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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7350
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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We just lost our 11 1/2 year old choc. Lab. He took thyroid

Customer Question

We just lost our 11 1/2 year old choc. Lab. He took thyroid meds, had some loss of coordination in yer legs controlled with anti inflammatory. Had started coughing and loud breathing. Vet said old age the have labored breathing and panting. He eat well, excerpted daily. We took him on a short easy walk a couple of weeks ago. His rear seems weak, almost sounded like he as weeping, still running after squirrels, then vomited and started drooling and breaching very hard. It was not hot outside he had eat normally that morning. Seemed happy and pain free when left for walk. We put him in car and the drool was just running our of his mouth, then we notice his rear legs were in and awkward position under him. We carried him out to stand and he had no control of rear legs. Bcke in truck my husband set with him and held his head on lap. He settled down but had labored breathing , no more panting or drooling. We wete on the mountains and had to drive slow. With on 40 mins he just slowly quit breathing and died. We are so lucky we were with him but haunted by what went wrong and what he died from. Do you have any thoughts? Thank you.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: Just what I have told you so far. I will try to answer any more questions you may have.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 11 months ago.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years of experience and would be happy work with you.

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. It is never easy to lose a pet, but when it is sudden, as you describe, it is often more difficult. There is no doubt that it sounds like he suffered from degenerative joint disease of his hind legs based on your description, but that does not lead to death. It can contribute to discomfort however and some of the labored breathing may have been from that. Most likely, based on the signs you have given, I would be most suspicious of a ruptured abdominal mass, most likely liver or spleen and the weakness and breathing changes that you saw were due to internal bleeding. The liver and the spleen are very vascular organs, so if there is a tumor there and the capsule of the spleen or liver ruptures as the tumor grows to a larger size, it can lead to internal bleeding that can then lead to loss of life rather quickly. This is not an uncommon event in an older, larger breed dog, even if there were no symptoms that lead up to it before. Masses in the abdomen can grow to significantly larger sizes and no one would be aware they were there unless they were specifically looking for them during an exam or imaging procedure like xray or ultrasound.

Please accept my condolences on the loss of you pet.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your answer and compassion. This,will give us some closure.
Expert:  petdrz replied 11 months ago.

You are most welcome. I am glad I could help.