose a pet, and many of us second guess ourselves/beat ourselves up wondering if we could have done things differently (even those of us who are vets!).

Given your description of Cartman's last months, my suspicion would be that he had a serious systemic illness. Drastic weight loss like this makes me worry about things like diabetes (we can also see vision loss with diabetes due to cataracts, but often with diabetes we see increased thirst and urination as well- not sure if he had those symptoms?), liver or kidney disease, and in his case, given his gastrointestinal symptoms, I would worry very much about a cancer of the intestinal tract, such as GI lymphoma. A disease like that is not something that is curable in a dog, and so there is not likely much you would have been able to do to help him out if that was the case.