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Cher, Dog Caregiver--Extensive Experience
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21387
Experience:  Extensive Experience Caring for Canines; Specializing in behavior and health concerns.
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what could cause a healthy dog to die suddenly and bleed out

Resolved Question:

what could cause a healthy dog to die suddenly and bleed out the butt and mouth. She was not sick she was let out of the house in the morning I went to work I came back the next day it had been about 24hrs since I had seen her and she had been dead 6 to 12 hrs. She was not a puppy she was 5 1/2 yrs old.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Cher replied 7 years ago.

My heartfelt condolences on the passing of your beloved dog. I can't even imagine how horrible it was to find her after all that time.

There are various possibilities, but please understand that you will only receive a definite cause of death after a necropsy (autopsy for animals) performed by a vet.

She could have ingested rat poison, and this causes a dog to bleed out, internally, as it removes the clotting factor from the blood. She also could have ingested a different toxic or other non-food item which caused internal bleeding/poisoning. She could have experienced a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm or embolism, which was sudden and could not have been predicted. If she was roaming outside, she could have been hit by a vehicle.

If it's not too late, you can request a necropsy be performed so you can know for sure what happened.

I hope this will help to ease your grief in some small way:

Again, my sincerest condolences.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She was in the backyard so I know she wasn't hit, she was a greatdane and I know they can have heart problems if she had a heart attack,stroke or embolism that would cause her to bleed out?

Expert:  Cher replied 7 years ago.
Hello again,

I'm glad she was in the backyard, so you know she couldn't have been hit by a vehicle.

Yes, Great Danes are prone to heart disease and other health problems, including 'bloat'. If you're not aware of this condition, here is more information from

"Bloat-Gastric Torsion-GDV

Bloat can occur in many deep chested breeds and is one of the most troubling dog illnesses. More common in Great Danes, this extremely painful condition can take a Dane's life very swiftly. The cause remains somewhat of a mystery, possibly inherited or line related.


When a dog suffers from bloat, the stomach swells and/or rotates cutting off blood supply to other vital organs. This is the number 1 killer of Danes and one of the most serious dog illnesses. A dog suffering from bloat may die in a matter of hours if left untreated."

Here is information re: cardiomyopathy:

Yes, a heart attack, stroke, or embolism could cause her to bleed out.


Edited by Cher on 9/28/2009 at 7:40 AM EST
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