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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20580
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Our 12 # 9 year old boston terrier died last week. His

Customer Question

our 12 # 9 year old boston terrier died last week. His symptoms leading up were poor appetite, shaking, lethargy -- these were the last 2 days of his life. He appeared to have a seizure and on the way to the emergency vet, his breathing got more labored and he stopped breathing. CPR did not work, so he died. Do you think this describes heart failure? I just need to know if there's anything we should have done.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the veterinarian. What is the boston terrier's name?
Customer: Zorro.
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about Zorro?
Customer: In the past, he occasionally would have stomach pain and shake... lose his appetite, then recover in a day or two after eating a bland diet. This happened about 3 times during the 7 years he lived with us.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

I apologize for your loss but can you tell me if Zorro had had breathing changes or troubles before he collapsed?

Had he been getting winded on walks?

Any fainting?

Were his gums pink or pale/white?

Any known health issues?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
in the past maybe 6 months he would pant more, get tired sooner, want to lay down especially if it was warm outside. Since he was getting older (8 yrs almost 9 yrs old) we just chalked it up to that. He was never a high energy dog, but he had playful times.
He was panting more the last day or two and of course very labored breathing after the seizure in the way to the vet. Taking slower breaths, etc.
Do you know if heart issues are more common with Boston terriers?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No fainting, did not notice a change in gum color.
His health issues were more with his left knee cap, so he walked a little sideways and bowed back legs. He was sensitive to grains, so he was always in limited ingredient natural balance food.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He had regular checkups, heart worm meds, etc.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello again,

If Zorro had been slowing down and struggling to breathe before this event, I suspect it was his heart. Heart disease is actually the leading cause of death for this breed. So, it isn't unexpected here and I'd note that if his heart condition had reached a critical state then it would have deprived oxygen to his brain leading to a seizure like you saw. So, a congestive heart failure does fit with what you reported and could have caused all the signs you saw and then lead to that final seizure. And sadly if it was that advanced, there wasn't anything more you could have done since we don't do heart transplants in our dogs.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** to have another professional opinion.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Please take care, my thoughts are with you,

Dr. B.


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