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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10382
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My dog died yesterday. He was fine when he got up, but

Customer Question

My dog died yesterday. He was fine when he got up, but couldn't seem to get any poop out. He tried repeatedly, and the last time he went out the doggie door, he just collapsed, couldn't move his legs, his head a little. I would just like to know what perhaps happened. He never moved after that, and died in about 5 minutes.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help your dog. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: His name was Chubacha and he was 13 years, 7 months and 1 day. I just wondered what might have happened to him so suddenly. Its just for my own benefit. Didn't take him to Vet as he died so fast. Do dogs have heart attacks?
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Chubacha?
Customer: No, he ate, played and was otherwise pretty good. He was older and had been taking Novox for 3 years or so.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 8 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.

Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of Chubacha; I know this must have been very traumatic for you and your family to have lost him so suddenly in this way.

I do have a few thoughts which might explain his sudden death; please give me a few minutes to type back a response for you. Thanks, Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 8 months ago.

Of course, without an autopsy (and sometimes even with one), we can't know for sure but there could be several reasons for Chubacha's sudden death.

1. heart attack (or fatal arrhythmias or conduction issues),
2. pulmonary thromboembolism which is a clot in the lungs
3. bleeding aneurysm (rupture of a vessel wall)
4. possible clot or embolism to the brain
5. Adrenal crisis which isn't very common in my experience but I'll include it to be complete.

6.Ingestion of certain human medications, toxins or poisons although gi signs are usually seen prior to death

I know that often in these situations the tendency is to feel or think that we missed some signs that our pet was ill; that if we had only intervened sooner, that there could have been something to prevent the horrible outcome. But, this isn't true for most cases of sudden death. Of course, cancer or a mass which might rupture can also cause fatalities but usually there are other signs such as weight loss, anorexia, lethargy, abdominal enlargement...none of which he had. So, I hope I can reassure you at least on this aspect.

Again, my sincerest condolences on your loss; I know this must have come as a great shock but I hope this helps to provide possible explanations for why he passed so quickly and suddenly. Deb